Greetings from the road, friends! Let me be upfront. My original plan was to do a mid-trip update from the road, and an end of trip update once I got home. Basically, you would be reading about foodie and touristy finds from three locations, each Saturday. But, I have too much to say about what we’ve done and eaten already, so you might end up getting a post per location. Maybe some will be longer, some will be shorter. We’ll see! So, without further ado, let’s get rolling!
Up first on our trip’s agenda was Philly, which we arrived in on Monday. On the way, we only stopped at one rest stop, which I surprisingly had enough self control at to avoid eating like five Auntie Anne’s cinnamon sugar pretzels. Let me tell you, that control has been short lived and is currently still missing in action. By the time we get home, I guarantee you that at least one order of Popeye’s tenders and biscuits as well as some/many Cinnabon bites will have been devoured by yours truly. In fact, as you read the blog, you’ll probably notice this trend where my choices are getting more indulgent by the hour. There’s no stopping me now!
Anyways, after shopping a bit, we had dinner at a restaurant called The Dandelion: a cute two story restaurant that reminded me of a place you’d have afternoon tea at. It was decorated with adorably printed place settings and old time-y art hanging from the wall. We ate on the second floor, with a nice view out of a bay window behind us. It was so fancy that the waitstaff refolded our napkins for us every time they stopped by our table, and refilled our water glasses for us with a pitcher that had already been left on the table. PLUS, they had complementary sparkling water. Come on!
The menu itself had a good amount of options, with each entree having at least one ingredient I didn’t recognize. But, hey, the mystery just added to the fun! Now, you’d think that for my first meal out of the gate, I’d go big or go home. But, I was still adjusting to life on the road! So, I went for something that both sounded delicious and light, but also could also be made without any hiccups. I ordered the Butter Lettuce Salad with some chicken on there, of course. And, to go with it, I threw in some Charred Green Beans and Stewed Tomatoes. The best part of that salad were the spiced walnuts. I was pretty close to (jokingly) asking for a jar of nuts to take home, but I couldn’t embarrass myself that soon into the trip.
Okay, but the best part, hands down, was the gelato from Capogiro, which was voted the #1 gelato shop in the world. I mean, sure, it was by National Geographic, but still! And, since it’s the week of the DNC in Philly, they had fun flavors to go with the occasion, such as…
Personally, I got a fantastic combo of Kiwi and Dark Chocolate (or, Cioccolato Scuro, for fancy people with Italian accents). It was super creamy and smooth, AND it was eaten with a cute mini spoon. I’m telling you, the Italians get it right. They savor each bite with their tiny ass spoons, as opposed to eating food by the large mouthfuls (…which is what I TOTALLY would have done, had I not been equipped with said spoon). Maybe I should pick up a few kiddie spoons of my own when we hit Disney!
The next day, we basically covered the whole city. Tourist attractions included the Eastern State Penitentiary (which was super creepy, but also super interesting to my inner nerd), the Rocky statue, the Betsy Ross House, Fleet Landing, the Italian Market, and the Magic Garden. But, the most exciting part of the day definitely had to have been spent at The Reading Terminal Market. Reading Market is easily one of the most well known attractions in Philly. Essentially, it’s made up of at least 30-40 merchants all smushed together in a building, who are selling anything from housewares to produce to baked goods and sweets. Not to mention, there are TONS of food stalls where market goers can sample food from just about any culture or region of the U.S. And, since the DNC is in full swing, there were plenty of America themed products being sold, specifically for the occasion.
For lunch at the market, I tried my first ever savory crepe! A grilled chicken crepe from Profi’s Creperie, to be specific. It had grilled chicken, peppers, onions, mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes and broccoli, all in one! Now this might warrant a “duh” comment from those of you who enjoy a good crepe more often than I, but I was so pleasantly surprised to find that it was basically like eating pancakes. But, thin and kind of spicy pancakes!
We also sampled some goods from other sweet shops, like Beiler’s Donuts, Sweet as Fudge Candy Shoppe, and the Pennsylvania General Store. There was so much to choose from that I had to keep reminding myself that not only were there other treats to buy in the city, but we also had the ENTIRE remainder of the trip to go (which I’ve already picked out bakeries and candy shops to visit for). Here’s a smattering of what I finally decided on:
For dinner, we went to Lucha Cartel, for some Mexican fare. Some guacamole and chips, chicken fajitas, and black beans later, I could have been rolled down the street back home.
BUT, that didn’t prevent us from visiting our last planned stop of the trip: Shane Confectionary: America’s oldest candy shop, which has been in existence since 1911. They’re extremely well known here, and for good reason. Their shop has a old time feel with it’s counter workers dressed in historic attire. And, the candy itself is beautifully crafted, as well as tasty. After pacing the store for what seems like forever, I finally picked out:
It’s with bittersweet feelings and a fully tummy that I say goodbye to Philly, but….up next, Myrtle Beach!
P.S – Best foodie find of this location: the Chocolate Dipped Caramel Pecan cookie from the Pennsylvania General Store. Hands down.