Some of Philly's best (and smallest) restaurants have an annoying policy of not taking reservations, which means weekends can find you waiting for an hour in a cramped area at the bar playing the "Do we wait? Do we leave?" game. You try to read your hunger in terms of time: In a place where plates of food are being paraded past you, how long will it be before you finally break down and tackle the bus boy for the plate of leftover food from the table he's clearing? Is an hour about right? Ten minutes? How can you be sure you won't have a meltdown before your name is called by the hostess who seems to get sick pleasure from denying you a basic need?
Instead of heading to the restaurant at 5:30 on a Saturday to beat the crowds (you just finished lunch two hours ago!), try Wednesday nights. Chances are, you'll be able to stroll in at normal eating times and be seated. And you're less likely to be rushed through your meal by a waiter trying to turn the table.