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Reserve at Isabel
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2601 Pennsylvania Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19130
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$30 and under
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Hours of Operation:
Brunch: Sunday: 10:30am - 1:30pm;
Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm,
Friday, Saturday 5:00pm - 11:00pm
Please note our kitchen closes 30 minutes early
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
BYO Liquor, Counter Seating, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access
Please allow extra time for parking on Fridays and Saturdays
A word from Isabel
Isabel BYOB is a Mexi-Cali BYO restaurant located just one-and-half blocks from the Philadelphia Museum of Art in the 2601 Parkway condo building. Opened in 2011 by Michael Poole and Van Chau (also owners of Trio one block north of Isabel)
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
Diners' Choice Winner
I would definitely go to Isabel
again. The food was excellent as was the atmosphere. The tequila goes fast here"
Dined on 2/15/2014
The place was nice and quiet. It
had a good ambiance and is not too big. This place is a good spot if you looking for a small quiet romantic place that serves pretty good Mexican food."
Dined on 2/14/2014
Very pleased as we had a fine
meal. Enjoyed out bottle of tequila with their mix in for margaritas."
Dined on 2/14/2014
My son had a friend in from Japan
who had never had Mexican food. I am glad we chose Isabel for the experience. Too many mexican restaurants food tastes like it was made on a conveyor belt. Everything at Isabels was freshly made and had its own individual flavor. The crab cakes were decent for he price, the half chicken was very good. The guacamole was excellent. We got it with added bacon. The bring your own aspect is always attractive. You can bring your own tequila as well and they have a great variety of margaritas to add it to. We also had fish tacos and an enchilada. Everyone enjoyed their entrees. Most people were drinking which can always raise the volume, but it was possible to carry a conversation in a normal voice."
Dined on 2/7/2014
Have been here several times since
we live in the neighborhood, and we think it just keeps getting better. Every time we go, the list of non-menu specials grows longer and reflects a more ambititious and diverse approach to Mexican, Latin, and Spanish cuisine. All o the waitstaff are extremely pleasant and the service is attentive and caring."
Dined on 2/1/2014
I ate here with a party of 4 on a
Friday night - and we ate well! The food was amazingly good and everyone I ate with had the same experience. We went though two appetizers four entrees and desserts - if my stomach and basic rules of decorum would have allowed for it I'd have eaten more. The highlights include the guacamole, the black beans, the enchilada and the dessert selection. The only issue I had with Isabel is that is looks like a cafeteria and there is absolutely no signage outside. Don't get me wrong, the place is clean just not overly exciting to be in - the food made me forget all that! The signage thing was a problem though - my wife literally stood outside the restaurant and called because we could not figure out where it was."
Dined on 1/18/2014
The food us excellent here with a
great variety of choices, especially considering that this is a small restaurant. Due to its location on the ground floor of an apartment building, this is not a very visible location and the restaurant has not gotten the attention that La Calaca Feliz has attracted. However, having eaten at both places, I prefer Isabel, both for the breadth of menu selections, and for the quality of the food. This is a BYOB, which saves on the cost, and you can bring tequila for margarita type drinks as well as wine, since the mixers are available from the restaurant . Service is caring and efficient. Outdoor dining on a patio in front of the building is available in season. ."
Dined on 1/12/2014
Had another good meal at Isabel on
a very cold snowy night. Good and hot snow crab bisque was tasty but not over filling like many bisques. We had duck enchilados and beef tacos. Both were good and satisfying. The Mexican food is reasonably priced. Some of the specials can be a tad pricey and they are not Mexican. However this means you can go there with folks who do not like Mexican food. The odd mixture of foods is similar to its sister Thai restuarant which also has a number of non-Thai specials. Not sure what drives this concept. It is BYOB so the overall cost is reasonable. The complimentary salsa and chips are great. We will be back."
Dined on 1/3/2014
Service was very poor. Our waiter
was not friendly. Other staff members were friendlier. Food was bland."
Dined on 12/21/2013
First off their is potential to be
a good restaurant; however they have too large of a menu. It hurt their consistency in the dishes. Everything was under salted, and their best dish was a French dish (snails, garlic, mushrooms, and butter) that was one of 20 of their specials! Again, way too much. Their staples like nachos were over fried and under salted. The pulled pork was incredible! They had. 48 and 72 hour beef which sounded awesome. Yet the rice was cold. It just seemed like they were trying too much. Slow down, focus on a few things and show the quality I think this place can have."
Dined on 12/21/2013
I went here with about 7 friends
and we enjoyed it managed to break a few glasses but they were nice about it. The staff was very friendly and very accommodating. I did find it a bit annoying that they gave us 2 tables for 7 I had to be squeezed onto the end but that's a minor nit pick and all in all I had a very good time. The food was very good i'd recommend the Nachos or guacamole It's great if you have a few friends you want to share with."
Dined on 12/20/2013
Several friends and I had an early
dinner here on Saturday night. The waitress was very welcoming and helpful. We all had delicious soup and meals. My crispy duck was outstanding. It truly was crispy. For me this place will probably become a regular since I live in the building above."
Dined on 11/30/2013
A wonderful brunch! The specials
were fantastic and the mixers are amazing!"
Dined on 11/17/2013
Was going to be in the area, fond
this on open table. It turned out to be a great choice."
Dined on 9/29/2013
We have walked past this
restaurant many times and finally decided to give it a try on a Saturday night. The service was not only professional but very friendly and accommodating. The four of us all tried different appetizers and main dishes and all were well done. The stuffed pepper and the spiced pork really hit the spot. Dessert and La Colombe coffee rounded out the meal with a very reasonable tab."
Dined on 9/22/2013
We dined outside on a very nice
August evening, something you would not think would be pleasant this close to the Art Museum [or in August]. Food and service were great. Menu had some less common dishes that are well prepared. Service was great. Margarita set-ups were great. Bread pudding was outstanding, Got free parking on the street close by. What's not to like?"
Dined on 8/18/2013
although it is in 2601 building it
has great mexican food AND desserts. pitchers of margarita are $9 and glasses are $3. what a deal! food is delicious."
Dined on 8/10/2013
Great food, pleasant ambiance,
excellent service. Love that it's a BYO. Best guacamole ever"
Dined on 8/7/2013
We had one of our best meals ever
at Isabel. THe gaspacho was very good. The Duck enchilado was great. Like the new menu. We will be back."
Dined on 8/3/2013
We got there when they opened for
brunch. Everything was great except that even though we ordered first of the three tables there it still took the food over a half hour after waiting over ten minutes to order. Food is delicious, space is very pleasant."
Dined on 7/28/2013
We found this restaurant close to
the art museum for a quick meal before an event. The food was delicious, the service was great and the atmosphere was charming. Don't forget to bring your own bottle!"
Dined on 7/21/2013
We enjoyed everything, especially
the Quinoa salad and the Paella special.."
Dined on 7/21/2013
I had the pineapple and mango
guacamole. It was delish. The rest of the food was really good as well. Service was prompt and the server knew what he was talking about and even accommodated a special food request. Overall, great experience. Would def go back again."
Dined on 7/15/2013
Came in early for dinner, and the
place got busier after 6:45, with a mix of what looked like neighborhood types mixed with the senior crowd from the apartment house. Service was very good and gentle, good knowledge of that day's specials,. We chose to dine on appetizers and tacos. Apppetizers were empanadas; the shrimp and crab ones were tasty, the basil chicken a bit on the dry side, and without much basil flavor. They were fried, well presented (two good size empanadas per serving with some pico de gallo and fresh shredded lettuce on the side) and sprinkled with melted queso fresco.. The other appetizer was albóndigas, three meatballs per serving, very tasty, in a brothy sauce, with the ever present cheese. Pork tacos? ¡Excelente!"
Dined on 6/18/2013
Isabel is a small space in an
apartment building across from the Museum of Art. The range of entrees was extraordinary for a place that bills itself as Mexi-Cali. The space is used well, the food (I had scallops) was very good and our server was very familiar with how the specials were prepared. There whenever we needed him, left alone when we did not. Looking forward to returning often."
Dined on 6/14/2013
Missed the ceviche, but the
tomatilla salad was great. Love that there is always lots of fish. Love the attitude."
Dined on 6/6/2013
We did not know much about Isabel
but were pleasantly surprised. The food quality was great and very inventive (the raspberry gazpacho was wonderful). This is a BYOB but just bring your tequila as the pitchers provided by Isabels were really tasty! Everything was a really great value as well. We plan to go back soon....."
Dined on 5/26/2013
wonderful setting on fairmount,
bright windows, spacious, informal though elegant. food was very tasty, worked for brunch with kids, will be back at night for byob"
Dined on 5/12/2013
Reserved a table for 6 and arrived
on time. A group walked into the restaurant immediately in front of us (we literally held the door for them). The restaurant seated them at their only table for 6. So, we waited while they scrambled to push two differently heighted tables together to accommodate. The food was excellent and highly recommended. The service was very slow, but very polite and helpful when available."
Dined on 5/5/2013
I love the convenience of this
neighborhood gem. Food is always good, although service can be a bit slow. BYOT is a great option."
Dined on 5/6/2013
Food is above average for Mexican
cuisine. The tortilla soup was good. Guacamole and nacho chips outstanding. Drunken chicken was good. They are a bit pricey. The service was extremely slow last night. The restuarant was understaffed. Only one server for 10-15 tables. Eventually one of the co-owners showed up to help her but it was too late to get us off to a decent start. Very disappointing oversight."
Dined on 5/5/2013
This was our first time at Isabel
and we will definitely come back. It is a small and casual BYOB but in all good ways. The food was excellent and well prepared. We don't eat at Mexican restaurants too often so I don't have a lot of comparisons but I would say this is by far a cut above, very tasty, delicately seasoned, different and "gourmet" Mexican fare, not your run of the mill. We had a great meal!"
Dined on 5/4/2013
Food is good and atmosphere is
pleasant. This is the second time we have encountered a delay in the kitchen. There was a very long period from when we finished appetizers and when dinner was served. It was not this way for the first year it was opened and it is not clear what has happened since. The only discernable difference we note is that an individual who appeared to be an owner was there whenever we went before but he was not present the last two times we went and experienced service issues."
Dined on 4/25/2013
Isabel is a great neighborhood
spot - a little off the beaten path on the ground floor of a high-rise apartment building. Food was outstanding - authentic and flavorful. Will go back again and again!"
Dined on 4/20/2013
Isabel has some really great
hearty mexican food. The margarita mixes are fantastic and the salsa is amazing. However, the service was just so-so and the temperature of the restaurant was excessively hot. Worst of all, we made an 8:15pm reservation at about 7pm that night hoping to walk right in to a table. When we got there, we were told that we could wait an hour for a table or just sit at the bar and eat. I guess their system does not have a means to remove reservation times when the restaurant fills up. Nonetheless, I will go back for the food."
Dined on 3/30/2013
THis Mexi-Cali byo has great
california mexican standards and always adventurous specials - usually lots of them. If you have someone with you who doesn't like Mexican (really??!!) there are several entrees that are more american in flavor. We've eaten here many times and love it. BYO tequilla and they have lots set ups for it."
Dined on 3/15/2013
Food was good, great for a BYO.
Waitress however was unfriendly from the very beginning, not very attentive, charged us a plating fee for cake when I specifically asked ahead of time if there would be one (and was told there would not be)."
Dined on 3/15/2013
Always enjoyable and flavorful
food. Great housemade margarita mix (BYOT)"
Dined on 3/2/2013
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