24 Hours in Food Filled Philadelphia
Last weekend we flew into Philadelphia to meet up with college friends before heading up to Bucknell University for our college reunion. We were only in Philly for basically a day, and would you be surprised to know that nearly all of my photos are of food? I did snap this lovely view of Ben Franklin William Penn on top of this building City Hall, but really it was all about sharing food (and lots of laughs and memories) with our oldest and dearest friends.After being picked up at the airport, we headed into central Philadelphia to meet up for dinner at Tinto to celebrate our friends’ anniversary. Twenty six years ago we actually left straight from their wedding to drive cross country on our move to Denver, so it was fun to be with them on this night.If you don’t know Tinto, it’s a Basque country inspired restaurant by Jose Garces, right near Rittenhouse Square, and the wine bottle decor on the walls is warm and inviting.It’s also a tapas style place – my very favorite – which is perfect for sharing food with friends. Although we lingered for some time enjoying the meal, I’ll take you quickly through the plates.Yellow tail crudo with beet microgreens and watermelon.Rillette of duck confit, smoked bacon, and pickled cranberries.Aged manchego cheese with membrillo and apples.Braised short-ribs with bacon, asparagus, and celery root aioli.Truffled chestnut soup with duck & mushroom hash, fried quail egg, and pistachio (our friend said it tasted like you were eating a stick of butter with a cup of heavy cream, flavored with chestnuts…soooooo good!).Tuna tartare from big eye tuna with pickled guindilla and chorizo aioli.Mussels with chorizo served with frites to dip in lemon aioli (killer good…).Spanish octopus with confit potatoes and lemon powder (my least favorite – I’m beginning to hate when I see a dish with foam unless it in some way involves bacon).Lamb loin with eggplant, wrapped in bacon (need I say more?) with sherry jus.And in what might seem like an afterthought, we ordered some wild mushrooms that were caramelized with shallot and parsley.The next day the guys headed out to golf (look at how beautiful the day was!) while I took the train from their home in Rydal into the city to meet my friend for the afternoon. You’d think after that menu from the night before we would have been full, but no! If you’ve followed my travel blog at all, you’ll know that I love nothing more than visiting various markets of cities around the country and world.So we met up at the rather famous Reading Terminal Market in central Philadelphia.The market has over 80 vendors covering about 1.7 acres – a mix of dining spots and traditional market purveyors – but as soon as I saw the long line waiting to order lunch, I knew I had to eat at Tommy Dinic’s. (That cute pig on the sign may have also influenced me.)They’re famous for their roast pork sandwiches, whether you like it the traditional carved way or the pulled version.The cooks in the back are working in overdrive……while the pork roasts are sitting under the heat lamps ready to go.Whoever has the contract for their bread must be one happy vendor – and take note of the size of the rolls. That’s a full sandwich there, and they don’t sell halves.You can order up the roast pork plain (so juicy because they dip into into the juices before layering it on the roll), with provolone, or with greens -broccoli rabe is the classic, although they also offer spinach. Deliciousness on a roll, and enough for two women to share, juices dripping down our hands as we gobbled them up.We finished off the day by shopping around Phildelphia (that’s Rittenhouse Square where there seem to always be artists with their creations on display).We made one last stop to round out our food filled Philly tour – the Di Bruno Brothers famous store in center city.We tasted a few sausages……and wandered through the fabulous store, before making our way home on the train to pack up and head out to our college reunion.
Is there any better way to experience a city than through it’s food? Clearly not for me!
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