Philadelphia Weekend

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TnTinCT
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2017/04/30 22:42:27 (permalink)

Philadelphia Weekend

Mr/Mrs TnTinCT headed to Philadelphia for a long weekend; my personal goal - cheesesteak and the Liberty Bell. We manged to fit a lot more in over what turned out to be two and a half days, here's a quick review.
We headed down on a Thursday, with plans to stop at De Lorenzo's Tomato Pie in New Jersey for lunch; they close at 2pm. We had a rough morning - a small flood before we left home, and then a small delay when they closed the George Washington Bridge over to NJ for an hour an half on the way down. We ended up killing a little time, and got to De Lorenzo's when they opened at 4p, since we ended up missing that lunch window. We really enjoyed this place.  We started with the house greens, which also included some nice apples and candied walnuts.
 

 
We split a small half sausage, half meatball tomato pie. This was delicious; the sausage was a stand out, porky with great spice, and the meatballs were soft in texture with a robust, garlicy flavor.  If you are ever in the Robbinsville, NJ area this should be on your must-do list.
 

 

 

 
Here's one of my must-do sights -
 

 
And some other interesting things around town -
 

 
Independence Hall below - we couldn't get tickets as they sold out early, but we did visit the US Mint nearby. That was really interesting, but they didn't allow photos. We also visited the cemetery where Benjamin Franklin is buried that is in the same area of the city, but again - no photos allowed. Also the Mutter Museum; a medical oddities museum; another with no photos allowed; now this is a place you don't see every day. You can look it up for more info, it's not for the faint of heart or the easily squeamish. I don't think I realized until I was writing this how many places we went to that we weren't allowed to take pictures.
 

 
In the Macy's store there are two interesting historical items - the old organ from the St. Louis World's Fair; they still play it twice a day, and the Eagle, also from the the same world's fair.
 

 

 
We visited the Simeone Foundation and Museum; a private collector of cars. It was a really nice way to spend an hour or two. We were allowed to take all the pictures we wanted here.
 

 

 

 
One of our favorite places was the Reading Terminal Market. We were fortunate to be staying across the street, so we stopped in on two of the 3 days we were there; they closed the market on Easter. There were so many choices I could go there every day for weeks and still not try them all.  A few of the pictures from the market -
 

 

 

 
An Easter Cake - they had several different styles.

 
The bread at DiNic's sandwiches -
 

 
Little Smokies at Miller's Twist - delicious. The pretzels were so good I had to go back and just get a plain pretzel to take with me.
 

 
Shrimp, grits, and poached eggs from Pearl's Oyster bar. I had the chicken and waffle benedict, and forgot to take a picture. I have to say these weren't our favorite meals of the weekend; I think you can do better in the market with other vendors.
 

 
We were down near the Italian Market on Saturday afternoon, and stopped for an Italian Hoagie at Sarcone's Deli. This is the "American Italian" - coteghini (new to me - it comes up online as cotegino, which is a sausage, I think this is some kind of ham), hard salami, hot capacola, provolone, and lots of fixings with oil/vinegar. After having a bit softer bread with the cheesesteaks, this bread was a bit tougher, but I still loved it. Crunchy on the outside, soft in the middle, and everything I expected from an Italian Hoagie sandwich.
 

 

 
A few blocks away was Santucci's Pizza -home of the square pie. Why not?  We split what they call a "personal size" pizza, giving us two squares each.
 

 

 

 
The crust was a little more crackery or pastry-like (if you are familiar with Lou Malnati's in Chicago, but thin crust), vs. more a chewy bread type that you might see with NY pizza. We tried the sausage and roasted peppers. Really delicious; the sausage had a bite to it and the roasted peppers really complemented the tomato sauce. The cheese is on the bottom. Another really good pie.
 
We had to round out this stop by heading up one block to Isgro's Bakery. The place was crazy nuts since it was the Saturday before Easter and everyone was stocking up.
 

 

 

 
Our treats to go - a mascarpone cannoli, a chocolate mousse cannoli, and an apple walnut tart. All were really delicious.
 

 
More to come...
 
 
 
 
 
post edited by TnTinCT - 2017/05/01 17:50:26
#1

17 Replies Related Threads

    BuddyRoadhouse
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    Re: Philadelphia Weekend 2017/05/01 01:53:37 (permalink)
    Beautiful start!  So sorry you couldn't join us for the KC Crawl, but it looks like you did petty nicely for yourselves.  Those Tomato Pies look appealing, even to this Chicago boy.  And the cross section shot of that Hoagie is a thing of beauty.  Looking forward to the rest.
     
    Buddy
    #2
    leethebard
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    Re: Philadelphia Weekend 2017/05/01 04:37:59 (permalink)
    Always meant to go to the Reading markey. Never made it...thanks for taking me along. Looks amazing!
    #3
    TnTinCT
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    Re: Philadelphia Weekend 2017/05/01 07:33:18 (permalink)
    @BuddyRoadhouse; we've been vicariously enjoying the KC photos, hoping to make next year's trip!
    @leethebard; I loved the Reading Terminal Market, so many different types of food, vendors, shopping. There's nothing remotely like it anywhere near us.
     
    #4
    ChiTownDiner
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    Re: Philadelphia Weekend 2017/05/01 08:04:06 (permalink)
    Really good stuff....love that pizza from De Lorenzo's, awesome looking crust and toppings.  I really paused at the pastry display...WOW! 
    #5
    joerogo
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    Re: Philadelphia Weekend 2017/05/01 08:27:31 (permalink)
    Nice start! I just put Santucci's Pizza on my RF Map!
    #6
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re: Philadelphia Weekend 2017/05/01 10:42:28 (permalink)
    Very nice. Coteghini is a very big thing in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where it's called Cudighi. I love it. As I recall it's a northern Italy specialty.
    #7
    lleechef
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    Re: Philadelphia Weekend 2017/05/01 11:06:02 (permalink)
    The pie from De Lorenzo's looks fantastic!    Really nice pictures!! 
     
    In Boston we called it coteghino.  The woman that made my fresh mozzarella for the restaurant was married to a butcher and he made coteghino once a year.  It was a tradition of Modena to eat coteghino and lentils on New Year's Eve for good luck.
     
    Looking forward to more of your report!
    #8
    TnTinCT
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    Re: Philadelphia Weekend 2017/05/01 11:52:50 (permalink)
    @ChiTownDiner - amazing pastries, cookies, etc.; these are the times you wish for bigger groups with you so you can try more things.
    @JoeRogo - definitely a great stop. They have a fairly extensive menu, but the pizza was a winner.
    @MichaelHoffman and @lleechef - thanks for the info, I didn't see a lot online about it, but it was delicious combined with everything else on that sandwich!
    #9
    TnTinCT
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    Re: Philadelphia Weekend 2017/05/01 12:27:17 (permalink)
    Finishing up the "about town" items; we did try go to the Art Museum and the Rocky stairs and statue, but the NFL draft was coming to town, and it was all scaffolding hell - didn't get anywhere near it. Another lost photo opportunity. We did stop over to the University of PA and took a nice walk and visited their bookstore. What a beautiful college campus.
     

     

     
    And this nice bench sculpture of Ben Franklin -
     

     
    Although not native to Philly, I can never pass up an opportunity to hit a Shake Shack when one is nearby -
     

     
    Wrapping up the last of the "sweet" spots -
    One of our walking tours led us to John's Water Ice; I had read about it online and really enjoyed this stop.
     

     

     
    That's our cherry and lemon ices; soft as snow and delicious. I think I got the better of the two with the lemon, slightly sweet and nicely tart. I found the cherry to be a bit strong.  Next time I'd try the combo ice cream/water ice. It was apparently this was a local spot; most folks coming to the window had a nice chat about families, Easter plans, etc.
     

     
    An evening stroll took us a mile from our hotel just past the "old city" to Shane's Confectionary and Franklin Fountain for ice cream. The confectionary has a long history, and was recently sold to the two brothers that own the ice cream fountain. It was  bit too crazy in there to get any pictures, but I did buy a couple of pieces of chocolate (expensive at about $1.50 per - the size you get in a mixed box of chocolate), but they were delicious. We waited in a fairly long line for ice cream; they had set up a Disney-esque queue out onto the sidewalk since the interior is pretty tiny. No inside tables, so lots of folks eating ice cream out on the street.
     

     

     
    Another really expensive treat; you can see the sign on the wall - sundaes @$12 each, and a banana split at $15. These are all high quality products - they make their own flavors for phosphates and sodas, and the root beer in my float is house made, but I wouldn't do this with any regularity. Our two choices set us back $15+
     
    Tim's pistachio and rocky road two scoop choice -
     

     
    and my root beer float -
     

     
    And last but certainly not least, my second requirement; cheesesteaks. We hit three, and I'll note them here with least favorite first. That dubious honor goes to Geno's. We had driven through this area on Saturday afternoon, and it was a zoo; at least 50 people in each line, and waiting out in the street. Since they are open 24x7, except for Thanksgiving and Christmas, we decided to make this our Easter morning brunch.
     

     
    We ordered "whiz wit" (cheese whiz and onions) at both Pat and Geno's - Geno's puts their whiz on first, which unfortunately creates a barrier that doesn't allow the bread to soak up the steak grease, and I felt like this was just a big greasy mess.
     

     

     
    Definitely not a great sandwich, and now that it's checked off the list, we can move on to better things. You can see our second favorite from the table at Geno's - right across the street, Pat's King of Steaks.
     

     

     
    This was a much better steak in my opinion; whiz on the top, so the bread soaked up some of the meat grease. Still messy, definitely not good for you, but a tasty sandwich.
     

     

     
    And our favorite of the weekend - Tony Luke's. We actually had this one before we did Pat and Geno's, but we know better next time. I am sure there are lots of other good steaks in the city for us to try on future trips. 
     

     
    We had to do both the cheesesteak and the pork sandwich at Tony Lukes. The cheesesteak we got with American cheese and onions - delicious. I love this bread, and I pine for it here in CT where all I can seem to find is glorified white bread rolls - no tug, no lovely crust, no chew. I dream about this bread. The bottom sandwich is the cheesesteak.
     

     
    Close up -
     

     
    The pork sandwich was amazing. We weren't sure if we wanted to do the broccoli rabe or the spinach, so we asked if we could do half and half. She ended up putting it on the side mixed, so we just should have added it at the beginning. Here's the doctored sandwich with the greens added.
     

     
    Another delicious sandwich. The sharp provolone and somewhat bitter greens were a great complement to the juicy pork and drippings-soaked bread.
     
    A few more checks off the bucket list. Philadelphia just opened a new museum of the American Revolution, and there are still sights to see, so we'll have to do another long weekend one of these days.
     
     
     
     
     
    #10
    lleechef
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    Re: Philadelphia Weekend 2017/05/01 12:43:01 (permalink)
    Ever since I first saw that pork/broccoli rabe/provolone sandwich from Tony Luke's on TV I've wanted one!!!  It looks sooooooo good! 
    #11
    TJ Jackson
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    Re: Philadelphia Weekend 2017/05/01 13:54:33 (permalink)
    In my sole trip to Philly over a decade ago, the italian pork rabe and the italian sub I had easily beat out all the cheesesteaks I tried as the best sandwiches I had there
    #12
    ann peeples
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    Re: Philadelphia Weekend 2017/05/01 14:18:45 (permalink)
    What a great report!
    #13
    leethebard
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    Re: Philadelphia Weekend 2017/05/01 15:36:46 (permalink)
    Enjoyed your report..and I'll echo the praise of the Italian pork rabe sandwich.Amazing!!
    #14
    ScreamingChicken
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    Re: Philadelphia Weekend 2017/05/01 17:50:35 (permalink)
    While everything looks great, if I had to pick one of your choices for myself it'd have to be the Miller's Twists.  I love frankfurter-style sausages wrapped in dough!
     
    Does the Simeone collection have any American cars?
    #15
    TnTinCT
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    Re: Philadelphia Weekend 2017/05/01 21:22:37 (permalink)
    The pork sandwich was great. Unexpectedly spicy, then I noticed the red chili flake, I could eat this sandwich again and again. Thanks for the nice notes. @Screaming Chicken, those little smokies in the pretzel wraps with a little mustard were a bit greasy, but very, very tasty! BTW the last car picture is American, they had a whole room dedicated to NASCAR, and lots of other American cars. I picked a few shots that I thought gave a good overview, don't hate on the pretty foreign sports cars (plus this is a Mr. TnTinCT thing, and generally I wouldn't know a Packard from a Bentley 😀).
    post edited by TnTinCT - 2017/05/01 21:25:17
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    ChrisOC
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    Re: Philadelphia Weekend 2017/05/02 09:30:09 (permalink)
    Michael Hoffman
    Very nice. Coteghini is a very big thing in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where it's called Cudighi. I love it. As I recall it's a northern Italy specialty.


    At Sack O' Subs, here in Ocean City, they list coltechino as one of the ingredients in their subs. (I call them hoagies.)
    #17
    ChrisOC
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    Re: Philadelphia Weekend 2017/05/02 09:32:22 (permalink)
    I looked at the photo of the Geno's cheesesteak.....reminded me of a little old lady saying "Where's the BEEF?"
    #18
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