CBS Philly: Hear Philly: University City Dining Days Offers Great Food At A Great Price

Monday, July 21, 2014

Click here for original article complete with Podcast.

By Dan Majka

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — University City is home to some of the most innovative and diverse dining options in the region. From July 17th through July 27th, diners have the opportunity to eat at some of its great restaurants for a significant discount.

“We have 26 restaurants offering three courses for three different prices, $15, $25, or $35,” says Lori Brennan, Marketing and Communications Director for the University City District. “And what that means is you select a restaurant from one of those categories and you will get a three course menu or you will be given a regular menu to choose three items from for that particular price point.”

Brennan says the initial goal of the promotion was to drive business to the neighborhood restaurants during a typically slow summer season. Now, 10 years later, tens of thousands of diners from all across the region come to take advantage of the great deals.

“Many of these restaurants are offering significant savings, sometimes half-price options, that you would normally pay double for if you went there on a non-Dining Days evening.”

And thanks to the three-price option, Brennan says, Dining Days is affordable to almost anyone who’s hungry.

“If you’re a student who’s surviving on a low income or no income, for 15 bucks you can go out and get a three-course meal. If you want to take a date and have a nice night out, you know, you’ve spent $30 plus tax and tip and you have a really nice evening out.”

Brennan says it also gives people who may think some of the restaurants are out of their price range an opportunity to dine at them.

“All of the restaurants in our promotion do a really incredible job of letting customers feel like they’re really experiencing their restaurant. Our goal is not for them to serve tiny little portions and sell them for 15, 25 or 35 dollars, we want people to a have a normal dining experience.”

And a normal dining experience is exactly what guests are promised…

“We make them keep their portions the same sizes, we make them offer menu items that are typical at their restaurant. Some of the places do offer special menus for Dining Days, but the cuisine that they’re offering fits in with the tradition of what they normally serve.”

If that’s not enough to wet your appetite, perhaps some cool prizes will do the trick.

“We’ll be doing lots of fun giveaways as part of the 10th anniversary,” Brennan says. “(We’ll be) giving away movie tickets to Rave Cinema here at 40th and Walnut Streets. We’ll be giving away restaurant gift certificates.”

With nearly 30 restaurants taking part, Dining Days offers something for everyone.

“$15 dollar options, like Desi Village Indian Restaurant, Dock Street Brewery, Sangkee Noodle House and Vietnam Cafe, among others,” says Brennan. “The $25 category, we are seeing Baby Blues BBQ, Han Dynasty, Doc Magrogan’s Oyster House, New Deck Tavern, among others. And the $35 category is City Tap House, Distrito, Penne Restaurant and Wine Bar, Pod and White Dog Cafe.”