U City Eats
One of our clients at work is the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia, an exemplary advocate for the area's many historic sites. The executive director was recently remarking to me that we take for granted the astounding religious diversity represented by our old houses of worship in Center City. Of course, we think nothing of different faiths and denominations side by side today, but when these places were built centuries ago, that was something special. It's a testament to William Penn's great desire for religious tolerance.
Indeed. But, and perhaps because it was close to lunchtime, I could not help but think not of religion but of food, and the diversity of cuisines available to me back in my home neighborhood. Not being much of a foodie, and having lived in University City for almost two decades, I take for granted this rich array of choices at my disposal.
But I shouldn't. For where else can you find within a stone's throw of your house two coffee shops, Ethiopian restaurant, Ethiopian bar, a Middle Eastern restaurant, a Jewish deli, and a contemporary restaurant that was the "it" place a few years back? And, within easy walking distance still-hot offerings by Stephen Staff and Jose Garces. And more ethnicities than you can recall: Chinese and Thai and Indian and Italian, of course, but also Pakistani and French and African and Greek.
Indeed, my good friend Matt Bergheiser, who runs the University City District, tells me that their restaurant finder is their site's number one page in terms of views. Makes sense, given how hard it is to choose, as was the crux of a recent article in my Penn alumni mag called "Omnivore's New Dilemma: Which Exotic University City Restaurant Should we Try Tonight." From $ to $$$$, and from one star to four star, we've got more than enough to keep your palate tingled and your belly full for many, many years. Now if you'll excuse, I have to figure out an excuse to eat at one of these places.