48 hours in Philly.....suggestions

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Jorge Henriquez
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48 hours in Philly.....suggestions

#1 Post by Jorge Henriquez »

Quickie weekend getaway Nov. 5th to 7th. Staying in City Center. Already have one dinner ressie ironed out, 2nd one is pending.

Suggestions for during the day are appreciated. Taking Friday off, so we can be in the city early on. Want to do at least one of the brewery tours on Saturday (Yards, Philly Brewing, Nodding Head). Will have a car, so a drive somewhere not too far off is doable. Aside from Museums, Liberty Bell, etc. what else should be not miss?

Already got one suggestion for cheesesteaks (John's in South Philly if I'm not mistaken) but any others would be welcomed. What about Sunday brunch? The Cochon menu looked mighty appetizing.

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Re: 48 hours in Philly.....suggestions

#2 Post by Brian Tuite »

Don't drink the water
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Re: 48 hours in Philly.....suggestions

#3 Post by Jorge Henriquez »

Brian Tuite wrote:Don't drink the water
Ummm, thanks??

Now how about something a little more "helpful"?
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Re: 48 hours in Philly.....suggestions

#4 Post by Joe Dulworth »

You can pretty easily spend a full day, probably more if you'd like, in the historical section of Philly. Basically starting at the waterfront and heading back towards city center and see everything from Betsy Ross house, National Constitution Center, Liberty Bell, Congress Hall, Old City Hall, Freedom Hall, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, etc... Here's a link to a site with a good map:

http://www.theconstitutional.com/selfguided/index.php#

We did brunch at Garces Trading Company. We really enjoyed it. They didn't have their liquor license so you probably can still BYOB if you'd like. If not they have a small "boutique" PLCB store on premises. Here's a link:

http://www.garcestradingcompany.com/

Ask 10 people about the best cheesesteak in Philly you'll likely get 8-10 different answers. It's a religion kind of thing. John's definitely pops up a lot. So does Pat's. Gino's is pretty popular as well. Between those three you can hit the highlights and gain about 10 lbs in one weekend.

I posted a lot of stuff about this on my blog if you'd like to read through it. We were there in September doing the exact same thing. If you don't want to hit the blog I'd be happy to cross post anything over here as well.
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Re: 48 hours in Philly.....suggestions

#5 Post by Joe Dulworth »

Oh, btw, if you want one of the best and obscenely large pastrami (or other types) of sandwich hit up 4th Street Deli.
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Re: 48 hours in Philly.....suggestions

#6 Post by Jorge Henriquez »

Thank you Joe. I'll definitely read through your blog over the weekend.

As for pastrami......umm, is it better than what you can get in NYC? [snort.gif]
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Re: 48 hours in Philly.....suggestions

#7 Post by Joe Dulworth »

I'd have to say I actually liked my 4th Street Deli pastrami better than my Katz pastramini. Not by a large margin but I did like it better. iirc the fries they served at 4th Street were killer. Believe it or not we actually went there about 9AM on a Sunday morning for breakfast and had pastrami sandwiches! [wow.gif]
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Re: 48 hours in Philly.....suggestions

#8 Post by Kevin Porter »

Definitely check out the Reading Terminal Market - http://www.readingterminalmarket.org/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;. In fact, go to DiNic's for roast pork instead of the cheesesteak (or in addition to).

The museum of art is a no-brainer, but the Rodin museum on the Parkway is well-worth a visit.

I've never done the brewery tour, but if you're into craft beer there are lots of great 'gastro-pubs'. Kraftwerk in Northern Liberties has been getting great press.

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Re: 48 hours in Philly.....suggestions

#9 Post by Brian Tuite »

Jorge Henriquez wrote:
Brian Tuite wrote:Don't drink the water
Ummm, thanks??

Now how about something a little more "helpful"?
Suit yourself. Thought I was being helpful.

Philadelphia Daily News Oct 19th - Nuke plant's water pumped

State environmental officials say the operator of the Oyster Creek nuclear-power plant, in Lacey Township, Ocean County, has stepped up efforts to remove water contaminated by radioactive tritium from the ground underneath the plant.

State Environmental Commissioner Bob Martin said a larger well has been added to pump out the water and prevent any possible contamination of drinking-water supplies. Exelon Corp. began pumping last month. Martin said there's no sign of radioactive material outside the plant.
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Re: 48 hours in Philly.....suggestions

#10 Post by Ken V »

I suggest going to Bethlehem instead! neener

I can give you Mark Squires email address if you want more ideas. [stirthepothal.gif]
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Re: 48 hours in Philly.....suggestions

#11 Post by Ken V »

OK, here's a totally serious suggestion:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%BCtter_Museum" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

http://www.collphyphil.org/visit_mutter.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

This place is weird but fascinating.

They even have one of Zach's ancestors:

Image
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Re: 48 hours in Philly.....suggestions

#12 Post by Bob Hughes »

BTW, not to diss Joe Dulworth, but if there is such a thing as a "tourist trap" when it comes to cheesesteakaries, Pat's & Geno's certainly qualify - unless they live on that corner, or unless (as I have been) you are more than half in the bag at 2:00 a.m., no self-respecting Philadelphian considers these two choices anywhere near the upper echelon.

Jorge, one of the facts about cheesesteaks is that virtually all of the best are not within walking distance of your hotel (and most are in non-Center City neighborhoods). However, one that will be convenient if you are walking around the historic district is Sonny's on Market - here's a review:

http://www.10best.com/destinations/penn ... us-steaks/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Not as good as John's, IMO, but very close and walking distance from the Historic district.

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Re: 48 hours in Philly.....suggestions

#13 Post by Joe Dulworth »

Bob, diss away. neener

I agree, John's is at the top of the heap. As I said, lot's of opinions on this one.
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Re: 48 hours in Philly.....suggestions

#14 Post by Dan Hammer »

I've been to Pats and Ginos. That said, Jim's on 4th street is where this picky New Yorker goes.

Brunch

Surprised no one mentioned Sabrina's. http://www.sabrinascafe.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Go to the one near the Italian Market. Arrive early. Expect to wait. Order the french toast (enough for 2). Thank me later.
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Re: 48 hours in Philly.....suggestions

#15 Post by Philip Ente »

Joe Dulworth wrote:I'd have to say I actually liked my 4th Street Deli pastrami better than my Katz pastramini. Not by a large margin but I did like it better. iirc the fries they served at 4th Street were killer. Believe it or not we actually went there about 9AM on a Sunday morning for breakfast and had pastrami sandwiches! [wow.gif]

What kind of cheese did you have on your pastrami sandwich?

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Re: 48 hours in Philly.....suggestions

#16 Post by Joe Dulworth »

Don't recall.
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Re: 48 hours in Philly.....suggestions

#17 Post by Dan Hammer »

Philip Ente wrote:

What kind of cheese did you have on your pastrami sandwich?


Phil, don't make fun of him.

If you ever order cheese on your deli sandwich in New York, they'll know you're a tourist. Now about that glass of milk. [rofl.gif]
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Re: 48 hours in Philly.....suggestions

#18 Post by Philip Ente »

Dan Hammer wrote:
Philip Ente wrote:

What kind of cheese did you have on your pastrami sandwich?


Phil, don't make fun of him.

If you ever order cheese on your deli sandwich in New York, they'll know you're a tourist. Now about that glass of milk. [rofl.gif]
Sorry Dan, but anyone who orders fries with their Pastrami and then says it's better than Katz's.?????
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Re: 48 hours in Philly.....suggestions

#19 Post by Joe Dulworth »

The fries were ordered for the table to share as we heard they were really good. But hey, you guys have all the fun you can stand.
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Re: 48 hours in Philly.....suggestions

#20 Post by Neil Gilmour »

Brian Tuite wrote:
Jorge Henriquez wrote:
Brian Tuite wrote:Don't drink the water
Ummm, thanks??

Now how about something a little more "helpful"?
Suit yourself. Thought I was being helpful.

Philadelphia Daily News Oct 19th - Nuke plant's water pumped

State environmental officials say the operator of the Oyster Creek nuclear-power plant, in Lacey Township, Ocean County, has stepped up efforts to remove water contaminated by radioactive tritium from the ground underneath the plant.

State Environmental Commissioner Bob Martin said a larger well has been added to pump out the water and prevent any possible contamination of drinking-water supplies. Exelon Corp. began pumping last month. Martin said there's no sign of radioactive material outside the plant.

Fortunately Lacey Township is not in the Philadelphia or suburban watershed.

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Re: 48 hours in Philly.....suggestions

#21 Post by Neil Gilmour »

Are you planning on trying the BYP restaurants? THere are numerous fine restaurants in Philly that let you bring your own. The glassware is all over the place, though, so check ahead if you care.

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Re: 48 hours in Philly.....suggestions

#22 Post by Jorge Henriquez »

Neil Gilmour wrote:Are you planning on trying the BYP restaurants? THere are numerous fine restaurants in Philly that let you bring your own. The glassware is all over the place, though, so check ahead if you care.
Absolutely Neil. Already have reservations at Matyson for Friday night. Wife wants seafood next night, so trying to decide between:

Fish
Oyster House
Devon
Branzino
Upstares at Varellis
Zinc

Leaning toward Fish but any suggestions are welcomed.
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Re: 48 hours in Philly.....suggestions

#23 Post by Neil Gilmour »

Jorge Henriquez wrote:
Neil Gilmour wrote:Are you planning on trying the BYP restaurants? THere are numerous fine restaurants in Philly that let you bring your own. The glassware is all over the place, though, so check ahead if you care.
Absolutely Neil. Already have reservations at Matyson for Friday night. Wife wants seafood next night, so trying to decide between:

Fish
Oyster House
Devon
Branzino
Upstares at Varellis
Zinc

Leaning toward Fish but any suggestions are welcomed.
Have not been to Fish. I like the Sansom Street Oyster House for lunch. The fried oysters and chicken salad is a Philly tradition.

Devon is on Rittenhouse Square next to Parc and another nice place. They have sidewalk tables in nice weather and the square is across the street. Very nice on a warm afternoon. I have not been there for dinner.

It has been years since I was at Upstairs at Varellis.

Most, if not all of these, sell liquor.

Matyson is a great choice. Its a very small restaurant with absolutely outstanding food.

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Re: 48 hours in Philly.....suggestions

#24 Post by bradkaplan »

Was recently in Philly (and used to live there). I would say the Reading Terminal Market is a must (DiNics, pretzels, etc.). I was really not impressed with John's Pork for the cheesesteak or the pork sandwich. On the other hand, Paesano's roast pork with broccoli rabe was out of this world, the best thing I ate in Philly. Also HIGHLY recommend getting gelato at Capogiro - it rivals the best in the US anywhere.

The ARISTA at Paesano's:
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Re: 48 hours in Philly.....suggestions

#25 Post by Neil Gilmour »

bradkaplan wrote:Was recently in Philly (and used to live there). I would say the Reading Terminal Market is a must (DiNics, pretzels, etc.). I was really not impressed with John's Pork for the cheesesteak or the pork sandwich. On the other hand, Paesano's roast pork with broccoli rabe was out of this world, the best thing I ate in Philly. Also HIGHLY recommend getting gelato at Capogiro - it rivals the best in the US anywhere.

The ARISTA at Paesano's:
Image
Pork and broccoli rabe is great but an acqired taste.

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Re: 48 hours in Philly.....suggestions

#26 Post by bradkaplan »

Neil Gilmour wrote:Pork and broccoli rabe is great but an acqired taste.
I acquired it very quickly : )

Yes, you do have to like bitter greens to like this sandwich.

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Re: 48 hours in Philly.....suggestions

#27 Post by Mike Grammer »

Have been there a number of times. Constitution Hall is a must---for this Canadian, amazing completeness to the history of the United States, I was very impressed. Historical district is pretty nice as a whole. Reading Market is fairly good. Di Bruno's (a couple of the Philly BBers tipped me off) at 18th and Market or so has some of the best cheese selection around (and lots of other goodies too).

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Re: 48 hours in Philly.....suggestions

#28 Post by scott c »

Not to turn this into a cheesesteak debate, but Jim's on South Street is the best in the city in my opinion (the qualifier of "in the city" is because the best steak I've ever had is at Pudge's on Rt. 202). I grew up in Philly and got married on the Jersey Shore -- we actually served Jim's Steaks at our rehearsal dinner (along with Lou Malnati's pizza -- my wife is from Chicago).

Definitely go the Contstitution Center -- it is amazing. As for brunch, we recently enjoyed the White Dog Cafe on the UPenn campus.
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Re: 48 hours in Philly.....suggestions

#29 Post by Jorge Henriquez »

Thank you guys. Reading is a definite stop. The pork & rabe sandwich looks amazing.
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Re: 48 hours in Philly.....suggestions

#30 Post by ChrisBeacham »

If you like off the beaten track try the Magic Gardens. http://www.phillymagicgardens.org/.
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Re: 48 hours in Philly.....suggestions

#31 Post by Jorge Henriquez »

Very cool. Looks like something Gaudiesque out of Barcelona.
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Re: 48 hours in Philly.....suggestions

#32 Post by Richard T r i m p i »

Garces Trading Company is a very decent call if you want to snag a bottle at a very fair price (PLCB retail) to go with a bite or meal, very good food. Hard to say how long this option will last with the lawsuit in progress.

Tony Luke's, John's Roast Pork, and Chink's are all solid cheesesteak options although it's probably easier, as a tourist, to stick with Jim's while sightseeing on South Street (at 4th). Bob Hughes is right about Pat's and Geno's.

The Art museum is quite good but booking ahead at the Barnes Foundation (near St Joes University), offers a pretty amazing experience.

Rittenhouse Square offers decent people watching when the weather's nice. The Oyster House and Le Bec Fin are only 3 blocks away. The Prix Fixe lunch at Le Bec is a great deal.

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Re: 48 hours in Philly.....suggestions

#33 Post by Robert Broder »

Barnes is a must see, and must be reserved in advance (online); however, last time there one of the rooms was closed in preparation of paintings being removed for cleaning prior to ultimate move downtown. Heard recently from a docent that several other rooms in the process of/or are closed. Reading Terminal is fine for lunch and DiNics very good. My favorite in the Reading, however is the Sang Kee Peking Duch House. Go for the combination Roast Pork and Duck with Bok Choy and rice. Use the hot oil, but sparingly. If your wife wants fish, she can order from Pearl's Oyster Bar also in the Reading. 80-90 % of the offerings are fresh each day. They will tell you the 10% that were frozen. Nice flounder platter. There are tables in the Reading so you can each order what you want and eat at one of them.

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Re: 48 hours in Philly.....suggestions

#34 Post by Jorge Henriquez »

My thoughts exactly Robert. Looks like it'll be our go to lunch spot since we can hardly agree on a cuisine. BTW, the second reservation ended up being at Amada, Garces' tapas place. Not my choice by a long run but that's what she wanted. They do allow byo, $25, but with the condition that it must be a PLCB bottle and proof of purchase must be shown. Which shop is it that you guys recommend? The one next to Garces Trading Co.?
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Re: 48 hours in Philly.....suggestions

#35 Post by Ted Erfer »

Hope I am not too late for you.......

For seafood - Devon is a chain. I didn't think it was very good.
Samson St. Oyster is very good (I know the owners). It is also a Philly landmark.
Branzino is also good and a BYO - but it is mostly Italian with some good seafood dishes.

I also suggest trying to get the Phila Movie Tour - it is quite interesting. Leaves from the Constitution Center.
Here is a link:
http://moviesitestour.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
You do get to stop at the Rocky statue. They have the movies on DVD in the coach - and play the scenes when you get to the spot.
Lots of movies are made in Phila - and you get to see what the streets look like in "real life" and when Hollywood makes them up.
I found it very interesting.

Matyson was a good choice. Brunch at Sabrina's or Kanella should be on your list of places to consider. Both are very good.

Suggestions earlier are all good.

Have fun in our lovely city -- you won't get caught up in the World Series parade this year:(

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Re: 48 hours in Philly.....suggestions

#36 Post by Cris Whetstone »

Jorge Henriquez wrote:Very cool. Looks like something Gaudiesque out of Barcelona.
And I'm sure you've thought of the perfect matching ensem for that color scheme. [berserker.gif]
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Re: 48 hours in Philly.....suggestions

#37 Post by Jorge Henriquez »

Cris Whetstone wrote:
Jorge Henriquez wrote:Very cool. Looks like something Gaudiesque out of Barcelona.
And I'm sure you've thought of the perfect matching ensem for that color scheme. [berserker.gif]
Hmmm, it was kind of nice when you were MIA for a bit. [middle-finger.gif]

A pretty nice first day yesterday. Drove into town a little before noon, dropped the bags off in our hotel room and immediately hit the pavement in the direction of the Market (exactly 2 blocks south). Walked around for a good while looking at all the stalls and vendors; impressive "little" place you have here Philadelphians. Found DiNics stall and waited a few minutes for a couple of counter seats. I got the roast pork with greens and peppers, my wife got the Italian sausage. Mine was good enough, her's was so much better. The roast pork was not what I had imagined (looked more like thinly sliced deli meat than what I picture roast pork being......Cuban style or similar); in any case, the pulled pork looked much better.
After lunch, walked to all the Old City sites (Independence Hall, et.al.) and did the touristy thing for a good couple of hours.
Kept walking east on Chestnut toward the Delaware river. Ducked into an awesome Belgian pub (Eulogy) for a beer & kick-ass frites afternoon pick me up!
Walking back to the hotel, we stopped by Christ Church and, further west, the old burial grounds.
Dinner at Amada last night was awesome as well. Great, minimalistic decor; friendly, proffesional and attentive service. Tapas portions were huge for what we had in mind and we ended with maybe two or three more dishes than we really needed. Standouts were the croquetas, chorizo a la plancha, a short rib and Parmesan flatbread and a delicious pernil with white beans and orange.
I originally wanted to have an after dinner drink somewhere in the area (apparently Chestnut between 1st & 4th streets gets pretty hopping at night) but we were so stuffed and sleepy that we just tumbled into a cab and called it a night.

Day two begins in a bit!
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Re: 48 hours in Philly.....suggestions

#38 Post by Ken V »

Jorge Henriquez wrote:A pretty nice first day yesterday. Drove into town a little before noon, dropped the bags off in our hotel room and immediately hit the pavement in the direction of the Market (exactly 2 blocks south). Walked around for a good while looking at all the stalls and vendors; impressive "little" place you have here Philadelphians. Found DiNics stall and waited a few minutes for a couple of counter seats. I got the roast pork with greens and peppers, my wife got the Italian sausage. Mine was good enough, her's was so much better. The roast pork was not what I had imagined (looked more like thinly sliced deli meat than what I picture roast pork being......Cuban style or similar); in any case, the pulled pork looked much better.
After lunch, walked to all the Old City sites (Independence Hall, et.al.) and did the touristy thing for a good couple of hours.
Kept walking east on Chestnut toward the Delaware river. Ducked into an awesome Belgian pub (Eulogy) for a beer & kick-ass frites afternoon pick me up!
Walking back to the hotel, we stopped by Christ Church and, further west, the old burial grounds.
Dinner at Amada last night was awesome as well. Great, minimalistic decor; friendly, proffesional and attentive service. Tapas portions were huge for what we had in mind and we ended with maybe two or three more dishes than we really needed. Standouts were the croquetas, chorizo a la plancha, a short rib and Parmesan flatbread and a delicious pernil with white beans and orange.
I originally wanted to have an after dinner drink somewhere in the area (apparently Chestnut between 1st & 4th streets gets pretty hopping at night) but we were so stuffed and sleepy that we just tumbled into a cab and called it a night.

Day two begins in a bit!
Wow, every bit as fascinating as I expected. Image
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Re: 48 hours in Philly.....suggestions

#39 Post by Jorge Henriquez »

Man, I thought rotund people were supposed to be jolly and shit! neener
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Re: 48 hours in Philly.....suggestions

#40 Post by Ken V »

Jorge Henriquez wrote:Man, I thought rotund peoe were supposed to be jolly and shit! neener
Who you callin' a peoe?

WTF is a peoe anyway, Birthday Boy? neener
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Re: 48 hours in Philly.....suggestions

#41 Post by J Sullivan »

Heading to Philadelphia for a long weekend coming up. Haven't been in ages. Any decent wine bar recs?
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Re: 48 hours in Philly.....suggestions

#42 Post by Guillaume Deschamps »

Ken V wrote:Wow, every bit as fascinating as I expected. Image
[rofl.gif]

Honestly about the only memory I have from Philly is posing at the Rocky steps with Nicos (true story) and the fantastic museum next to that (no idea what the name is). As to Philly Cheesesteak, I don't want to sound ungrateful but I wonder how much of a difference the place where it's eaten can really make, given the fare.
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Re: 48 hours in Philly.....suggestions

#43 Post by Tom G l a s g o w »

J Sullivan wrote:Heading to Philadelphia for a long weekend coming up. Haven't been in ages. Any decent wine bar recs?
Nothing like NYC/London. Tria with three locations and Vintage on 13th Street come to mind. a.Kitchen on 18th Street has the geekest wine list. BYOBs are a very good option especially if you bring wine from home, the PLCB doesn't have a very good selection along with dubious handling practices.

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Re: 48 hours in Philly.....suggestions

#44 Post by J Sullivan »

Tom G l a s g o w wrote:
J Sullivan wrote:Heading to Philadelphia for a long weekend coming up. Haven't been in ages. Any decent wine bar recs?
Nothing like NYC/London. Tria with three locations and Vintage on 13th Street come to mind. a.Kitchen on 18th Street has the geekest wine list. BYOBs are a very good option especially if you bring wine from home, the PLCB doesn't have a very good selection along with dubious handling practices.
Thanks!
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Re: 48 hours in Philly.....suggestions

#45 Post by Peter Kleban »

Just had a great meal with some old friend at Aperto in Narbreth (BYOB). A bit out of town (near Bryn Mawr, etc.) but not very far.

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Re: 48 hours in Philly.....suggestions

#46 Post by Ted Erfer »

Peter Kleban wrote:Just had a great meal with some old friend at Aperto in Narbreth (BYOB). A bit out of town (near Bryn Mawr, etc.) but not very far.

That's like a couple of blocks from my house ----- you couldn't call [cheers.gif]

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