A FOOD.D in Philly - Take the Tour With Me!

Last month my hubby and I went to one of his favorite cities, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for the weekend to attend a Philadelphia Eagles game. Of course, we took the opportunity to visit some old favorite food and drink haunts and sought out several new places we had been wanting to try out. Below are some foodie highlights of our trip, including a couple of spots I recommend from past visits. 

Mimosa at Red Owl Tavern
Hotel Monaco: We stayed at this stylish Kimpton Hotel right across the street from the Liberty Bell. The decor in the room and throughout the hotel was retro-whimsical, despite its historic location, and the service was top-notch. When we first arrived on Saturday afternoon we had a drink at the hotel's Red Owl Tavern. The service at the bar was pretty slow because an entire wedding party of groomsmen had taken over the bar in between ceremony and reception. We wanted some appetizers but were disappointed to discover that only brunch was available on a Saturday afternoon. So we ventured elsewhere for lunch/appetizers. The room service breakfast the next morning was excellent - I got the Healthy Bennie, which consisted of two poached eggs, multigrain toast and a green salad with crumbled goat cheese and topped with fresh sliced avocado. A savory start to the morning.

The Healthy Bennie room service breakfast
at Hotel Monaco

Great brews on tap at Triumph Brewing Company
Triumph Brewing Company: On the lookout for a relaxing place to have a couple of drinks and appetizers, we wandered down the historic cobblestone streets of Philadelphia's Old City and stumbled upon Triumph Brewing Company, a large restaurant and brewery just steps away from the Delaware River. We enjoyed the Soft German Pretzels, served with house-made ale mustard and cheddar fondue, Buffalo Wings, and a Caesar Salad topped with house made herbed pretzel croutons. We also liked the Honey Blonde beer and El Dorado Pale Ale. Service was friendly and attentive.

Soft German Pretzels at Triumph Brewing Company
Totally addictive!

Mustard-Braised Rabbit with housemade
tagliatelle pasta and rabbit jus
Bistrot La Minette: For our one "nice" dinner on Saturday night, we had a reservation for Bistrot La Minette, a cozy French bistro that had received great reviews. The place was very cute, with a French country feel, but it was busy and the tables were very, very close together. We could overhear everything the couple on each side of us were saying, which reminded me of dining in New York City. The service was very attentive and the baguette brought to the table was perfection. The food was solid, but we were just not that impressed, especially when taking into account the cost. A nice touch was the amuse bouche brought to the table before we ordered dinner, a little bite of sauteed wild mushrooms on toasted baguette. We had the Salmon Tartare, the Roast Chicken and the Mustard-Braised Rabbit. The homemade tagliatelle that was served with the rabbit was outstanding.

Salmon Tartare: mustard vinaigrette,
puy lentils, creme fraiche,
blood orange vinaigrette

Butter-basted 1/2 Lancaster chicken,
slow-cooked green beans, red bliss potatoes,
lemon chicken jus

Nan Zhou Hand Drawn Noodle House: After a long day freezing our booties off in a snowstorm at the Eagles game, the only thing that sounded good for dinner was a piping bowl of Chinese noodle soup. Luckily, Philadelphia has a great Chinatown with lots of restaurant options. A quick Yelp search taught us that Nan Zhou Hand Drawn Noodle House is the place to go in Philly. Nan Zhou is very clean and modest, like an updated diner, and the noodle soups are excellent. They make all the noodles fresh by hand, which are perfectly chewy, and they are served in a delicious rich broth with several different meat and seafood options. We enjoyed the House Special Meat Ball Soup (the meat balls are like tiny wontons), the Beef Brisket Noodle Soup and steamed Pork and Chive Dumplings. Everything was out of this world delicious and SO cheap! I think our entire bill was less than $25. Amazing food at phenomenal prices. Definitely do not miss this place when you visit Philly!

House Special Meat Ball Soup - tiny wontons, fresh
hand-drawn noodles, fresh basil and cilantro on top

Steamed Pork & Chive Dumplings
Tommy DiNic's at the Reading Terminal Market: No trip to Philly would be complete without stopping off at the bustling food mecca that is Reading Terminal Market for a giant sandwich at Tommy DiNic's, affectionately known as "DiNic's." This busy sandwich stand is famous for its very long lines and its Roast Pork Sandwich, which was recently named the "Best Sandwich in America" by the Travel Channel's Adam Richman. DiNic's originally started as a butcher shop, and all of the sandwich meats start as giant pork and beef roasts that are prepared right there in the sandwich stand in the middle of the Reading Terminal Market. Served on fresh, crusty Italian rolls topped with sharp provolone cheese, each sandwich is topped with your choice of sauteed broccoli rabe or sauteed spinach. I chose the Meatball Sandwich with sauteed spinach, and it was out of this world! My husband got his favorite, the Roast Pork Sandwich with Broccoli Rabe

The Best Sandwich in America: Roast Pork, sharp provolone, broccoli rabe
Watching the magic happen at DiNic's

Meatball Sandwich with Sauteed Spinach

Pat's Steaks: We didn't make it to the famous Pat's Steaks on this trip, but we've been there many times and it really is something everyone should experience at least once. Soft Italian bread is topped with thinly-sliced ribeye steak, grilled onions and warm, melty Cheez-Whiz sauce. This sandwich is sooo good, and so are the french fries. If you want to really go all out, get the Cheez sauce on the fries, too!

There's always a line at Pat's!


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