LA Chowhound in Philly...
- Richard Foss
I normally post on the LA board and am currently in Philadelphia for a convention. I'd appreciate any suggestions for great food located walking distance from the convention center. I noted some of the previous posts regarding dim sum and plan to investigate tomorrow. What else is wonderful and in the area?
We went to Frangelica last night and were quite impressed; the rack of veal was one of the best I have had in a long time, and the lobster ravioli and asparagus salad starters were very nice. Service was good, wine prices on the high side but bearable. I haven't seen this place reviewed elsewhere on the board, so contribute my two cents.
200 South 12th Street
If you're not shy of walking, walk yourself over to Pasion, (I think - 16th st?), or down to Caribou, or to chanterelle, or, - um , there's a new Thai - Sukhothai on 12th. Or cab it to Overtures off S. Street, or to La Grolla - or tre Scalini or----gee. Penang in Chinatown is good (although one of a chain) and so is Poon's. Don't forget to stroll through Reading Terminal early Saturday - sample what you willfor breakfast (the Downhome Diner is really ok, but not fabulous - fabulous breakfast is at Carman's and that's too far if you're conventioneering. have fun - you're in a great chowhound center.
Welcome to town! Hope you enjoy your stay.
If you like Italian, try Davios on 17th between Chestnut and Locust. They describe themselves as a Northern Italian steakhouse and the bolognese is awesome. In Chinatown, I'd advise Joy Tsin Lau or the Vietnam restaurant (that's the name) -- they have a crayfish dish that's great. I agree you have to try Reading Terminal just for the experience; for breakfast I'd say Blue In Green (3rd and Market in Old City -- a quick cab or El ride). Their pancakes are the best. Finally, Monks on 16th and Spruce is the best for mussels, pomme frites and 100 beers.
Philly is a great restaurant town -- I'd say just start walking and stop when you see an intriguing place.
I second both the Reading Terminal Market and Joy Tsin Lau (especially for dim sum). And to that list I add Salumeria for hoagies and the Old Dutch Place for a cheap, good breakfast, both at the RTM, and Sansom Street Oyster House for all types of fish.
At the RTM, get breakfast at the Old Dutch Place, and order the scrapple -- it's corn meal mush mixed with various parts of the hog and fried crisp. Greasy but good -- I had a double portion just a week before my coronary bypass surgery! (As I recall, they and the other "Pennsylvania Dutch" vendors are only open Wednesday through Saturday, though all other vendors are there Monday through Saturday) You might also enjoy the fresh soft pretzels At Fischer's candy and pretzel stand. When they're hot and slathered with butter, you don't necessarily need the mustdard.
Also at the RTM, I prefer the hoagies (submarine or hero sandwiches elsewhere in the U.S.) from Salumeria, ordered with marinated artichokes and house dressing, though all of the hoagie makers at the market are fine.
For seafood, you can't do better than the Sansom Street Oyster House. It's at 1516 Sansom Street, about 2 or 3 short blocks south and about 3 longer blocks west of the Marriott at the convention center. It's a basic fish house, not fancy and overpriced (like Striped Bass or the chain McCormick & Schmick), but top-notch quality. The oysters are divine (I gulped down a dozen briny Pemaquid's from Maine's Damariscotta River the other day). If you like soft shell crabs, fried or sauteed, they're in season and now's the time to get them.
re: Bob Libkind
I've gotta say... I've had phenomenal breakfasts at the Dutch Eating Place in RTM... and I grew up eating fried scrapple... but the scrapple I had at the Dutch Eating Place seemed pretty weird to me. It was shaped more like a big ravioli (or a maultauschen, for anyone familiar with that Schwabian delicacy ;-) than the sliced scrapple I'm familiar with. And it seemed unnecessarily greasy--and crispy in a deep-fried, not griddle-browned, way.
But scrapple is definitely a local specialty, and one worth trying! And the Dutch Eating Place has incredible breakfasts.
I've had scrapple twice in my life, both last month. First time was slices from a 'loaf', bought in a Mennonite supermarket, their own brand, and fried in a pan by a chef friend of my cousin's.
Second time was where you had it Bob, The Dutch Eating Place at RTM, on the 18th of August. Very very similar, same sort of loaf slice, and seemed pan-fried, wasn't greasy at all.
Delicious. Had some great blueberry pancakes with it.
I follow your posts on the L.A. board with great enthusiasm, so I'm especially happy to share my favorite at the Reading Terminal. This is an excerpt from my last trip to Philadelphia. I've enclosed a link to the whole post below:
The star of the trip, it isn't even close, was Tommy DeNic's, and I thank Bob and the other Chowhound's who raved about the pork sandwich with aged provolone (spinach and roast peppers are the other options). I became so obsessed with this sandwich that I must have brought a dozen other people to eat it, and never even made it to Tony Luke's.
This is nothing less than one of my favorite sandwiches anywhere, ever. I loved the provolone, which I eventually found out is not an obscure imported cheese, but Boar's Head aged(!) Grande Provolone, hand shredded.
I tried the roast pork with and without spinach, and actually preferred it without. It's a totally different sandwich, still a great sandwich, but an undeniable soggier one. The bottom line is that the pork has a delicate flavor. The provolone is enough of an accompaniment. I also have to add that the DeNic family is wonderful, and as far as I can tell, every single person who works there genuinely cares about food. As they started to recognize me as a roast pork stalker, they started talking to me about food, and when they had a second, they'd congregate together and talk about food and meat, in particular.
This is a stand run by Chowhounds for Chowhounds.
I did mosey around the RTR and did find some other things I liked (Bassett's ice cream was better than I remembered, finding that sweet spot between clean low-fat Breyer's and high-butterfat, sometimes numbing Haagen-Daaz). The fish at Kim's and the prepared food at Salumeria's and the bananas everywhere looked terrific. The RTR is a terrific destination.