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Sit Down Lunch Near 18th & JFK

Jane G's is close, and so is Continental, V Street (which now does lunch), and Parc.

Juniper Commons

I went earlier this week on Tuesday night (845p) and it was not loud at all. It was pretty dead in there, maybe because of the day/time. But the music was not Metallica, AC/DC, etc. I distinctly remember they were playing things like Tarzan Boy and even some Hall and Oates.

While I get more excited when eating bold/ethnic flavors, the food at Juniper Commons was well executed and tasted great, which almost has to be when your menu is comprised of entrees that many could make at home.

My husband ordered the Duck L'Orange, which was prepared simply (some pieces confit, and some roasted, with just some celery and leeks), while I had eggplant casserole (not sure why they call it a casserole, but it's essentially eggplant parm). I can make a very similar eggplant parm at home, but sometimes it's not worth all the hassle to fry eggplant slices, make the sauce, and do all the assembly, etc. We also got the smelts which were great (though, could be a little bit more crispy).

Everything we ate was solid and I definitely would go back, especially to see how the space fills up and now I'm curious how loud it may get. Plus, I definitely want to try the salad bar.

I like the space - it's big and open and all glass, but I personally prefer the smaller space at the Fat Ham, because it feels more cozy than JC. For these exact opposite reasons is why my husband prefers the space at JC over FH. To each his own.

DC Chowhound in Redondo Beach

thanks to all the quick replies! any opinions on whether i should try to go to MB Post or Fishing with Dynamite? are these "must-try" places while I'm in town?

Apr 10, 2014
purplesachi in Los Angeles Area

DC Chowhound in Redondo Beach

Does anyone have any updates on Redondo Beach? I'll be there in June, staying at the Portofino for a wedding, and will not have a car. I will try to make it out to Fishing with Dynamite and MB Post out in Manhattan Beach, but I was looking for something more local that I could potentially walk to for eating and drinking. Thanks!

Apr 09, 2014
purplesachi in Los Angeles Area

High Street on Market/ Talula's Market/ Markets that make dinner

I had the november dinner there with a large group of 10 persons. the service was decent. the charcuterie was excellent, but they never give enough bread/toast points, and when someone from my party asked if they could have more bread, she was pointed to the barely enough toast points on the charcuterie board.

the rest of the meal was pretty heavy/rich. the soup, skate and dessert felt like pounds of butter were used to make it. after 5 courses everyone was very full and we all thought it was ok. personally, i don't think it deserves 3 bells (2 fits better with my experience).

as a comparison, i also just ate at serpico, which also got 3 bells by laban. i had the 9-course tasting and i wasn't nearly as uncomfortably full as i was after the 5-courses at talula's daily.

the atmosphere is pretty similar to eating at talula's table in kennett square, though, when i ate at TT, we ate in the kitchen, but it was a very similar experience.

but to me, the food at talula's daily seemed not overly difficult to prepare if you are moderately experienced in the kitchen, which would warrant 2 bells for me, not 3. and obviously, as i stated above, this is only going on the november menu.

Nov 18, 2013
purplesachi in Philadelphia

Hard Apple Cider - What and Where?

this might be of interest to you...there's apparently a cider festival this saturday (9/28/13) at the navy yard:

Sep 25, 2013
purplesachi in Philadelphia

Where can I get a GOOD ice-cream cake?

Haven't had it in a few years, but Bredenbeck's in Chestnut Hill was decent.

May 22, 2013
purplesachi in Philadelphia

Has anyone tried Chick-a-Licious Korean Fried Chicken?

barry - please don't use meritage's version to gauge your interest in KFC. i've had it before also and it is nowhere near as good as cafe soho. in fact, i'd say that meritage's version was pretty terrible (i find that meritage has a lot of good ideas in theory, but they are usually poorly executed)

Apr 17, 2013
purplesachi in Philadelphia

Keffir lime leaves: where to buy?

little thai market in RTM definitely has them. i always get mine there. you just have to ask for them.

Mar 06, 2013
purplesachi in Philadelphia

Is their a clear winner among these pubs?

agree with cwd. of those four places, i would probably choose khyber, with eulogy as a second (i really like their fries). but beware - depending on when you go, the khyber can get extremely loud, and so you could be yelling all night just to hear each other.

Jan 08, 2013
purplesachi in Philadelphia

Philly Mag Top 50 Restaurants...

ha! i've been calling it handy nasty forever reminds me of the it's always sunny episode where frank falls in love with sha dynasty back in the day, so they opened up a place with that name, but the sign reads 'shady nasty's' !

i have only ever gone to the manayunk outpost of HD, but they do not serve drinks there. from the article, it sounds like they DO serve drinks at the UC outpost, not sure about the old city one, or the suburban ones either. i wonder if this has something to do with philly mag's choice of UC's HD?

and speaking of HD, do people seem to find that their food is always swimming in a lot of oil? i always get takeout from the HD in manayunk, and dishes like the eggplant are sitting in so much oil that it's hard for me to eat it anymore. there was one occasion where the amount of oil is manageable, but it just seems like it's getting out of control. i've gotten take out from other szechuan restaurants (like R&Z Ping Pong) and while some of the food is oily, HD seems overly oily.

Jan 08, 2013
purplesachi in Philadelphia

Samarkand Restaurant (Uzbek cuisine)

I also tried the Samsa, which I thought was good. I feel like the pastry is more flaky than the Cheburek, and I liked the filling better in the Cherburek. They are pretty similar though.

I should also mention that they had this manual with pictures of some of the food items on the list, so you could look through the booklet and if you see something you like, you could order it. This is how we knew about the Cherburek. It's really helpful for people who are not well versed in the cuisine.

Yes! The pickled tomatoes (which I neglected to mention were in the assorted pickle platter we ordered) were really good, as were the pickled carrots. They had slight heat, and had some sort of other spice that I couldn't immediately recognize (maybe caraway?).

Glad to know there was live entertainment on a Friday. We picked up a menu on the way out and while I don't have the menu right here, I feel like there was mention of a belly dancer on one night.

Dec 18, 2012
purplesachi in Philadelphia

Samarkand Restaurant (Uzbek cuisine)

Just an update...I finally got a chance to go to Samarkand last week, and it was great. Granted, I don't have much experience with Uzbekistan or GG, but I thought the food was very well-seasoned, and everyone I was with was pretty impressed.

The restaurant is in a strip mall on Bustelton Pike. The dining room had a blue-ish tint, with TVs all over the wall. There were large long tables, as well as some round tables, and a few smaller 2- and 4-tops. This first room fits about 120 persons.

There is a stage at the other end of the room, where there was a keyboard set up, but no one playing (12 of us went on a Tuesday night, so it was definitely a low-key night), but someone who works there showed us that behind the curtain at the back of the stage is another room with a stage that fits another 120 people. You can rent this room for private events, just not on Saturdays, since this is their busiest night. The employee made it sound like Saturdays the entire room is open (i.e. they don't split up the room, so maybe 250 people are in there at one time) and there's live music on the back stage.

All the food we tried was outstanding, with the exception of the Samarkand soup, which was too oily for our tastes. The best things I had were the Vostochny salad (fried eggplant), assorted pickles (cucumbers, shredded carrots, chayote, cabbage), Chebureks (an empanada-type food with a flaky pastry outside), the pilaf Samarkand, rolled beef shish kebobs, and the chicken heart shish kebobs.

There is a LOT of lamb on the menu and in the dishes, so if you don't like lamb that much, this might not be the place for you, though, there's plenty of things on the menu that don't have lamb.

The place is BYO (we brought vodka and wine) and they even have little glasses at the place settings of all the tables, ready to be used for your vodka. Service was pretty good too, and the waiter was patient with us while we tried to figure out what we wanted to order.

Oh, and I thought it wasn't that expensive either. There were 12 of us, and we paid < $200 (including tip) and we have a ton of food leftover to eat the next day.

I think this is a great place to go with a group, and I'm looking forward to trying it out on a Saturday night, to see how the vibe is when it's packed.

Dec 18, 2012
purplesachi in Philadelphia

cake supplies and wrapping stuff?

try sweet creations in northeast philly:

it's an unassuming store from the outside, and while small-ish, they have a lot of items crammed in there. we get cake boxes there in sizes that fante's doesn't have.

Nov 16, 2012
purplesachi in Philadelphia

reception location help please

What about Joseph Poon, Smokin Betty, or Trestle Inn? $10 is super tight and honestly, I'm not sure you're going to be able to keep within that tight of a budget.

Nov 01, 2012
purplesachi in Philadelphia

Samarkand Restaurant (Uzbek cuisine)

how random. laban just gave the place 2 bells:

Oct 20, 2012
purplesachi in Philadelphia

Samarkand Restaurant (Uzbek cuisine)

So the only extra info I was able to get was that it was more low key than the other two places (after my cousin asked for "good traditional russian food without the excess of a show", which is why I guess he recommended Samarkand. (the co-worker is Ukranian, btw).

I guess I'll just have to bite the bullet and try it out in the near future. If I do, I'll make sure to post my experience on the board.

Oct 12, 2012
purplesachi in Philadelphia

Samarkand Restaurant (Uzbek cuisine)

Me too. I'll see if I can find out more info from my cousin's co-worker.

Maybe I'll also try and find some time to go out there to try it, and then try Uzbekistan or GG when I get a chance and do a comparison.

Oct 11, 2012
purplesachi in Philadelphia

Samarkand Restaurant (Uzbek cuisine)

Has anyone ever gone to Samarkand Restaurant? It's in Feasterville. Here's the link:

I had been wanting to go to Uzbekistan or Golden Gates for the past several years now, but just never made it.

I was thinking about checking out one of these two places in the near future, but then I heard from my cousin's Russian co-worker that Samarkand would be a better choice.

I'm wondering if anyone knows about Samarkand, and how it compares to Uzbekistan or Golden Gates, which I see mentioned sporadically on chowhound.

(sorry if i didn't correctly add the hyperlink)

Oct 10, 2012
purplesachi in Philadelphia

Bavarian pretzels for a party?

i thought that talula's table (kennett square) had bavarian pretzels? at least they did the last time i was there (but this was like 2 years ago). you may want to try calling over there.

Sep 26, 2012
purplesachi in Philadelphia

Good Chinese restaurants in Philly

so because i was in the chinatown area, i decided to go to shao lan king the other day to check out their SBS and their dumplings, and then afterwards, i went to david's MLW for the same thing (well, their salt and pepper squid, not SBS).

i have to say that while SLK's SBS is really good and probably the best SBS i've had in a while, it's a little different than david's salt and pepper squid, so i'm not sure it's a good comparison. i think david's squid is deep fried, so the resulting dish is crispy and crunchy like a potato chip, and i prefer my squid prepared in this way.

but, if i'm ever in the area and david's is uber busy, i have no problem going down to SLK to grab SBS if they are open.

also. while i prefer the ginger sauce served with the pan fried dumplings at david's, i actually prefer the dumplings from SLK. the skins were cooked to a perfect bubbly crust and the filling was more flavorful than david's. but both the dumplings and squid are worth seeking out at either place. i guess it just depends on what your preferences are.

Sep 14, 2012
purplesachi in Philadelphia

Upcoming Octoberfest Events?

Brauhaus Schmitz is having some events in September for Oktoberfest, all culminating at the Oktoberfest party on Sept 29, which is shutting down part of South Street.

I think Hop Angel Brauhaus is also having their Oktoberfest the same day (Sept 29) as well.

Sep 10, 2012
purplesachi in Philadelphia

Looking for reccomendations from Vancouver locals

i thought i would offer my opinion because i'm also from philly, and i have been visiting vancouver for the past several years because my relatives live there.

as others have posted below, definitely try to go to an izakaya. there are none in philly (though, there's rumor of one opening soon). it's loud and raucous, but it's really fun and a great experience.

personally, while i love japadog, i think you can skip it. a japadog just opened in nyc (st mark's place), so if you're ever in nyc, you can just try it there. (though, if you do end up going, i recommending getting the kurobata pork instead of the beef hotdog).

i'm actually going to YVR in a week, and i'm planning on going to the richmond night market, and everything i've read about it thus far has been positive.

and if you've been keeping up with the philly food scene, the newest 'big' thing around town is ramen. i still don't believe you can get GREAT ramen in philly, but i think seeking out one of the ramen joints in vancouver is worth it. while benkei and other vancouver ramen places beat out philly ramen places (like nom nom and the now defunct ramen boy), it's still not as awesome as ippudo or momofuku in nyc (so in other words, if you make it up to nyc often, you may not find the ramen in vancouver so 'great').

one last thought. if you are going to be staying somewhere with a kitchen, it might be worth it to get fresh seafood to cook / eat. the lobster man storefront on granville island has fresh dungeness crabs, lobsters, sea urchin, mussels, etc. but my absolute most favorite thing to do is pick up a bunch of oysters and shuck them myself. the oysters are much cheaper and i personally prefer the flavor of west coast oysters vs east coast.

What are the must tries at Han Dynasty?

beef tendon in chili oil is hands down, my favorite thing on the menu. there's something about the texture of the tendon that i love, and i'm wondering if it's an acquired taste/texture thing, as no one else has mentioned it in this thread.

Aug 08, 2012
purplesachi in Philadelphia

Clam Pizza in Philadelphia?

yes! thanks for reminding me about this. the pie from delorenzos (at least then one in robbinsville) is awesome, and i've had the clam pie from there before, and it's fantastic (obviously not as good as pepe's in new haven), but definitely really good, if you are in that part of town (or have a spouse that sometimes drives through there and doesn't mind picking it up and traveling with it in the car and not being tempted to have a slice!)

May 16, 2012
purplesachi in Philadelphia

what are the best happy hour food specials in downtown area?

sometimes i like going to sampan on 13th. they have a small bites menu, with prices ranging from $2-$4. you can check out the menu online.

May 15, 2012
purplesachi in Philadelphia

Clam Pizza in Philadelphia?

agree with clam pie is in new haven.

but, locally, there's a clam pizza at caputo's on main street in manayunk. i've never gotten it, but a lot of people seem to like caputo's in general. (personally, i don't really like their pizza...too much cheese, which makes the crust soggy, especially when you get to the center of the pie).

May 10, 2012
purplesachi in Philadelphia

Soft shell crabs in Philly

the khyber had them this past friday (in sandwich form) when i was there, just an fyi.

May 01, 2012
purplesachi in Philadelphia

Federal Donuts on Saturday?

when i was there on a saturday (back in march), i don't think there was a limit on the chicken: the guy ahead of us got 2.5 chickens. and once on a weekday, we got 1.5 chickens.

maybe things changed since they were featured in the NYT?

Apr 30, 2012
purplesachi in Philadelphia

Federal Donuts on Saturday?

i went on a saturday once. i happened to get there around 1130a, and the place was not yet packed, but they were also not yet giving out the ticket/queue numbers. so i got donuts (all the fancies were already sold out) and waited around inside. around 1145a or so, they started handing out tickets, and i think i was like 15th order.

i should mention that when they hand out the tickets, you need to specify how many tickets you want, where 1 ticket = 6 wings OR half chicken. i don't believe there is a limit on how many tickets you request.

so while i was given the 15th and 16th tickets, there were only 4-5 people ahead of me in line.

i think i waited maybe 30 minutes from the time i got my tickets, to the time i walked out the door with the chicken. (so more like 45 minutes total wait time since i got there at 1130a)

at 1145a the place was jammed, so just be prepared to possibly be waiting with a lot of people in the tiny storefront.

but i think getting there around 1130a is a good time.

i liked the chicken, but i honestly didn't think it was 'mind-blowing'. i can make better fried chicken at home using d.chang's recipe in momofuku, but to me, it's the seasonings that elevate the chicken. i feel like the chicken was a little on the salty side, probably due to over-brining.

Apr 27, 2012
purplesachi in Philadelphia