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Old 04-06-2011, 04:20 PM   #16
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Re: Philadelphia: Places to go, bars to visit etc

Never heard of Christine's. And if Daydreams is the place I think it is, I wouldn't recommend it.

Problem with Delilah's is that theres no ATM in the place (which I suppose is a good thing, but is a pain in the ass when you legit need cash since place is no credit). Delilah's had best calibur of all strip clubs I've been to in Philly (which is only a handful, admittedly).

Gold Club has the feel of your buddy's basement with naked chicks. There is usually someone standing outside with coupons ($10 for 2 people, or something like that), so keep your eyes peeled for that if you go there.
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Old 04-06-2011, 07:11 PM   #17
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Re: Philadelphia: Places to go, bars to visit etc

I'm sitting home bored so I put a little effort into this:

another Manayunk'er over here; graduated Drexel in 06


Drink
Drinkers is totally meh and only a good happy hour spot in my opinion. Same with it's sister bar Noche. Both have decent specials and you can buy 40s at drinkers!

Buffalo Billiards in Olde City is a great place to go if you want to play pool, shoot darts, nice change of pace.. there is also a brewery across the street which I have been to once and is pretty nice.

Eulogy is many beer drinkers favorite bar in Philly and it's also in Olde City.. Monk's Cafe in Rittenhouse is another Belgian bar with belgian beers and decent burgers (burgers are overatted imo).

Manayunk Bike Race is definitely a great excuse to come visit Philly for the weekend, a fun day in the sun (hopefully) with lots of outdoor drinking/partying.

Erin Express is also a fun weekend. It occurs the 2 weekends near St. Pattys. For a complete **** show, head to University City. For a similar experience but a little more low key, hit the Irish bars in Rittenhouse/Center City. Also head to McPattyfest at McFaddens around 5 or 6 pm that's where all the lushes head for the post party and Mr. Greengenes is usually playing there.

Ladder 15 isn't a bad bar, I think it's 23 and over so the crowd is a bit more sophisticated (but not by much).

Drinks at Continental Midtown (Stephen Starr) on the roof with the fireplace going in the winter or outside in the summer is a great place. It's also a great happy hour scene after work. They have decent cocktail specials and food specials from like 5-7.

Davio's is another good secret happy hour spot. They give you free food while you sit there and drink and it's all delicous. I recommend the cheesesteak spring rolls which you dip into a ketchup that has whiz on top, so yum.


Food

Definitely check out every Jose Garces (iron chef) restaurant:

Amada (tapas) is probably the best (recommendations: clams with chorizo, crab stuffed peppers, lamb meatballs, beef shortrib bacon parmesan and horseradish flatbread, serrano ham, baked goat cheese to name a few).

Tinto (tapas) is also delicious. Recommend the flourless chocolate cake for dessert if they have it.

Village Whiskey has one of the best burgers in the city which you can customize and top with things like a perfectly cooked egg over easy, crab, onions, bacon, etc... I recommend the pickled heirloom tomatoes as well they are freakin so good and so flavorful. They also make some amazing drinks (esp whiskey obv) but also sell stuff like absinthe (american version)

Distrito is a pretty cool mexican place; $2 tecate cans all the time; great tacos, dips, margaritas, etc.

Haven't been to JG Domestic, Garces Trading Co, or Chifa (tapas) yet but others can add for those..

Cheesesteak - Tony Luke's is the best imo it's down by the stadiums on oregon ave, followed by Pats (like 7th and passyunk ave?).. Genos, Delassandros (manayunk), and jim's all chop up the meat too fine imo and Tony Luke's somehow isn't greasy. The restaurant across from the stand ain't bad either pretty good food; Also, Tony Luke's has a great pork italian with broccoli rabe. Abners is also not very good unless drunk (I lived across the street in Hamilton Court for a year, trust me I know).

Soft Pretzels - try Philly Pretzel factory, they're everywhere and they're delicious

Falaffel - we have some pretty decent falaffel places in Philly, my favorite is Mama's on 20th between chestnut and market

Bobby's Burger Palace - it's in University City and run by Bobby Flay.. delicious burgers with great sauces to put on the burger.

Reading Terminal -

Rick's? that has the great pork sandwiches as well;
13th street cantina isn't bad for some simple mexican, there are a few other interesting places to eat as well.

Chinese - Late night chinese food in Chinatown is always a good time. Several places open until 4 am and perfect for drunken eats late at night and a place to sit down. Some even serve alcohol and a couple are BYOB late night which is fun. Try David's Place if you're clueless.

Other great restaurants:
Lolita - BYOT (Bring Your Own Tequila) - they give you the margarita mixed in a pitcher (flavors I've seen are blood orange, watermelon and mint, strawberry and basil, traditional but they change daily) .. pitcher is around 15 bucks then you pour the tequila in yourself.. can also bring non-tequila booze if you like.. food is good, beef tenderloin is delicious

Chloe - BYOB in olde city area - great food, I guess it's american style cuisine.. I hiiiiiiiiiighly recommend the bbq pork ribs.. freaking delicious. Their grilled romaine salad is great too. All the fish specials are always tasty looking as well but I always get the ribs (haven't been there in a couple years though)

Stephen Starr - Alma de Cuba and El Vez - both are cuban/mexican themed and good places to get some good expensive drinks and good food. Buddakan is great asian food. He just opened an English Pub type place called The Dandelion which is supposed to be pretty awesome. POD has sushi in university city. Morimoto has great sushi and some good kobe beef that's down in olde city. Parc is highly recommended in Rittenhouse and has been on the Food network a few times. All Stephen Starr restaurants are good date spots (swanky scene with good food).


I haven't been to Vetri or Zahav (israeli) but have heard really, really good things about both spots

Casinos

They're starting to pop up around Philly, currently only one in the city which is in Fishtown called Sugarhouse which has table games and slots only. The limits tend to be pretty high during peak hours ($25 min tables) mainly because of popularity since they're new; They plan to triple the size but they had to open up so they could start making money. Not sure if they plan to add a poker room eventually or not.

Harrah's chester is 20 minutes outside of Philly in a shady town but the casino area isn't bad and it's pretty nice inside (although you feel like you're in an office building) - they do have poker at Harrah's Chester;

Parx - I haven't been there since they added table games/poker room but have heard good things.


Other Stuff

Italian market is a pretty cool area to walk around on a nice day, lots of fresh produce and stuff for pretty reasonable prices. They have a couple butchers which allow for a lot of different meats, also some fresh seafood, stuff you wouldn't find in the grocery store.

A walk down Kelly Drive on a nice day is also a decent activity and a good place to run (although I've only walked it probably 5 times in 10 years).

Northern Liberties is an up and coming area with a few bars/restaurant.. great bowling alley called North Bowl on 2nd street in NoLibs. Great bar food, good bowling, great tater tots, but a little expensive but a fun night and they have some discounted nights like sunday and monday ... It's upscale similar to Lucky Strike which we also have in Philly which is near broad and spruce.

The Piazza in NoLibs is also pretty cool and they show Phillies games outside on the big screen and also hold small concerts and stuff as well as have some good bars food.. cool place to check out. I haven't been to the restaurants but they looked decent.

Definitely try and go to Philly sports venues, Phillies, Eagles, Flyers etc. We also have soccer down in Chester if that's you're thing, I heard people enjoyed it. Phillies venue is so much fun on a summer day and you're guaranteed to see an ace pitch every 4/5 games!

Helium Comedy Club - only been here once but definitely plan on going back. They get some big names and some smaller names but it's a lot of fun.

Mohagony Cigar Bar - great place to smoke a cigar and drink a scotch. I never realized how much I loved both before Mohagany. Great spot to hit after work or to start your night on the weekend (but you will stank afterwards).

Hotels

Don't know much about Hotels, we have some boutique-ish ones I don't know much about then we also have the 4 seasons, Ritz, Westin, etc.. No W hotels or anything too fancy

Movies

I recommend going to what used to be called the Bridge (not sure what it is now it has a new name) at 40th and walnut, it's a bit pricey but you can actually reserve a specific seat which is great. UA on Delaware ave is kind of shady, the Ritz theatres are an interesting experience but outdated (non stadium seating)...

Manayunk:

I've lived here like 7 years (way too long imo).. the nightlife scene is very college oriented as it's more of a yuppy town. Nowhere is really that good foodwise and the only place I would say is worth eating at is Cooper's Brick Oven pizza and Wine Bar, good pizzas and other foods like mussels, etc. Hickaru is Hibachi and is a fun experience with a group, their sushi sucks though. Brew Pub is the best summer drink scene out on the back deck, Mad River is a college frat party type bar, Bayou is a great sports bar more for the atmosphere than the TVs, they also have decent wings (Mad River has decent wings and pretzel bites btw). Flatrock has a cool beer selection but is a pretty beat scene. Kildaire's is a disaster in every way and a terrible bar (yet i went there every weekend for like 2 years straight). Couch Tomato is great pizza/salads/wraps and has good semi-healthy eats. Also Mauchismo isn't a bad burrito spot. Also a cigar club opened in Manayunk that is BYOB it's called Ashes near Green Lane.
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Old 04-06-2011, 07:19 PM   #18
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Re: Philadelphia: Places to go, bars to visit etc

oh and who would guess that the prime rib at "The Prime Rib" restaurant is freakin delish
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Old 04-06-2011, 07:21 PM   #19
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Re: Philadelphia: Places to go, bars to visit etc

Oh and for the above question:

Try Oasis outside of the city
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Old 04-06-2011, 07:55 PM   #20
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Re: Philadelphia: Places to go, bars to visit etc

Nice post, thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kylephilly View Post

Other Stuff

Movies

I recommend going to what used to be called the Bridge (not sure what it is now it has a new name) at 40th and walnut, it's a bit pricey but you can actually reserve a specific seat which is great.
http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?se...cal&id=7221808


Two side questions. First, on movie theaters, unless I am missing something, Philadelphia is absolutely pathetic. How is there not a Loews or something in Center City? The Bridge is the best theater around me but it's not really close and you have to deal with the lame combo of Penn kids and West Philadelphia ghetto trash. All the other ones around here are Ritzes and they rarely seem to show the hot new movies. Last year when Iron Man 2 came out it wasn't playing anywhere except Northeast Philly for weeks. (Granted I'm happy I saved that money.) But WTF, this is the sixth biggest city in the country. Where in the **** is the big chain movie theater?

Second, how is late night transportation between Manayunk and Center City? (Late night meaning 11 given Philly's wonderful schedules.)
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Old 04-06-2011, 08:40 PM   #21
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Re: Philadelphia: Places to go, bars to visit etc

I usually don't take SEPTA home after a night out, however, they now have extended service that runs until I think like 1:45 am between manayunk and the city.

The only other big theater I can think of is UA Riverview on Delaware Ave and it gets sketchy there too
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Old 04-07-2011, 12:31 PM   #22
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Re: Philadelphia: Places to go, bars to visit etc

A small group of us really enjoyed a classical French place called Bibou while we were visiting Philly in the Fall.

Below is a food and wine review of our first experience. Our return trip a few days later we found to be not as good, mostly because our group was different and we had to sit at two tables, but also because the menu didn't quite meet the first time's level of excellence (sweetbreads replaced the squab, which was a miss among our less adventurous eaters, and I don't even remember what replaced the marrow, but it was obviously forgettable; the star of the second menu was a Chanterelle bisque, which was phenomenal).

The first part describes the wine that was brought from one of the diners' private cellars. The second part describes the food experience.

Quote:
The hole-in-the-wall French bistro was started by the former chef of Le Bec Fin, Pierre, and his wife, Charlotte. They are a BYOB, which means one can bring wines as he chooses with no corkage. They have certainly seen a few all-star lineups, their site even lists a glowing review by Robert Parker with his wine selection. There is an empty bottle of 1982 Haut Brion on the shelf, which may be the one from the wine critic. First off, the wines (on a Decanter twenty-point scale where one rarely ventures below ten, and fourteen is par for each wine and each course)

Chateau Carbonnieux Blanc 1999 - subtle floral notes of melon and mineral. While lighter than a Fieuzal or Cantelys, this well balanced wine has enough substance to contrast a rich bisque. Long finish. 15

d'Arenberg Dead Arm Shiraz 1998 - the spicy and decadent nose gives way to layer upon layer of red fruit, black fruit and earth. Decant both to filter the sediment and allow the wine to open up slightly. 16

Chateau Lynch Bages 1985 - still a massive wine with well-integrated tannins. The primary cassis flavours have largely given way to secondary flavours of leather, cedar and peat moss. Though very fine, it lacks the refinement of more recent Lynch Bages or super seconds from that year. 17

We each had the seven-course dinner, which they offered for $70. With tax and tip, this came out to $100, but a couple of my teammates certainly indicated that they got a great value for their money. We list the courses along with the wines

Lobster bisque (Carbonneiux) - The smooth shellfish broth was rich and flavourful, all the shellfish, sherry and vegetable components could be tasted separately. Yet they were so well integrated and complemented the lobster well. And as mentioned above, this is where the Carbonnieux fared best. 16.5

Wild Scottish hare pate (Carbonnieux) - This came with a cabbage salad and orange ginger jam. With a leaner composition, coarser texture and gamier flavour, this stands out from the traditional pate experience. The pate itself called for a weightier white, but the orange brought out the minerality from the wine. The course was good, but seemed somewhat out of place in the lineup. Though pates are traditionally second or third, it seems that it would have been appropriate after the sturgeon and maybe better with the shiraz. 14.5

Sturgeon (Carbonnieux) - I order smoked sturgeon weekly from the farmer's market in California, and was very pleased with the medium rare preparation here. It came with sea grass, cucumber, endive and caviar. This is the first time we really noticed that the textures are phenomenally well balanced in all these courses. The al dente sea grass, similar in density to the stem section of many herbs, was neither overwhelmingly bitter nor out of place. 16

Foie gras (d'Arenberg) - A poached half pear and a bit of pumpkin toast came with the red wine sauce and grilled foie gras. Certainly a red wine preparation rather than a Sauternes preparation, it brought out the spicy red fruit in the shiraz. Savouring the fine smooth texture of the foie, I closed my eyes a few too many times and allowed the sauce drip on my lap. But nothing that the cleaners couldn't take care of, and I certainly would come back just for this. Very fine. 18.5

Bone marrow (Lynch Bages) - This dish came with an arugula salad and roasted potatoes; the marrow itself with a breadcrumb, shallot, mushroom preparation. As with the shellfish broth, each component was distinctive and in place. However, we thought that the breadcrumbs were a bit too crisp and masked the softer texture expected of the marrow. Merely good, we think perhaps they toned it down for the American palate. 14

Roasted squab breast and duck confit (Lynch Bages) - The birds came with a red wine sauce and pureed potatoes. The crisp skin on each part really gave the dish some complexity. I do not normally eat poultry, since I do not like the texture of chicken. However, these were so much more flavourful and consistent that I picked up the bones to lick the meat off. It brought out some of the tertiary notes in the Lynch Bages, but in the end, the wine overpowered the dish. 15.5

Dessert - Many things to share off the dessert cart, including blood orange sorbet, lemon sorbet, chocolate ice cream, chocolate cake, chocolate mousse, creme caramel, a peach tart and coconut macaroons. I had it with French press coffee, since we did not bring the bottle of Sauternes. For each item, the texture was balanced and the flavours not overly sweet. I especially enjoyed the intensity of the lemon sorbet and the chocolate cake. 13-15.5

What made the dining experience special was the chef Pierre, who came out and chatted with us about the meal halfway through. Though this is standard in the first rate French restaurants, there is little of that here in America. His wife Charlotte was a great hostess and put up with the reservation changing from two to six to four. As my teammates said, she even thought well of the wine selection and asked the waiter the year of the Lynch Bages. I certainly did not mind, since I spotted the empty Haut Brion 1982 bottle sitting on the ledge and looked at that too.
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Old 04-07-2011, 02:11 PM   #23
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Re: Philadelphia: Places to go, bars to visit etc

Just had lunch at El Rey, it was pretty good traditional style mexican between 19th and 20th on chestnut (the old midtown diner)

they have a happy hour 5-6:30 with $1 tacos (fish, pork, chicken, steak i believe) i had the fish for lunch and they were decent; they also have $2 tecate, $3 corono, and $4 margaritas during those hours

there is also apparently a speakeasy attached to the restaurant that opens at 7
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Old 04-07-2011, 03:15 PM   #24
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Re: Philadelphia: Places to go, bars to visit etc

Quote:
Originally Posted by kylephilly View Post
Just had lunch at El Rey, it was pretty good traditional style mexican between 19th and 20th on chestnut (the old midtown diner)

they have a happy hour 5-6:30 with $1 tacos (fish, pork, chicken, steak i believe) i had the fish for lunch and they were decent; they also have $2 tecate, $3 corono, and $4 margaritas during those hours

there is also apparently a speakeasy attached to the restaurant that opens at 7
yeah, i live right there (23rd and walnut) but have yet to go there, but i've heard the happy hour is very solid.

and as for the speakeasy, its called the Ranstead Room (since the main door to it is on Ranstead, but you can also enter through the kitchen). I guess it's trying to be like Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co., with snacks.

Not sure if Franklin Mortgage has been mentioned in this thread, but it's a great place for cocktails, and it's never crowded because you must have a seat to be in there. It's obv pricey, but a cool place to go for a couple hours.
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Old 04-07-2011, 03:17 PM   #25
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Re: Philadelphia: Places to go, bars to visit etc

also, kyle's write up is very solid. I +1 everything said. There are some more things I could add, but I don't feel like typing it all out.
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Old 04-07-2011, 03:31 PM   #26
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Re: Philadelphia: Places to go, bars to visit etc

I went to Tinto in October and just hit up Amada last night. I'll at least TR Amada, but it might take me a couple days to get to it. I might have a Tinto write-up somewhere, but I'll have to look.

fwiw, Amada was excellent, and Tinto was solid.
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Old 04-07-2011, 08:47 PM   #27
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Re: Philadelphia: Places to go, bars to visit etc

Glad to see this thread. Just this evening I received a job offer that will take me to Philly and I'm curious about where I should live and the cost of living in the city. The relevenant issues pertaining to me are...

-I'm 23
-I like to go out, drink and socialize
-This will be my first post graduation job to start my career
-I will be working near King of Prussia or out that way in general
-I will have a car and won't mind a commute to work, although I would like it to be less than 40 min via train or car
-Salary will be pretty good for a college graduate, but I won't be making i-banking money or anything like that. Money is a factor for living based on college loans and other things that need to be paid.
-I am moving from Chicago and would start work in September (not sure if this is relevant but can't hurt to put it in)

Any suggestions on neighborhoods to live in? What are typical apartment prices like, both one br and two br (assuming I find a roommate)? If someone has insight into this, what is the cost of living compared to that of Chicago or Boston?

Thanks for the responses.
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Old 04-07-2011, 11:57 PM   #28
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Re: Philadelphia: Places to go, bars to visit etc

Look out for Center City Sips as the as spring flows into summer. Every Wednesday a bunch of bars and restaurants downtown have great specials and promotions. A lot of fun and a lot of young people.
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Old 04-08-2011, 12:03 AM   #29
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Re: Philadelphia: Places to go, bars to visit etc

Not from Philly, but have been to McGillin's and highly recommend it.
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Old 04-08-2011, 06:43 AM   #30
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Re: Philadelphia: Places to go, bars to visit etc

Chitown, off the top of my head I would look into Northwest Philly--Manayunk, Chestnut Hill, East Falls. Ask kylephilly. It's basically the safest area of the city (crime is definitely a concern in choosing where to live in Philadelphia), closest to KoP, and has a good scene. You could live in Center City of course, but for me a lot of the benefit of C.C. is being able to walk to work, and the C.C-KoP commute, while not long, is kinda soul-crushing.
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