eatPHIL: Sarah eats Philadelphia
Two weekends ago, I had the chance to jetset to the other side of the state and eat my way through Philly. I had all the snacks from cheesesteaks to nice dinners. Here’s what I ate:
1. Shake Shack
Fresh off the plane and train, my first stop was Shake Shack, an east coast burger joint we don’t have in the ‘Burgh. After all the internet buzz about how legit this place is, I had to try it out. I kept it real and ordered the ShakeBurger, a cheeseburger topped with lettuce, tomato, and ShakeSauce, cheese fries (not pictured), and a Shack-made Lemonade. The burger was decent: juicy and meaty, on the thinner patty side. The lettuce and tomato were fresh, and the bun was a solid choice. The fries were disappointing as they weren’t crinkle cut and the cheese sauce was just okay. Nothing to write home about. With that said, I have to say that compared to my visit to the West coast rival, In-N-Out Burger, earlier in July, the West coast wins this burger game. And in Pittsburgh, Legume/Butterjoint wins the game, IMO.
2. Federal Donuts
Fresh hot donuts and fried chicken? Best place on Earth pretty much. So sad I didn’t get a piece of fried chicken, but I did get a piping too hot to hold cinnamon and brown sugar donut. You can watch your donut being made: dropped into a deep fryer, cooked to a golden brown, and then coated in cinnamon brown sugary goodness. These were seriously some of the best donuts I’ve had. Still, so sad I didn’t get any chicken. I’ll be back!
3. Audre Claire
Philly has outdoor dining on point. And I got to experience outside dining at its finest at Audre Claire, a quaint little cash-only, BYOB, Mediterranean joint. As you can somewhat see, the outside dining is literally on the street, practically spilling out into the bike lane. I so dig it, so urban. My friend Christina and I ordered all the things here: flatbread with Gorgonzola, figs and pine nuts (pictured), roasted brussel sprouts with shaved parmesan, grilled baby romaine Caesar salad, and shallot crusted lemon sole with a crispy sage and caper butter. Legit amazing. There was even a breadbasket with homemade bread and a seasoned olive oil dipping sauce that I ate too much of before my food arrived. Typical.
4. Reading Terminal Market
So many delicious things to eat here! I took an early Saturday morning food tour of Reading Terminal Market… learned all about the history of the former train station, as well as about all the unique merchants in the now market. Some delicious things I tried: Butterscotch vanilla ice cream from Bassetts Ice Cream (holy hell, so delicious!), snapper soup from Pearl’s Oyster Bar (tasted like beef stew), the most delicious and possible best soft pretzel ever from Miller’s Twist (um, I need more. How can I ship these to PGH???), Wilbur’s chocolate buds (aka the original chocolate kiss candy), peanut butter and almond/vanilla cookies from Famous 4th Street Cookie Co., and lastly, an epic cheesesteak from Carmen’s Famous Hoagies & Cheesesteaks.
Now, I know you are probably like, WTF Sarah?!?!? No Pat’s or Geno’s? No. I thought I’d keep it neutral and get one from the Reading Terminal Market, which was hands down delicious. I now can never have any other kind of “cheese steak” from a place not outside of Philadelphia. The roll! The wiz! The bite of the soft roll mix with the creamy wiz and flat top grilled meat, peppers, and onions was OUT OF THIS WORLD. You just can’t get that anywhere else. I’ll be back next time to take on the Pat’s/Geno’s challenge.