Aside from the ridiculous name, this little hole in the wall is actually pretty satisfying. Located in Rittenhouse Square, this place tops other ramen shops in the area, most notably Ramen Bar in University City. Prices are cheaper and the portion sizes are actually rather generous. There are 3 or 4 broths to choose from and you can add extra meat or vegetables for a small price. The only thing that was missing was it didn’t offer kae-dama which is essentially a system that offers you an extra serving of noodles.
From the Ippudo website, “When you have almost finished your first serving of noodles, order by saying, “Kae-dama, please”. In a few minutes the server will bring you another ‘ball of noodles’, and put it in the soup. At that time, you must have enough amount of the soup in the bowl to accommodate the new noodles, that is, you shouldn’t drink much of the soup if you are going to order the Kae-dama.”
The other thing to note about this place is that it accepts only cash or LevelUp. LevelUp is a mobile payment app where you store your credit card info in the app and then scan the QR code on your phone with a special LevelUp scanner that is provided by the restaurant. No need to pull out that credit card any more! Best part of LevelUp is that every time you use it to pay, you save money and by frequently revisiting the same restaurants or frequently paying via LevelUp, you can “level up” and get even more discounts. Mobile payments are the future…
Address: 20 S. 18th St, Philadelphia 19103
Price: $8 for regular, $10 for large
Hours: Daily: 11am-3pm, 5pm-9p
Pork Belly Buns (tasted like poop don’t get them)
Large Shyo Ramen
This contemporary American restaurant is located on the corner of 3rd and Bainbridge, near South Street. It’s a pretty cozy place, with the crowd being a bit older (30’s ~ 40’s). Good place to bring a date (they even have a Valentine’s Day menu already!). Service is friendly, though it takes a while to bring the food, but that just gives more time to talk to your date! Recommendations include the scallop noodles, beets and carrots, octopus, and the wagyu skirt steak!
Address: 627 S 3rd St. Philadelphia, PA 19147
Price: $15 for appetizers, $25 for entrees
Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 5:30pm – 10pm
Beets & Carrots
Wagyu Skirt Steak
Every once in a while, I like to eat crappy Chinese food. Today was one of those days. Stopped at probably the most overpriced Chinese restaurant on campus (why do I do this?) and grabbed a bite to eat. The food was extremely unauthentic but it satisfied my palette. There are plenty of cheaper alternatives with just as crappy food. 2 out of 5 stars!
Address: 3714 Spruce Street Philadelphia, PA 19104
Price: $15 / entree
Hours: Monday – Sunday 11am – 10:30pm
Kung Pow Chicken
Beef with String Beans
My favorite Thai restaurant in Philadelphia is Smile Cafe, as I’ve written in one of my earliest posts, but Tamarind is a close second. Located on South Street by the Delaware River, it’s a great place to go for Penn students who want to try something other than Thai Singha or Pattaya. The food is phenomenal and you can choose the spicy level on a scale from 0 to 7. A couple friends ordered 7’s and they were nearly crying by the end of the meal. Restaurant is also BYO so that is a plus for all you underage drinkers.
Roasted Duck with Vegetables
One of the best perks of being at Penn is the ease of accessibility to Chinatown. What’s so good about Chinatown? Besides the super fishy smell on the streets that is reminiscent of a used and abused beaver, it’s basically a consortium of cheap noodle shops with insanely large portion sizes. Pho Xe Lua was no exception. For 6 bucks you can get a large noodle soup and for an extra 3 dollars, you can get an XL noodle soup with extra meat and they are extremely generous with the extra meat.
Address: 907 Race Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Price: $6-7 for pho, ~$10 for dinner entrees
Hours: Mon-Tue, Thu, Sun 11 am – 10 pm; Fri-Sat 11 am – 11 pm
I’ma let you finish but uh… Jose Garces is KILLING it right now. I’ve been to 4 out of the 7 Garces Group restaurants in Philadelphia (Amada, Distrito, Chifa, and now Whiskey Village) and every single one has managed to impress me. Whiskey Village’s Pulled Pork Sammy is amazing and so is the Village Burger. Duck Fat French Fries are good too, make sure to get the cheese sauce as well. As the name suggests, they are known for their whiskey – over 100 selections to choose from. I got the RedBreast on the rocks and would recommend it to anyone. The one thing I would be aware of is that the place is extremely small and the wait is really long (~2 hours on weekends) so make sure to go early (at like 5pm) on weekdays if you don’t want any wait time. Final verdict: omnomnomnomnom.
Address: 118 South 20th Street, Philadelphia, PA
Price: ~$7 appetizers, $13 entrees, $15-50 whiskey
Hours: Daily: 11:30am ~ Midnight
Redbreast Irish Whiskey
Duck Fat Fries
Pulled Pork Sammy
THIS PLACE IS AWESOME. The portion sizes are HUGE. I had an urge to consume a copious amount of sugar today and so I ordered both the Red Velvet Pancakes as well as the Creme Brulee French Toast. It was fantastic until about 5 minutes in where I just hit a wall. The sugar hit me immediately and it was painful to eat the rest. I finished the creme brulee and got down to about 4 bites left on the pancakes before I threw in the towel. Nevertheless, easily the best breakfast/brunch place I’ve been to in Philadelphia. The best part about the pancakes was the vanilla ice cream anglaise on top. I love Green Eggs
and Ham Cafe!
Address: 212 S. 13th St., 1306 Dickinson Street, 719 North 2nd Street. They have 3 locations. The 13th St. location is most convenient for Penn students.
Price: Good. $12 for a huge portions.
Hours: 8am-4pm Daily. Lines are long so be ready for a ~45 minute wait.
Kids Menu Red Velvet Pancakes
Creme Brulee French Toast
And here it is – the Holy Grail – the Red Velvet Pancakes
One amazing meal
Finally ventured out to Baltimore Avenue today to try out this Vietnamese restaurant that I saw on Yelp the other day. This ‘cafe’ is actually a pretty large restaurant and good for both casual dates and large groups. Portions for the pho is medium sized but the entrees are rather large. I got the Pho Sate which is a pho with a thicker broth and the Shrimp Sate which was pretty delicious. Maybe it was because I didn’t order anything special but I didn’t feel very mind-blown when I walked out of the restaurant. Nevertheless, overall I think it’s still a really good choice if you’re in that area or you’re craving noodles. Four out of five stars!
Address: 816 South 47th Street, Philadelphia, PA
Price: Pretty cheap. $8 for pho, $13-15 for entrees
Hours: Daily: 11:30am-9pm
This was the first time that I tried African food and this place definitely did not disappoint. I guess you can say African food is similar to Middle Eastern and South Asian food in that the emphasis is placed on spices and seasonings of the actual foods, unlike American or Chinese food where the emphasis is placed more on the sauces that go on top. The sweet plantains were to die for, the lamb chops were seasoned extremely well but the meat itself was tough and not very good (but that’s not the restaurants fault), but the best thing I got was definitely the fried rice. Best fried rice I’ve ever had in my life. The jasmine rice was marinated with various different spices and cooked for 4-6 hours, according to the chef. Excellent flavoring and even has a small kick of spiciness at the end. 2 thumbs up for Kilimandjaro!
Address: 4317 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA
Price: Relatively cheap. $10-15 for lunch and dinner.
Hours: Monday – Sunday: 11:30am – 2:30pm, 5:00pm – 10:00pm
Brown Fried Rice – The best I’ve ever had
Dibi Lamb Chops – Great seasoning, bad meat
The plantains deserve one more picture