PROFILE: Philly Luncher “Sarah”

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 Sarah, an attorney who is all about the Korean food at home.

Name: Sarah

Age: 28

Occupation: Attorney

Where in Philly do you Work?: 17th btw Market and Chestnut St.

Favorite Kind of Food: I always find myself near paralyzed by this question, because how can I chose just one? I can’t even narrow it down by type of cuisine. It all depends on what particular craving I’m satisfying at that moment. That being said, my birthday dinner of choice for many years running has been my mom’s tonkatsu (thinly pounded pork cutlets coated in panko or crushed corn flakes), served with steamed broccoli, rice and kimchi.

Least Favorite Kind of Food: Cilantro, and whatever poor dish has been infected by it.

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Philly: I realized this year that I’ve been working in a 4 block square around Liberty Place for about ten years, so most of my favorites are kind of grouped together! Anything from Giwa (1608 Sansom St), the Kung Pao Dried Tofu from Su Xing House (1508 Sansom St), the tuna melt at the Midtown III (28 South 18th Street), the borscht and any sandwich from Le Bus (135 S 18th St) but particularly the one that has turkey and asparagus, leftovers from Han Dynasty (108 Chestnut St.).

“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often? Everywhere I just listed, but also the cafeteria in our building.

Place you discovered thanks to Philly Lunch (if any) I’m going to Argan soon and I can’t wait!

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? Is it ok to try to weasel out of this and say any job that lets me travel the world so that I can sample food from different cultures all the time? Because, again, I can’t just chose one! Plus, it’s my belief that one of the best ways to experience another culture is through its food.

Is there anything you’d like to ask the Philly Lunch readers? If hating cilantro is due to a genetic quirk, does that make me a mutant? If so, can we all agree that it’s the worst superhero power ever?

I agree with that, it is very unfortunate- I would hate to have to pick the cilantro out of my pho or tacos.

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



  • This recent article downplayed the genetic angle, and suggests you just need to try it more. Sorry, you might not be an x-man.

  • @steve Yeah, that article was really interesting to me. I LOVE cilantro and was only recently made aware of the hate that is receives for many people…

  • I had quite a few friends send me that article, as they all know about my dislike of the herb. Sadly, I haven’t been able to get around the taste, no matter how many times. It’s ok though, there’s a lot out there that I’d rather eat!

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    I actually don’t mind it as much if it’s cooked, and if they use a LITTLE of it, but most places tend to apply the fresh leaves, as the article said, by the fistful. I absolutely can not stand it in soup; as soon as it hits the hot liquid and the flavor diffuses into the soup I can taste nothing else.

    I first unknowingly tried it in a Vietnamese soup from a place in the “Chinatown Mall” (same location as Tasty Place) that is long gone. I definitely did not like the taste and found myself with that taste in my mouth all afternoon. I did go back to the place however, and inquired what the herb was, and they kindly offered to serve the soup without the cilantro, which I liked much better.

    I can attest to Pho 75, Pho Cali, Vietnam Palace, Dim Sum Garden and Ho Sai Gai understanding the phrase “no cilantro please” flawlessly if that’s any help. Pho without cilantro is one of my favorite dishes, and the latter two make brisket noodle soup that is also very nice.

  • someone should make a list of restaurants that are “no cilantro” friendly

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