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Gourmet grocery

Great info! Thank you everyone for the help! My soon to be in-laws (we'll be two days married when we arrive in FL with them!! Not really the traditional honeymoon, ha!) from Scotland will be with us as well, so stopping at one of these markets to stock up on some good items to have in the house for the week will be such a nice idea!

Sep 15, 2010
smackdown in Florida

Good pate in center city Philly

Hi All -

What are your favorite spots to buy some good pate? Can I find it in DiBrunos, Garces Trading Co and/or the Reading Terminal Market anywhere?


Sep 14, 2010
smackdown in Philadelphia

Gourmet grocery

I appreciate everyone's feedback - thanks! We actually fly into Tampa and are driving down to Ft. Myers area so perhaps a stop at Morton's on the way down would work!

Sep 14, 2010
smackdown in Florida

Gourmet grocery

Hello all -

We'll be down over the Christmas holidays and I'm hoping to find a good shop for cheeses, pate, olives and jellies, etc. in the Ft. Myers/Cape Coral area to load the house up with!

Any help and advice would be much appreciated (especially some good pate!)

Sep 13, 2010
smackdown in Florida

Looking for early morning soccer bar

Definitely check out the Dark Horse and also Fado (15th and Locust)

Feb 03, 2010
smackdown in Philadelphia

36th Anniversary weekend in Philadelphia

Your food list made me hungry! :)

Some places I'd recommend for dinner:
Osteria, - you can easily take a cab or subway from downtown to Osteria that's just a little north on Broad Street. It's Marc Vetri's "step down" restaurant from his first, Vetri

Another delicious dinner option - Meme, it is a byob (are you familiar with Philly's abundance of byo restaurants?) and located at 22 and Spruce.

A place recently opened that may fit your needs - perhaps lunch or dinner is Village Whiskey on 20th and Sansom. This is a Jose Garces place (one of our top chefs) and the burgers are pretty fabulous along with the duck fat french fries served with Sly Fox Cheddar sauce...yum!

For any kind of "ice cream" or after dinner treat I'd push you towards Capogiro Gelato (a few locations but one is directly across from Village Whiskey) and tends to be a fave for almost all Philly residents -

Good wine bars where you can also get some good olives, cheeses, snacks etc - Tria at 18th and Sansom or Vintage at 13th and Sansom...both are nice to pop in, have a glass or two, some snacks, etc.

Have fun!!

Sep 24, 2009
smackdown in Pennsylvania

Vegetarian NYCer in Philly for the weekend - need recs

For an easy lunch or dinner I'd also try Mi Lah Vegetarian on 16th and just north of Locust. I think they have a fantastic portabello sandwich and always have some good daily soups as well. Have gone a few times with both vegetarians and non (I'm a big meat eater :) and all of us always leave happy!

Mar 30, 2009
smackdown in Philadelphia


I've been twice already - the first on opening night, and then again 5 nights later. Both nights I was with a group of four and we all ordered quite a bit in order to sample a little of everything. Both times I left so happy - he has another huge hit on his hands. Opening night felt like anything but...maybe one or two tiny hiccups (like running out of a dish) but overall, you would have never known it was the first night.
I didn't find it overly salty but also had many different dishes then what you tried.

Some of my stand out favorites was the Peruvian ceviche, Lobster noodles - honestly, I think I could eat them every night, Kobe ceviche, the "desayuno" and the lamb empanada.
So far I've tried two of the four desserts (the flexible chocolate and the passion fruit dish) I will say neither of them was overwhelming in my mind, but I'd be quite as happy ordering another boneless spare rib or aji mushrooms instead!!

Feb 21, 2009
smackdown in Pennsylvania

New, Exciting, Philly Area?

We ate at Chifa on Tuesday night (opening night - though by the service, food,'d never know it was the first night) It was excellent - Chef Garces has another huge hit on his hands.
The idea for the food comes from Peruvian-Cantonese (a lot of Chinese influence in Peru). Every dish we had was fantastic, although my personal standouts were the Lobster Noodles, the lamb empanada, the aji mushrooms served in a puff pastry of sorts, and the Kobe ceviche.
Here's a link to the menu:

They also do a $65 chef's tasting - everyone at the table must participate - but seems like a fantastic deal since in general the Chef will pick something from each area on the menu.

Feb 12, 2009
smackdown in Pennsylvania

Happy Hour spot needed

Le Bar Lyonnais at Le Bec Fin - not exactly on the way, but not too far out of the way (Walnut between 15 & 16) and they have great happy hour specials

Jan 29, 2009
smackdown in Pennsylvania

Our local Top Chef celebrity? Stephen Starr as guest judge last night

Thought all the same things -
I was SO annoyed that it was Padma started with "restaurants all over the country" bc as mentioned, it's only Philly, NYC and AC. I understand that Buddakan and Moriomoto NYC are really well known but c'mon....when someone started in Philly and has the majority of his, not to mention the most restaurants under one person in a city, restaurants'd think they could some how work that in. I felt like Starr kind of tried with his "cheesesteak" comment on Fabio's sandwich, but if the general audience doesn't know Starr is based in Philly then that is just going to go over their heads.

I think it was great though that finally there was a judge from Philly and it was really appropriate it was Starr for restaurant wars. Say what you will about him - he has been extremely successful doing what he does and to act as a judge on the service, overall concept/design is perfect. And he may not be the one behind the line in his kitchens, but he has had a habit of selecting/building top rate chefs (Garces, Rodriguez, Talula's Table duo...) so he should know what he's talking about regarding the food too.

Maybe we can look forward to a few more top Philly chefs in upcoming seasons!

Jan 23, 2009
smackdown in Pennsylvania

Favorite Vegetarian Restaurant in Philadelphia

Just to add another vote for Horizons - it is a little on the pricier side but it's not only the best in the city but PETA also just mentioned in top 8 veg restaurants in the country.

I also really liked Mi Lah on 16th just north of Locust. I've only been once but with a group who all ordered different things and everyone was really happy (only one true vegetarian in that group)

Jan 15, 2009
smackdown in Pennsylvania

Mi Lah Vegetarian?

A group of us from work went for lunch today and all really enjoyed our dishes and the service. The portion sizes are generous and there's a nice variety including flat bread pizzas, tofu pad thai, salads, sandwiches...
I had half of the portobello sandwich - I thought it was fantastic (and I'm not a vegetarian) and will be adding this to my lunch rotation. I also had half of the black bean burger (on special) that came with a slightly spicy sauce, mango and avocado - also quite good.
I also had a taste of the acorn squash and pumpkin soup that was so good and great for a cold day like today.

There were also a lot of fresh juices (combinations like carrot & apple, or carrot, apple, beet and ginger, etc) on the menu that I didn't try but coworkers really enjoyed.
Best part was for the size and quality you are getting - the prices were really reasonable. Will definitely be going back!

Dec 04, 2008
smackdown in Pennsylvania

1 Sunday Dinner in Philly

I definitely second Little Fish at 6th and Catharine. On Sunday's they do a 5 course tasting menu for $28/person. We just went two weeks ago and had a really fabulous night; it's very small and intimate. If you search for it on here you'll find a lot of reviews.

Nov 13, 2008
smackdown in Pennsylvania

Money no object- top 5 choices for special anniversary dinner in or near Philadelphia

easy -

The Fountain at the Four Seasons

Oct 28, 2008
smackdown in Pennsylvania

Help with a whole night of delicious, mellow celebration

I would also throw Osteria into the mix - you can easily get there via the subway that's right outside of the Ritz and it's wonderful with some good beers on tap as well. if you can't get a reservation, there's always the bar which I think is really nice to sit at as well.
I would second the rec for Ansill at 3rd and Bainbridge as well. Really interesting food, and a nice atmosphere.
As for the blues/jazz - I think this is an area our city lacks in but Chris's Jazz cafe is pretty intimate and usually has a good show playing - and very close to your hotel. There is also Ortliebs ( up in Northern Liberties (you could easily take taxi) or there is a Piano Bar on 20th and Arch (I think they even pay for your taxi...or maybe that's just on a special night)

Oct 27, 2008
smackdown in Pennsylvania

Birthday in Philly - Southwark or Matyson or Little Fish

Oh Distrito would be perfect I think!

Oct 22, 2008
smackdown in Pennsylvania

Birthday in Philly - Southwark or Matyson or Little Fish

I have to agree - I cannot imagine a stroller even fitting in Little Fish. And I really don't see Matyson fitting the bill either. Most BYOs I can think of would be way too small to accommodate a stroller.

Oct 21, 2008
smackdown in Pennsylvania

Dinner for 4 on a budget

I would also highly recommend Radicchio (an Italian byo on 4th and Wood - just one north of Vine) they don't take reservations but depending on what night you go and at what time, you shouldn't have too much of a problem.
It's one of my favorite restaurants in the city and I'm always blown away by how inexpensive it is for what you get!

Oct 20, 2008
smackdown in Pennsylvania

Amada - Recent Visit

We went last night for RW and had a great time. I'm pretty much over the appeal of RW in general, but I still think Amada is a great selection if you can get the reservation. You actually choose two options for course 1 and 2. For course 1 we went with the Manchego Cheese served with lavender honey, the Cana de Cabra cheese with a fig and cherry spread (so delicious), the Spanish octopus and the Croquetas de jamon. We also decided to order the plate of Serrano Jamon a la carte because I just had to have some! All of it was a big hit, especially the octopus, it was cooked and flavored just right. I wasn't a huge fan of the croquetas which is sad because this always makes my order list in any Madrid tapas bar but oh well.

For course 2 we went with the shortrib flatbread (always fantastic), the chorizo skewers (yummy, and a good portion size), the madre e hijo (fingerling potatoes, with chicken and truffles and a fried egg on top) - this was maybe my favorite dish of the night. Our fourth selection was the Scallops a la plancha and they were cooked perfectly and of good size.

We got one of each of the desserts - a rice pudding and a creme brulee of sorts outside the ramakan. I'm not a huge rice pudding fan but my BF enjoyed it. I couldn't stop eating the large almond cookie that was also served.

And all enjoyed with a big pitcher of Tinto sangria. With the sangria and a la cart jamon the bill came to just around $100 and it was so worth it!!!

Sep 17, 2008
smackdown in Pennsylvania

Great Beer & Great food

Standard Tap is always a great choice for good beer and food.
I thought Parc (stephen starr's new place) had a pretty good beer list - i also enjoyed the food and the atmosphere is great.

Aug 29, 2008
smackdown in Pennsylvania

burgers in Philly

I do enjoy the Monk's burger (just had one a few days ago) but I have to say that the bread/bun of the Monk's burger is just way too big for the patty itself. You have this modest/regular size burger and then a huge roll so a lot of the time I feel you are eating bread.
Good Dog has a fantastic burger - I think most people agree it's one of the best, if not the best, in the city.

Aug 15, 2008
smackdown in Pennsylvania

Mexican restaurant suggestions (with child)

true - although taqueria veracruzana is byo (not sure about the others)

Aug 13, 2008
smackdown in Pennsylvania

Unusal restaurant for dinner date in Philadelphia?

oh - and there's always Victor Cafe as well (13th and Dickinson) Italian restaurants where the waitstaff will just periodically, randomly break out into singing opera!

Aug 13, 2008
smackdown in Pennsylvania

Unusal restaurant for dinner date in Philadelphia?

I love Little Fish at 6th and Catharine - it's a byob so you easily save money on the drinks. It is a small little restaurant that has a great neighborhood feel to it and excellent seafood. I'd also recommend Effies - a greek byob at 11th and Pine that has a cute backyard patio you can sit in.

Aug 13, 2008
smackdown in Pennsylvania

Mexican restaurant suggestions (with child)

For fantastic, authentic Colombian and/or Cuban I'd recommend Tierra Colombiana at 4535 N 5th St. It's definitely family friendly, they have delicious food and you can easily find parking on the street. We have never had a problem (in terms of safety).

As for south philly mexican places - i love Taqueria Veracruzana (on Washington Ave and 9th - easy enough street parking) extremely laid back, casual and huge portions. Of course there's also Los Taquitos de Puebla that has the most amazing tacos al pastor (1149 S 9th St)

Aug 12, 2008
smackdown in Pennsylvania

Entertaining LA fashionistas in Philly..

I would say Buddakan is a must for your group. In terms of atmosphere and the Garces' places, I think Distrito is more fun, young.
In terms of a swank lounge for after dinner there is a (relatively) new place called G that is right across from your hotel - I'm not sure if they serve food, and I haven't been but I know it's where the celebrities hit up now when they come through town.

Aug 12, 2008
smackdown in Pennsylvania

Rittenhouse - Outdoor seating - BYO

Another board favorite - Branzino, is located on 17th between Locust and Spruce.

Aug 01, 2008
smackdown in Pennsylvania

Best Bars in Philly

Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately for me) any place I would recommend as an excellent, top line bar would be unable to handle 30 people easily on a Saturday night. The only places that come to mind are along Delaware Ave or Finnigan's Wake - none that I would ever label best bar or even tolerable though.

Jul 31, 2008
smackdown in Pennsylvania

Romantic Anniv dinner in the city

Tangerine is definitely different in vibe and food from Continental. I'm sure you can find menu and photos online. I think it definitely fits a romantic night out - though I think it's also dependent on how you define "romantic"
We absolutely love Osteria - went the first time for a special occasion, had a really wonderful, relaxed dinner, great wine, great service. It is definitely pricey though. Since then we have even wandered in and sat at the bar with glasses of wine, pizza and apps. It is definitely a 'special occasion' restaurant.
I think between the two you have very different vibes going on - Tangerine has probably dimmer lighting, a more mediterrean/middle eastern feel. Osteria is definitely brighter, feels bigger/more open, etc.
Though I dont think you'd go wrong with either.

Jul 30, 2008
smackdown in Pennsylvania