We took our first trip down the Turnpike to Philadelphia last weekend to meet up with Calvin, one of our oldest friends from SF. He knows how to squeeze the maximum amount of fun into a weekend, so while we didn’t have laminated itinerary cards slipped under the door every morning by a guy named Brendan,we did have a pretty epic and enlightening tour of Philadelphia.
Here’s the rundown of the high points:
Monk’s Belgian Cafe‘-mussels and frites, rabbit terrine, charcuterie, Chouffe Houblon et al.
Reading Terminal Market -Dinic’s garlicky pulled pork sandwich with broccoli raab, buttery pretzels, rows of gorgeous produce, meat, seafood, cheese, cookbooks, coffee and bakeries, delis full of salads and sandwiches
Strolling down through Society Hill
Independence Hall and Liberty Bell
Royal Tavern– Bloody Mary, heavy on the horseradish
The Italian street market – delis and salumerias, houses of cheese (!), butchers and produce stands, whole roast pigs(!)
The Duelling Cheesesteak Behemoths, Pat’s and Geno’s. We chose the line that only circled the block once. It was cold and I had forgotten my jacket.
Pat’s cheesesteak “Whiz wit”
At the risk of being banned from returning to the city, my least favorite thing I ate was the cheesesteak. I have a pretty low threshold for time that I am willing to stand in line for fast food, time spent waiting being inversely correlated to expectation of deliciousness and general worth it-ness. It was a long, cold wait for a sandwich I’ll give a “meh”rating. Philly has better stuff than the cheesesteak in my humble opinion.
Standard Tap– great local draught beer, calves liver with lima beans, more pork sandwiches, Victory Storm King et al.
RTM again- chicory coffee and beignets
Yarn bombing in Rittenhouse Square
Famous 4th Street Deli– dill, half sour pickles and health salad, zaftig pastrami Reuben
Fairmount Park– general wandering and admiring of views; there may or may not have been a rendition of “Gonna Fly Now” played on someone’s iphone in front of the Philadelphia Museum, I admit to nothing.
U Penn, coffee shop
Airport, getting lost as soon as we drove into NJ, Turnpike north.
Philadelphia was a nice surprise. We all had a great time, and I can’t say it was all down to the great company. I could have spent all day in any of the markets we visited, the historical buildings were beautiful, bars and restaurants were good, friendly, relaxed. While a little heavy on sandwiches for my taste, the food we ate was really good. The parks were beautiful. I would certainly love to visit again.