August 17, 2015

Four Spots for a Quick Lunch in Philly

Having a baby in the spring or summer means having a couple weeks off  - or more if you're lucky - to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather in between feedings, naps, laundry, etc. I did my best during my maternity leave to get out of the house each day and do something, whether it was meeting a friend for lunch, picnicking in different parks, or simply walking the Schuylkill Trail. 

Here are a few favorite things I grabbed for lunch. They'd make great weekday lunch spots during work or outings on the weekend. 


We are in love. That's all there is to it. We've been to Dizengoff three or four times now, and each time loved whatever hummus inventions were offered that day - chicken, eggplant, cucumber, beet pistachio, all great. One hummus order per person is plenty for lunch. It comes with a little veggie salad and pickles, too. Tip: You might be surprised to only get one pita per order but it goes a long way. Maybe order one extra, but that's it.

*Kid-friendly? Dizengoff has limited seating but it's easy enough to roll in with a stroller on slightly off hours and enjoy a meal at one of the indoor picnic tables or sidewalk seats.

Dos Tacos

We became Sylva Senat fans after he cooked our Underground Supper Club dinner last year. Dos Tacos is his new tiny taco joint in Center City. Senat's traditional and more creative tacos are fine, not great, but get the job done. MY favorite bite at Dos Tacos is the elotes - mexican corn grilled just right with a blend of lime aioli, smoked paprika chili and cojita cheese that will quickly distract you from the tacos. For only $3, it's a must order.

*Kid-friendly? Let me go back and stress tiny. The narrow shoebox location has a few high tops and stools to munch at, if you don't mind the ordering line on top of you. Strollers and children not advised unless it's really off peak hours. The music is also really loud. Only you know if that will wake up a little one or drown them out...

Hai Street Kitchen

Last year we included Hai Street Kitchen in another lunch round-up post.  The recently-added So California roll, which is basically a giant California sushi roll, brought us back for another visit. A crowd pleaser for anyone who is unnecessarily nervous about the other menu items, the So California is simple enough that it's hard not to like. I still prefer the "Crunch" with shrimp tempura but might borrow the avocado salsa from the California next time as an add-on. 

*Kid-friendly? The Center City location of Hai Street Kitchen requires going up a few steps and is small, but the newer University City spot is much bigger, flat and easier to navigate with kid in tow. And you can eat outside there. Kids that eat real food might enjoy Hai Street as something fun and different to eat, too.  

So California roll at Hai Street. House lemonade is also good and not too sweet. 
Cute outside tables at Hai Street's University City location give you a spot to enjoy the outdoors.

Metropolitan Cafe

Metropolitan Cafe has been around for a while but we just recently started grabbing food there en route to Rittenhouse Square. Important to know: they have disallowed carry out orders during peak lunch hours in order to focus on the seated customers. Seems like a silly move given the small number of seats and amount of money they could make on carry out, especially on weekends. But that's that so you should plan to sit down during lunch hours. Anyway, I really enjoy their chopped vegetable salad, crushed almond and lemon pesto panini, and short rib, caramelized onion and taleggio cheese sandwich. And all the desserts, of course. You can't really go wrong there. 

*Kid-friendly? Inside Metropolitan Cafe is tight to sit with a stroller but it's doable to roll in and grab take out for a picnic in Rittenhouse Square, or to sit at one of the outside tables with your babe. Mid-summer, the outside tables are not shaded, however, so keep that in mind. 

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