Monthly Archives: January 2015


Meritage: Fine Dining in Rittenhouse Square

Meritage serves contemporary American fare just a few blocks from Rittenhouse Square. The dining room, which seats 55 people, boasts golden yellow walls and gleaming hardwood floors, proving the space to be equal parts cozy and chic.

Meritage promises to be one of the more wallet-friendly fine dining destinations in the tony Rittenhouse Square neighborhood. A full bar offers an impressive variety of wines under $50, while elegantly plated dishes don't exceed $30. The gourmet fare here includes vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options. For those without dietary restrictions, the free-range chicken breast with whipped potatoes, and sauteed spinach is a local favorite. Finish your meal with the decadent goat cheese cake with pistachio, poppy seeds, and lemon curd.

Meritage serves dinner 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays and 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

500 S. 20th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19146
(215) 985-1922


How to Be a Better Listener

Becoming a better listener can improve your life in many ways, from your personal relationships to your position at work. Although it may seem like a small thing, it can help you to be more compassionate and understanding in all aspects. Here are a few tips to help you become a better listener.

  1. Speak with your body language. People subconsciously notice body language whether they realize it or not, so be sure that your non-verbal cues make you appear engaged. Face the person directly, make eye contact, and nod your head to reflect understanding.
  2. Ask questions. While you don’t want to interrupt the speaker, asking questions will help you to better understand what he or she is saying and make the conversation less one-sided.
  3. Avoid making judgments. Clear your mind before speaking with another person in order to diminish any opinions you might have of the conversation. Listen with an open mind and don’t jump to conclusions without understanding the situation.
  4. Don’t attempt to give advice. While it may seem supportive to offer advice to the person you’re speaking to, sometimes a friend or coworker simply needs a shoulder to lean on. You don’t always have to offer advice, especially if you don’t feel qualified.

Effective Listening [Berkeley HR]
How to Become a Better Listener [WikiHow]
5 Ways to Be a Better Listener [Entrepreneur]
The Hidden Power of Listening []


Bartram’s Garden: Experience Botanical History

In 1728, a Pennsylvania Quaker named John Bartram purchased 102 acres near Philadelphia and began assembling one of the most extensive botanical collections in the world. His garden remains the oldest existing botanical garden in the United States, and during Bartram's lifetime, the garden was visited and enjoyed by dignitaries like Thomas Jefferson and George Washington.You can spend the day exploring Bartram's Garden, as well!

Visiting the garden on your own is always free, but Yelp reviewers recommend signing up for one of the guided tours, which will explain the garden's layout and design, as well as help you identify the historical significance of certain plants. As an added bonus, you'll get a spectacular view of the Philadelphia skyline from the estate's meadowlands. Don’t forget to stop by the historic buildings that housed Bartram’s family, and be sure to step inside the nursery where you can purchase native Pennsylvania cuttings and seedlings.

Bartram's Garden
54th Street and Lindbergh Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19143
(215) 729-5281


Three of Philly’s Best Brunch Spots

There’s nothing better after a long weekend than a mimosa-filled Sunday brunch. Philadelphia is home to numerous brunch spots that will satisfy your craving for eggs benedict or gourmet waffles, and these are three of the best—just make sure you arrive early to beat the inevitable crowds.

Honey’s Sit ‘n Eat
With a location in Northern Liberties and one on South Street, Honey’s Sit ‘n Eat offers home-style weekend brunch to folks all across the city. The menu includes breakfast classics like omelets, home fries, lox, and huevos rancheros. It’s also BYOB, which is always a brunch plus.

Sabrina’s Cafe
Sabrina’s Cafe is another great BYOB brunch option in Philadelphia, and its brunch specials change bi-weekly to keep things fresh. These specials include fun twists on the traditional eggs benedict, French toast, and pancakes with unique toppings like dried apricots or toasted coconut, as well as hearty sandwiches with a slew of sauces and seasonings. Sabrina’s also offers many vegan and vegetarian options for meat-free visitors.

Crêperie Beau Monde
If you prefer a more sophisticated brunch option, Crêperie Beau Monde is a traditional Breton crêperie serving French cuisine based on centuries-old recipes. Brunch is served on weekends from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. only, and while dishes here are a bit pricier than most, the decadent ingredients and luxurious atmosphere make it well worth the cost. Crêperie Beau Monde's bloody mary is so good that it has won awards, and sweet and savory crêpes offer something for any palate.