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Craig LaBan's brutal review of Ocean Prime

That can be a fun thing to do. Some time ago, I was walking past a restaurant when I looked up and realized it was Serafina. I thought -- can this place (packed, with people waiting) be as bad as I had read on CH? I went in and sat at the bar, had the minestrone and coffee. It was among the worst minestrone I've ever had. Of course, I didn't pay for a full lunch but it reminded me to pay attention to what CHers and others say.

Dec 18, 2013
jfr in Philadelphia

Ned Help: Philly Guys Weekend in Mid-December !

Bacchus gave such a comprehensive list that I didn't think there was much else to say (maybe add Pub & Kitchen for a pub stop). They are all fairly memorable, too. I have always enjoyed Parc for breakfast and Parc almost always has matchboxes out for the taking. Of fifteen guys, probably a third would take matchbooks or matchboxes if out in a basket. That helps with the "memorable" part. But all of Bacchus' suggestions are great, matchbooks or not. On another note, while I enjoy Reading Terminal Market and the groom might, too, it may not be something fifteen guys want to do. Just a practical thought on that. Enjoy Philly!

Dec 04, 2013
jfr in Philadelphia

Restaurant on the way to Lancaster?

Another vote for the Draughting Room. Ron's is also good but the Draughting Room is closer to Rt. 30. For Morgantown, the only place that I have found worthwhile there is the Waynebrook Inn in Honey Brook. Having only stopped there for lunch, I can't really comment on dinner.

Nov 25, 2013
jfr in Philadelphia

Breakfast between Breezewood and Johnstown?

I wasn't going to reply as it has been a few years since driving west from Breezewood on Rt. 30. In Breezewood, the only good breakfast was at the Denny's Diner which was confirmed by others we have spoken with. Heading west on 30, there is a small motel with a restaurant before you get to Everett. Another place for a decent breakfast. There is another place in Everett itself that is pretty good. While nothing is CH-worthy, it should be ok along the way. If you go as far as Bedford, I have suffered through some pretty mediocre breakfasts there at several places. If you do go to Bedford and find a good place for breakfast, please post to let us know.

Oct 14, 2013
jfr in Pennsylvania

(Good) Touristy In Lancaster

I agree Central Market is a must. My wife and I manage to get to Lancaster a couple of times a year. If we are there on a Friday, we always stop at Central Market to pick up a shoo fly pie and a few whoopie pies, among other things. There are a number of bakeries but, if you go in the entrance across from Lancaster Dispensing Company, turn right and go to the other end, on the right for shoo fly pie and on the left for whoopie pies -- our favorites, anyway.

Aug 05, 2013
jfr in Pennsylvania

Breakfast in Center City?

Another possibility is Parc. We have enjoyed breakfast there on a weekday though we haven't been on a weekend for the brunch. As an extra, if it is sort of a special occasion, Parc has nice matchboxes with its name as a souvenir.

Apr 26, 2013
jfr in Philadelphia
1

Best eats on I-78?

In addition to the places mentioned in the two threads, one place along the way that we like on that route is the Clinton House in Clinton, NJ, especially for lunch. We stop there at least once a year. It can be fairly expensive for dinner.

Apr 17, 2013
jfr in Pennsylvania

Restaurants near Falling Water, Mill Run, Laurel Highlands

We have stayed in the area several times over the past eight years, the last time being in 2011. The Stone House was the best restaurant early on. Our favorite motel is the National Trail Motel in Markleysburg, just east of Farmington. It is an updated, well-kept 1940s motel with hummingbirds visiting in the morning. For dinner in 2011, there were occasional thunderstorms, so we only went as far as Nemacolin Woodlands rather than to try the Stone House again and had a nice casual meal in its tavern. On an earlier trip, we did eat at an Italian restaurant in Uniontown -- average to pretty good. Sorry to hear it is now terrible.

Apr 11, 2013
jfr in Pennsylvania

Stopping Between Detroit and Gettysburg?

I was hoping someone else would answer with current information as I haven't made this trip in maybe five years. We used to get off the turnpike to eat at La Tavola in New Stanton, PA. It was our favorite among the places we would get of the turnpike for at various exits. The last time there, lunch was still very good but the dessert was not up to the usual standard. Here is the link for La Tavola: http://www.latavolas.com (closed on Monday). Two years ago, we stopped at Cafe 422 in Warren, Ohio, for lunch heading to I-80. Really good food, terrific service, excellent prices. It's link is: http://www.cafe422.com in case you will be taking that route.

Apr 03, 2013
jfr in Pennsylvania

ISO Venue for Cocktail Party/Reception for 150+ near convention center

Another place to consider is the Independence Visitor Center across from Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. It has a nice space on the second floor overlooking the mall. It has been a few years but I have been to a couple of nice events there.

Jan 11, 2013
jfr in Philadelphia

Bristol?

You might consider Cesare's, 1407 Radcliffe Street, for Italian. I haven't been there in years (as I do not live that close to Bristol) but some friends went on Sunday and said they enjoyed it very much.

Dec 18, 2012
jfr in Philadelphia

See What's New on Chowhound

Is the new font the equivalent of shouting at us? The names of the posters seem smaller -- not good as there are certain posters people have gotten to "know and trust" and it is nice to see the names easily. Previously, boards listed day of week and date. Now I will have to look at a calendar to figure out where I left off if I go away for a few days. Neither "2d" nor the date alone helps me do that. Functionality does not seem a priority. This looks like the typical change for the sake of change. How many complaints did CH receive about the old format?

Dec 12, 2012
jfr in Features

Margaritas Mexican Restaurant to open Oct. 23 in Towamencin

This could be interesting. There is a Las Margaritas on Welsh Road and in Southampton, Bucks County. This new group in the article could have a problem using the name in Langhorne and in Philadelphia and maybe in the area generally. Guess the lawyers will be the ones coming out ahead.

Oct 23, 2012
jfr in Philadelphia

Any Decent Food on I-78 between Allentown and Harrisburgh?

We travel parts of this stretch fairly often. Most recently, we stayed on Rt. 22 rather than I-78 and went to Sangria in Allentown. Lunch prices are very good as is the food -- we have paid a lot more for a lot less at turnpike rest stops. Other times, we have stopped at Deitsch Eck as others have mentioned and, further from I-78 on Rt. 143, the Virginville Hotel. Truly a local place and serves a decent lunch. We also enjoy Haag's in Shartlesville, which serves breakfast and lunch until 2pm Wednesday through Sunday. Its bar opens at 7am for that breakfast beer. This place has been there forever and is, I guess, an institution. From I-78, the Rt. 145 north exit will take you to the Sunset Diner. Of all the diners in the Allentown area, this is our favorite. And, of course, I would second the Bethlehem suggestion.

Jul 31, 2012
jfr in Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh Neighborhoods

Allow me to thank those who replied for what is probably the best listing of Pittsburgh restuarants I have seen on CH. My wife and I always try to stop in Pittsburgh at least once a year. The only thing I can add is that last August, we stopped at the Primanti Bros on East Carson on the South Side for our first Primanti sandwich. The advantage of that Primanti location is that it includes a cigar bar so we also came away with a Primanti Bros matchbox as a souvenir. Sharp Edge is on our list for next time. Looks like an appetizer with a beer for the best value. Again, thanks to all.

Jun 19, 2012
jfr in Pennsylvania

Reading, Pa -- Dinner?

Thanks for the Canal Street Pub recommendation. We expect to be in Reading for dinner one Saturday next month. While we have enjoyed Judy's on Cherry Street and Speckled Hen in the past, it will be nice to have another option. Also, I understand Stokesay Castle has reopened. Haven't been there in years but that might be something parents would enjoy. Anyone know how the food is?

Jun 01, 2012
jfr in Pennsylvania

dinner halfway between Warminster and Collegeville, PA (just outside Philly)

A little more centrally located might be El Sarape on Rt. 73 in Blue Bell. Also, Ambler might be a town to consider. There have been many postings about places to eat in Ambler on CH.

May 11, 2012
jfr in Philadelphia

The Commissary. . .

This brings back memories. It's funny -- I am not really a carrot cake person but I did enjoy theirs. The Commissary's matchbooks had a carrot on them, too. I still have one of their matchbooks.

Feb 02, 2012
jfr in Philadelphia

Private dining in Philly - max 40 people

You might consider the room on the second floor of the Independence Visitor Center across from the Liberty Bell. I have attended a couple of functions there and have been generally impressed. I have no idea who does the catering or if you can select your own caterer. Just a thought for a different venue.

Jan 17, 2012
jfr in Philadelphia

Seeking Lunch Between Hbg and Philly

On a Monday, Stoudt's might not be open at lunch. They used to be open for lunch on Fri/Sat/Sun. We have made plans similar to yours in the past but had to find a place other than Stoudt's on a weekday. It is possible things have changed. As a backup, we have enjoyed the Drafting Room and can recommend it.

Dec 21, 2011
jfr in Pennsylvania

Dining Suggestions for Pennsylvania, namely Grove City,Cranberry and Pittsburgh area DDD

Thank you for the Log Cabin story. As much as we enjoy Rachel's, Iron Bridge, and Springfield Grille when we are in the Mercer area, I always remember stopping at their Hickory Grille in Hermitage one St. Patrick's Day. I ordered the corned beef and cabbage. It turned out to be a plate of cabbage with bits of corned beef. Thinking of jarred spaghetti sauce, I suggested, to be accurate, they should call it cabbage flavored with corned beef. According to our waitress, I was not the only one to complain. The waitress apparently was going to steer others away from it. That said, my wife did enjoy her meal off the regular menu.

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Springfield Grille
1226 Perry Hwy, Mercer, PA 16137

Hickory Grille
1645 N Hermitage Rd, Hermitage, PA 16148

Log Cabin
31 N 2nd St, Coplay, PA 18037

Oct 28, 2011
jfr in Pennsylvania

Breezewood--any hope for a good dinner and breakfast?

I agree with CrazyOne. When I first saw this post, I was going to give a one word answer, "no." Bedford is not that close, especially for breakfast if you want to return to your motel room. The last time we stayed in Breezewood (we used to travel across PA many times each year), we ate at a bar called Wildflowers. OK but not CH-worthy. If you are a militant non-smoker, be advised that smoking is permitted. For breakfast, Denny's Diner is the best of the lot. We used to stay at the Wiltshire Motel until Mr. and Mrs. Wilts retired. It was one of the better independent motels across PA. I used to joke with them that they could do more business if there were a restaurant in town. And, CrazyOne, thanks for the Green Harvest recommendation. We stayed overnight in Bedford in August and had breakfast at the Landmark - average, at best.

Sep 13, 2011
jfr in Pennsylvania

State College--never found a good restaurant!!!

I reread your posts and the others. I stand by what I said -- some interesting places but none appear to be exceptional. If we lived in State College or that was our destination, there are a lot of places worth going to for lunch or dinner. (you knocked Spat's, Kelly's, Faccia Luna; even Elk Creek got a "nothing special" from one poster.) As much as we have enjoyed State College over the years, we don't get off I-80 anymore to eat there (and I think all on CH might agree that I-80 can be a food wasteland without specific recommendations).

Aug 30, 2011
jfr in Pennsylvania

State College--never found a good restaurant!!!

I was hoping for more encouraging replies to your post as we used to get off I-80 when returning from Erie just to stay and eat in State College. Basically, from our recent experience and from the replies here, there are a lot of places to eat in the State College area. Some are interesting but none appear exceptional. A couple of years ago, we ate at Zola based upon the hype on CH. Major disappointment. With Milheim being recommended as the best in the area, that is sad commentary on State College itself. Milheim always seemed like more than 15 miles from State College when driving through there. Doesn't look like any reason to go out of our way again.

Aug 30, 2011
jfr in Pennsylvania

Doylestown - Rehearsal Dinner

With a group as large as 50, there may be someone who might have difficulty with stairs. If that is the case, that would probably leave out Knight House. Both Villa Barolo and Baci have been better in the past but are still pretty good. It has been approximately a year since we have been to either as there are better places for dining. All comments have been quite accurate, so this is all I can add.

Aug 16, 2011
jfr in Philadelphia

One Night in Allentown

I was waiting for someone from the Allentown area to respond but I guess I will have to get things going.

You might look into Sangria on Hamilton which I think would be within walking distance. Friends in the Lehigh Valley have recommended it to us but we haven't had the opportunity to go there yet. I believe its Web site is www.sangriaallentown.com. This is the best I can do for Allentown within walking distance of the Holiday Inn.

Aug 16, 2011
jfr in Pennsylvania

Borders of the Philadelphia board?

If you look at the postings from the poster that wants a New Hope posting to remain on the Pennsylvania board, it appears that the poster is from New Jersey. I don't think a New Jersey poster should dictate that all Bucks County questions belong on the Pennsylvania board rather than the Philadelphia board.

Jul 14, 2011
jfr in Site Talk

Borders of the Philadelphia board?

I don't understand why there is an issue with Bucks County. Current postings on the Philadelphia board include such suburbs as Lansdale, Souderton, even Honey Brook, plus Malvern, Wayne, New Hope (Bucks County), and one for outdoor dining in Montco/Bucks. Why would Bucks County be any different than Lansdale or Souderton or, especially, Honey Brook? While Honey Brook is in the far reaches of Chester County, it really is closer to Morgantown and Lancaster. Things seem to be working well with the division of the Philadelphia and Pennsylvania boards. While occasionally there are postings that could go on either board, CHers seem resilient and the topics get covered.

Jul 14, 2011
jfr in Site Talk

driving nyc to pittsburgh

I am going to operate under the assumption that you are taking I-78 to I-81 to the PA Turnpike at Harrisburg. We haven't made this trip in a few years but we used to stop at the New Stanton exit not far from Pittsburgh and eat at La Tavola. Another thing we did once was stop in Shartlesville on I-78, visit Roadside America (a large model train layout with a $5 admission charge, though it might have increased by now) and had lunch as the family-style PA Dutch meal at Haag's Hotel. This might not qualify as great food but it was a fun stop and the food was pretty good. There are plenty of threads on Harrisburg on CH. Hope this helps as there hasn't been much response from those who have made the trip more recently.

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Haag's Hotel
3 N Main St, Shavertown, PA 18708

Tavola Restaurant
400 West Sproul Road, Springfield, PA 19064

May 09, 2011
jfr in Pennsylvania

Finer dining in Lancaster

About five years ago, we stopped for lunch at an Isaac's Deli. If members of your group are used to real NY delis, they may not like Isaac's. My wife enjoyed her sandwich. I had either pastrami or corned beef on rye. Let me put it this way, we have never stopped at another Isaac's Deli again. When driving in the area, my wife might say, "Oh, look, an Isaac's Deli." From me, complete silence. Apparently, the soups are generally good but I think your group is looking for something a little more than Isaac's.

Mar 31, 2011
jfr in Pennsylvania