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Jun 30, 2011 07:31 PM

LA Hound and 14 y/o son in Philadelphia for 60 Hours,

My Son and I are both Foodies from Los Angeles. We will arrive by car ( from Manchester, NJ ) visiting Mom on Monday August 22nd.

Will leave the evening of the 24th ( Wednesday )

Plan to do Independance Square and the History of Philadelphia, Phillies Game too.. ( cool, not too historic.. Did Bikes the Sites in DC and my Son was now a History Major so need the soft sell )

Foodie sites want to do Pats vs Genos and what Italian sould we eat. What ever you can recommend would be great. Have car as well.. Probably staying Downtown unless your guys say different.

I grew up in NYC and been in LA for 30 years.. So I want so show my son East Coast Roots in Culture and Food. Water Ice?

Thanks in advance..

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  1. The Reading Terminal Market (12th and Arch St.) is a must do. Very historic and lots of opportunities for gorging yourselves on local specialties and regional culture. If you want to see the PA Dutch vendors, they are only there Wednesday through Saturday so you might want to make that your Wednesday excursion before you leave.

    12 Replies
    1. re: Chefpaulo

      +1 on the Reading Terminal Market, this place is the best place to get a real experience of Philly Food; can't recommend it enough. As far as Italian goes, I'm guessing you're looking for Old School Italian, in which case the usual suspects are Villa di Roma and Dante & Luigi's. In the event that you're looking for the new school Italian that's sort of trendy and upscale, Modo Mio and Osteria are the popular picks, though I have admittedly never been to any of these 4. I have had good Italian pizza at Marra's in South Philly, though.

      Instead of water ice, I'd try Capogiro for fresh gelato. It's one of the best and most well-liked desserts in the city. Hope this helps!

      1. re: tzanghi

        Thanks, Yes we like Old School Italian. Will check out Reading Terminal Market for sure, anyone else please chime in.. Thanks in advance

        1. re: Foodandwine

          1. Reading terminal market, great breakfast at the pa Dutch counter, fantasic cheesesteaks opportunity plus don't miss a roasted pork with broccoli rabe sandwich. Great foodie grazing op
          2. The italian market, remember Rocky? Memorable. Can pick up some Italian ice, cheesesteaks or pork sandwich, great cheeses.
          3. Modo Mio, very small restaurant with 4 courses for$32. Food is fantastic rustic Italian. BYOB! Don't miss out on this gem. Chef can definitely bring it!
          4, Tony Lukes, known as the place to get a great cheesesteaks near the stadium
          5. termini brothers. Not far from stadium on south 8th street. Large old school Italian bakery.
          6, Crimini deli. Down the street from termini, this corner deli may have the best cheesesteaks in philly

          1. re: dining with doc

            6, Crimini deli. Down the street from termini, this corner deli may have the best cheesesteaks in philly

            That should be "Cosmi's Deli"

        2. re: tzanghi

          Capogiro is really good and, I think, worth a visit but I'm sure they've got good gelato in LA...
          For something different/Philly/East Coast, water ice is a good alternative . Johns Water Ice at 7th & Christian near the Italian Market is both popular and good - and they use real fruit. (the Italian places mentioned above are all close by - as is Paesano's for great sandwiches.)

          1. re: caganer

            And a walk through the Italian Market is fun. Pick up some cannoli at Isgro's and maybe some cheese and olives at DiBruno's.

            1. re: DaisyM

              Definitely go to Isgro's. there's nothign like it in LA. The Italian Market isn't what it used to be, but there are a few gems that remain. Isgro's is one of them. Claudio's is another. DiBruno Bros. is nice, but they've got other locations.

            2. re: caganer

              I agree, you can get gelato in LA and I recommend John's Water Ice too.
     It's "all natural" hopefully this means that it is not loaded with HFCS like Rita's.
              Your son will also probably get a kick out of the "Philly accents" at Villa Di Roma for italian, my 14 year old son was scolded by the waitress for not eating his entire plate of spaghetti: "Eatcha macaroni!!!"
              For breakfast eat at the "Dutch Eating place" at the Reading Terminal market "for fun" or Cafe Estelle for a great breakfast that will satisfy you and that you will enjoy (I am referring to the LA standards for breakfast- you'll know what I am implying once you get here).
              My 14 year old likes the Continental Midtown for a decent burger.
              If you rent bikes- ride the Wissahickon Trail/Forbidden Drive. It is incredibly beautiful and my favorite spot to ride with my son. There is a restaurant on the trail called Valley Green Inn- I have not eaten there in a while but it might be a fun excursion. Do a google search on Forbidden Drive or wiki Wissahickon Creek.
              Has anyone eaten at the Valley Green Inn lately?
              Bring us some In-N-Out burgers, please!!

              1. re: Displaced California Foodie

                Thanks Displaced, very good recs. We are going to the Phillies Game on Tuesday 8/23 were going to take the Orange Line ( Broad Street ) for the total experience. Looking forward to find a good Hogie, Steak and others.. Is Villa di Roma the spot that won best Meatballs in PHL ( thought that I saw it on a Food Channel segment once.. ) Think were set for the Italian component as we dont have those good offerings in Los Angeles..

                1. re: Foodandwine

                  Villa D'Roma did win best meatballs on Food Network.

              2. re: caganer

                While l am not a Capogiro fan, John's has been my go to for over 40 years. Lemon and pineapple. end of story.

          2. The above recs are all good, but I saw potroastcat's rec of Mr. Joe's Cafe on another thread, and I think that is a good idea for you too. It's a little old-school Italian cafe open for lunch or an early dinner, much less touristy than Ralph's or Villa di Roma, and across the street from the flagship location of the superb Termini's pastries, which is a great old-school East Coast Italian experience in itself. The dishes at Mr Joe' include salad and dessert, and also some house red if you want it. Their gravy is awesome. Really a great, underrated place for a casual lunch off the beaten path, but not far from Pat's/Geno's and very close to Cosmi's, a deli that also makes good cheesesteaks and great hoagies.

            Mr. Joe's Cafe
            1514 South 8th Street

            1. This might not fit the bill for East Coast food and culture, but Zahav is an outstanding restaurant. It's one of the finest meals I've eaten in Philly and there's nothing like it in LA (Im an LA native who was recently sent to the penalty box - aka New Jersey - for work). Zahav has wonderful Israeli food that is beautifully prepared and the service is excellent. It's small dishes, so it's all about sharing. It's excellent and I highly recommend it.

              If you insist on old school East Coast Italian, then you should consider Ralph's near the Italian Market. This is the classic red-checked tablecloth, old photos on the wall, and red sauce with everything. Not sure how old your son is, but when I was a kid, I loved it.

              7 Replies
              1. re: glutton

                "This is the classic red-checked tablecloth, old photos on the wall, and red sauce with everything."

                If son is to make points in the restaurant, the real Philadelphia Italian culinary term is "gravy."

                1. re: Chefpaulo

                  And the broad street line is referred to as the gravy train in south philly too ...

                  1. re: cwdonald

                    Any others want to chime in, Will be in town in about two weeks. And yes, we have Hoagies, Cheesesteaks, Water Ice, How about cannoli? Need to bring those back to mom ( In New Jersey ) any other recs are appreciated. As an aside, for you Phillies fans, Is the 400 section say 420 behind homeplate row 2 rather high? Best I can find on Stubhub at a reasonalble price. Are the scalpers out in force on game day? Do prices drop. Thanks in advance. Looking forward to our visit ( staying at the Sheraton City Center ) great deal on Priceline :)

                    1. re: Foodandwine

                      You can get cannoli at one of the Termini locations (Reading Terminal, 8th and Dickinson, or 15th and Packer) but if you are going to travel with them, I would suggest asking for the filling to be packed separately from the shells. Then, when you get home you can fill them. The shells will be much more crispy if you do it like that. Cannoli tend to get a little soggy if they have to travel once they are filled.

                      It shouldn't be a problem since that is how they ship cannoli by mail order.

                      1. re: Philly Ray

                        I personally think that the Isgro's cannoli are far better than the Termini cannoli. I was disappointed with Termini the last time I went, which was rough because I had idolized those cannoli growing up. But Isgro's is the king, in my book.

                        Phillies tickets never get cheaper. It's the most popular ticket in town by a mile. I've sat in section 420 and it was fine. It's not like The Vet -- all the seats are good seats. the lower you sit, the more you'll appreciate Phillie pitching, so that might be the reason to pay a bit more to sit lower. The food options are good at any level in the stadium.

                      2. re: Foodandwine

                        The 400 level is similar to the Reserve section at Dodger Stadium. My wife and I used to have seats in the Top Deck at Dodger Stadium and we found our seats in 422 to feel a little closer than that. But, as others have said, you really can't go wrong at Citizen's Bank Park.

                        Also, as I believe someone else said, grab a sandwich at Paesano's in the Italian Market. Truly unique sandwiches.

                        1. re: Foodandwine

                          Like others have said, there's really no bad seats in the house. I had playoff seats a few years ago in that section and they were great. You have a full view of the field, our giant scoreboard, and a great view of the city from there. I'd get them on Stubhub and print them out if you can as opposed to dealing with a scalper. My friends and I have the Sunday ticket package and sell off our tickets to scalpers if we have extras, and we have been warned by the cops a few times not to deal with them. One cop told us that they like to worry about more important police matters, but they have and will arrest people for scalping. Chances are small that you'd have any problems, but probably better to avoid altogether since you're out of town. Every game since last June has been sold out, so I'd say Stubhub is your best bet.

                          Also, make sure you get there early and walk around the outfield section known as Ashburn Alley. Grab a sandwich from Tony Luke's (their roast pork is just as good at the stadium, anyone who disagrees is nitpicking) and check out the pitchers warming up in the bullpen. Also, if you're looking for memorabilia, the Alley store is run by Mitchell and Ness, probably the most high-quality maker of hats and jerseys. Not cheap at all, but at least you'll know you're getting a top of the line product instead of a cheap, marked up t-shirt. I go to at least 25 games a year, so if you have any other questions let me know!

                  2. You can't go wrong with Johns Water Ice.... Go to Rustica in Nothern Liberties for the best east coast pizza in Philly and Modo Mio for real Italian. Having spent time in LA, I can guarantee that you can not find equals there to any of these. You will feel at home in line at Pats/Genos since only tourists go there. Search an earlier epic cheesesteak thread for many better and more authentic choices.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Nigeltab

                      Nigeltab, thanks for your post. I prefer to fly under the radar like a local. If Pats vs Genos is all tourists ( no I do not want that ) Would Tony Lukes or Johns Roast Pork be better options?? Please advise where you think we should go, local flavor is what I am seeking.. Thanks in advance..

                      1. re: Foodandwine

                        Either would be ten times beter than Pats/Genos. Johns you need to get there early (ie its a lunch destination). Tonys you can do anytime.

                        1. re: cwdonald

                          Yes, I see that Johns closes at 3:30 .. Thanks to all the Philly Hounds for their recomendations. My son and I are looking forward to our visit. August 22nd here we come.. If any one else wants to chime it we would love the bandwith of your favorite spots..