6 things Philly does best

Interesting take from Zagat on the 6 things Philly does better than anywhere else.


I mostly agree. Especially about the ice cream/gelato. But I wish they had expanded to the Northeast for the Vietnamese . . . it was even mentioned in Laban’s chat in today’s Inquirer that the Northeast has a wealth of good Vietnamese.

Maybe I don’t get out enough, but I was unaware we had a shot and a beer culture. Well, maybe I was aware in my 20s, but those days are a bit hazy.

That’s a pretty fair list.

I’d add one big one they missed…BYOB places. Philly has to be the world center of this.

RE Shot and a Beer places. Yup big stuff in the city. Thank God it wasn’t quite as institutionalized when I was a young hoodlum. No telling the damage I could’ve wrought.


Agree on the BYOB. As much as we in PA complain about the liquor laws/state stores/no booze in supermarkets, etc. etc., having BYOB restaurants that offer amazing food really cuts down on the cost of dining — with the added benefit of being able to bring your favorite wine.


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I don’t know much about “Red-Sauce Italian”. Aside from it, the list is spot on.

I’m with the general consensus, pretty accurate list. I agree the part about pho seems to be a bit of a stretch. IF your coming from an area that does not have a Vietnamese population, then sure, it’s going to seem like pho-heaven. But if you coming from Houston, I suspect a much more blaise reaction.

One thing the absolutely got wrong is the “Citywide Special” details. There is no debate where it came from, or who created it; Rick D (RIP). And he hated hearing people call it a “Citywide”. It was, and always will be to those of us who were there, just “The Special”.


Rant over.

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I’m at best a modest fan of BYOB. Yes its cheaper. But that’s it.
It is a pain to have to buy wines in advance of a meal…esp when I have no idea what I’ll be eating.

I don’t think that BYO uniquely facilitates great restaurants…it is just a work-around to deal with a bad LCB. An LCB that wasn’t hostile to the industry would allow a restaurant to make more money with a wine list.

Eh. We always have wine in the house, so it’s not a big deal to bring a couple of bottles along.

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Yeah, BYOB really only works if you have decent selection of wine at home. Going out to dinner on a Sunday night? SOL, unless you have some wine at home.

I cannot fathom the idea of no wine at home. Does. Not. Compute.



I certainly don’t have a selection of wines to match whatever I might order. And I’m not clairvoyant enough to know what I’m going to order from the menu. So I just bring a pinot and figure its close enough? Feh.


Yes, the question of is there any wine at home is never a problem. But, like sal-acid said, my stock pile is pretty narrow. I too just go pinot, close enough.

I’m not enough of a wine snob to care, I guess. A bottle of a favorite white and red each and I’m happy.

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Don’t say “wine snob”. A needless insult.

There’s nothing snobbish about not wanting to drink a cab with fish.

Whatever - connoisseur, then.

Tho not sure who’d “have to” have a cab with their fish.

If you don’t know what you are going to eat how can you predict what wine you’d like to bring…is my point.

If one brought a cab and one’s spouse wanted fish after looking at the menu then it would be unfortunate for the spouse (and more cab for me).

Jeez, is it really that complicated to bring a couple of whites and reds?

Sorry this is a problem for you.

Seems reasonable to object to having to schlep a lot of bottles to a dinner.

Sorry I offended you. Was innocent enough comment I thought.

Not offended at all. We obviously just have different priorities.

I like BYOs well enough and I’m glad we have them in Philly but it gets complicated when you go out to dinner with two people and have a multi-course meal with which you’d like to have 2 or 3 or 4 different wines. Do you stick the cork back in the leftovers and take them home? Bibou is a good example of this. It used to be a great BYO with a relatively simple menu. I didn’t have a big problem taking a bottle of white and a bottle of red to dinner. But now it’s a place where the only dinner offering is a 7-course tasting menu, and you don’t necessarily know every dish on the menu before you go. I’m not going to take 7 (or even 4 or 5) different bottles with me for two people. A place like that needs a liquor license IMHO (not to mention that Bibou is now $100 per person and cash-only).

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The link in the OP doesn’t load for me, but I see it is from Zagat. I don’t believe most things they say.