Creative Comfort Food: Marathon Grill Review

Want to see something entertaining?  Mention the words ‘chain restaurant’ to a food lover and gauge her reaction.  It is almost guaranteed that face contortions and nose-in-the-air snobbery will ensue.  A renewed interest in haute dining has nearly put a proverbial nail in the coffin of chain restaurants–even forcing a record number of recognizable national brands to shutter their doors or file bankruptcy.  Once a beloved part of the American landscape, chain restaurants have become the poster child for assembly line-produced pedestrian, unimaginative fare.  For the most part, diners have turned their backs on chain restaurants and, perhaps, have done so prematurely.  There are still some fine exceptions to the rule and family-owned Philadelphia chain Marathon Grill is one of them.

With locations dotted around the city, Marathon Grill’s menu is a wild ride in creativity.  A host of interesting salads, pastas and sandwiches are pleasing to both the Rittenhouse business crowd and casual diners alike and breakfast is served all day much to the delight of late-to-rise bed dwellers.  Although the chicken matzoh ball soup is touted as the “best of Philly” on the menu, the vegetarian chili with cilantro and chickpeas steals the comfort food show.

With bright, eclectic flavors and a menu focused on fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, Marathon Grill reminds us to not give up on chain restaurants just yet.


Marathon Grill on Urbanspoon

About Iris "The Palate Princess" M.

Food writer | Author of Food Lovers' Guide to Philadelphia, Main Squeeze: Juicing Recipes for Your Healthiest Self, and On the Line (coming soon)


  1. October 29th, 2011 3:56

    To bad this restaurant is family owned. With a review from you I probably try to buy stock in it ;). However, i think I’ll go check it out next time I’m in Philly, that chili sounds good!


    • Iris "The Palate Princess" M.
      October 29th, 2011 4:03

      When i saw your screen name, I thought “Who the hell is DLove?” LOL That chili was really good–I think in the next year or so, I’ll be a vegetarian–there’s so little meat in my diet right now–and vegetarian food is so much more than salad and peanut butter like it was when I was growing up.


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