Friday, May 10, 2013

Eating Our Way Through Philadelphia

Philadelphia is known for a lot of food -- soft pretzels, Tastykakes and cheesesteaks, among many others. But we were in Philadelphia for only two meals, so we had some choices to make.

First, breakfast. Philadelphia isn't particularly known for its donuts, but Federal Donuts does get raves. We started our morning at the downtown location, where specialty "fancy" cake donuts in flavors like cookies and cream and strawberry lemonade are $2 apiece and those covered in flavored sugars are $1.25.

We got a half dozen of the sugared variety ($6) in three flavors, cooked to order so that they're still warm when you first sink your teeth into one. I don't recall the exact flavors, except one was cinnamon sugar. In reality, they all tasted like cinnamon sugar to us. No complaints. Just delicious.

Reading Terminal Market was the site of our lunch. Good choice. It's home to dozens of food stalls, bakeries and grocers -- an even more upscale North Market, to use a familiar Columbus site as a comparison.

My lunch entree was no Philadelphia staple. I'd feel bad about that except that my slab of rosemary-and-onion focaccia was so delicious.

From what I've read, the dessert I chose from Flying Monkey Bakery does have Philadelphia roots: butter cake. My piece of chocolate chip butter cake was so rich and delectable that I spent a good half hour this week unsuccessfully trying to find a recipe to recreate it. This seemed to have a brownie-type base (recipes I found did not) and an ooey, gooey buttery top. I found myself daydreaming about it on Monday.

Paul and I planned to get a cheesesteak from one of Philadelphia's well-known institutions on the way home, but traffic and parking was horrendous when we drove south of downtown. We opted to go home instead. Luckily Paul ordered a cheesesteak at the market -- no photo since I thought I'd get one later. But you probably know what meat on a hoagie bun looks like. Just picture it with Cheez Whiz on top!

Not a cheesesteak and probably not a Philadelphia staple:
Chocolate-covered onions at Reading Terminal Market's
Chocolate by Mueller

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