So everyone knows Philly is famous for its cheesesteak. Let’s get this out of the way: we didn’t make it to Geno’s or Pat’s. You have to leave something for next time, right? We did, however, have tons of delicious food and Philadelphia blew me away with the variety. Every meal was a treat and I can’t wait to go back and eat.
One of our first stops was Campo’s. Did you know that the hoagie is actually Philadelphia’s official sandwich? Weird, but true. In 1992 the mayor made it so. I don’t understand why a city needs an official sandwich, but…so be it. We ordered a hoagie and a cheesesteak to kick our culinary adventure off.
I loved the hoagie, which surprised me. After a few bits of the cheesesteak, I finished the hoagie. I guess I wasn’t as big a fan of cheesesteak as I thought, but it was a very hot day and cheesesteak is a hot sandwich. We did order the cheesesteak with traditional Cheese whiz. The Cheese whiz ends up melting a bit and it isn’t as gross as most novices assume. Anyway, Campo’s was delicious and their sandwiches were huge. We left clean plates.
Reading Terminal Market was fantastic.
It reminded me a lot of Pike Place in Seattle, but it had more places to buy sandwiches and a large area to sit, along with a large selection of fresh fruits, veggies and meats. We met for lunch here one day. I had to try the cannoli from Termini Brothers Bakery. They had a giant bag of cannoli filling suspended from the ceiling. I wanted to crawl in there.
I had a magical turkey stuffing sandwich from The Original Turkey. Kris and I both ate sandwiches from DiNic’s, which got a lot of press from the Travel Channel. My sandwich was hot, greasy, and lived up to my expectations. Go there hungry.
A vendor of the conference Kris was attending opened up Reading Terminal after hours for us one night. It was a highlight because this place was bumping during the day, so to see it turned down was very fun. Different vendors were open and we sampled more food, even though we had already eaten dinner at Barbuzzo, a Mediterranean restaurant.
The candy case at Chocolate by Mueller:
I wanted to try everything. I did try the chocolate covered Oreos and wasn’t disappointed.
Here’s the fruit stands, very similar to Pike Place:
Reading Terminal is a must if you go to Philadelphia. You can’t go wrong with finding something to eat there.
Philadelphia has the U.S.’s third largest Chinatown, which we were both surprised to find out. Our hotel was a few blocks from it, and one night when Kris was pressed for time we wandered over for a quick dinner. We ended up at Penang. I had the pad thai which was soooo freaking tasty that I’m still dreaming about it. As an appetizer we ordered the roti canai. Its similar to a flat croissant with a curry-potato dipping sauce. It’s apparently a Malaysian dish. Very good!
I also saw Utz potato chips. Maybe I haven’t been paying attention, but I don’t think I’ve seen these in the Midwest. I have, however, heard Judge John Hodgman talk about them at length on his podcast, so I bought a bag. They reminded me of a thinner and saltier Pringle. I also felt better about myself because I didn’t have to cram my hand into a can to eat them. Winning!
We also sampled some Tastykakes. This is apparently some sort of Hostess sibling. Perhaps a step-sibling. Tastykakes was the one disappointment. I did like the coffee cake flavor, but I guess I was born and raised on Hostess and Little Debbie. I don’t have room for Tastykakes in my life.
We had so much good food that I think we’re still working off the calories. On the plus side, we now have many reasons to go back. And now I’m off to the kitchen to see what’s in the fridge…