Dont hold its upscale looks against it its herbs are the best tended, its menu is the deepest, and its ground shrimp balls are the most succulent in town. 1019 South 11th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147, levietrestaurant.com.
A fine-dining BYO sushi bar and traditional Japanese restaurant (with some Korean dishes thrown in) isn't exactly unheard-of in Philadelphia. But in the 'burbs? You'd have better luck finding a unicorn. And a unicorn wouldn't be nearly as delicious. 50 West 3rd Avenue, Collegeville, PA 19426, bonjungsushi.com.
This cavernous steakhouse feels like it hasn't changed since Truman was in office and yes, we mean that as a good thing. A throwback in the style of the old Zaberer's in North Wildwood, it has a basic salad bar (iceberg and bacon bits) that beckons; a luscious, fatty rib eye that comes with jus to spare for the huge foil-wrapped baked potato; and no-nonsense waitresses who don't flinch should someone at the table ask for his meat medium-well. The Pub's got ambience and steak (and onion rings!) in spades all for a third of the cash you'd drop at your typical Center City steakhouse. 7600 Kaighns Avenue, Pennsauken, NJ 08110, thepubnj.com.
Check into a cozy room at West Chesters hospitable new Hotel Warner (120 North High Street, 610-692-6920), where theres fresh popcorn in the lobby after 3 p.m. a well-buttered nod to the locations previous incarnation as a historic Art Deco movie theater. Spend the day lazing around bucolic Chester County; the Brandywine Battlefield is less than five miles away and provides the perfect place for a picnic. At night, enjoy one of the many restaurants within walking distance of your hotel, from oysters and seafood platters at Doc Magrogans (117 East Gay Street, 610-429-4046) to beers and bar and bistro food at the more casual Iron Hill (3 West Gay Street, 610-738-9600). Youll be glad your bed is just around the corner, though it might be hard to resist a pint of Chubby Hubby the hotels front desk offers Ben & Jerrys by the pint for $5. A nice touch. 00000, greaterwestchester.com/visit-w-c.
The extremely accommodating staff (and homemade ravioli on the kid's menu for $5) make Marrone's the pro's choice for dining out with the whole family. 2744 East County Line Road, Ardmore, PA 19003, marronespizza.com.
You can do quite well at Stephen Starrs decade-old (but still booming) Mexican joint for around $40 a person, and that includes your pitchers of margaritas and family style platters on the special- events menu. Just be sure to mind your Ps and Qs in the photo booth after all thatTequila. 121 South 13th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107, elvezrestaurant.com.
Excellent craft beer selection and good bar food are becoming as formulaic in this city as E=mc2. But Kennett exceeds these gastropub minimums with serious cocktails and a wood-fired pizza oven that flames brightly till after midnight. 848 South 2nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147, kennettrestaurant.com.
John Reynolds is on call 24/7 for plumbing 911s. But he also does quality work on non-emergency projects, from installing your new bathtub drain to bringing your state-of-the-art, temperature-controlled greenhouse to fruition 00000, johnreynoldsplumbing.com.
There are plenty of fishing boats in South Jersey, but on Captain Bob Pennington's Sea Devil, you and 17 of your best friends can spend 23 hours (5 p.m. to 4 p.m. the next day) tuna fishing with a pro. After 39 years of commercial fishing in these waters, Captain Bob knows how to find the fish, so expect to bring your cooler home packed with sushi-ready yellowfin. Cost is $325 per person, tackle included; rod rental is $20 each. 405 Channel Drive, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ 08742, partyboatnj.com.
With five county parks to choose from in this expansive 1.1-million acre region of Southern New Jersey, there are camping options for every skill level, whether youre an experienced adventurer or barely know how to pitch a tent. (And yes, some sites have flushing toilets, for those who arent ready to submit entirely to nature.) You wont be bored, thanks to plenty of biking, kayaking and canoeing options. Just be warned: This is the land of the Jersey Devil. See website for locations, 00000, njpinebarrens.com/camping-in-the-pine-barrens.
Whether you're training for your first 5K or just want to keep pace with your kids, Nick uses your own body weight and exercises that involve multiple planes of motion to get your body working like the machine it is. 600 Old Lancaster Road, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010, nicksgym.net.
Prospect of unearthing an outfit from your stuffed-to-capacity closet make you collapse upon the duvet in a fit of fashion anguish? Enter DeLaurentis. The former Ralph Lauren-ite will help sort through the mess those 1980s palazzo pants havegot to go without making you feel bad, and leave you with numerous "new" outfits plucked from the very racks of clothes you stood before only hours earlier, wailing, "I have nothing to wear!" 00000, jimmydelaurentis.com.
Sometimes there's just not enough time in the day. And even if there is time to do it all, sometimes you'd simply rather not. Enter well-connected, close-lipped Philly native Joan Silverstein, who'll do your grocery shopping, write your thank-you notes, find blinds for the beach house all just as diligently as you would. Call or see website for consultation, 00000, centercityconcierge.com.
The city's most "civilized steakhouse" may be in need of an interior decorator, but this Square stalwart keeps us coming back with half-priced cocktails, $6 clams casino, crispy potato skins, deviled eggs, and great people-watching from our vantage point at the bar. Plus: Sunday happy hour, should you need to ease into your Monday. 220 South 17th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103, theprimerib.com/philadelphia-pa.
No offense to all you other tapas on Amada's brunch menu, but we're just gonna take a dozen orders of the fluffy little lemon-ricotta flapjacks, heavy on the 8- butter, and go over here and eat them in the corner, okay? 217-219 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, philadelphia.amadarestaurant.com.