Lookin' for some brunch.
September 10, 2012 6:58 AM   Subscribe

Looking for a good place for a post-wedding brunch near the Hilton Hotel on City Avenue in Phila, PA.

My future in-laws, fiancee and I are having trouble finding a good place for brunch on the day after our wedding. The out of town folks are staying at the Hilton hotel on City Avenue in Philadelphia, and we are trying to find a place that is close to the hotel. None of us are very familiar with that slice of Philly/ Bala Cynwyd/ Merion, so I thought this was a good query to feed to the hive.

It would be on Sunday, September 30th, for our out of town guests, immediate family, and the bridal party. We're anticipating quite a few people (I'm guessing 20-30), so we'd need a place that could take a reservation, or could save a room for us or something like that. We're looking for something more restaurant-ish and casual, in other words, not a hotel buffet type deal. It would also be nice if it wasn't very expensive. Good food a must!
posted by amcm to Food & Drink (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Boy, there is a whole lotta nothing out there.

There's a Katz's Deli there, but it gets middling reviews, although to me, how can you screw up bagels and cream cheese.

There's an IHOP down the road.

The other "delis" in the area seem to be on the first floors of office buildings. Yikes.

You are lost in a sea of Chilis, TGIFridays and Subway.

If I were in your shoes, I'd call Katz's and see if they could do a private room with a catering menu and leave it at that.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:56 AM on September 10, 2012

I don't know the area well enough to recommend anything but that isn't far from Manayunk. I would think there would be more restaurants to pick from there. Have you tried asking the hotel for a recommendation?
posted by interplanetjanet at 10:44 AM on September 10, 2012

Will you have car-based transportation? That immediate area is kind of a food wasteland, at least for larger groups in a non-chain setting, but if you could drive to Bala Cynwyd or up to Manayunk your chances of a better place increase dramatically. There are a couple of better delis (Hymie's) that aren't that far, but you would probably need a car/van and you would probably want to confirm the size of space available. Jake's in Manayunk gets pretty good reviews and it's certainly got a great-sounding Sunday brunch. Something slightly further afield (10 minute, one stop train ride) is JG Domestic in the Cira Centre, which is connected to 30th Street Station. They do serve lunch and they should be open again on weekends soon. They have great spaces and could maybe work up a pre-set menu, though they are somewhat more pricey.
posted by jetlagaddict at 11:41 AM on September 10, 2012

I was just in this area over the weekend, and yeah, you're going to be in a sea of office buildings and strip-mall type stores. If you don't have access to cars, I don't think you'll have a lot of options, especially since the Cynwyd regional rail line doesn't run on weekends. I was really impressed at how quickly the #44 bus got me between Center City and the Bala train station, but riding the city bus may not be the most attractive option for a post-wedding brunch. (If you want to consider this as an option, the #44 runs every half-hour on Sundays and would take about 15-20 minutes to get from the hotel into the city. The #65 bus also runs by the hotel but I'm not sure if it gets you anywhere quite as useful.)

I walked from Bala to Manayunk this weekend - they're only a few miles apart - but unfortunately until they finish the Cynwyd Heritage Trail I think the only way to do that on foot requires hiking boots. If you have any other way of getting to Manayunk, I think that area is probably your best bet - someone asked almost your exact question on Chowhound a few years ago and got a response that Jake's (as already suggested; warning: link auto-plays music) would be their best bet. I haven't been to Jake's, and it sounds like it might be spendier than you had in mind, but it's close by, non-buffet, and can accommodate large groups.
posted by jessypie at 7:21 AM on September 11, 2012

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