Wednesday, April 21, 2010

twelve thirteen things I ate two weeks ago. part 1: Philadelphia

For my 1400th post on The Bloggy, Bloggy Dew, and by popular demand (two people asked!) I'll tell you about a weekend that started out as a Timothy Carey tour and ended up a foodie tour of two cities - three if you count the concubine's beef I had for lunch at Pete's Diner back home the day before I left.

I was in Philadelphia for a limited amount of time and wanted to make sure I had one known quantity of cheesesteak before heading north. I'd been to Cosmi's Deli in South Philly once before with my homes. Theirs was the highest rated sandwich in the "Ultimate Cheesesteak Taste Test," conducted by Richard Rys of Philadelphia magazine for Frommer's Philadelphia & The Amish Country, 2007 ed. To give you an idea of the reviewer's local cred, he rated the most famous cheesteak stands, tourist-magnets Pat's and Geno's, at the very bottom of his list. I walked two miles to get there, from 14th and South Street, past a Little Vietnam in South Philly (I saw a couple of bahn mi joints) to get a cheesesteak with whiz, and it was worth the walk.

[Not pictured: a crappy late-night carry-out cheeseteak with scrambled eggs. It wasn't even as good as the cheesteaks I can get at the corner Chinese carry-out back home.]

My hotel was close to the Reading Terminal Market. A sidebar in Frommer's suggested DiNic's as a decent purveyor of the Other Philly Sandwich, the roast pork (John's Roast Pork, rated high in the Frommer's cheesteak list, is reportedly The place to go) . I got one (right) with sharp provolone. It tasted healthier than a cheesesteak, but wasn't *that* much less greasy. I'll have to get broccoli rabe next time. Nice touch: The Thank You for Shopping Here bag.

I don't remember the name of the place whose siren song called me with this display of the Drunken Orange, a rich nutella/whiskey/truffle topping - which made its home on what was, alas, a medicocre shortbread base. Proper shortbread would have made it worth the heavy feeling in my tum tum.

Next stop: New York.

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