Thursday, July 4, 2013

Philly Love

My husband and I went to Philly together for the first time in mid June, turning a work trip of mine into a long weekend exploring a new city. And we kind of fell in love. The history, the restaurants, the walkability (that's a word, right?) of the city, the charm of the old buildings - we loved it all. We made sure to make the most of our time and hit the ground running!

My favorite place was definitely Reading Terminal Market. The sheer selection of local food, fresh produce, and scrumptious desserts - it would take forever to sample everything! I somehow managed not to take any pictures within the market (except a few on my phone of food, of course), but we definitely did our best to eat our way through. From breakfast at Dutch Eating Place and Down Home Diner, ice cream at Bassett's and beef brisket sandwiches at DiNic's, we only just got started. When we go back, I will have a lengthy list of food to gorge myself on.

Our first Philly restaurant was Chifa, a Peruvian Cantonese fusion restaurant from Jose Garces (I couldn't miss my opportunity to eat at an Iron Chef's restaurant!). All dishes were tapas style and we chose a variety based on our server's recommendations. The pork belly bao buns were moist and tender, with a nice crunch from the julienned carrots. The star dish was definitely the duck tacos. They were incredibly flavorful and had a nice kick of heat from the kimchi. We also had ceviche prepared with Hawaiian butterfish. It was absolutely delicious and melted in your mouth. Our last savory dish was chaufa, fried rice with chorizo, mango and edamame. The flavors were more mild after having several dishes with very assertive flavors, which was a good way to end before we had dessert. We chose pastel with sesame chocolate sauce topped with chocolate ice cream. I never say no to chocolate and this was a chocolate lover's dessert. I can't wait to try more of his restaurants, seeing as he has seven in Philly!

The following night, we went for Mexican at El Vez and ate a ridiculous amount of food. After the macho nachos, stacked high with shredded steak, black beans, smoked chile salsa, sour cream, white cheddar and monterey jack cheese, we barely had room for the Mexican chopped salad and pibil pork tacos we had ordered. To wash it all down, we each had a margarita, Matt always going for the classic on the rocks. I like more sweetness so I went with the frozen blood orange margarita, which was delicious.

Our last night in Philly, we went to Barbuzzo, a Mediterranean tapas style restaurant. We had the roasted beet salad, stuffed meatballs, and pan seared gnocchi. The three dishes really balanced each other. The salad was very earthy from the beets and kale with some tang from the goat cheese. The meatballs were so moist and flavorful, covered in tomato sauce and cheese with a garlic-y, buttery piece of Italian bread. The gnocchi was perfectly cooked with a mix of very fresh veggies and truffle butter (yum!).

Other than eating the entire time, we hit up some of the major sites - the Liberty Bell, Philadelphia Museum of Art to see the Rocky statue and run up the steps, and rode bikes along the Schuylkill River. I can't wait to go back and see other areas we didn't have time to fit in - South Street, the Italian Market, maybe check out the Yards Brewery (we did a beer tasting at City Tavern!). Until next time Philly!

No comments:

Post a Comment