I’d planned on writing today about the virtues of the cheesesteak, but somehow I got gastronomically diverted this weekend. That’s what happens when you wander around a city that has so many food choices. Amanda and I were in Philly to check out the Frida Kahlo exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (which was amazing by the way, though not exactly the “feel good” exhibit of the year). Since we’re both food lovers, we ambled over to Philly’s premiere food destination, Reading Terminal Market.
If you like to eat, you might as well lie down and die right there, because it doesn’t get much better. Produce, meats, seafood, cheeses, baked goods and an endless number of food vendors make up the maze of one the largest farmer’s markets in the country. I was in too much of a daze to take pictures, but I did grab this one of some of the largest shrimp I’ve ever seen- random, I know, but they were just so freakin’ big. The pic doesn’t do them justice:
For lunch we went simple and stopped at a Mediterranean stand for a thin crust pizza with caramelized onions, roasted red peppers and olives. My reuben obsession also kicked in, so I snagged a turkey reuben for us to share. Then I blacked out. If the reuben at City Limits Diner was a D, this was an A-plus. Piled high with an ungodly amount of fresh turkey (Amanda thinks it was over a 1/2 pound), with just the right amount of cheese, sauerkraut and Russian dressing that made it drippy, but not TOO drippy (we did take a pic of me eating it, but it was so unflattering that I refuse to include it). The pickle was perfect too- we guess it might have come from one of the neighboring Amish pickle vendors. What an awesome sandwich. Of course, when you’re so stuffed that you’re loosening your belt, there’s only one logical thing to do next…get ice cream. Bassetts is a Philadelphia staple and the ice cream is sooo good- homemade and high in butterfat, it oozes creaminess. I ordered peach, Amanda got pistachio, and we waddled out of the market.
Thankfully Philly’s an extremely walkable city, so you can burn off some calories while visiting the usual tourist destinations like the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. The rest of our weekend included coffee at La Colombe in Rittenhouse Square, dinner at the excellent Cuban hotspot Alma de Cuba (where coincidentally, Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore had eaten just a few days before- thought you’d want to know that), lunch and Yuenglings at Mace’s Crossing Pub, and another coffee stop at Tuscany Café. We were so busy that we just never got around to trying the ‘ol cheesesteak. That’s okay, I have a feeling I’ll be back in Philly soon. The turkey reuben’s calling my name.
(Note: This is Part 1 of the Philly posting- the second part involves a strange experience at Burger King. Stay tuned.)