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Taking a break from "new American" "French tavern" & "farm to table"

My final post on this thread (and final thank you for all the tips):

Day 6. Han Dynasty Old City
Sorry to disappoint the Han Dynasty dislikers among you, but that is where we ended up at 9:30 on Thursday. I am surprised there are so many people on the board who don't like it. Curious why. Anyway, for the sake of completeness, we ordered:
Cold Noodle w Chili Oil
Spicy Crispy Cucumber
Eggplant w Garlic Sauce
Hot Sauce Style w Beef
Enjoyed everything, but especially the Spicy Crispy Cucumber. Probably would not order the Cold Noodle w Chili Oil again.

Day 7. La Viet

10. Goi Cai Soan - watercress salad (with beef)
12. Banh Xeo - crispy crepe with pork and shrimp
64. Dau Hu Xao Xa Ot - Tofu with lemongrass sauce
67. Ga Cari - bone-in chicken Clay Pot

The crepe was interesting, and different than anything I've had at a vietnamese restaurant before. It was soft (as in, custardy) in the middle and it was eaten by wrapping in lettuce leaves which surprised me (but the crunch of the leaves went well with the crepe).
The chicken clay pot was outstanding, and worth the "work" of getting around the bones. Probably my favorite (although I also really loved the watercress salad).

There are so many places we didn't have time for - but luckily we live here and weren't just visiting for a week. Definitely want to get to South Philly Barbacoa one weekend soon. And I'd like to try the other recommended Indonesian place (Hardena); Sky Cafe was good but I've been spoiled with amazing Indonesian food on my many trips to Amsterdam and Sky was a little disappointing for that reason. I'll definitely return to Khmer Kitchen and Sazon in the near future.

Finally, my very enjoyable meal at Kabul has me curious (and a little impatient) for more information about (and for the opening of) what appears to be a new Afghan place planned for South (around 16th maybe? - passed the sign and papered up store front walking last week - might be where the long planned Mexican place is no longer going?)

Thanks again!
Sharon

Aug 09, 2015
fava_bean in Philadelphia

Taking a break from "new American" "French tavern" & "farm to table"

Right now we had plans for La Viet for Friday night. But I've spoken to a few people who didn't like it. With the week winding down, would that be a mistake?

Aug 06, 2015
fava_bean in Philadelphia

Taking a break from "new American" "French tavern" & "farm to table"

Day 5. Terakawa Ramen
Thanks for the tip on the noodle doneness. Nothing on the menu about this option that we saw, but the server wasn't surprised at the request.

We started with seaweed salad and steamed pork gyoza. And then we each quickly slurped down a bowl of Mayu ramen before heading to the Phillies game. The noodles were great and the egg was perfect. I'm not a ramen expert and I know debates rage over the perfect broth. But to me this was delicious, not overly salty, and more flavorful than Nom Nom.

Tonight I have an evening work event and won't be back in the city till nearly 10.
Any good late dinner options?
Failing a new idea, we'll probably go to Han Dynasty.

Aug 06, 2015
fava_bean in Philadelphia

OMG! Need TEN recommendations!!

One more, if you can do a BYO...
Helm
http://helmphilly.com/
it's fantastic and if you have a driver, all the easier.

Aug 04, 2015
fava_bean in Philadelphia

OMG! Need TEN recommendations!!

One more idea -- book a private event at Cook (or simply grab a bunch of seats at a scheduled event, when they release the Oct schedule, about a month in advance). Its a fun and unique experience, and a little pricy but sounds like this in not your dime.
http://audreyclairecook.com/

Aug 04, 2015
fava_bean in Philadelphia

OMG! Need TEN recommendations!!

Lots of good places on this list, but I am surprised no one mentioned Marigold Kitchen? I haven't been in a while (with new chefs) but I thought it was still turning out a great experience.
http://www.marigoldkitchenbyob.com/

If you want a really unique experience, book Di Bruno Bros in the Italian Market for a private, after hours, extravaganza
http://www.dibruno.com/db-after-hours/

Aug 04, 2015
fava_bean in Philadelphia
1

Taking a break from "new American" "French tavern" & "farm to table"

Thanks! Wish we could eat at Kanella right now, but we are waiting patiently for the new location to open (and feel sad everytime we walk down Pine past the closed location). Anyone know a time frame on that?

Aug 04, 2015
fava_bean in Philadelphia

Taking a break from "new American" "French tavern" & "farm to table"

Day 4. Tonight we went to Rangoon. I had been several times previously (but too long ago to admit) but the bf had not, so we took the chowhound advice and went. No regrets!
We started with three appetizers:
A6 Firecracker Lentil Fritter
A15 Thousand layer bread with Vatana Bean
S15 Crispy Watercress salad
and then shared two mains:
F2 Banana Leaf Fish
N7 Northern Burmese Noodle

Very friendly service, despite our late arrival (we were the last people to leave but no one made us feel rushed.)

The noodles in Northern Burmese Noodle were perfectly cooked and the sauce was flavorful and interesting. Not spicy (despite my request for real spice) but they brought out some chili flakes to remedy that. The fish was good (although not particularly novel). The Thousand layer bread was definitely tasty. The star of the meal was by far the crispy watercress salad. The combination of the citrus and the chili with the garlic and basil, all atop this very unusual texture of fried watercress - well, it was reason enough to go in my opinion. The only misfire was the fairly boring "firecracker" lentil fritter (I guess the word firecracker got my hopes up). In general, my only global complaint was not enough heat. Same issue at some of the other restaurants, even though I try to explain that I can handle "authentic spice". I guess I just look too fragile...

Was very excited to try South Philly Barbacoa, until it registered that tomorrow isn't Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. So instead, prior to our Phillies game, we will head back to Chinatown to go to Terakawa Ramen. Can't wait!

Aug 04, 2015
fava_bean in Philadelphia
1

Taking a break from "new American" "French tavern" & "farm to table"

Happy eating indeed! Day 3, went to sky cafe with two friends and shared:
N1. Mie Komplit
R2. Nasi Lemak Rendang
S3. Satay beef tongue Padang
N10. Mie Goreng
R10. Nasi pecel lele

We each had a different favorite, which is a great thing! I'd say the beef tongue is a don't miss dish, and like others I'd recommend the Mie Komplit. Great service, even though we were pushing the closing time. Only wished we ordered food to be spicier.

Thanks for all the tips so far!!

Aug 03, 2015
fava_bean in Philadelphia

Taking a break from "new American" "French tavern" & "farm to table"

This is a great list.

We started this week of eating at Khmer Kitchen for lunch, and it did not disappoint.

We had the Nyum Sahdau (with seafood), the Nyum La-Hong with pork, and the signature Prah_bok Kateeh. All were great, but the one I'd really recommend is the Nyum Sahdau, for anyone who, like is, is looking for new taste experiences. The bitter flower was a really great mix with the other flavors.

Stopped off at the EPX bottle shop to get a few beers, which worked great with the food.

Pondering dinner.....

Aug 03, 2015
fava_bean in Philadelphia

Taking a break from "new American" "French tavern" & "farm to table"

Day 2. After a 10 mile run to compensate for yesterday, I popped into Gavin's cafe for an empanada.

Made our way north, to Sazon, for a fantastic lunch. We ordered the ensalada verde which was terrific, and then we each got a different arepa. I got the tofu and avocado which was good, but the bf got the pork in orange, like a pibil , which was amazing. We shared beans and rice, and an order of yucca which we all loved.

For dinner we went to Kabul for afghan food. Had a bottle of Georgian wine which paired perfectly. Started with a kidney bean appetizer as well as scallion dumplings with a beef sauce. Then shared the eggplant with sweet saffron rice, and the lamb and spinach. Service was spotty but the food was terrific, and the candied oranges in the rice with eggplant were a great surprise touch.

Aug 02, 2015
fava_bean in Philadelphia

Taking a break from "new American" "French tavern" & "farm to table"

Meal #2. Blue Corn.
This was a bit of a "cheat" because we've been here several times before, but we were still full from lunch at Khmer Kitcheb, and we didn't want to "spend " one of our other planned restaurants! So we ordered two new things so we felt better about our decision. (Margaritas helped too.)

We got two things, the pulpo en su tinta, and the Blue huarache with cecina. Both were good, although the former needed more seasoning in my opinion. The cecina was the perfect complement to the nopales.

Aug 01, 2015
fava_bean in Philadelphia

Taking a break from "new American" "French tavern" & "farm to table"

V Street is, indeed, delicious. Took a group of 9 there last week, and ordered 2 of everything. The best part was that everyone had a different favorite.

Aug 01, 2015
fava_bean in Philadelphia

Taking a break from "new American" "French tavern" & "farm to table"

Oh yes, we've been. But thanks to Penn-Gillette-lookalike bartender, we don't have perfect memories of the second half of each visit!!

Aug 01, 2015
fava_bean in Philadelphia

Taking a break from "new American" "French tavern" & "farm to table"

Love it. But not what we're looking for this week.

Aug 01, 2015
fava_bean in Philadelphia

Taking a break from "new American" "French tavern" & "farm to table"

This is a great list.

We started this week of eating at Khmer Kitchen for lunch, and it did not disappoint.

We had the Nyum Sahdau (with seafood), the Nyum La-Hong with pork, and the signature Prah_bok Kateeh. All were great, but the one I'd really recommend is the Nyum Sahdau, for anyone who, like us, is looking for new taste experiences. The bitter flower was a really great mix with the other flavors.

Stopped off at the EPX bottle shop to get a few beers, which worked great with the food.

Pondering dinner....

(Heading to Savon tomorrow probably, enjoy route to 2nd st festival.)

ps as for distance, anywhere near a bike share station works well too.

Aug 01, 2015
fava_bean in Philadelphia

Taking a break from "new American" "French tavern" & "farm to table"

I've been eating in Philadelphia for two decades, and this is first time I've posted to ask a question...

Next week, the bf and I are going to take a break from our regular favorites (Vernick, Petruce, Townsend, Le Virtu, Will, Good King Tavern, Bibou, Laurel, Aldine, Farm and Fisherman, &c.) and plan our week of eating around the somewhat obnoxious phrase "ethnic cuisine". Maybr it was two delicious dinners of Korean inspired food at Southgate that prompted this idea. We want to try to avoid some obvious places we've been a lot (like Han Dynasty or Zahav).

Top of our list is Khymer Kitchen. Also thinking about Sky Cafe, maybe La Viet or Mekong Delta, and maybe Kilimandjaro.

But what else? Are any of the Afghani restaurants good?

As for location, we walk everywhere, so anywhere within a 3 mile radius of grad hospital is easy.

Jul 31, 2015
fava_bean in Philadelphia

Dinner in Melbourne in Prahran, South Yarra?

Thanks to Chowhound, I have been eating exceptionally well in Melbourne for the week I have been here on holiday (for the Open). We've tried, for dinner,
- Lee Ho Fook
- Bar Lourinha
- Cookie
- St Crispin
- and tonight, the Town Mouse
and for breakfast/brunch (pre-tennis)
- La Luna
- Cumulus
- The Grain Store
Also great drinks at lots of places, but especially the Everleigh (and some very nice cheese and wine at Punch Lane and Cumulus Up.)

We're headed to Sydney for the weekend (booked at Sepia and Spice Temple), and will be back in Melbourne on Sunday and Monday before heading home. I've already booked Da Noi for dinner (Monday) because I had a great meal there a couple of years ago, but there is one night (Sunday) left unclaimed.

The twist - we are staying for these final two nights down in Prahran, for a change of pace (now we are in CBD), so we were thinking of trying to find a place in the Prahran or South Yarra neighborhoods. Because we have tasting menus on either side of that day planned, I'm thinking something simpler. Both Dainty Sichuan and Hu Tong came to mind, but I also wondering if there is good Greek food in that general area. Or something else? (Including something else in a different neighborhood if you think we've missed something that we'll regret!)

And, where should we go for cocktails and/or wine in Prahran?

Any (quick) advice would be great. And if you are in Philadelphia, happy to return the favor/advice some day!

Center City Restaurant Week

I have to disagree. Some of the worst dining experiences I have had in Philadelphia over the past decade are at the "best" restaurants during restaurant week. It just doesn't scale. The servers and kitchen are off their game, the menu is too restricted, and you get the worst they have to offer. I recommend sticking to places that are not losing tons of money at the RW price point, who offer their full menu with a normally operating kitchen, and where you will get a small break in price for a meal you might not have tried otherwise. It's simple, you get what you pay for, and a meal at a "best" restaurant for a quarter of the price will be a quarter as good as you want it to be.

Aug 10, 2013
fava_bean in Philadelphia

5 days in Philly - looking for feedback

Buckethead has a great list. Not sure where you are from reedsox (boston), but even not knowing, I can predict that the food at Vedge, Zahav, or Noord would be both new and impressive. And not just to the kids.

Aug 10, 2013
fava_bean in Philadelphia

5 days in Philly - looking for feedback

You can go to Federal Donuts at the ballpark, but the selection (and in my opinion the quality) doesn't match what you will get at the original location on 2nd near Federal (or the second location on Sansom near 16th).

Aug 10, 2013
fava_bean in Philadelphia

Kermit's Bake Shoppe, anyone been?

Haven't had the bagels but I've had several of the pizzas, and many (too too many) of the baked goods. Some standouts: the sausage and peppers pizza is a fanastic version of this classic combination. And I really liked the mushroom and leeks pizza too. My favorite so far was a special (called the Terminator for reasons I could not discern) with creme fraiche, sauerkraut, and ham. In the baked goods case, the apricot, almond and sage tart is fantastic, as are the various seasonal fruit tarts (look for one with plums). And the butterscotch blondies have been a hit at my house. I also thought the sourdough baguette was perfect. The only miss so far was the raspberry salad "sauce" served with one of the salads. And I hope they add some gluten free desserts to join their gluten free pizza and baguette offerings. Oh, and they need to change the name of their Hot Pockets!! They are delish and deserve a name (hand pie, pastie) that doesn't bring thoughts of bad frozen food to mind.

Aug 10, 2013
fava_bean in Philadelphia

Out of towners with teens: what about these choices?

I'd recommend Noord, for something a little unusual but not so much so that two teenagers would be scared to eat. It was the first thing I thought of when I read "great food, fun atmosphere". The food is terrific, from the phenomenal bread to start, to the dessert-you-really-didn't-want-but-are-so-glad-you-ate to finish. The chef will come out and talk to you, everyone who works there is happy and will make you happy, and the whole neighborhood is so lively and energetic that that spirit gets swept right into the restaurant. Good food, good fun. In fact, now I'm thinking about heading there myself, right now! (One word of caution if you do go -- for my taste, the portions are huge. I'd plan on splitting some things unless you are really hungry.)

Jul 18, 2013
fava_bean in Philadelphia

Quick bites, portable meals, and toddler friendly dinners

Be sure to take that two year old to Capogiro, just off Rittenhouse Square, for some great ice cream. (You might indulge too!!)

A Philadelphia Experience for a Girls Soccer Team Dinner?

Call Pub and Kitchen and see if you can book the upstairs room. Their food is great (and the drinks too!) and for a private room, it is very reasonable. They'll work with you on menu options in your budget. The only thing I am not sure of is whether they book the upstairs for private parties on Saturdays.

Jul 17, 2013
fava_bean in Philadelphia

Reasonable Dinner and a walk?

Near the 13th st capogiro is the new Inde Blue. I haven't been and don't see any comments here. Has anyone been?

Jun 28, 2013
fava_bean in Philadelphia

Best Salad in the City

Scott's Big Salad at American Sardine Bar.

Jun 28, 2013
fava_bean in Philadelphia
1

Richard Landau of Vedge on Chopped

One of my daughters, who is vegan, refers to vegans who eat honey (unlike her) as "beegans". Because we need more terms for people who avoid animal products!!

Jun 28, 2013
fava_bean in Philadelphia
1

Reasonable Dinner and a walk?

A great place to stroll to after dinner (if you are in the Rittenhouse area) would be Magpie on South around 16th. If you like the idea of a pie-destined stroll, then you need to find a place within a few blocks of there. If 8 blocks is ok for you, I'd recommend Kanella at 10th and Spruce. The entrees are a tiny bit above your price point but you can make a meal of the starters (or share an entree). The manti, for example, are wonderful, filling, and approx $10.

Jun 28, 2013
fava_bean in Philadelphia

Best Date night restaurant

I've been to Vernick a half-dozen times, and never with a reservation. My boyfriend and I sit at the bar (where the full menu is served), and it's always seemed pretty romantic to us (especially after all the interesting cocktails they serve). The bartender will take time to get to know what you like and don't like, and then he'll surprise you with off-menu concoctions.

Jun 27, 2013
fava_bean in Philadelphia