Monday, January 30, 2012

Philly Bites

Ah, the City of Brotherly Love. I love this city.

Philadelphia is such a great and easy city to hang out in for a long weekend. The food is top notch, and the hospitality even better. I feel like I am down South. Everyone says "good morning" (what a concept), they smile and go out of their way to be nice, something I am not used to here in Northern New Jersey (I know I will take flack for that comment, but it's TRUE). Even the bums are friendlier than my supermarket check-out lady.

I get so many recommendations when visiting Philly. "DiNic's has the best roast pork sandwiches", "NO! Go to Paesano's!", and then there is "How can you beat Tony Luke's?", and let's not forget about Philly cheese steak sandwiches. (we can discuss that in another post).

So many sandwiches, so little time.

A long weekend does not allow me to try them all, so DiNic's it was (we went for breakfast).

Located in the Reading Terminal Market, a fantastic food market in the old train station with everything you could want. Fresh turkeys, organic produce, artisan cheese makers, wonderful handmade breads and pastries and amazing pork sandwiches. Eataly, eat your heart out, this was here first.

At 11 a.m, the line was literally about 30 people long, so we snagged a stool at the counter (just luck). Be prepared to wait whenever you go, but it will be worth it, I promise.

We shared a gorgeous huge roast pork sandwich loaded with broccoli rabe and sharp provolone. A thing of beauty (that's just half a sandwich in the photo!). Take extra napkins, because this thing is huge for $8. Two people can easily share.

It's too bad, because now I am going to have cravings for this sandwich and it's 2 hours away.

Next, on to Talula's Garden, a beautiful farm to fork seasonal restaurant located in Washington Square. All I can say is that this place is special and if you have a chance to try it, go. The cheese offerings were exciting and we tried the special rare 4 samplings as well as a smoked sturgeon rillette to start. Entrees were all seasonal and beautifully presented and service was top notch.

Day 2 was spent at the beautiful Philadelphia Museum of Art at the Van Gogh exhibit and then on to the Dandelion Pub for dinner, an authentic English pub run by restaurateur Steven Starrs.

Housed in an old tudor building, serving cod balls, deviled eggs, shepherd's pie and fish and chips, this place was packed to the gills at 3 pm, serving high tea. You'd think you were transported to a London pub with all the soccer on the telly and the pints of beer. Loved.

Philly has some amazing architecture, new mixed with old, beautiful churches underneath modern skyscrapers.

It's an easy place to walk around and find cool spots to pop in for a drink or coffee. It has the feeling of almost a small town instead of a city. Rich in history and culture and truly delicious food and great hospitality wherever you go.

Missing those pork sammies already!

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Ciao Chow Linda said...

Philly's my old stomping grounds when I was younger and holds many wonderful memories for me. The Reading Market is a wonderful stop for lunch and/or goodies to take home. Thanks for all the recommendations on other places to eat. Now I can't wait to see the Van Gogh exhibit and munch too.

Claudia said...

I haven't been to Philly.... for decades and now I am ready to return just for that pork-broccoli-rabe-laden sandwich. When I moved to MN, everyone said hello everywhere. It took me 8 years to get used to that.

Proud Italian Cook said...

OMG, That pork sandwich looks breathtaking!!! Sounds like a fun weekend Stace.

Stephanie Mellor Doyle said...

I am a Philly girl born and bred. I'm so glad you went to DiNic's! I adore the inside of the Dandelion. I'm glad you had a good weekend here!
p.s. I haven't commented before, but I used your site heavily when I was prepping for the Royal Wedding Party I hosted, so thank you (quite late).

Carole said...

When I lived in Center City, I went to Reading Terminal Market on a weekly basis. Now that I'm in the far suburbs, i don't get there as frequently. I miss Harry G. Ochs & Son, which was a stalwart of the market. They now deliver because they don't have a retail outlet. I <3 Ochs.

Have you ever been to Villa di Roma in the Italian Market? Mouth-watering Italian food. Try the mussels.

Joanne said...

In all this time that I've lived so close to Philly...I've never actually been there! Now I know i NEED to go for the food.

dm said...

After watching Man v Food I want to go to that ice cream place that he went to. Since it looks like I'm coming to Jersey in Sept or Nov I have to go to it. I have to stop drooling when I think of cheese steaks smothered with onions or they will take away my vegetarian membership. lol

Dana said...

My parents lived in Philly when they were newly married and my dad was doing his residency at Penn. They HATED it but obviously the city has changed a lot. I've never been there!

Anonymous said...

Hi Stacy, Jim and Karen from Montville. When we go to Philly we stay at the Radisson near Rittenhouse and really like Starrs "Parc" for brunch. Next time we will hit Dandelion. See you soon.

Lori Lynn said...

pork + broccoli rabe = genius

love the photo of "skinny sandwiches" looks like you are wearing a sandwich board