PROFILE: Philly Luncher “Wayles”

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 Wayles, who knows a thing or two about University City eating.

Name: Wayles

Age: 29 1/4

Occupation: Education

Where in Philly do you Work?: Well, I currently work on N. Broad, but only for a few weeks. Since I worked in University City for almost 5 years, I like to still dream about my UCity lunches.

Favorite Kind of Food: I have a very healthy appetite. I like it all, especially the things I can’t make myself. Even though I love to cook, I enjoy the treat of having someone else do it. So, bottom line, I like food.

Least Favorite Kind of Food: Eggplant, broccoli rabe, and anything resembling a licorice taste.

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Philly: I’m going to focus on UCity, because I can’t stop thinking about it!

I’m a big fan of lunch meal deals, and I’m sure it has something to do with my oversized appetite. This trend will be evident in my list of hot spots in UCity. The first I have to mention is Lemon Grass Thai Restaurant (3626-30 Lancaster Ave). They have an $8.95 lunch special that includes 3 courses. Anymore, I opt for the Golden Rings (calamari), Lemongrass soup (a nice chicken soup with a zip), and Evil Jungle Princess, without tofu. Also, they have an extensive vegetarian menu that almost mirrors the meat-infused menu. I will warn you, the service is always a little borderline rude, and certainly don’t think about arriving close to 2pm, as that is when they promptly close (if not a moment sooner)!

But wait, much more UCity suggestions after the jump…

Next on my list would be Hanan (or House of Pita Hanan, according to Yelp!) (on the west side of 38th Street between Walnut and Spruce). I personally enjoy the falafel and grape leaves platter. This platter comes with pita, tabbouleh, hummus, and yellow rice and lentil rice. I always opt for the onions and hot sauce, and certainly don’t leave paying anything over $6.

Sang Kee Noodle House (3549 Chestnut Street) is another great meal deal. For $9, they have a “lunch box” menu that offers you a choice of drink, soup/appetizer, entrée, and rice/noodle. You certainly leave not wanting another bite. (oh yes, I always clean my plate. Even if it hurts.) They also have some great noodle bowls that are ENORMOUS! They list them on the menu as “big bowl broth noodle.” I ordered the curry chicken on time ($6) and I didn’t even finish half. That is saying something. Also, they have some crazy discounts, so you will want to get on their newsletter list. For example, this summer, they had 50% off coupons for two people different days of the week depending on the zip code where you work or live! Not to mention, Sang Kee also has Karaoke… or so I’ve heard.

To take this tour to another ethnic food cart, I’d have to stop at Lucky’s Mexican Spot (northside of Spruce Street around 37th). Now, this isn’t the best burritos ever, but their vegetable burrito has such a unique flavor, that it is worth the trip, and comes in under $4. My first few trips I didn’t think the burrito would satisfy my entire appetite, but somehow I’ve made it work. Recently, however, I started adding the chickpeas to the vegetable burrito. It’s busting at the seams.

To continue my little feast around the world, the next stop would be Le Petit Creperie in Houston Hall (3417 Spruce Street, also listed as Pari Café Creperie).  Not only do these crepes have something for everyone, savory or sweet, veggie or meat, lunch, breakfast or dessert, they also do coupons! Pick up a Daily Pennsylvanian while you are in Houston Hall and look for their $1 off coupon!

“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often? With very much an international theme, my “goto” is Kim’s Oriental Food (a truck between Walnut and Sansom Streets and 37th and 38th Streets). I don’t think I’ve ever paid $4 for lunch at Kim’s. I tend to go for the Chicken with Black Bean sauce and mixed vegetables. It is such a tasty, yet greasy, and addictive (MSG I’m sure) meal. Of course I’m not going here for my waistline, but I can’t get enough of Kim’s. You know it’s bad when you are there 3 times a week. I have to say, my only complaint would be that they never have string beans when I get there!

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? It seems I should move back to UCity… but to be truly honest, I want a nice sandwich on a delicious homemade multi-grain bread! I’m thinking sliced turkey with avocado. Where can I get one? (Hmm…. Picnic?)

Is there anything you’d like to ask the Philly Lunch readers? Have you managed to catch the Buttercream Cupcake Truck?

Luncher Matt actually did a write up of the truck a while back. He loved the red velvet and banana cupcakes, but thinks there is too much frosting. Can there be such a thing as too much frosting?

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


1 Comment

  • I agree with many of your choices, such as the creperie, but not Lucky’s). If you liked Lemongrass Thai, you should check out Thai Singha. I’ve had so many meals at Kim’s it’s crazy. Probably because they were one of the few places that stayed open til 9.

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