l

Laura D.'s Profile

Title Last Reply

Small wedding--looking for private room or restaurant to rent

Though it is months later than I expected when posting this initially, I just thought I would circle back to say that we decided to book a cocktail style reception at The General Warren Inne for a daytime event in June. While we would have preferred night, we were too large for the private space that is offered for nighttime events. The nice thing about a daytime event is that we can truly use the entire Inne, inside and out, so we don't have to worry about scrambling if the weather is bad, or if our guest lists expands unexpectedly. We are very excited to nail down the details of the event and hope that it will exceed our expectations. Thanks to all who provided suggestions!

Apr 02, 2014
Laura D. in Philadelphia

Wedding cakes with delivery to suburbs

Just thought I would follow-up my post by saying that we've decided to go with Cake Art. The tasting was phenomenal and we are really, really excited. A Cake Life offered us a fantastic tasting as well, and we are considering them for mini desserts/favors.

Apr 02, 2014
Laura D. in Philadelphia

Mom's Organic Market (Rosemont, PA)

Thanks for the information. When I looked at the price within their online sales circular they seemed higher than some regular prices at other stores. It sounds like it could be an economical place to go for some things but not others. Do you know if they have some "mainstream" brands? For example, we buy lactose free milk every week so I'm curious if they have something like Lactaid there. Regardless. it sounds like I definitely need to check it out!

Mar 21, 2014
Laura D. in Philadelphia

Mom's Organic Market (Rosemont, PA)

Has anyone shopped here yet? For those who don't know if it located in the old Border's space in Rosemont. I haven't gotten over there and am curious if it is worth the trip, and potential crowd. Thanks!

Mar 21, 2014
Laura D. in Philadelphia

Philly Pizza #4

I would love something like this for the suburbs. I live in Ardmore and love pizza. And when I say "I love pizza" I just mean I love good, take-out pizza, ideally eaten in my living room. Pizza with fancier toppings served in a lively atmosphere that costs $20 is great, but it's not what I crave after a long work week. Give me a "good" cheese pizza and I'll take that any day over something more sophisticated. I'd love to have some better recommendations for take-out/delivery pizza--particularly of the thicker crust variety which I know is not en vouge right now--outside of the city. Almost every place that we've tried and initially liked has fallen out of favor, either because we're just sick of them or because they are inconsistent and sometimes produce horrible results.

Anyway, thanks for the link to the article. It makes me want to schlepp into the city more frequently for pizza!

Mar 21, 2014
Laura D. in Philadelphia
2

Wedding cakes with delivery to suburbs

Just wanted to provide an update...thus far I've scheduled tastings with Cake Art, Ciao Bella, and Cupcake Wonderland/Cake Life. I did get in touch with Van Earl's too, and the only reason I didn't pursue them was because I got in touch with everyone else first. We met with Eileen of Cake Art last night for a lovely tasting. She prepared some truly creative samples for us to taste and made us feel very comfortable. I'm going to wait until our other two tastings are done before booking anything, but I think we'd be very satisfied if we went with Cake Art. Thanks!

Mar 13, 2014
Laura D. in Philadelphia

Wedding cakes with delivery to suburbs

Have you had a wedding cake from Sweet Jasmine's? I am familiar with them and think I may have had something from them. But, the reviews online (Wedding Wire, etc) aren't amazing. And, I haven't been in love with the pictures I've seen online; they aren't quite as "clean" as I would like (sorry, I really should preface all of my comments by saying this is one area I am really picky about; it's hard to do cakes well, which I something I totally understand). Anyway, I am happy to hear a positive review for them and will definitely look into them more as Kim, the owner, is very nice. Thanks!

Mar 07, 2014
Laura D. in Philadelphia

Wedding cakes with delivery to suburbs

Thanks for the recommendation. For various reasons not worth getting into here I personally am not a customer at Aux Petits Delices. But, I am glad you had a good experience there. Thanks!

Mar 06, 2014
Laura D. in Philadelphia

Wedding cakes with delivery to suburbs

Thanks! I've heard such great things about Alice's Bakery but have never actually been there. I will look into whether they do wedding cakes. Thanks!

Mar 06, 2014
Laura D. in Philadelphia

Wedding cakes with delivery to suburbs

Hi all,

I have booked a somewhat last minute (June 21) smallish wedding (50-65 people) and am in need of a wedding cake. This is actually one of the most, if not the most, important parts of the wedding to me. I'm fairly well versed in the bakeries in the area but am curious if anyone has purchased or eaten a wedding cake recently that can comment on those bakeries on my running list (see below), as well as others I might have forgotten. I'm particularly interested in bakeries able to make clean designs/lines but buttercream (American, Swiss, Italian, or French) as opposed to fondant. I'd love to know your thoughts as the clock is ticking!

1. Cake Art Studio, Paoli--I really don't know much about them but was impressed with their designs/style
http://www.cakeartstudio.com/Homepage.html

2. Ciao Bella Cakes, Hatboro--I really don't know much about them but was impressed by their designs/style.
http://www.ciaobellacakes.com/

3. Van Earl’s, Langhorne--I really don't know much about them but was impressed by their designs/style.
http://vanearlscakes.blogspot.com/

4. Velvet Sky, Jenkintown--I had their cupcakes in 2006 or 2007 and thought they were good but not great. However, I know they've recently changed owners.
http://www.velvetskybakery.com/

5. Cupcake Wonderland/Cake Life Bakeshop, Frankford—I am somewhat unclear if they have retail shop or just operate under special order. They won some sort of Food Network contest, which I don't really care about. I'm interested in them for cakes not cupcakes.
http://www.acwphilly.com/

6. Bredenbeck's--I do love Bredenbeck's and even did a tasting here for my sister's wedding cake, over 9 years ago. I think they have significantly increased their decorating capabilities since them, but I'm not in love with their buttercream.
http://www.bredenbecks.com/

Mar 05, 2014
Laura D. in Philadelphia

Truli Confectionary?

Has anyone ordered anything from or tasted anything made by Truli Confectionary Arts (Southampton Road, Philadelphia)? A coworker told me about them almost 9 years ago. She said she would often order expensive, special occasion cakes from there, and that they were the magic combination of delicious and beautiful. There isn't much information online about them, and no one has reviewed them on Wedding Wire for several years. I'd love to know if they are a special occasion cake destination worth pursuing.

Thanks!

Feb 20, 2014
Laura D. in Philadelphia

Sola

Thanks for this review. My fiance and I had an unplanned (read: reservation made 1 hour ahead of time) visit to Sola this past weekend for a late Valentine's Day celebration. He ordered exactly what you did, scallops, steak, and creme brulee. I believe he enjoyed everything, though he felt the portion of scallops was a bit stingy given their size and has been dieting lately, meaning everything tastes really, really good to him. I got an off-menu vegetarian entree. I am a picky eater (my problem, not the restaurants), so the only fair comments I can give are, a) My entree was overpriced at $24 for a dish that was small and amounted to lentils, mushrooms, and baby carrots and, b) No one could tell me what it was and seemed to think this was comical. I definitely appreciate that they custom made something, but it would have been great to know what exactly it was when it was put on the table.

There were a lot of service snafus but the owner apologized several times, saying he was down a head waiter due to a weather-related issue. Finally, regarding your decor comment, apparently they had some sort of leak recently. They appear to have removed almost all of their art work from the walls. Their lighting is also different, which is likely not related to the leak, but it is worth mentioning that it normally feels warmer in there as the walls are not normally that bare. Verdict--I have been there at least half a dozen times (at least 4 times under the previous owner and 2 times under this owner) and would return because it is usually good and it is very convenient to me (I live in Ardmore). But, it is not usually my top choice, if for no other reason than they never have a vegetarian option and always have a very limited menu in general which seems pricey for a suburban BYOB (I think the filet was $30+). Thanks!

Feb 18, 2014
Laura D. in Philadelphia

L'aragosta, Ardmore

I've actually been somewhat avoiding Fraschetta. I'm not enamored with the menu and it does appear over-priced, but the main reason is the noise. My fiance is deaf in one ear and everyone who seems to review the place, regardless of their thoughts on the food, seems to agree it is very loud. It just makes for a difficult dining experience for us. I may try it on a weeknight, though.

Feb 02, 2014
Laura D. in Philadelphia

L'aragosta, Ardmore

Has anyone been to this newish BYOB on Cricket Avenue? I didn't even know it existed until a random woman mentioned it while we were walking out of a movie. There's a complete lack of even semi-decent Italian in this area, so I'd to know if it is worth trying. Thanks!

Feb 02, 2014
Laura D. in Philadelphia

Great seafood (with vegetarian options) in Fort Myers, Sanibel, or Captiva

Hi SueFH (and others),

Here is my (very long) report,

I’m only really going to report on dinners since we didn’t do anything special for breakfast or lunch. We mainly stuck with the hotel (which was fine, though pricey for what you got) or skipped lunch if we ate breakfast late.
On Thursday night we ate at the Cape Coral location of Ford’s Garage. It was a bit of a sensory overload when we walked in but, in general, we really, really liked it. Their beer list was a bit overwhelming but their food menu was certainly manageable. We started out with fried pickles which were really good. My fiancé had a basic burger (they have lots of specialty burgers, and a create-your-own option too). I had the chopped salad and a side of mac and cheese as my entrée. The salad was amazing. I’m not sure why, but it was huge, fresh, and filling. The mac and cheese was quite generous in size for a side and was delicious. This was by far our cheapest dinner (probably $40 or so), yet still really, really enjoyable.
On Friday night we ate at The Mad Hatter. The atmosphere here is fun, but this place was, in my opinion, overpriced for what it was. Based on limited vegetarian options we split the goat cheese pillows ($13) as an appetizer. They came with a strawberry sauce which was tasty, though had an undertone of curry which isn’t something either of us likes. We got two pillows, each about 3-4 bites, for this price, which seemed skimpy. My fiancé had a bouillabaisse for an entrée and I had the unlisted vegetarian option, which was a tofu entrée. Mine was good though not great, and seemed expensive ($27) for what it was. My fiancé enjoyed his though again felt like it was a bit pricey (I think it was about $40). We spent about $110 pre-tax, which included a glass of Prosecco and a glass of wine. Overall, the dining experience was okay but I felt like it was overpriced for what it was and likely wouldn’t go back.
On Saturday night we ate at The Fresh Catch Bistro in Fort Myers Beach. We requested an outside table, which was lovely, despite some of the precautions they need to put in place for nesting turtles (very low lighting, etc.) They don’t have a vegetarian main on their menu so I made a meal of sides and appetizers. I started with the bistro salad, which was very good but came without the advertised croutons, bell peppers, etc. My fiancé started with a Caesar salad which he said was good. He also got half a dozen oysters. For his main dish he took our waiter’s suggestion and got the spiced pecan and cranberry encrusted grouper. He loved it and said it was one of the best things he’s ever had. I made an entrée out of the tomato mozzarella tower, steak fries, and vegetable of the day. It was a weird combination, but I enjoyed it, despite the fact that it isn’t really tomato season. Dessert looked great so I got the volcano chocolate cake while my fiancé got the crème brule. In total we spent about the same amount as we did at The Mad Hatter, but enjoyed more (and maybe better) food, and a better atmosphere.
On Sunday night we ate at The Roadhouse Café in Fort Myers. This is a jazz café, with live music from 7-10. We were certainly some of the youngest diners there, but enjoyed ourselves. We started with the antipasto, which was good though oddly portioned, since there was a ton of prosciutto (which they were nice enough to put on a separate place), olives, and grano padano, but barely any tomato, peppers, etc. I had cappellini in pesto cream and my fiancé had the highly recommended scallops, which he really, really loved. We split the rocky roadhouse cake for dessert, which was good though not amazing. I think he had a gin martini, a glass or wine, and an espresso, though perhaps he snuck another alcoholic beverage in there. In total our bill was again around $110. We felt like this was a nice change of pace from a simple dinner out and would definitely go again.
On Monday, our final night, we had what I was expecting to perhaps be the best meal of the trip at The Thistle Lodge in Sanibel. This meal was, unfortunately, a huge disappointment. They were not seating anyone outside due to mosquitoes. I should have called ahead about this but didn’t, which is a shame as the outdoor seating was a huge draw. We sat in a pretty deserted dining room, meaning we were literally the only ones in this particularly dining room. There were probably only 5 other tables in the entire restaurant. We started with truffle fries as an appetizer (I’m not sure why, other than that we were in the mood for them). They weren’t great but that’s not a big deal. I had a tomato mozzarella appetizer again and my fiancé had the Caesar salad. Both were good but again, not great. For some reason my fiancé chose to order pasta, which was my only option but one that I recognize is not an ideal choice in this environment. He got the pappardelle bolognese with added sausage and I got the pappardelle pomodoro. Mine wasn’t bad but wasn’t really good either. The sauce was incredibly sweet and overall the dish was just kind of blah. My fiancé said his was okay but not great. We both only ate about ½ of our entrees before deciding to call it a night. With a single glass of wine and no dessert this meal also came out to about $110.
So, I would return to Ford’s Garage, The Fresh Catch, and The Roadhouse Café, but I would not return to The Mad Hatter or the Thistle Lodge as both were expensive disappointments.
In the event you are an ice cream lover you should definitely try Love Boat ice cream in Fort Myers, about 5 miles from the hotel. It’s homemade, and really great. We wanted to try Pinocchio’s in Sanibel but never got there when they were open. We tried Dolce Tesoro cupcakes in Sanibel, though, and thought they were great. Finally, in Fort Myers Beach we had lunch at Pete’s Time Out. I had a grilled cheese which was nothing special, but my fiancé had a lightly fried grouper sandwich that he loved. If you happen to be on the beach it has a great people watching location and casual vibe.
Enjoy your trip. And, thanks to everyone who provided me with recommendations! If we ever go back we’ll be sure to try some other recommended spots too.

Oct 30, 2013
Laura D. in Florida

Great seafood (with vegetarian options) in Fort Myers, Sanibel, or Captiva

Wow, again, thanks! This is all really great information. And, I know what you mean regarding how some of the best experiences are not at the "best" restaurants. I think we'll definitely hit Thistle Lodge and Mad Hatter. I'll also look into Sweet Melissa's. And, I think we'll probably go to the Roadhouse since I think the jazz will be appreciated, Anyway, everything you've suggested sounds great so at least I know that we'll have lots of options if a certain place doesn't work out for us. Thanks again!

Oct 22, 2013
Laura D. in Florida

Great seafood (with vegetarian options) in Fort Myers, Sanibel, or Captiva

Wow, thanks so much for all of this great information. I actually used some of your posts to build this list. A few questions, if you don't mind:

1. Veggie burger aside, is Ford's Garage good? I believe it was a spot that you were excited was opening.

2. Good to know about Il Tesoro. I'm not interested in an attitude and am okay to cross this off of the list.

3. I think I checked Sweet Melissa's menu online yesterday and didn't really see any vegetarian main courses, but perhaps they don't post their full menu online. I know several people commented on how good the restaurant is so I will give it a second view.

If we were to have one or two really "nice" meals, would you recommend The Thistle Lodge as one of them? It looked gorgeous online!

We're in our early 30's, but are looking for a really relaxing trip, so I'm not too concerned about places feeling geriatric, though I appreciate the heads-up!

Oct 21, 2013
Laura D. in Florida

Great seafood (with vegetarian options) in Fort Myers, Sanibel, or Captiva

Just as a quick update, based on some additional research we are also considering Thistle Lounge, and perhaps The Lighthouse Cafe for breakfast. And, for clarification regarding the seafood request, I'm looking for a place that ideally has mostly non-fried seafood, as that is my fiance's preference. But, the type of seafood can be very varied, as he liked most kinds.

Thanks!

Oct 21, 2013
Laura D. in Florida

Great seafood (with vegetarian options) in Fort Myers, Sanibel, or Captiva

Hi all,

I'm leaving for a 5-night trip to Fort Myers/Sanibel later this week. We're staying at the Marriott Sanibel Harbour. Since this seems to be a popular place for people to stay I've already read a lot of great reviews for places to eat in and around the area. But, I'm hoping to get a recommendation for a restaurant (or two) with great seafood and vegetarian options. I don't eat seafood or any meat, though I do eat eggs and cheese. I'm fine with a basic pasta, veggie burger, salad, etc. Basically, as long as there is something to eat I'm fine. But, my fiance loves seafood and I'd like to make sure that we get to at least one place with great seafood options. We're renting a car and are willing to drive 30 or so minutes for dinner if it makes sense to do such. Other preferences (though by no means requirements) are a quiet atmosphere, nice view, possible outdoor seating option, and kind service.

For those curious, here is a list of other places we're considering going. We haven't made any reservations yet (hopefully this won't prove to be a mistake!) and we won't get to all of them, but they all sound good based on online menus and reviews.

Mad Hatter
Greenhouse Grill
La Trattoria Cafe Napoli
Il Tesoro
Ford's Garage
Cibo

Since we're not going to have a kitchen and not looking to spend a fortune eating out at every meal, suggestions for inexpensive breakfast and lunch options are also definitely welcome. Thanks!

Oct 20, 2013
Laura D. in Florida

Sweet Trading Company (chocolate concierge), Narberth

Has anyone had anything from here? I'm curious if the chocolate is any good and don't see much in the way of reviews online.

http://www.thechocolateconcierge.com/...

Sep 23, 2013
Laura D. in Philadelphia

Small wedding--looking for private room or restaurant to rent

Thanks for the recommendation! I've been to Evviva a few times. It's very nice and super convenient to us, but I'm a bit dissuaded by the fact that they seem to have multiple weddings/parties going on at once. I worry that any venue hosting multiple events at once can be perceived as more of a wedding/event "mill" than anything else, which falls into the banquet hall realm I'm really trying to avoid. I completely realize this sounds irrational and overly picky, and definitely do appreciate the suggestion (perhaps it will help Easterbun!).

Thanks!

Sep 12, 2013
Laura D. in Philadelphia

Small wedding--looking for private room or restaurant to rent

I'm going there for restaurant week in 2 weeks. If it seems promising from a food perspective perhaps it's a spot to consider. I know there aren't a lot of restaurants that you can rent out in full on a Friday or Saturday night so it would be interesting if this turned out to be one of the few. Thanks!

Sep 12, 2013
Laura D. in Philadelphia

Small wedding--looking for private room or restaurant to rent

Hi easterbun,

Well, we still haven't picked anything. Before we went to visit Davio's we really thought it was going to be "the one," but upon going in we were a bit disappointed with the somewhat awkward space (it felt more like a corporate meeting room) and most importantly the outdoor terrace. I'm sure it is really nice when it is decorated for an event, but it was underwhelming in person, and the view was less than spectacular. My fiance really, really loved The Mask and Wig Club. Kate, the event manager, is super nice. And, I think the space is really interesting, and a great bargain for what it is. But, the downstairs, which is the only space we would rent, really is like a giant tavern/pub. I even went back for a 2nd visit to try to convince myself to choose it, but I just couldn't picture something there. We had also considered Osteria but ruled them out because it seemed like a lot of money for what is essentially a dinner in a restaurant. They do have good food, though. We also visited the Black Bass Hotel in Bucks County. I really liked this space but we were concerned about how far away it was from public transportation, and how those who were drinking would safely get home. This isn't a huge concern when you are having a large wedding and already planning to run shuttles, but when having a small wedding it seems like an expense that is harder to justify yet something you need to plan for nonetheless. So, for right now we don't know what we're going to do. We're still considering some inns outside of the city, though they aren't always laid out in such a way that makes a cocktail wedding work. It's very possible we'll elope as, quite frankly, I never wanted to deal with wedding planning to begin with and have accepted the fact that I am overly picky while being very indecisive, i.e. I don't know what I want but do know when I find something that isn't it! I hope you have better luck!

Sep 11, 2013
Laura D. in Philadelphia

Small wedding--looking for private room or restaurant to rent

I spoke with Kate at the Mask and Wig Club yesterday and we're hoping to go see the site towards the end of the week, as they are getting their floors refinished this week. On paper it sounds great. For anyone interested in pricing information it sounds like the downstairs has a site fee of $995 and the upstairs (which includes the downstairs) is $1995. They only hold one event at a time so there won't be an event upstairs if the downstairs is rented. They provide the booze which is charged on consumption. You are required to pay for a doorman ($100) for all events, and bartender are $195 each (with both prices seeming totally reasonable for me). Anyway, we're really excited to see the place and hope that it has the indescribable "interesting" factor that we've been looking for so we can go ahead and book it. Thanks again for this suggestion!

Aug 12, 2013
Laura D. in Philadelphia

Small wedding--looking for private room or restaurant to rent

Unfortunately Davio's didn't seem to be what we were looking for. We were excited by the outdoor space, but it wasn't quite as special as we had pictured, and we felt like the indoor space wasn't as what we had hoped (for reasons that are difficult to articulate). Thank you again for the suggestion, though!

Aug 12, 2013
Laura D. in Philadelphia

Small wedding--looking for private room or restaurant to rent

Good idea and one that I'll likely pursue if I don't get follow-up by Monday. I actually work at Penn, though, and there are still plenty of us here! :)

Aug 09, 2013
Laura D. in Philadelphia

Small wedding--looking for private room or restaurant to rent

We have an appointment to see Davio's tomorrow and I'm excited, as it seems (at least on paper) like a great option. Hopefully the space will seem as nice in person as it does online. Thanks again!

Aug 09, 2013
Laura D. in Philadelphia

Small wedding--looking for private room or restaurant to rent

Thanks! Still haven't heard back from the so I'll circle back again on Monday if they haven't responded to my inquiry. Any idea who catered the event you attended there?

Aug 09, 2013
Laura D. in Philadelphia

Small wedding--looking for private room or restaurant to rent

Thanks! I wasn't sure what the $950 applied to but hopefully they'll get back to me soon with some additional pricing information.

Aug 07, 2013
Laura D. in Philadelphia

Small wedding--looking for private room or restaurant to rent

Thank you! This is not a place I ever would have considered (I've never been there and don't really know much about it) but with your suggestion I will definitely look into it.

Thanks!

Aug 07, 2013
Laura D. in Philadelphia