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March 12, 2005

Blogging (and dining) from Beantown

This month has included a lot of traveling on the weekends; I've enjoyed packing them pretty full. Both Philadelphia and Boston are great weekends from New York, and you can get a lot of weekend in on a decent budget.

Random Notes:

Food experiences - New Saigon Sandwich is on Washington off Kneeland less than a block from the Wang Center and I have been longing for Banh Mi (Vietnamese Hero) from there since I was in Boston last October. Heaven on a baguette for $2.50 and the perfect pre-theater snack.

Pho Pasteur is two doors down, and I finally had a more authentic Vietnamese Pho (noodle soup) with the ingredients (tendon, tripe) I usually avoid. I did fine until I actually thought about what I was eating. $5.75 for an enormous bowl.

Slightly more upscale on Newbury past Exeter (what's the "F" block named again?) was Kashmir, which served good vegetarian food (it balances out the beef tendon, doncha know).

When I arrived late on Friday night I was having a serious nostalgic fish craving. There used to be a diner style restaurant in Waltham, where I went to college, called simply Waltham Seafood. It was the kind of place with formica tables and paper placemats where they served fresh fish on white plates with a maroon stripe around the rim. The fish was fresh, fried or broiled as you wished and served with a potato and vegetables. Haddock, sole or scrod. I had a huge craving for a plain old fish dinner at a plain old place like that.

Getting into town at ten pm I figured I would have to take what was open. Legal Seafoods is catty corner to my hotel so I decided to give it a try. I had a nice seafood combo, but it didn't satisfy the nostalgia craving. What I really wanted was my memory of broiled sole served on a white plate with a baked potato wrapped in foil. I saw my friend Dale the next day and he told me that Waltham Seafood closed a few years back. I'm not sure where you can get that kind of simple, cheap seafood dinner anymore.

Posted by Leigh Witchel at March 12, 2005 12:09 PM

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I love Legal Seafood. I especially enjoy their clam chowder! YUM!

Posted by: Steve at March 13, 2005 2:09 AM

Any food tips for Philly?

Posted by: Anonymous at March 13, 2005 5:42 PM

Singapore at 10th and Race.

It's Chinese Vegetarian, and the dish to order is the Orange "Beef". I say this as a carnivore, it is tastier than the meat version.

Posted by: Leigh Witchel at March 13, 2005 11:22 PM

Thanks. That was me up there. I've been to pa ballet a bunch of times but either never manage to get there for more than a quick dash to the theater or I've eaten at boring places like Cosi. Any more?

Posted by: Dale B at March 14, 2005 8:16 PM

I asked a couple of friends from Philadelphia, and I hope they'll post their ideas.

Posted by: Leigh Witchel at March 15, 2005 11:18 AM

A couple of ideas not too far from the Academy of Music for a good dinner in Philadelphia:

Sansom Street between 20th and 21st
EXCELLENT Italian food, with a fun and homey atmsphere- BYOB, no reservations, and usually a line after 6:00 (WELL WORTH THE WAIT).

Cafe Habana
21st Street North of Sansom
MOJITOS!! and excellent Cuban cuisine...the ropa viejo is delish

13th Street North of Sansom
Fun and delicious Mexican food, with the added attraction of a bring your own tequila margarita service. BYOB

Sansom at 18th (? 19th ?)
Relaxed and casual wine bar, open late and ideal for an aftershow drink and some good nibbles. Elegant and reasonable sandwiches and appetizers.

Hope these are useful to people: these are some of my favorites for pre/post show relaxing

Mike in Philly

Posted by: Mike at March 15, 2005 10:19 PM

OK, Mike. I'm comin' down for another visit and we're sampling.

(and thank you!!!)

Posted by: Leigh Witchel at March 16, 2005 12:05 AM

I haven't been out much lately (not wanting to inflict my toddler on the other diners :-) ), but here are two places in the area I'd like to try based on their writeup in Philadelphia Style:

Monkey Bar @ 2029 Walnut Street, 215-557-0296 - Fun decor in old Victorian row house. Food is supposed to be good/upscale trendy.

Loie Brasserie & Bar 128 S. 19th Street 215-556-0808 - Near Rittenhouse Square which is neat to walk around. French American bistro fare, Artsy.

Posted by: Connie Foster at March 18, 2005 12:20 AM

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