PROFILE: Philly Luncher “Peter”

As is customary at Philly Lunch, every Tuesday we turn over the site to a different lunch’er for his or her recommendations for the best lunch in Philadelphia. This week it’s Peter, a Kabletown product manager who seems to love just about every food except cilantro.

Name: Peter

Age: 30

Occupation: Product Manger for Kabletown

Where in Philly do you Work?: 17th & JFK

Favorite Kind of Food: I pay homage to my Cantonese upbringing and adhere to the rule that “any animal whose back faces the sun can be eaten” but practically speaking I tend to find myself gravitating to the “tan” food group; mac & cheese, sausages, prime rib, pineapples, burritos, doughnuts, lamb on rice, fried chicken, curry, dumplings, hash-browns, cookies, ramen, bananas, waffles, tastykakes, beer, whiskey, etc. I also have an unholy love of cold beverages with thick/bizarre textures like slurpees, water ice, shakes (shamrock shakes rule!), bubble tea, smoothies… But my desert island foods would be Wawa green tea iced-tea and wonton noodles with roast duck from Ting Wong

Least Favorite Kind of Food: My arch nemesis is cilantro – but I love Pho… I live a conflicted life like that…

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Philly: I’m a big fan of lunch trucks (I’m a firm believer of building your immune system by subjecting it to as much abuse as possible and yes I acknowledge lunch trucks do not have running water to wash those hands.) The halal cart between JFK and Market on 16th fulfills my street-meat need. You can’t go wrong with falafel from Christo’s at 20th and Market or King of Falalfel at 16th and JFK. Gyros from the carts on 15th between Market and Chestnut will hit the spot in a pinch. Chinatown is a quick walk when its sunny and I can make a lunch out of some Chinese pastries from Bread Top House or KC Pastry’s. When I can take a long lunch I have been known to make the trek down to south street to indulge in a Philly Taco or on days when I have no shame hit up Philly Flavors for a water ice lunch. I’m known for being a late luncher at work so I will actually hit up happy hours for lunch and my favorite is going to Devon Seafood Grill for their 50 cent oysters. But as someone who just got married I have to admit the lunches my wife packs for me are now my favorite (Hi Hon!)

“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often? For the last two years I’ve been saving for my recent wedding and a new house in Francisville so I’ve been slumming it a lot, trying to eek out cheap lunches. My favorite is the Chinese cart at 18th and JFK, combo #2 is fried rice, pork lo-mein and an egg roll for $2.60. I’ve also gotten to know the “special” at the Church’s Chicken across from the Taco Bell in the Suburban Station concourse ($2.30 for 3 pieces of chicken and a biscuit). When things get really tight two soft pretzels for $1 from Philadelphia Soft Pretzel Factory.

Place you discovered thanks to Philly Lunch (if any) From Midtown Lunch NY I discovered the greatness that is the “Guide to Beating the All You Can Eat Chinese Buffet” and my life (and belly) has never been the same since.

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? Vegas…for being in the middle of the desert they have an awful lot of fresh and delicious food…in copious quantities to boot. (The prospect of free booze doesn’t hurt either)

Is there anything you’d like to ask the Philly Lunch readers? All-You-Can-Eat…where in Philly can I get my gluttony on? Besides the meat fiestas that is Fogo and Chima. The Indian deliciousness of Tandoor and Sitar in West Philly. The Chinese steamtableness of Empire and Ruby buffets in South Philly. Are there any other good all-you-cat-eat outposts? Also in the vain of feeding my gluttony are there any decent free food happy hour giveaways in Philly (ala Rudy’s free hot dogs or Crocodile Lounge free pizza in NYC)?

What about International Smokeless BBQ and Restaurant down on Washington Ave- I really really need to get over there- it is an all you can eat Asian bbq/hot pot place. It sounds like an adventure that you would be up for!

If you would like to be next week’s Profiled Philly Lunch’er (or know somebody you’d like to nominate), email me at



  • Good call on Ting Wong. For a massive (and cheap meal) I go and order from the Appetizer section. Huge (!) platter of meat for around $6.50 … I usually order the Roast Pig and Roast Duck.

    For all-you-can-eat I usually go for Sushi from Ajia in West Philly. Just remember not to over-order as they will charge you on the value in addition to your bill. Not great service, but all-you-can-eat + BYO works for me.

  • Palace at the Ben (834 Chestnut St) has better than average Indian buffet for both lunch and dinner!

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    @jamie – Totally forgot aboutInternational Smokeless BBQ on Washington Ave – it is quite a meatapolooza but it does fall short of good Korean BBQ – the meat is tough and unsauced and service kind-a blows. (There used to be a place 5 years ago out in the North East where it was a Korean BBQ that was amazing…alas it is now closed)

    @MWinston – I dunno Ajia and Aki all-you-can-eat just seems lacking compared to Minado or Todai…the fish just doesn’t seem fresh…maybe I’ve just had bad luck

    @thatashleygirl – It sounds funny but I’ve never actually ever seen anyone inside eatting at Palace at the Ben whenever I walk by which scares me abit with buffets if food isn’t turning over. Have you had first hand experience?

  • check out my write up on palace at the ben, I liked it there, great value, pretty great quality- but it is weird how empty it always is

  • @peetah I don’t think you’ll like Ajia according to your comment… you won’t find anything to be that fresh, but it is near campus (Penn) for me and it is quite reasonably priced for an all-you-can-eat sushi dinner ($21 before tip and tax if I recall) where we can get a little rowdy (which we tend to)

  • Oh sweet, I’ve been to the NYC one… but the pizza is a bit of a hassle to get a hold of…waiting…and ticket system…

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