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Restaurants & Bars

A six-restaurant weekend

NCetr | Apr 5, 2007 04:56 PM

Hi all,

Two of my girlfriends from NC came up last weekend and eating featured prominently. Here's our dining sampler:

1. While I was at the office, they ducked into Liberty Place and found a popcorn store (sorry don't remember the name!). The chocolate covered popcorn was wonderful and we at it off and on all weekend.

2. First night dinner at Amada. We had a friendly, knowledgeable waiter and he helped make this one of the best meals I've had in Philly since moving here last November. Highlights include the selection of three cheeses (aged manchego with truffled lavender honey, cana de cabra with fig and cherry marmalade and gallego with white sangria and cherry honey); spanish octopus; lamb meatballs with shaved manchego; serano ham and fig salad with cabrales and spiced almonds; and two kinds of flatbread, including one with short ribs (sounds weird but tastes great). We were stuffed and actually took a few bites home. The advice of three plates per person was too much for us! We waddled back to my place.

3. Lunch at Reading Terminal. Two of us split the roast pork with sharp provie from DiNic's and one had salmon with curry sauce from the Thai Market (I get this for take-out dinner many evenings, only $7 for a huge piece of salmon, broccoli, rice and a coconut milk curry sauce). We ended on a sweet note with an almond cookie and pecan bar from Termini's.

4. Dinner at Buddakan. I know it's probably over-hyped but it's got a nice buzz about it and both girls had heard about it. We again ordered two much food. One order of angry lobster was more than enough for the three of us. The lobster sits on top of a mess of mashed potatoes and lots of veggies in a sweetish curry sauce. The asian barbecue pork had the best flavor and an onion ring on top the size of a '45 (that's a small vinyl record for you younger folks). We were pretty ticked off that they were out of one of the nightly fish specials -- our reservation was at 6:30pm, for cryin' out loud, why offer a special if you run out that early?! We had sea bass instead, it was good but not outstanding. Oh, and we started with an order of steamed dumplings (to die for) and a caesar salad. Instead of getting dessert there, we went over to Naked Chocolate, where we had lattes and shared an oreo cookie tart. Another "full" day!

5. Saturday brunch at Marathon Grill on 17th. Baked eggs (watery), granola with yogurt and poached eggs with turkey sausage. Just what we needed after what was consumed the day before.

6. Dinner at Cafe de Laos. Sound like a strange choice? Our waiter at Amada had recommended it so we decided to give it a go. It's in a quiet part of the city (I think 11th and Washington) but the food was excellent and all three of us ate for less than 50 bucks. We decided to order an appetizer (a Laotian sampler which was ok) and two mains. One was "burning girl," which was a guinea hen stuffed with rice and set on fire at the table (strange choice of description). Two of us drank wine we brought ourselves, one girl had a tea drink that was mixed with condensed milk and half and half. A real low-cal treat! We walked to South Street after that (a little scary, absolutely no people or signs of life on the way ther)

7. Brunch at the Continental in Center City. We were seated upstairs and the "groovy" bench seat was so worn out we were nearly leaning into the booth behind us. After getting re-seated, we shared a big asian chicken salad, lobster mac and cheese (good but way overpriced) and a bowl of miso soup (we had good, healthy intentions but didn't eat much of it). A decent nosh, the location is nearly better than the food.

8. A couple of stops at DiBrunos. One afternoon we shared a Toblerone Bar and nearly went into a sugar coma (that's a good thing) and the next day chocolate-covered biscotti.

I can't believe we ate all that! Tried to temper the caloric load with lots of walking, but I'm pretty sure we ended the weekend heavier than what we started. Another great eating weekend in Philadelphia.

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