Philadelphia Review Part 2: The Gastronomical Edition

Our first stop was Geno’s, where we got our cheese steaks (wit whiz) and found that there was no place to sit.  Since I was the trifecta of hungry, tired, and ballsy, I asked a friendly looking older couple if we could join them at their table.   Thank goodness they didn’t say “no” and Nikki and I had a nice conversation while we split our cheese steak and asked about all the places we couldn’t miss in Philly.  Our bellies half full, we made our way across the street to Pat’s, where we ordered the same sandwich (cheesesteak with onions and Cheez-whiz) and sat down with another family (that we payed-it-forward to) that didn’t have a seat.  As soon as we finished our sandwich it was time to vote.  And the winner is…GENO’S.  I didn’t want it to be Geno’s, he came into the town to basically run Pat’s out of business, and although Pat’s appears to have a higher quality of meat, Geno’s just plain tasted better.  It was delicious!  Next time I go to Philly, I plan on trying the challenge again, this time starting with Pat’s because maybe, just maybe, I liked the first one I tried best, but that’s not likely.  Geno’s deserves the credit-it was tasty and the people there were very friendly and didn’t make me think that they’d say “No steak for you” if I ordered incorrectly.

Our days were not complete without a visit to Capogiro, a fantastic gelato shop that made our mouths water every time we walked by and practically made us purr while eating the creamy goodness.    They had about 20 different flavors each day, but they have over 300 flavors in their repertoire.  Over the course of two days, I had banana (of course), Thai coconut milk, and rosemary honey goat’s milk.  They were all amazing and I can’t wait to try some more.  I’m working on some recipes at home in my ice cream maker to see if I can make something similar, but alas, I am not an artiste like these folks.  The customer service was great too, and we were allowed to try any flavors we wanted before making our final selections.  The eat-in area was pretty nice and I just felt like this would be a great place to meet some friends after work when you weren’t looking for a happy hour scene. 

Overall, the best food place we visited was Reading Terminal Market.  This was an orgy on the senses, with so many different smells and flavors wafting through the air.  We were in love.  If I lived in Philly I think I’d visit this place on Saturday mornings to have breakfast and pick up some produce and meats.  While it was touristy, there was incredible selection, great quality, and so many vibrant people.  The produce prices were actually quite reasonable and the groceries we stepped into, but the real prize was the Profi’s Creperie, where we had breakfast on our last day.  Holy schnikes this place was so tasty.  First of all, the crepists (yeah, that’s a word) were super attractive which added to the experience and second, they were so skilled at crepe making.  They had special little tools and we watched them as they made our food; salivating over our cheesy-bacony delights.  And the taste?  AMAZING!  I thought I had died and gone to Heaven.  Sooooo good.  In fact, I wish we would have gone there before, but with free breakfast at the Residence Inn we didn’t make it until the last day.  We won’t make that mistake next time.  They had so many different menu choices, but while we were enjoying our savory dish, we saw their most popular creation, the Banana-Nutella combo, which looked so good and appealed to my banana addiction.  Next time Gadget, next time. 

In order to feed my coffee addiction I thought it would be good to try some Philly coffee, so instead of hitting Starbucks, I got a coffee at Old City Coffee.  My mistake.  Yucktastic is the best way to describe it and I feel they owe me an apology for taking my last $3 of cash for that horrible swill that had clearly been on the burner for quite some time.  Bad OCC, bad.   To cheer myself up I got a scoop of banana and a scoop of green tea ice cream at Bassett’s Ice Cream (shut up, I’m definitely not eating like that anymore!) and enjoyed the heck out of it. 

The rest of the market was great and we walked around visiting all kinds of stalls, buying a ton of different honeys (for my honey-loving honey) and sampling wine at the Blue Mountain Wine shop.  I bought a couple bottles of wine, but Nikki decided not to since she’d pretty much bought out the Southern Maryland wine market while she was down here.  Their Vignoles was super super good and Rebecca and I enjoyed the bottle when she visited the next week.  MMM, I love wine!

All in all, the only thing we missed out on when we were in Philly was a street pretzel and despite popular belief (or Robyn lying to us) there was not a “sweaty pretzel” vendor on every street corner, looking to grace us with doughy, yeasty goodness.  I guess I’ll just have to settle for WaWa.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Patty
    Aug 05, 2010 @ 17:37:22

    Did you try a cheesesteak with provolone and peppers? That is my absolute favorite way to eat it. Then I saw Baby Mama and realized my order is a little particular. Eh, it’s still super yummy.


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