Saturday, March 23, 2013

#2 Public House

I feel like I am really letting down the 12 blog followers that I have. My first pick was a traditional sushi place and my second pick was Public House. Could I be any more predictable? But being an avid NCAA Tournament fan, I realized that the majority of the restaurants on my list were not so conducive to game watching. After actually googling, I came to the conclusion that most of these places are faaanncyy, like very fancy. Like $50 entrees fancy. So when going down the list to see where I could watch Villanova, Public House was one of my only options. So I apologize, I will start to pick up the pace soon enough.

I've never gone to Public House to eat. Believe me, I've had my share of late nights there, but never sat down to watch games and eat. The atmosphere was just what we were looking for. A lot of happy hour goers and a few groups sitting at tables. There was a huge screen TV right in front of our table so that satisfied us. There was also a DJ playing music, but not loud enough to stifle conversation. Which led us to have really riveting and intelligent conversations. Like my sister and my friend and old college teammate, Colleen, agreeing that they couldn't date a guy who didn't fill out a bracket for the tournament.  Or guys who wear running sneakers with jeans. I think the girl talk started to rub off on my boyfriend because he actually said "I'm happy I went with the side salad because I'm watching my figure".

As far as the meal goes we started off with nachos which were absolutely the best part of the meal. Colleen and I got the Cobb Salad, which we both liked. Regan got the Cesear Salad and said it was standard. "Not worth ten dollars". Brendan got a burger and a side salad. Burger was slightly undercooked. Once again we agreed this place was overpriced for bar food. I feel like maybe we're just cheap?

Thanks to PH for their hospitality and giving in to my annoying requests to make sure the Nova game was playing at all times on the big screen. They lost, typical. At this point my bracket is twice as red as it is green but 'it's still early!'

Decent food, good drinks, good friends.  2 down 50 to go!!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

#1: RAW Sushi & Saki Lounge

RAW. Wasn't sure if I was going to a WWE match or going out for sushi.

Interesting first choice you might say- but being a good Catholic girl and not eating meat on Fridays I decided to take my sister, Regan here for my first restaurant outing. Let me just say this place is, in a word, swanky. We felt super chic walking in to this red & black ambiance of a sushi restaurant. We started off with a shrimp and lobster spring roll, which was so small it may not have satisfied a mouse. It was tasty, and it was free so who can really complain? We then ordered our rolls. I have to say I am slightly boring when it comes to ordering sushi, but Regan takes the cake. Always Shrimp Tempura & California Roll. Always. I went with the Dragon Roll & the Spicy Tuna. I kind of fell in love. I can't say that I am a sushi aficionado in the least, but I thoroughly enjoyed this sushi. It rivals Doma. Rivals being the key word, but I'm partial.

During the meal we realized how amazing this prize is because we are going to get to experience a ton of restaurants that we never would have tried otherwise. Example 1 being RAW. The overall meal and feel of this place was good. We had a great time. I mostly enjoyed trying to watch my sister use chopsticks & failing miserably. I would definitely go back, with a gift card. 2 glasses of wine + 1 app + 4 sushi rolls= $65.00. I prefer the BYOB sushi places because $10 for a glass of chard is way too classy for me.

51 more to go people!!

Friday, March 15, 2013

The List.

The day that I have been anxiously awaiting for an entire week has arrived! The day that I got to pick up all of my 52 gift certificates. This has just reinforced my excitement for this entire process. Last week I was beyond excited, but as this week went on the anticipation slowly drizzled. However after stepping outside of the District of Philadelphia doors with a huge envelope in my hands, my eagerness quickly returned. I even thought I saw a girl smile at me on the street. She knew. Below you will find the 52 restaurants that I will get to experience for free, or for a lesser price at least. I will also be noting the expiration date & putting them in alphabetical order for my own OCD sake. Weee, let the adventures begin!
  1. Aki Sushi Bar (9/1/2013)
  2. Alma de Cuba
  3. Audrey Claire
  4. Barbuzzo
  5. Bistro Romano
  6. Butcher & Singer
  7. Byblos
  8. Caribou Café or Zinc Restaurant (10/1/13)
  9. Cichetteria 19
  10. Cooperage Wine & Whiskey Bar
  11. D’Angelo’s
  12. Davios
  13. Del Friscos
  14. Devil’s Alley
  15. DiNardo’s (1/1/2014)
  16. Estia
  17. Farmicia
  18. Fat Salmon
  19. Friday, Saturday, Sunday
  20. Garces Restaurant Group
  21. Gigi
  22. Girasole
  23. Jane G’s
  24. La Viola (6/5/14)
  25. Lacroix at the Rittenhouse
  26. Le Castagne
  27. Le Meridien (9/30/2013)
  28. Liberte Longue, Sofitel Hotel (9/1/13)
  29. Lolita
  30. Melograno
  31. Meritage
  32. Oyster House
  33. Palm Restaurant (5/1/2013)
  34. Panorama Ristorante (9/28/2013)
  35. Public House (9/1/2013)
  36. R2L
  37. RAW Sushi & Sake Lounge
  38. Restaurant at the Morris House Hotel
  39. Ruth Chris Steak House
  40. Sampan
  41. Smith & Wollensky (1/1/2014)
  42. Square 1682
  43. Table 31
  44. Tequilas
  45. The Capital Grille (10/5/2013)
  46. The Ritz Carlton
  47. The Westin Philadelphia, Winthrope & Valentine Restaurant (4/30/2014)
  48. Time
  49. Xochitl
  50. Zahav
  51. Zama
  52. Zento Contemporary Japanese Cuisine

Friday, March 8, 2013


Let me just start off by saying three things.

1. I am one of those girls who says they're 'from Philly' when they are really from 45 minutes outside of the city. However, I now am a new resident of Philadelphia since November, currently residing in the Fairmount neighborhood. I am loving my life but also complain more times than not about how I have no money. Yes, I am one of those girls. But really, I have no money.

2. I never win anything. I guess I shouldn't say that- I win things. But in terms of random contest winning, I don't. I've sat through countless raffles and 50-50 drawings with no luck. The last thing I can think of getting randomly chosen for was the traumatic drug test after a basketball game my junior year of college. So even the things I do get chosen for are not fun.

3. I have never written a blog in my life. I have actually been anti-blog for the most part of my life. I laugh in the face of blog writers. But here we are.

I hope by starting off with those statements you will appreciate my story a little bit more. The other night after leaving my weekly spin class I found a voicemail on my phone. Seeing the random number I figured it was a someone trying to sell me something (by the way since when did telemarketers start getting our cell phone numbers?). I listened to the voicemail 7 times before I processed what was happening to me. Kristen (god bless her soul) from the Center City District had called to tell me that I won their Restaurant Week Contest. She nonchalantly follows with letting me know that I have won 52 $50 gift cards to restaurants throughout the city. Fifty Two Fifty Dollar Gift Cards. Process. One dinner out once a week for a year. A YEAR. I immediately starting crying and called my mother, "MOM YOU WILL NEVER BELIEVE THIS...". The next call was to my sister, Regan, also my roommate. She quickly advised me not to tell too many people in fear that we will attract clingers. The next text was to my boyfriend, Brendan, working mid game at the Flyers. The text read: "Brendan. OMG. If you could step away and call me for actually one minute please do it. It's urgent". Clearly, I got a call pretty quickly. So as you can all see- this is close to the best thing that has ever happened to me. In. My. Life.

After a suggestion from a friend, I thought that I would attempt to write a blog to take you all through my journey of experiencing 52 restaurants in Philadelphia. Dining at its finest. I will also be having a weigh-in every blog post (just kidding....).

To Come: Pictures, Experiences, Food Critiques By Someone Who Knows Nothing About Food.