Neighborhood Guide: Graduate Hospital

Graduate Hospital is a neighborhood in need of a boundary, an identity and even a name. Ever since the actual hospital closed earlier this decade, there's been no anchor and almost no definition to this section of blocks bordered by South, Washington, Broad and Gray's Ferry Ave. that some are trying to brand as G-Ho, So-So (South of South), or West Rittenhouse. Some neophytes even confuse it with the entirely different Gray's Ferry district. However, that absence of clarity hasn't stopped entrepreneurs from trying to make the 1500-2100 blocks of South Street into a destination for eco-conscious foodies, craft beer geeks and plain old drunks. (Photo of Novita Bistro by Tara Nurin)

Updated: September 24, 2009

Dinner


Pumpkin Restaurant

1713 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19146

This cutsie BYO is all about the local, organic and sustainable. Owned by the couple who later opened nearby Pumpkin Cafe and Pumpkin Market, the food centers around a contemporary American style and fresh ingredients prepared on site. And contrary to popular belief, the dining room is not orange.


Novita Bistro

1608 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19146

It's hard to know whether to order the homemade gnocchi, because the owner trained in Italy, or the chicken tagine because his family's from Morocco. Either way, the food is made from local and mostly organic ingredients and served in a cozy, 40-seat dining room complemented by exposed brick, hand-painted canvases and fine stemware to accommodate the bottle brought from home.


L Two Restaurant & Bar

2201 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19146

A perennial Citysearch ?Best Of? Winner, this comfort-food-centric joint is a tad funky and it likes it that way. A novel's worth of seafood and meat make up the menu, while hanging decor and pottery make up the ambiance. It's considered to be very romantic ? as long as the couple in question doesn't mind a little untraditional flair served as a side to their tete-a-tete.


My Thai Restaurant

2200 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19146

All of the usual Thai restaurant suspects hang out here: seasoned squid, lemon grass and coconut soup, and curry pots slink around the kitchen until they're called to the table. And beware because this gang is known to be spicy. Order some wine and enjoy the romantic--if not unusual--atmosphere.


Drinks


Bob & Barbara's

1509 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19146

All we have to say is that these transvestite performers have the uncanny ability to get many a bachelorette almost naked and writhing on the floor. Not that we?d have any personal experience with that. Look, if you live in town, you already know about this place. If you don't: it's a dive that's famous for its tranny divas who dance. Any more questions? You just have to go there yourself.


Ten Stone Bar & Restaurant

2063 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19146

This is a bar for weirdos of a different variety: sports fans. No, that's not entirely true. Although there are plenty o? TV's, pool tables and dart boards for the sports guy, there's also a heavy beer list, food that's lauded by people in the know and some distinctly English elements. Still don't want to hear the cheer of E_A_G_L_E_S? Sit outside and watch the dancers heading to work at Bob and Barbara's.