All Reviews by claytonjones

  • Shank's Original Uptown 120 S 15th St, Philadelphia, PA 19102 (215) 629-1093

    1 stars Posted on 02/22/2011 04:00pm

    Provided by Citysearch

    No wonder Shank's moved from South Philly to Center City, this place can't even compete with corner stores such as Big Dan's, let alone the heavy hitters like Tony Luke's or John's. I work downtown and tried it on a whim when I was in the mood for a roast pork sandwich today. I can say hands down that it was the worst I've ever had. Let's check off the ways this sandwich failed me. First, the small comes on a kaiser roll, which is not mentioned anywhere on the menu. A roast pork sandwich needs a long roll, end of story. If you want to sell a small, use a smaller roll, but not a KAISER. Not surprisingly the roll fell apart halfway through the sandwich. Second, it was greasy, sloppy, under spiced and lacking in flavor. When the only spice I'm tasting in a roast pork is from the long hots, we have a problem. Third, the long hots cost extra, the broccoli rabe cost extra (neither has the actual price listed on the menu), I didn't get cheese but I'm sure it would have been extra, and the total price of my SMALL roast pork? $10.80. I'm used to paying a premium for decent food downtown, but that is an absolute joke. The greens should be included in the price of a roast pork sandwich, I can understand charging for the peppers on the side, but that price for the quality was preposterous. And fourth, the broccoli rabe, while fresh, was barely cooked and doused in so much olive oil I could hardly taste it. Yes the place has the charm of a legit South Philly establishment, unfortunately it doesn't feature the prices or quality that you'll find there. But I guess that's why they moved uptown in the first place.
  • Brauhaus Schmitz 718 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19147 (267) 909-8814

    4 stars Posted on 02/22/2011 04:00pm

    Provided by Citysearch

    I was underwhelmed by Brauhaus Schmitz after my first visit much like the other reviewers here. I was spending on a budget and just stuck to the house bratwurst without any appetizers or dessert. I thought the sides were good, but the bratwurst is by far their worst wurst (heh) with too much spice and not enough flavor from the meat. If you're spending on a budget at Brauhaus Schmitz I think your best bet is to just order 2 sides and no entree, which I'm fairly certain is an option on their menu. I've never had a bad side there, and the spatzle, cucumber salad, braised cabbage, potato pancakes and apple sauce are all excellent. I don't even order apple sauce at most places, but it's so deliciously homemade here I would go out of my way to get it again. So as for the entrees, my best advice would be to get what looks best to you regardless of price. Brauhaus Schmitz can get expensive but the high priced items are well worth it in terms of quality. Their knackwurst is excellent and the weiswurst is very good. The schweinshaxe was divine, and is well worth a destination trip alone. The delicious crunch of the crackling coupled with the succulent pork inside is a truly divine combination. The beer menu is flat out awesome, and while I don't usually go for dessert, the sachertorte is so uniquely bitter and sweet I would gladly split it with anyone. The ambiance is something special and while the service can be a bit slow on a weekend, they are always extremely pleasant, helpful, and let's be honest, beautiful. If you tried Brauhaus Schmitz once and left not all that impressed, I'd strongly recommend going back and making the commitment to experiencing more of their menu. I think you'll be glad that you did.
  • Zama 128 S 19th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103 (215) 568-1027

    3 stars Posted on 09/23/2010 05:00pm

    Provided by Citysearch

    I enjoyed my food at Zama and I would gladly eat there again. I would just wait a few months before my next stop in because to leave satisfied you are going to have to open your wallet. Zama is a bit upscale and they have a progressive menu to justify their prices. And the food is good. But you can most likely spend a fraction of the price at other restaurants that offer Japanese food and leave about as happy. The atmosphere is unique and the decor is pleasant to the eye, but the seats are very uncomfortable no matter if you're in a chair or on a booth. The food was nice and had an abundance of fresh flavor combinations. We had to wait a bit but the service was pleasant and helpful. I don't want to sound too negative as I really did enjoy Zama, I just wouldn't rush back to show my friends.
  • Giwa 1608 Sansom St, Philadelphia, PA 19103 (215) 557-9830

    1 stars Posted on 09/23/2010 05:00pm

    Provided by Citysearch

    First off, let me say aside from my opinion of the food or the value, Giwa is not a good idea for a lunch break unless you can step out of work for well over an hour. I had to wait over 20 minutes for my food. On top of that it was served at a temperature similar to molten lava, and no matter how much stirring or time to sit, there was no way I was eating and making it back to the office without repeatedly burning my tongue. Now let me say I love Korean food and I like Giwa's menu in premise. But my dish was sadly lacking in flavor. It was supposed to be spicy and although they have their own hot sauce available for purchase, the only fire came from an abundance of red pepper flakes- a lazy tactic that adds no flavor. The seasoning in general was poor and the tofu and beef were bland as a result. And at $11, which one of the cheaper options on the menu, I except much better. Giwa would not be bad if it was more reasonably priced. But at the prices they're charging I can't give them anything better than one star. The few positives are that they give you plenty of food for your money and their kimchi is actually quite good. But if I'm going to pay this kind of money I'll be going to Miga next time.
  • Pita Pit 1601 Sansom St, Philadelphia, PA 19103 (215) 564-1080

    5 stars Posted on 03/07/2010 04:00pm

    Provided by Citysearch

    There is only one negative about Pita Pit so I'll get it out of the way to start with- they're a bit pricey. Not unreasonable, but maybe a dollar more than I'd normally spend on lunch. That said, everything else about Pita Pit is top shelf. High quality ingredients, great flavor, totally customizable ordering, and great service. If you're looking to eat healthy you can keep your order lean and chock full of veggies. The wheat pitas are delicious but you can even go fork style and cut down on the calories yet again. And believe me, you'll still be full at the end of your meal! Their falafel is some of the best in the city and their buffalo sauce has a nice kick. There is nothing on their menu that I've been disappointed by, I have faith that everything they make is tasty. Keep up the great work guys!
  • Sang Kee Peking Duck House 238 N 9th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107 (215) 925-7532

    5 stars Posted on 03/07/2010 04:00pm

    Provided by Citysearch

    I've been going to Sang Kee for at least a decade and I never grow tired of ordering their duck. Actually there are a few things on their menu that I could eat over and over again, including the Three Flavor dumpling soup and the stuffed eggplant. The duck is always succulent but not too fatty and there's a nice variety between putting it in the moo shu wraps or having it with the string beans on the side. Their appetizer specials are always tasty but I wish they'd bring back the baby octopus! Their service is usually good and the prices are very reasonable. Sang Kee is so great that even surrounded by so many good Chinese restaurants, I still have trouble convincing myself to go anywhere else when I'm in the area.
  • La Rosa Pizzeria 2106 S Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19145 (215) 271-5246

    4 stars Posted on 08/08/2008 05:00pm

    Provided by Citysearch

    Huge pizza, good value, very good quality. The cheese, sauce, dough and crust are all above average. Not much to say about this pizza except if you live in the city and haven't tried it you really should.
  • Taqueria Veracruzana 908 Washington Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19147 (215) 465-1440

    5 stars Posted on 08/08/2008 05:00pm

    Provided by Citysearch

    No exaggeration, not coming from someone who hasn't dined out much. I've ate at most of the Mexican spots in Philly, and Veracruzana is always the best. Every burrito I've had there has been outstanding. The rice and beans are the best I've ever had. The service is good, the prices are reasonable, the atmosphere is relaxed, and the horchata is fresh. Not to mention the place is open late, until midnight if I'm not mistaken. If you're looking for great Mexican food in Philly then pull up a chair at Veracruzana and dig in.
  • Midtown II Restaurant 122 S 11th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107 (215) 627-6452

    4 stars Posted on 10/31/2007 05:00pm

    Provided by Citysearch

    Midtown II is the best of the Midtown diners and the best diner you'll find around Center City, period. Silk City, while not that close by, used to be a slightly better alternative that wasn't too far from downtown. Unfortunately since they reopened their menu has been redone into some kind of Steven Star knock off and their diner has totally lost its charm. Midtown II on the other hand, still has exactly the sort of atmosphere you expect from a diner. I've never had anything bad off their menu which is impressive, because I've had a lot of it. The service is good, the prices are not surprisingly very reasonable, the food is much better than your typical diner fair. If you're in the area don't go to just any old Midtown, make sure you seek out Midtown II, you won't be disappointed.
  • Golden Empress Garden 610 S 5th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147 (215) 627-7666

    5 stars Posted on 10/11/2007 05:00pm

    Provided by Citysearch

    No matter if you're vegetarian or a meat lover, the menu at Golden Empress has more than enough tantalizing options to keep you second guessing your choices. If I had to recommend one dish it would be the vegetarian duck with mixed vegetables, which is simply to die for. They make a great chow hofun as well as any of the other staple Chinese dishes you would expect. The service is great, the portions are generous and the prices are reasonable.. I've been frequenting Golden Empress for about 8 years and it never disappoints. I feel confident when I say they are the one restaurant in the city that rivals the best (reasonably priced) offerings in China Town.