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Fond Tonight

Your comment got me thinking, Arepo. I don't think restaurants "opt" for loud. I think it's an unfortunate consequence of maximizing tables in a relatively small space coupled with success.
Great food brings large crowds. What is needed is unusual acoustic treatments at the onset of a new restaurant to have the most effective sound deadening materials built into the construction. And, for an already existing restaurant in an older building, well, again, there is a challenge for sound engineers.

But, in the meantime, we who are noise aversant will have to rely
upon the tips of others.

Feb 24, 2015
Bashful3 in Philadelphia

Fond Tonight

OUr search for 'open on a MOnday' led us to Fond. On my list
to try for quite a while. For me the best omen was difficulty in deciding on an appetizer and a main--so many intriguing choices.
When our talented waitress offered a few suggestions the dishes
she mentioned leaped ahead of the some of the others, but in the end I stuck with my first choices and was rewarded.

The grilled sweetbreads with preserved sunchoke, almond and puffed grains were over the moon good. The surprise was what wasn't mentioned: agridolce sauce that held it all together; the other surprise were the delish little black specks that must have been
the puffed grains. Best sweetbreads I've even eaten, and a generous portion for an appetizer. My main was also perfection:

branzino 'en croute' with clams, artichokes crispy rice cakes and spiced tamarind sauce. Disparate ingredients, but they held together and brought enjoyable character to the delicate fish.
Sweet desserts did not grab me, and the cheese plate on slate while
attractively presented with almonds, fancy bread and a lovely preserve fell flat in the sense that the local cheeses featured couldn't hold a candle to French cheeses. Next time I'll opt for the lemon tart, but ask them to hold the licorice.

Decaf cappuccino perfect, as was the gracious unobtrusive service.
Quite a meal for $60, but next time I'd go for the tasting menu at $75. with one more course, and almost full choice off the regular menu. A tip: try for the quietest table in the house: in the front
window. There was a floorboard heater; it was a little chilly,
but not a bad trade for the privacy and peaceful sound level.

A lovely evening, and I look forward to coming back.

Omikase Dinner: Fuji

What a coincidence, delucca. Wish I'd known. Yes, that warm dish with the yazu sauce was for us, and it was wonderful. I thought it was mackerel, but I could have been wrong.

Feb 18, 2015
Bashful3 in Philadelphia

Omikase Dinner: Fuji

We chose to sit at a table, more comfortable to talk face to face.
There were only two of us, so yes, we all had the same dishes.
Matt knows which dishes I can't eat, likewise my friend, but basically we like everything.

It was good to see such a large crowd last night. sushi bar was full, and a lot of the tables/booths were also, including several
families with young children.

Feb 18, 2015
Bashful3 in Philadelphia
1

Omikase Dinner: Fuji

Usually my friend and I do lunch here, but this was a special treat. Before I describe, here's a question: where else can one
sit down, for either lunch or dinner, without ordering, and know
you will be delighted every time? That is our experience at Fuji,
for both lunch at dinner.

With that said, each surprise was small enough so that 7 or so courses did not over-stuff. First was exquisite: rich broth, filled with eggy custard, duck fois gras, mushrooms, served in tiny
covered cup. Next was a salad accompanied by two tiny bites of
lobster egg roll. Warm Japanese mackerel presentation over the top. This meal would have been lacking without a plate of superb sushi,and we were not disappointed. Hot main was a small piece (thank goodness) of Chilean sea bass sprinkled with oven dried garlic, accompanied by veggies. Dessert again over the top, but irresistible: molten chocolate lava, with the tastiest morsels of fresh fruit. Would you believe $60 for this feast, charmingly described by young servers?

Blissed out, driving home happy, got pulled over by Haddonfield
policeman. (For driving too slowly!) Had to laugh.

Feb 18, 2015
Bashful3 in Philadelphia
1

Zeppolis, Collingswood: The Whole Truth

Socci, you made a valid comment: the menu on paper doesn't totally
grab one. It's what they do with it that makes Zeppoli so special.
I was even wowed by the zeppoli when we shared that with cannoli:
why? Because I know it had to have been freshly made upon our ordering it. Warm freshly made donuts? Irresistible.

Feb 12, 2015
Bashful3 in Philadelphia

Amazon Prime Food Delivery

My first. Very pleased with delivery window (5 minutes into the start of the window I chose). very pleased with the delivery men; they asked me whether I wanted to remove the food from the totes or to store the totes until the next delivery. For sure, I was
glad to remove the food. They did it for me, very patiently.
All my food was in strong plastic bags, which will be useful to me.

The company does not incur the cost of all those clean large cartons Fresh Direct uses. That helps them keep their prices down.

Now, two problem areas. There was no receipt of what I had ordered included in the delivery, although I got it via email the day before. However, both included 2 pounds of bananas, which for sure, I never ordered any bananas! I wrote to them, expecting a credit, even though the price for what looks like 15-16 bananas was only $1.96!

I hate waste and have no idea what I'm going to do with all those
bananas. And, unlike my daughter, I am NOT going to make banana bread...

Feb 07, 2015
Bashful3 in Philadelphia

Amazon Fresh in Philly?

HI all. I did order from Amazon Fresh a few days ago, and will get delivery tomorrow morning between 7 and 8am, which works for me. The prices were definitely much better than Fresh Direct's pricing, and there was more general availability of products I like, but this fee for delivery issue is the clincher for me.
I stopped ordering regularly from Fresh Direct once my 6 month trial ran out. I just can't see it with a hefty delivery fee on
top of a tip, which the drivers richly deserve.

I have a Costco membership, and while the drive is no big deal for me, lugging the food in and out of my car alone is a killer.
I am going to have to pay more to have paper goods delivered; it will be a long time before I go to Costco again, and when I do,
I think I will have to pay a helper to come with me and do both ends of the lugging. In the Winter, the home delivery service is
great. with that said, I have a wonderful market right in my building that keeps me happy without any lugging.

I really loved Costco, especially the meat and produce quality.
Just can't manage it alone.

Feb 06, 2015
Bashful3 in Philadelphia

Matyson for LUnch Today

Paradiso was lovely: I had left a message for a rez today, and
they called me to back to apologize that they were closed for a special event. Classy; I'll try it again soon.

So, we took our condo bus to Matyson. I'd been there years ago,
but was still wowed by the class act of the service, value and the quality of the food. Yes, it was noisy, even at lunch, but easily ignored.

Beet soup (hot), no resemblance to borscht was memorable. CAn't even describe it, but I sure would order it for myself if I saw that on the menu again. My female friend had the same tastes in food, and we shared everything! Intensely flavored, subtlety seasoned. A classic. Mussels were also different from any I'd had before: plump, many many, in a blush sauce, with pieces of
chorizo to give it an unexpected texture contrast. We also shared
salmon on some kind of beans: the salmon was perfect, had some skin on it, but the beans stole the show. I have no idea what
seasoned those beans, but they were YUM. Dessert of a chocolate mousse brought gasps of delight from the 3 of us, and did not disappoint. We also shared a scoop of pistachio ice cream and
one of huckleberry sorbet. Quite a meal.

Choices seats in the house, but maybe chilly in winter, were the 4
in front of a bar at the front window. Had to have been the quietest seats in the house.

Sail on Matyson: nothing jaded there. My DC friends were delighted, so it was a great choice.

Help: lunch today: Paradiso vs Matyson

Menu looks is more appealing at Paradiso. But, it doesn't get much love around here; is it ok?

Where can I park if we decide to go there? Is there a lot nearby
other than on street parking?

Paradiso is large as I remember; at lunchtime I assume it would be quiet.

Feb 06, 2015
Bashful3 in Philadelphia

Amazon Fresh in Philly?

HI Laura. I've been ordering, selectively, from Fresh Direct, and am
not aware of a subscription fee, other than a charge for 'free' delivery, which was a 1C special for 6 months. But, they keep enticing customers to have a free delivery under certain conditions
like last minitish.

But, I'm glad you wrote about Amazon Fresh, as I would certainly try it. My issue is lugging into and out of the car: it is a pain, especially in the winter, and I'm happy to pay somewhat more
to have excellent delivery service.

Maybe Philly is different from Ardmore?

Jan 29, 2015
Bashful3 in Philadelphia

U Penn area takeout

Haven't worked there in ages, but the trucks have pretty good food,
and take out would not be a problem, so your husband could try any truck's food that might interest you, and see how you like it.

Tee hee. I don't think they have trucks in New Hope streets, but
on the Penn?Drexel campus they are all over the place.
Every kind of ethnic you could think of, plus Veggie plus plain American.

Jan 29, 2015
Bashful3 in Philadelphia

Kensington Quarters

Rats. I spoke to someone sounding like the boss who told me they
could not smoke a tongue for me, even on order. I'll have to settle
for a raw tongue. good, but not as good.

Jan 27, 2015
Bashful3 in Philadelphia

Me Again: Quiet Lunch on a Saturday, must have parking or be very close to Market St.

I would really like Fork, but lunch pricing is too high for my comfort
level with my out of town friends treating me. Any other suggestions please?

This is on a Saturday in Feb BTW.

Jan 27, 2015
Bashful3 in Philadelphia

Me Again: Quiet Lunch on a Saturday, must have parking or be very close to Market St.

Out of town friends taking me out to lunch. Not adventuresome--Italian, French, American best. Me, I love trying new places,
but Quiet at lunchtime is a must. Would rather drive somewhere
and park nearby, just so long as it's quiet and good.

What's new out there?

Is Zeppoli open for lunch? I liked it a lot, but it sure was noisy
at dinner. Across the river would be fine, if quiet and with nearby
parking.

Jan 26, 2015
Bashful3 in Philadelphia

Kensington Quarters

You beat me to it, Gina, but I didn't know about this until reading the Craig LeBan article in today's Inky. I was going out to NE PHilly, but made an earlier trip there, as it was on my way, more
or less. I was enchanted by the butcher shop!!!! I was drooling
over what I saw in the case: ground lamb especially that looked marvelous, but what excited me most was placing an order for a smoked beef tongue. I like fresh tongue, but I like smoked tongue even more. I'd be willing to wait for that treat until they can smoke one for me.

As for the location, I did not consider that a detraction. There is
a municipal parking lot next door, and I slid right into a handicap parking spot. My friends are not as adventurous as I am,but I plan to visit the restaurant also some day. I have two
friends who might join me some day.

It was very busy at the meat counter while I was there. The word
has gotten around. There is a market for what they are selling.

One sight grossed me out a tad: a whole goat head, for making soup!

Jan 25, 2015
Bashful3 in Philadelphia
1

Great Food, Quiet for an Early Dinner: Bala Cynwyd area, not cc; must have parking

Special occasion; my treat, I have no clue what's great in the general Bala area. Will be an early dinner; my guests have some varied food issues: one non-fish eater, one non-meat eater who does like fish, several serious meat eaters; 3 foodies in this group, including me.

All suggestions welcome. Looking for 'special', but ample parking is
a must, as well as relatively quiet. But, for an early dinner (5ish)
that should not be an issue. Probably a weekday, but not set in stone.

((We;ll have a about 3 cars; can travel in suburbs, but hopefully not too far.))

Jan 23, 2015
Bashful3 in Philadelphia

Looking for Japanese restaurant w/Japanese staff

Seconding Fuji in Haddonfield. it's the best also.
Matt Ito, the owner, isn't that old! His son Jesse may or may
not be fluent in Japanese, but his wife certainly is.

You will not regret this. Closed Mondays.

Jan 21, 2015
Bashful3 in Philadelphia
1

Quiet, Lunch, Center City or Nearby Parkiing

So, we went to Little Nonna's, and aside from a slightly high sound
level, it was an excellent choice. Shaved Brussels sprout salad
on the $20 pre fixe lunch was outstanding; Nonna's meat balls with polenta was good, but too much for me to finish, and the cannoli for dessert was the perfect ending. One friend ordered a shellfish with white beans melange for $12 and I had the envies.
Parking probably quiet expensive, but very convenient right across the
street. Did not see any street parking. Friendly service; not crowded at 1pm for a later lunch.

Quiet, Lunch, Center City or Nearby Parkiing

Out of town friends want me to pick; no Asian, mid-scale/upscale
ok, Italian maybe, but ability to talk easily is a must.

Whatcha got? wish I were more familiar with Philly lunch scene.

Jan 14, 2015
Bashful3 in Philadelphia

Nice Quiet Lunch on Feb. 7

Le Cheri sounds great, but a tad too upscale given that I am being treated by out of town friends. And, one of them is picky about food, so I'd like to narrow the choices between
French, Italian and Continental/American. No seafood either.

Fancy brunch on a Sat. might be fine, as long as it is quiet.

Dec 13, 2014
Bashful3 in Philadelphia

Speaking of Pancakes: Johnnycakes anywhere in PHilly area?

Yeah, I know. A Rhode Island specialty. I've not had
much luck making these white corn pancakes, but is there
anywhere nearby where they make these? Seriously good
every time I've had them in RI.

Dec 12, 2014
Bashful3 in Philadelphia

That Old Reliable: Chun Hing

On the way home from an appointment, City AVe, 5:30pm, what
the heck. Drove to Chun Hing, and ordered three of my favorites: pork, turnip and string bean soup, 4 fried
dumplings, shrimp shing tau style with watercress.

don't know how they maintain that consistency: I've had those
three dishes from time to time over the last 40 years at least,
and the quality never varies. Huge shrimp, cooked just enough; sauce fantastic. Almost too much to eat for $24 total, but I managed.

Eating early it was even quiet and peaceful.

Dec 12, 2014
Bashful3 in Philadelphia

Nice Quiet Lunch on Feb. 7

Planning ahead for a change. Requisites for me would be
fairly quiet, so we can talk. Almost any kind of food,
but either downtown close to Market Street, short walk,or
anywhere where parking is close by like Passyunk, Chinatown, near
suburbs.

Any ethnic or Continental, Seafood,etc but not Mexican/Indian.

I guess Saturday is problematic for some places, but quiet is a must. Anyplace new, that might not be on my radar?

Dec 12, 2014
Bashful3 in Philadelphia

Best $12 Meal in a While

Lunchtime, at San Kee Duck House, Wynnwood. Usually order a Bento
Box lunch, but felt like a change. Remembered simple plate of
roast pork + roast duck, white rice and vegetable dish I used
to like at original San Kee Duck House in Chinatown.

For $12, a generous yummy plate + tea + tasty crispy pickled
vegetables was a most satisfying lunch. POrk was very good,
but large portion of duck was outstanding.

Dec 02, 2014
Bashful3 in Philadelphia
1

Sansom St. Oyster House

I did leave out one tiny complaint. I ordered too much: NE
clam chowder. Recipe was different from the one I remembered,
and while not in a bad way, not in a good way either. Very rich,very bacony, fewer clams, tiny chopped, not the flavor punch
I was expecting. And, everything chopped small. Next time I'm sticking to the raw oysters and clams, plus those irresistible fried Ipswich clams. I would not
order them anywhere else. But, the dinner 'small plate' was not small, and well worth the $15.

Nov 12, 2014
Bashful3 in Philadelphia
1

Sansom St. Oyster House

Played in a bridge match all day; didn't feel like cooking at all, so I hopped a 4:30pm bus to the Sansom St. Oyster House
where 'happy hour' was just getting started.

Didn't need any drinks to make me happy: the James River Oysters and Cherrystone clams at $1/ each made me plenty happy. And,
a generous platter of fried Ispwich clams were the icing on the cake for $15--far more generous on the clams than the clam roll
I enjoyed last week for $14.

Large congenial crowd there; all seats taken when I left at 5:45pm.

Aldine

Great location; sounds interesting, but I am afraid I know
the answer to this question, but will ask you agozoic, as
you have been there.

It's on the second floor; is there an elevator?
The last time I climbed a flight of stairs for a restaurant
it was for a production by xxxxxx (memory loss), a fabulous chef
who did small dinners for happy people in West Philly.

Nov 02, 2014
Bashful3 in Philadelphia

New to Philly and I need awesome food in my life and belly!!

Here's outstanding Japanese that hasn't been mentioned yet.
And, a bargain price wise, for the quality. Get in a car,
and drive to Haddonfield, for Fuji. Worth the trip, if
you appreciate the finest in Japanese cuisine. Even my husband
the non-fish eater loved their tempura and other selections.

Illicit indulgences

NOt sure what makes it illicit, but mine would be pre-ordering
huge oysters from Taste Queen in the Northeast, and having them
steamed with black bean sauce and scallions. I mean, to die for.

Oct 30, 2014
Bashful3 in General Topics
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