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Indian in the Burbs?

I'm horrified to report that Aman's has gone SIGNIFICANTLY downhill in the last few months. My husband and I used to almost once a week, but the last two times we were there, the papadams (sp?) were soggy from being left out, the paneer did not taste homemade, and everything was just generally not as good. There is clearly a new chef or new management, or both. I'm sad to say that Aman's has been crossed off our list. Which is a shame, it was our favorite...and Saffron, despite its lovely atmosphere, just isn't the same.

Nov 08, 2012
jba1216 in Philadelphia

Anniversary Dinner

Thanks for all the feedback and suggestions!! We have a reservation at Savona! :)

Nov 01, 2012
jba1216 in Philadelphia

Anniversary Dinner

We are deciding where to go for our FIRST wedding anniversary dinner!! We have a reservation at Heirloom in Chestnut Hill. But we're also contemplating Savona, Majolica, and Parc Bistro. (I know, we're all over the map...we're pretty central to all of them and don't mind a drive).

Thoughts on which has the best combination of food and ambiance for this occasion??

Thanks!

Oct 26, 2012
jba1216 in Philadelphia

Coffee and Dinner suggestions - Kansas City, MO

Hi all,
I'm visiting for the first time from Philadelphia, and am planning to meet a colleague for afternoon coffee. I am staying at the Embassy Suites on the Plaza, and she suggested either Classic Cup, Grand Street Cafe, or Californos. Which should I choose? And would it be advisable to meet earlier and just eat lunch there?

Also, I'll be looking to have dinner that evening someplace near my hotel. I will have a car, but bonus points for walking distance. Moderately priced, any type of cuisine...I just want really good food. Maybe something unique to KC...but it doesn't have to be. No national chains though!!

Suggestions welcome!! Thank you!

Oct 16, 2012
jba1216 in Great Plains

Bocelli in Gyw Valley?

Haven't been in a year or so...but thought it was well above average when I visited. Only haven't been there more often due to size...much easier to get into Radice or From the Boot on a weekend.

May 24, 2012
jba1216 in Philadelphia

Indian in the Burbs?

Although the atmosphere at Saffron is nicer, the food is better IMO at Aman's in East Norriton. Just head straight up Germantown from Chestnut Hill...abuot 20 minutes. Delicious!

Mar 28, 2012
jba1216 in Philadelphia

Is it worth waiting for a weekend Vetri reservation?

the grand tasting and the wine pairing is definitely worth it! DO NOT skip the pairing! and i rolled out of there half in the bag...it was easily equivalent to 4-5 glasses of wine. (this was a couple of years ago...not sure if it's changed.

Mar 14, 2012
jba1216 in Philadelphia

One dinner in Pittsburgh

I'm very sad to report that I did not get out for dinner while in Pittsburgh. Long story, but the short version is that my lunch meeting didn't happen until 3:30...and I wasn't feeling great. So it was a very late, very light room service dinner... Thank you so much for the recommendations. I'm really bummed, I was looking forward to trying Salt of the Earth.

That being said...lunch was at Hoffstot's in Oakmont. Nothing to write home about, but cozy little place. On the other hand...dessert at the Oakmont bakery. I had a cream filled almond macaron that was TO DIE FOR!!!! i want to pick that bakery up and transport it home with me.

Thanks again everybody. You have a pretty cool city :)

Mar 09, 2012
jba1216 in Pennsylvania

One dinner in Pittsburgh

Salt of the Earth looks great...nice suggestion, thank you! And a quick drive from the hotel. I think I will probably check it out. I probably can't get there until closer to 6-7pm...do you think I'll be able to snag a seat at the bar or a communal table at that time?

Mar 06, 2012
jba1216 in Pennsylvania

One dinner in Pittsburgh

Hi all - I'll be visiting Pittsburgh this week, for only the second time ever, despite living just across the state in Philadelphia.

I will be dining solo this Wednesday evening, and am looking for reasonably priced (entrees in the $15-22 range, or less) good food at a restaurant only found in Pittsburgh. I love all cuisine, but am especially partial to Italian, "farm to table" American, and Thai. I also love a place with great comfort food and character (a la "Diners Drive Ins and Dives")! Bonus points for somewhere I can get a nice glass of wine or a craft beer, and no one will look at me funny for dining alone (serving full menu at the bar is a plus).

I'll be staying at the Hilton Garden Inn Pittsburgh University Place (3454 Forbes Avenue), and would love a place within walking distance. However, I will have a car, and am willing to drive ~15 minutes for a great meal!

Thanks!!

Mar 05, 2012
jba1216 in Pennsylvania

tashan?

So we went on Friday night....here's my summary:

space/decor - hip, trendy, and dark. very cool deep booths for larger parties. definitely hit the mark for what they're trying to achieve.

service - good, but nothing to write home about. the hosts were welcoming. we had a drink before dinner, and the bartender paid above average attention to detail (e.g. chilling a glass for us), but it was a bit hard to get his attention to settle up or order another drink. our server was friendly and chipper, but i wouldn't say she had great knowledge of the food. she had her rehearsed script, and did fine. when we asked for her opinions in trying to decide between a few dishes, she was annoyingly diplomatic. "everything is just fabulous...it really depends what you are in the mood for." but...that's just a pet peeve of mine!!

food - overall, everything we had was very good.
things i would order again are the kobe beef kabob (nicely spiced), the scallops, a spinach mushroom patty (forget the name), black bass (perfectly cooked), masala donuts.

things that were good, but i wouldn't necessarily order again, were the gol-gappa, goat cheese naan (I just prefer plain naan, but it was pretty good), the mangolorean sausage.

would not order again - the white sweet potato chaat (boring, though i did enjoy the tamarind sauce), an Indian red wine (tasted medicinal).

overall, a very tasty meal. we enjoyed it a lot. HOWEVER...when we saw the bill, we knew we'd never be back. it ended up being about $200 for 2 of us (that's with 2 drinks each, tax, and tip), and we ordered less food (1-2 dishes less) than they suggested. it was definitely not worth the money...

Feb 27, 2012
jba1216 in Philadelphia

tashan?

hmmm...interesting. i've got reservations for tomorrow night. any other "must haves" or must avoids"??? i will report my findings... :)

Feb 23, 2012
jba1216 in Philadelphia

Italian BYOs around 17th & Pine

Try Melograno or Caffe Casta Diva. Neither is very far from your target area...and they are my two favorite Italian BYOs...

Feb 22, 2012
jba1216 in Philadelphia

Everest Grill in Broadaxe

oh man...that's too bad! we liked it a lot for their indian. but we enjoyed the persian as well, and were definitely planning on going back for more. bummer!

Feb 16, 2012
jba1216 in Philadelphia

Philly Chowhound - 2 dinners (and a breakfast?) in St. Louis

well...my visit to St. Louis is coming to a close, as I prob won't be eating any meals tomorrow, except hotel breakfast, lunch at a conference, and dinner at the airport. so i figured, i may as well report out on my trip!

dinner last night was at eleven eleven. cute neighborhood, great ambiance, super friendly service at the bar. had a nice glass of wine, along with the corn and shrimp bisque and the wild boar ravioli. all tasty...but nothing to write home about. but the experience was absolutely delightful...i can see why it's so popular. good solid food in a great atmosphere with great staff. bravo!

after dinner, headed to park avenue coffee for my first ever gooey butter cake. had a very good decaf americano, a very friendly and helpful server, and a decadent slice of red velvet gooey butter cake. wow!! kind of wish i had tried the original...but i can't resist red velvet. love to gbc though, especially the crusty top. yum!! my belly HURT last night after dinner and dessert!

today, i had breakfast at rooster. started off horribly, as i was ignored by the staff for a LONG time. however, the manager was taking care of me, and agreed the wait time to order was "ridiculous." he was extremely apologetic and comped my entire meal... that being said, coffee was very good. crepe with egg, cheddar, and bacon was tasty. i only wish there was a little less (thinner) crepe, and more egg.

for dinner, i hit up pappy's smokehouse around 5:15pm...good timing, as i beat the rush. i'm not a huge barbecue lover...but i will go out on a limb and say this is the best overall bbq meal i've ever had. i got the brisket platter with baked beans and sweet potato fries. wow, i could eat that brisket forever!! YUM! washed it all down with a Fitz's root beer.

if i could swing one or two more dinners, i was hoping to try either sidney street cafe or bridge. both menus tickled my fancy. :)

thank you all again for your help!! i really appreciate it, and am please with how much i was able to do (eat/drink) in such a short time here. hope to visit again soon...

Feb 16, 2012
jba1216 in Great Plains

Early Sunday Dinner for 11 ppl (incl. young kids) in Center City

thanks everybody. we ended up doing Devil's Alley, because they had a kids menu with a hot dog (big plus with one of the little ones), and they took a reservation for 11 of us. everyone really enjoyed the food (and the pomegranate sangria was also a hit!). simple...but perfect for my picky family :)

Feb 13, 2012
jba1216 in Philadelphia

Philly Chowhound - 2 dinners (and a breakfast?) in St. Louis

ha ha! maybe i'll check it out on my next trip to town. i may be getting there more often for work in the future!

THANK YOU SO MUCH EVERYBODY!! I'm going to be in town the 15-17th...I'll report back :)

Feb 10, 2012
jba1216 in Great Plains

Philly Chowhound - 2 dinners (and a breakfast?) in St. Louis

super helpful, thank you!! i like the idea of dinner at 33 and gooey butter cake for dessert :) i think i'm going to avoid the great pizza debate. i grew up in northern NJ, outside of NYC, and am a total new york style pizza snob (admittedly). i have only found a handful of places in the philly area that live up. but curiousity MAY get the best of me...and i may have to check it out!!

Feb 10, 2012
jba1216 in Great Plains

Philly Chowhound - 2 dinners (and a breakfast?) in St. Louis

Oh....probably Tacqueria Veracruzana. YUMMY :) Plaza Garibaldi on Washington also has good Mexican if you come back and visit. Thanks for your help.

Feb 10, 2012
jba1216 in Great Plains

Philly Chowhound - 2 dinners (and a breakfast?) in St. Louis

super helpful, thank you!!

Feb 08, 2012
jba1216 in Great Plains

Philly Chowhound - 2 dinners (and a breakfast?) in St. Louis

Ok, I scoured the board, and came up with the following VERY LONG list. Would love help in narrowing based on my location (visiting St. Louis University and staying at Marriott RI on Jefferson) and the fact that I'll be dining solo. Though I'll eat solo pretty much anywhere to try great restaurants, I recognize some places are just better picks for solo dining than others. And finally, I'm not a big cocktail drinker...I like wine or craft beers. So...thoughts?

Niche
Brasserie by Niche
Taste by Niche
Pappy’s Smokehouse
Bogart’s
Farmhaus
Rooster (breakfast)
Home Wine Kitchen
Salt
Iron Barley
Blueberry Hill
Erato
Monarch
Bobo Noodle House
Trattoria Marcella
Modesto
Mosaic
Harvest
Sidney Street Café
Atlas

THANK YOU!!

Feb 08, 2012
jba1216 in Great Plains

Early Sunday Dinner for 11 ppl (incl. young kids) in Center City

thanks everybody! i agree pietro's could be a good option. i also found out that devil's alley has a kids menu, so i'm waiting for a call back to see if they will take a reservation. if not, maybe i'll try pietro's.

i know it's not always the parenting... :)

Feb 08, 2012
jba1216 in Philadelphia

Early Sunday Dinner for 11 ppl (incl. young kids) in Center City

Ok...kids' mom is interested in Jones...but concerned they don't have a kids menu. Her kids are the pickiest eaters on the planet. These are pasta, kraft mac and cheese, pizza, and chicken nugget kids. And if it doesn't look like they kind of pizza, mac and cheese, etc that they eat at home, they won't touch it. (OY!).

SOOOOOOO....we can pretty much do anyplace that will make a plain bowl of pasta with butter. BUT, does anyone know of anywhere in Center City that offers an actual kids menu?? (That's not Applebees, the Olive Garden, etc???).

Thanks...gosh, I can't wait to have kids and introduce them to any and all food!!

Feb 08, 2012
jba1216 in Philadelphia

Philly Chowhound - 2 dinners (and a breakfast?) in St. Louis

First time visiting St. Louis!! I'll be in town for 2 nights next week, and want to ensure I choose the right restaurants! I will eat pretty much anything. Especially interested in local favorites, or food specific to the area. I'll be staying at the Marriott Residence Inn on Jefferson, but will have a car, and am willing to drive up to 15-20 minutes for excellent food!! Definitely looking for advice on 2 dinners...and maybe a good breakfast spot for one of the mornings as well. Thanks for helping an east coaster! :)

Feb 08, 2012
jba1216 in Great Plains

Early Sunday Dinner for 11 ppl (incl. young kids) in Center City

thanks everyone! all really good ideas. i especially like Jones, Stella, or Parc as options, and will run them by the group to get thoughts. any other ideas still welcome, this is not for a few weeks :)

Jan 13, 2012
jba1216 in Philadelphia

Early Sunday Dinner for 11 ppl (incl. young kids) in Center City

Looking for a recommendation for a great family-friendly place that will take a dinner reservation for 8 adults and 3 kids on a Sunday evening around 5:30 or 6pm. Age range is 2 to 70...some picky/"plain" eaters in the bunch, including the adults. I don't want to go to Applebee's (or the like), but definitely need something that will appeal to all. Open to anything from Old City to Rittenhouse, and not too far south or north. The kids all like pizza/pasta, but that's not a prerequisite. Thoughts?

Jan 13, 2012
jba1216 in Philadelphia

Fried Bakes - where can I get them??

We just got back from St. Lucia, and I'm now addicted to fried bakes (which apparently originated in Trinidad). I've found some recipes online, and they're clearly easy to make (it's essentially just fried dough). However, I'm curious if there are any restaurants or bakeries in Philly or the burbs where I might find fresh fried bakes?? Caribbean food is definitely lacking around here...

Nov 22, 2011
jba1216 in Philadelphia

Help with a good sushi spot

Shiroi Hana on 15th is quite good, and the atmosphere is nice. It doesn't blow your mind, but the sushi is always fresh and tasty.

Oct 25, 2011
jba1216 in Philadelphia

Best Cupcakes coming to Philadelphia

I've had Crumbs cupcakes in NYC and I was not at all impressed. The cupcakes are bigger and prettier than Brown Betty's, but not nearly as moist or delicious. I'll continue to frequent Brown Betty for my Philadelphia cupcake fix.

Oct 10, 2011
jba1216 in Philadelphia

Birthday dinner near Plymouth Meeting - TONIGHT!

Thanks again for all the recos. We ended up going to Castello. Wow that place is hidden! Food was very tasty, nice portions, good fresh bread, and everything was cooked perfectly.

We shared the grilled calamari fra diavolo app, which was very tender, and nice and spicy. Then for entrees we did the lobster ravioli (very good but the "extra lobster" add-on was NOT worth it) and the linguine al brooklyn (chopped clams and artichokes in a white wine sauce...very tasty, and perfectly al dente). And for dessert, we shared the mini cannoli. Good, but they didn't hold a candle to the ones at Radice!

Ended up going slightly over my target $$...1 app, 2 entrees, and 1 dessert plus tip set us back about $85. Not bad for the quality and quantity of food though.

My only complaint is that the service was very inattentive. We were there for a good 20-25 minutes before someone offered us bread or told us the specials....it did improve after a while, I think there was just some early confusion over who should be taking care of us, since they operate as a team. But the server who ended up waiting on us for most of the night had only been there two weeks, so she was not very helpful in explaining some of the dishes.

Oh well...food was good, and we'd definitely go back! Thanks again!

Sep 30, 2011
jba1216 in Philadelphia