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Dec 4, 2012 01:01 PM

What MUST I eat or buy to take home from Reading Terminal Market and Chinatown?

I will be in Philadelphia most of the day on Wednesday 12/12 and early part of the day 12/13. I want to go to the market for lunch Wednesday, and breakfast on Thursday. I like all types of foods. What's the best of the best that I should have? I don't mind hitting several places and having a bite here and there ;-). I will have a car and a large cooler, so I am looking forward to buying some great foods to take home. I also want to have dinner in Chinatown. I would prefer foods that appeal to a "somewhat adventurous" American palate, not interested in the "Ultimate Authentic Chinese Dining Experience".
Thanks for your help.

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  1. Lunch has to be the roast pork sandwich with broccoli rabe and provolone ordered wet.
    Breakfast are the pancakes and/or an apple dumpling at the Dutch Eating Place
    The soft pretzels at Miller's Twist are excellent as are the cannoli at Termini's (which need to be refrigerated).
    I also love the chocolate peanut butter covered pretzels at Mueller's.
    Finally, do get some ice cream at Bassett's and a warm, gooey chocolate chip cookie from Fourth Street.
    Oh, I forgot the fritters and sticky buns at Beiler's!

    2 Replies
    1. re: bluehensfan

      For Chinatown I would go to three places. Start at Dim Sum Garden for xaio long bao aka juicy buns. Then I would go to Nan Zhou for beef tendon hand drawn noodle soup, and finally go to Sang Kee for an order of Peking Duck two ways.

      1. re: bluehensfan

        I say eat the cannoli there, they really don't travel too well. However, if you must take some home, ask for the filling to be packed separately in a plastic bag (which will need to be kept cold) and when you get home, just snip off a corner of the bag and squeeze into the shells when you are ready to eat them. Once cannoli are filled, the shells will not stay crispy forever.

      2. For Chinatown, I'd recommend Vietnam restaurant for ambience and tasty food (you can go as wild or mild as you want) or Lee How Fook for Chinese. If you like fish, they have a steamed fish with green onions/scallions that is amazing. Conveniently, they're next door to each other on 11th.

        For where to eat in the Market, head to the Dutch Eating Place for Amish food. If you're into things like purple and orange cauliflower and locally sourced meats and dairy, the Fair Food Farmstand is the place. Kauffman's Lancaster County Produce has a huge selection of jams, jellies, relishes and honeys.

        1. At DeNic's in the market, if you like roast pork, provolone and broccoli rabe, and bread, and the term au jus...then you just might like a sandwich containing all of those things. Frequently, there's a wait (there are counter seats but it's also right by the central seating area of the market).

          3 Replies
          1. re: BuildingMyBento

            There's a bakery at RTM near the back of the market that sells incredible fig bars. They're handmade fig-newton like pastries, but obviously bigger and better. If you like figs at all they're incredible and will make you sad for the rest of your life that you have to settle for newtons.

            1. re: Ariadanz

              I love those too! They're at Metropolitan Bakery. I like to buy them for breakfast the next day, but they never last that long.

              1. re: gina

                if youre going to do metropolitan bakery- the lemon bars are insane too, AND for the record- the freeze decently, just took the last of my hidden stash from august out of the freezer

          2. Thanks for all the suggestions, they sound great, keep them coming! I should have mentioned in my original post that my husband doesn't eat sweets or baked goods very often, so, any suggestions for meats, chicken, sausage etc?? Dying to try the pork sandwich, I've seen them on TV, had never heard of Philadelphia pork sandwiches until recently.

            4 Replies
            1. re: jacquelyncoffey

              In addition to DiNics, Wursthaus Schmitz is a counter that sells house made and locally made german style sausages. They come from Riekers market, as well as Illigs. Fabulous wursts.

              1. re: cwdonald

                The Wursthaus also has an excellent selection of German goods including some really good cookies and chocolates. And they hope to have the hot foods up and running in a few weeks...

              2. re: jacquelyncoffey

                There is an Amish place called, I think, The Rib Stand (or something like that) that has good bbq ribs. My son usually gets the bbq rib sandwich and loves it. For another good sandwich, there is also the Italian hoagie from Salumeria (not from Carmen's). It is a delicious representation of another classic Philly sandwich. There are other great ones around the city, but if you are limited to RTM, you won't do better.

                1. re: Hungryin theBurbs

                  When I was at the RTM (as a visitor from Florida), I had the roast pork and provolone from DiNic's (although I got peppers instead of broccoli rabe because I didn't know better), the Italian hoagie from Salumeria, and the rib sandwich from The Rib Stand, and they were all excellent choices. I'm a huge fan of sandwiches, and I still remember all three fondly, two years later.

                  There is one Amish stand that has all kinds of homemade beef jerky that are definitely worth trying. I got two different kinds of landjaeger (dry hunter-style sausages) that were delicious, a smoky one and a spicy one.

              3. Canneles from Metropolitan Bakery

                6 Replies
                1. re: 94Bravo

                  What are Canneles, not familiar with those.

                  1. re: jacquelyncoffey

                    Canales are these little French pastries. Market Day (sold at Fair Foods in RTM and at the Rittenhouse Square Farmers Market) has good ones:

                    1. re: jacquelyncoffey

                      Mmmm...they are so good. They are little pastries, carmelized and chewy on the outside, and sort of custardy in the middle (not filled, though). They also sell the Market Day Caneles at the Fair Food Stand at RTM, in a couple of different sizes.

                      1. re: Hungryin theBurbs

                        And because its around the holidays, they have no calories ;-)

                        1. re: cwdonald

                          They do have them in small sizes. Of course there are like five of them in the package!

                        2. re: Hungryin theBurbs

                          They also have them at Green Aisle Grocery on Passyunk Ave (just got them yesterday)