PROFILE: Philly Luncher “Mary”

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 Mary, a commenter who shares my love for finding great eats in Chinatown.

Name: Mary

Age: Let’s just say I’m old enough to be the mother of most of the ML’ers who have been profiled so far… ;-)

Occupation: Accountant

Where in Philly do you Work?: 15th and JFK

Favorite Kind of Food:Edible. No, really. I was taught from an early age that I wouldn’t know if I liked something or not unless I tried it, and I’ve kept that attitude all my life. Sometimes it was helpful; my husband and I lived with my mom for many years, and she would cook most of the time. I learned to go to ethnic restaurants so I wouldn’t have the same thing twice in one day. I will *try* just about anything – doesn’t mean I always go for seconds though.

Least Favorite Kind of Food: I never could eat sweet potatoes or carrots (at least cooked carrots), they both literally make me gag. I don’t mind raw carrots though. Also I really don’t like cilantro. I’m not one of the ones who gets physically ill from eating it, I just don’t like a huge pile of fresh stuff on top of my food and the taste drowning out everything else I am eating. I don’t mind a *little* used in cooking, but there doesn’t seem to be any such thing as “a little” cilantro. I really can’t wait until the fad is over for that one, but it’s been going on for years and years… Sorry sushi fans, but sushi to me = bait. I grew up spending a week or two every year at my grandparents’ shore house, and if I wanted raw fish I could have had all I wanted for free from the fishermen on the pier..

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Philly: I’m a Chinatown fiend. I’ve tried just about every restaurant there and go to certain restaurants only for certain dishes: Dim Sum Garden for brisket noodle soup, David’s Mai Lai Wah for steamed dumplings, Tasty Place for beef with rice noodle and vegetable or roast pork with pan-fried noodle, you get the idea. Soup dumplings are a toss-up between Sakura and Dim Sum Garden though. The uber-cheap “house soup” at Tasty Place is well worth getting along with your entree btw. I also like Indian food and am partial to Sitar India on 38th St between Market and Chestnut, an easy trip by El and the 10% coupon in the weekly papers is a nice bonus.

“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often? I don’t go to lunch with my co-workers, because they often wind up at the McDonald’s at Broad and Arch, or Olga’s up 15th St. Either that or they bring back lunch from the Chinese food vendor at 15th and Cherry because they think they’re getting “brown” rice – yeah it’s brown all right, but that’s from all the soy sauce they dump in it. It’s definitely not whole-grain rice, probably interchangeable with the “fried” rice they also offer. I don’t really have a place I go to too often.

Place you discovered thanks to Philly Lunch (if any) Maoz for the falafel!

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? Italy would be a good start, since it’s in my heritage, and I would spend all my time seeking out the home-style places to eat. I’m pretty picky when it comes to Italian food because most restaurants just don’t taste like home.

Is there anything you’d like to ask the Philly Lunch readers?
Is there anyone out there older than these &^%$#@! kids? (jk) Seriously though, anyone want to meet up for lunch sometime?

So, Is anyone looking for a lunch buddy? As for the age of our readers, I think it is really that the younger ones are more ok with being profiled. But that is just silly, people of all ages should volunteer-so email me at 



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