I've been to Le Bercail so many times since my last review that it's time for an update.
I've since tried a few of the "meat in sauce over rice" dishes, including the CASSAVA LEAF (feuille de manioc), OKRA (gombo), and PEANUT SAUCE. The cassava and okra are pureed and stewed into a unique-tasting sauce. They're interesting to try but I tend to go back to the peanut sauce, which is rich and delicious. Each dish comes with some chunks of meat stewed in there.
Whole Fish (GRILLED FISH or YASSA FISH) is still good, although it's less tender and juicy than before. Grilled fish is topped with a flavourful oily chopped fresh onion salsa -- the same one served all the grilled meats. Yassa fish is topped with a tasty sauteed onion-based sauce -- these onions are cooked and tender.
DIBI CHICKEN (grilled chopped chicken) is sometimes cooked perfectly, and sometimes overcooked and a bit on the dry, stringy side. The chopped up chicken leg (with bone) were topped with the onion sauce.
DIBI LAMB (grilled lamb) is fine but also not as perfectly cooked as I remember from 2012. Topped with the onion sauce.
For sides, I've tried fried plantain, rice and beans, attieke, salad, sauteed potatoes and white rice. My go-tos are usually the plantains or sauteed potatoes.
I believe they've either changed the kitchen staff or the cooking methods for many of the dishes. In general, the food is not quite as good or fresh-tasting as it used to be, although it's still a solid spot for West African food if you're in the area. Service is very good.
WARNING: DO NOT EAT HERE IF YOU DON'T LIKE GOOD FOOD.
Kilimandjaro is my new favourite place. I want to eat there every day, every meal. Never had Senegalese food before, but if this is what it's like, I love it.
DO NOT COME HERE & ORDER THE YASSA FISH unless you want a delish dish! A whole grilled fish, with a hearty sauce piled on top, made of onion-garlic-lemon-pepper-mustard-carrot, according to the menu. The fish is still moist, but crispy on the outside. Savoury and scrumptious and very very satisfying.
Dibi Lamb is good -- it's grilled lamb with sort of an onion salsa on top. Tasty. Lots of lamb.
Poulet (Chicken) Senegal is a crispy fried half chicken, with an onion-based sauce, similar to Yassa, but different. The dark meat is juicier than the white meat.
Homemade Ginger juice is sweet & very gingery, with a nice kick. yum!
Service is charming and friendly. It's quietly attentive, not in-your-face. One person in particular seemed to anticipate our every need.
YOU SHOULD NOT GO TO KILIMANDJARO unless you want large portions of delicious food at great prices, great service. Please don't go there and fill up all the seats! I can't wait until the next time I'm back.
Han Dynasty serves semi-authentic Chinese cuisine. Sichuan cuisine is known for its spicy and numbing flavours, courtesy of the hot peppers and Sichuan peppercorns. This is not the best Sichuan food around (I prefer Chili Szechuan in West Philly) but it's about as good as it gets in University City. The restaurant itself looks nice, has a liquor licence, so it's an appropriate spot for business meals.
Han Dynasty excels in certain dishes and does a passable job on the rest -- I've graded some of their dishes for easy reference. A-range dishes are recommended. B+ dishes are solid and are worth a shot, though not outstanding.
Sesame noodles (deep delicious sesame flavours!)
Dry pot fish (tender pieces of fish in a spicy chili oil & hot pepper-based sauce)
Dan dan noodles
Spicy Cucumbers in Chili Oil
Cabbage with dry peppers
Bok Choy w/ Black mushrooms
Double cooked pork belly
Hot sauce scallops
Mung bean noodle
Vegetarian ma po tofu without pork
Three Cup Chicken
Garlic sauce tofu
Fried veggie dumplings
Service in the restaurant is not bad, although a little strange. For a table of 12 or so, they only gave us a pretty small serving bowl of rice, so we finished it quickly and had to wait to get more. Maybe it'd make more sense if they just brought out 2 serving bowls of rice for such a large table.
Delivery-wise, the service was lacking. Although I had placed a large order a day in advance, delivery was late and they didn't have all the food I'd ordered. They called me last-minute to say they'd run out of steamed brown rice. On top of it all, they didn't provide any plates/cutlery to eat with. (This was being delivered to a campus building, not a residence, so I think plates/cutlery are a pretty standard necessity.)
I was saving Mood Cafe for my 200th review because I went here a few weeks ago and I just loved the Crazy Chaat!
Crazy chaat is similar to other chaat, with fresh ingredients, but it has lots of different flavoured crispy bits -- so much fun! I can't attest to its authenticity -- I have no idea about that, since I've only ever had chaat at 2 places in Philly -- but I can attest to its deliciousness. The crisps in the chaat are the perfect textures, popping and crunching, while flavours mix and meld in the different sauces and toppings. I don't know how to describe it all -- it's too crazy! Top marks in taste and texture.
Cardamom lassi is also refreshing and yummy.
The owner, Hasan, is very friendly & helpful, and happy to explain if you have any questions. Looking forward to going back.
I love this place. The first time I tasted a Chicken Maroush, I knew I'd be coming back for more. Again and again. The maroush is full of tasty grilled chicken and pickles and a creamy garlicky sauce that I just can't get enough of. I've also tried other maroush: Lamb Maroush is not bad, but some lamb pieces are not as tender -- I'm pretty picky about texture/succulence of meat so the Lamb just doesn't compare to the Chicken for me. The Kofta is tasty also, though a bit on the dry side -- extra maroush sauce helps with that. The Chicken Maroush is the best by far.
Saad's also has tubs of rice pudding in the fridge, which are yummy and very reasonably priced, if you feel like something sweet after.
Marigold Kitchen is a bit of a mixed bag -- certain things are excellent and others are good/okay but don't quite live up to the price tag. In any case, dinner is always an experience here. They bring out lots of amuse-bouches or sorbets before and between courses. Some are great -- the soupy one was delicious. Others don't quite work as well, but they're inventive and interesting at least.
The Blue Crab "Mac and Cheese" (actually orzo) was the highlight for me. Delicious.
Distrito has pretty good though pricey food, in a kitschy-trendy atmosphere. Small plates, so things can really add up if you want a satisfying meal. I love the ceviche here -- it's fresh, light, and tasty. I was here once for the grand tasting menu, which was a lot of fun! Everything was good to great, well-prepared and tasty. I'd recommend it if money's not an issue, but there's lots of food in Philly that's just as good (or better) and cheaper.
The food here is solid but overpriced. Been here with groups a few times (last year) and thankfully didn't have to pay for myself.
Sushi is not bad (though not great, either.)
Lamb was good.
Filet mignon was good.
Chicken stir-fry was okay.
Potsticker dumplings were disappointing.
Tofu Lettuce Wraps were okay.
Chicken Lettuce Wraps not as good.
Baby Bok Choy was fine. Nothing special, but nothing wrong with it. Just veggies.
They have some tasty cocktails and a pretty good variety of drinks in general.
Decor is impressive. Very cool space-y theme with interesting lighting/media. If you're in a pod, you can change the colour of the pod's lighting, but anything other than plain white light is a tad unappetizing for eating.
Service is always excellent. Very helpful. One time, another diner in my party spilled water all over my dress. Staff cleaned up the spill, then Manager gave me his card and offered to pay for dry cleaning. Wasn't necessary, but a much appreciated gesture.
If I had an expense account and visitors to entertain somewhere close to UPenn, this is one of the places I'd be happy to take them. (The restaurant is pretty much right on campus.)
I love Lyn's!
They do all kinds of sandwiches -- it's simple, standard stuff you see at a food cart, but they just do everything really well. Tasty and satisfying. Real food. Actual grilled chicken (not some kind of chicken-like meat composite) -- great in a pita with honey mustard. Eggplant Spinach parm is great. Sausage sandwich with fried peppers, onions. Egg white omelette for a breakfast sandwich. It's all good.
Fast friendly service. They're very efficient, so it's reasonably fast even with a long line.
The Tacos Don Memo cart is now on 38th, just north of Spruce & it's one of the best food carts/trucks on campus. Everything I've had al pastor is delicious (burrito, torta, taco). Carnitas is tender. Friendly service.
The last few times I went to Koja, the food seemed to have gone downhill.
I'd liked getting the noodles, but they weren't as flavourful. There seemed to be even less non-noodle stuff (veggies, tofu, meat) in there than before.
So, I'm taking off the half-star.
Pretty good. I've tried various things and my fave is the meatball sandwich. Food can be bland, especially if you get one of the rice-based meals. Sandwiches are tastier, but can be very messy. It's all good food, though, and feels real and healthy.
I'm not sure it's worth the line up, but one of the better options if you're eating veg.
Yum! The BBQ lemongrass pork banh mi is fresh and flavourful. Pork is succulent. This version is not like a traditional banh mi, but it sure is tasty!
Hemo's seems overrated.
The chicken sandwich is that weird composite -- not real chicken, even though it may technically be made from chicken materials and other fillers. Sure, technically it's edible, but I wouldn't particularly want to eat it if I had a choice.
The desserts at Manakeesh are very good but pricey. I especially like the date ones.
This is the first place I had manakeesh, which is like a flatbread pizza with different toppings -- some flavours I like better than others, so I definitely want to try some more.
I had brunch at Aksum and I've got "good" (okay) news and bad news.
THE GOOD/OKAY NEWS: Pricey, small portions of uneven food, ranging between passable to good.
THE BAD NEWS: Service is a lot worse than the food.
THE FOOD is not great & fails to justify the prices or the small portions.
1. Salmon crepes were okay, but way too much syrup was drizzled over the plate, so that the crepes were swimming in syrup & much too sweet. Since it was all over the plate, I couldn't really avoid the syrup while eating the crepe. Salmon inside was flavourful but overcooked. Usually, salmon has a nice fatty texture but that was completely gone.
2. Sweet Corn griddlecakes were good, with a nice light texture. Eggs were standard. Turkey sausage was not good -- dry & overcooked.
THE SERVICE was slow & difficult. That is, it's difficult to get the servers' attention. My companions ordered coffee & it did not come. After a long wait, another server came by to take the coffee order again. When the coffee finally arrived, there was a bug in one coffee. It was eventually replaced & service was otherwise adequate at fulfilling minimal tasks of bringing dishes, clearing dishes, & bringing the bill. But, when they're charging these prices for so little food, I expect better service; I expect impeccably clean and hygienic preparation, and more attention when something goes wrong (e.g. bug in food/drink). Decor-wise, the restaurant is nice-looking and comfortable.
SUMMARY: Food is about 3 stars in itself, but the failure in service brings the rating down. I'd be wary of going back.
Pattaya is okay to not-quite-okay, depending on what you get. I've ordered delivery a few times. It's not great food, but sometimes you just need food in the area. This is a place for when I NEED FOOD, not necessarily for wanting to enjoy a meal. I've been learning what to avoid.
The Food (Delivery)
Vegetarian drunken noodles - tasty enough, soft noodles that have sopped up the sauce. Nice for comfort food. One of the better dishes I've had from here.
Tofu garlic - it's okay. Not offensive, not amazing.
Lad Nar with Beef - not good. noodles themselves were okay in terms of texture, but gravy was boring, and beef was tough & hard to eat. Pretty awful beef, which was barely edible (or inedible if you're less averse to wasting food.) Will NEVER get beef from this place again.
Curries (various) - flavours of the curry (sauce) are usually all right. There's a curry with bamboo shoots that's nice (because I like bamboo). The vegetables are not always well integrated in the curry, but if I'm getting food here, I'm hoping for edible. Vegetarian curries here are definitely okay.
Spicy Bamboo - not bad. I like bamboo. Avoid meat and this should be okay.
If you order any dish here, I recommend that you get it with vegetables/tofu and NOT meat, which will probably be tough and overcooked. I've tried chicken, pork, beef and shrimp here -- would not really want to get them again. Usually, I think it's hard to ruin shrimp that badly. If you simply have to eat some kind of animal flesh here, I would rank chicken/shrimp #1, pork #2, and beef #NEVER. Really, just go with vegetarian. Or try a meat I haven't tried and let me know how it goes. Seriously, it's a good time to eat vegetarian when you're here. I cannot stress this enough. Hence the repetition.
Maybe the food's better in the restaurant? This review's just about the delivery food.
2.5 stars for veg dishes.
1 star for meat dishes, I guess?
Koreana is solid enough. Convenient location. So, the food is not great, but I'll keep going back as there don't seem to be too many Korean options around. It's not bad for the area. Beggars can't be choosers.
Have tried a noodle dish with squid (spicy red sauce), which was all right -- sweet and spicy. Beef Kalbi is okay (could be marinated longer so that it's more flavourful & tender, but not too bad). I think the pork was better than the beef. Tofu stew was all right but too salty.
In an area with more Korean options, I wouldn't bother going back, but in central Philly, this is about 3.5 stars.
I'm downgrading to 3 stars to reflect the fact that the last few times I've been to New Delhi, the food hasn't been very flavourful. There are other Indian restaurants nearby that are better.
I like this place. Good food, nice variety, about what you'd expect from a solid Indian buffet, except sometimes they have more interesting dishes that you don't normally see in a buffet.
Once they had a dish with wintermelon (maybe?) that was cooked with curry spices that was different and delicious. The melon (or whatever it was) had been cooked to softness and had absorbed all the flavours.
I'll be back for more.
I haven't figured this place out yet. I've had some stuff that's great, and other stuff that's okay.
Resham Chicken & Beef were tasty. Will get again.
Chicken kabob was tasty.
Lamb kabob was also tasty, but tougher.
Spinach & Eggplant dishes were both tasty.
Vegetable and Chicken Samosas are solid.
Chicken curry was just okay. Wouldn't get it again -- they have better stuff here.
Chana (chickpeas) was okay.
Lahori Chargha (a whole grilled chicken) was okay. Not as flavourful as I was expecting given the Chicken kabob I'd had, and seemed overcooked.
I feel like I need to try more stuff here. Once I was there, and the next table had a Karahi -- it looked pretty good.
I was here for dinner with a group (someone else chose the place) and it's edible.
I wasn't sure what would be good there and the waiter recommended the Grilled Filet, so I went with it. Steak was tough. Not good. Sauce was all right. I'm a little confused why she'd recommend something so clearly not good, but maybe that's the best they can do?
I wouldn't choose to go back if I had to pay full price. Or if I had a choice.
Came here a year ago with a large group.
Had the vegetarian selection. Food was okay. Some dishes were better than others.' Tastes fresh even if not that flavourful. Better than others I've tried nearby, but still not amazing. (Haven't found great Ethiopian food in Philly yet.)
Service: friendly and very nice.
Pleasant place to sit, it's kind of homey.
Abyssinia is solid enough for Philly, but I haven't had any good Ethiopian food in Philly. Multiple people have told me that either Abyssinia or Dahlak are the best places for Ethiopian, so I've basically given up on eating Ethiopian in this city. Unless I get a recommendation from someone who seems to know better.
Abyssinia's food is all right. Definitely edible. Some stuff is tastier, some is more on the bland side.
But, I LOVE Ethiopian food and can't get enough of it when it's great, or even just good. This was definitely disappointing. I have no desire to eat here again, which is saying a lot coming from me, given how much I miss Ethiopian food...
***And if you know an excellent place for Ethiopian in Philly, I implore you, please clue me in!
I went here about a year ago but just recently joined Yelp, so I'm writing the review now.
I'd been looking forward to dining here after this was recommended by a friend. Unfortunately, the food was bland & lacked all the spicy flavours I love about Ethiopian cuisine. One dish tasted like the (tomato) sauce came from a can. Hugely disappointing.
I had a cold creamy eggplant thing here that was great. It was kinda like babaghanoush and sooo delicious. Other food has been okay. I wouldn't want to get the beans again though -- reminds me of Heinz.
Also costlier than I'd expect for casual takeout.
Staff recommended the Chicken Shawarma as the juiciest meat, but it was pieces of dry, overcooked chicken. Not that flavourful. Wouldn't want it again.
Roast eggplant is still yummy. Beet salad is solid, as is the hummus, pita & rice. I'd be willing to come back for the Chicken kabob, hoping it's still good.
Came here for brunch on a first date and had the Stuffed Challah French Toast, which was recommended. Date and Sabrina's both scored points on that. Toast was delicious and decadent! Thankfully the French Toast was so huge that I brought the leftovers home and had the other half for brunch the next day.
Beautiful place to sit and talk for brunch. Nice atmosphere. Lots of windows.
Service was a bit odd. I'd had about 2 bites of my Stuffed French Toast and got brought the bill. Wasn't ready to leave, though, and we weren't explicitly asked to leave. Just not sure if/why the waiter was trying to get us to leave before we'd eaten anything. ah well. odd.
Not sure how other food is here, but that toast is 5 stars.
I'm glad White Dog is my 100th review -- I had a great brunch here on the weekend. Their Crab & Spinach Benedict is scrumptious! It was served with salad and home fries, so I'll write this review in sections.
1. The Benedict itself: Two perfectly poached eggs atop some crab and spinach on half a toasted bagel. Topped with creamy hollandaise. It may not sound super amazing (or maybe it does!), but all the flavours combine wonderfully for a really tasty breakfast. The crab is great in there. All of it tasted not only delicious but also GOOD and healthy. White Dog says they use only the best, local, organic ingredients and I believe it! The effect: a little indulgent but also comforting -- it made my body feel good.
2. Watercress Salad is a delight! Actually, this salad was the star of the show, overtaking the Benny. Fresh watercress, lightly dressed, chopped red onion, capers, cherry tomatoes -- the salty savoury bits were refreshing with the slight bitterness of the springy watercress. This watercress salad was sheer joy and I'm not even much of a green salad fan usually. However, I would have wanted a bit more tomato. And a bit more watercress. More salad. Please.
3. Fingerling potato home fries were all right. Not the best. Nothing wrong with them, but next to the Benny & Salad, they didn't measure up. I ate most of the potatoes with sriracha ketchup (which was asked for and served separately).
4. Also tried my companion's Lancaster Omelette with goat cheese, spinach, applewood smoked bacon -- it tasted okay, but the egg seemed overcooked. I didn't want another bite. But, I'm not into omelettes or overcooked beaten eggs in general.
Great service. Friendly and helpful. When asked, our server gave a detailed description of the Benedict, which definitely informed my decision -- the watercress salad isn't mentioned on the menu, and he told me about it. I don't know if the Benny's always served with the watercress salad, so I'll have to ask when I'm back.
Washrooms feel cramped and grungy -- more like a bar than a nice brunch place. But who cares about tiny washrooms when there's crab and spinach benedict with watercress salad?
Disappointed by my last experience at Copa. I saw that people had reviewed the burgers well here so I thought they might have surprisingly good burgers.
Unfortunately, these burgers were surprisingly bad: flavourless & extremely overcooked. Asked for Medium Rare (which is the rarest you can ask for, according to the menu) and got a well past Well Done burger -- Surprise! -- overcooked to absolute dryness. The bun was dry with an odd cotton-y texture.
Server was very helpful & offered to get our burgers replaced. My replacement burger was Medium Well (not Medium Rare). MW is a lot better than the dried out overly-well-done burger I'd started with, but it's still not what I asked for. I didn't complain or anything; I just figure this kitchen can't manage to take the burger off the grill at the appropriate time.
Strangely enough, my companion (who also wanted MR) got back a burger that was between MR and R. I'm not sure why the 2 replacement burgers weren't cooked to the same doneness. Why would someone take my companion's burger off the grill early, but leave mine there for a few extra minutes? Who knows.
If you like your burgers NOT the way you asked for them (SURPRISE!), this is the place for you.
Burgers would be 1 star or less, but I'm reviewing Copa at 2 stars because it's probably still okay for drinks (specifically margaritas). Maybe you're not supposed to eat the food until you're drunk.
I enjoyed my last visit to Vietnam Cafe.
Spring rolls are tasty & are fried to a nice crisp.
Sweet & sour traditional fish soup (canh chua ca) is very flavourful and comforting. Love that tangy flavour! You can ask for it to be served with some bun/vermicelli to make a meal of it.
I wouldn't recommend the Shrimp Basil (tom toi que). Shrimp was overcooked, broccoli seemed undercooked, and the dish was so-so.
This place is not cheap and the service can be scary.
Salad, which they make in front of you, is pretty good. Ingredients are fresh, and there's a good variety of them. The salad-maker can be grumpy though, if you are slow or hesitate while giving your order.
Pasta they make for you is okay. I wouldn't want to get it again.
I haven't tried any of the pre-prepared hot foods. They don't look great. One of the staff told me that the precooked dishes were good, and it seemed like he was trying very hard to sell it off.
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|Places in Philadelphia where you can get food that's good and vegetarian (possibly vegan)||All manners of sweets|
|All of my reviews / In 5-7-5 haiku / Listed together||My favourite restaurants. Sometimes, it's just because there's one particular dish there that I can't get enough of.|
|When you really deserve every one of your 5 stars, not just 4-and-something rounded up.||2013|
|Szechuan, Cantonese, Shanghainese and other places to get Chinese cuisine||Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Korean, Japanese and other Far East and Southeast Asian delights.|
|Food & drink in or a stone's throw away from Center City, Philadelphia||Places that serve Vietnamese food & places that claim to serve it|
Philadelphia, PA, Vereinigte StaatenYelper seit
April 2012Dinge, die ich mag
smart birds, virtuous peopleHeimatort
Toronto, ONWenn ich nicht gerade yelpe, dann ...
I'm probably thinking about something elseMein erstes Konzerterlebnis
Not my first but my fave: Radiohead in a small venue, right before OKC came outMeine neueste Entdeckung
Ballroom dance is so much fun!