So it’s time to talk Philly once again. My part 1 was all about the sights and sounds that Philly has to offer. My part 2 will focus on the food we enjoyed when we were there. Vera and I are all about good food, and about local and unique food. We want to eat what the locals do and enjoy places that you can’t find anywhere else. That’s a big part of our travel and it was a big part of this Weekend Escape, too.
Philly is a great food city and it’s only been getting better. When you go you, of course, have to have cheesesteaks. You literally have to. I don’t care if you are vegan, I say go for it. It’s such a great sandwich, seriously. While we were there, we hit a number of different places, from cheesesteaks to donuts to brunch and Mediterranean. The city has it all and we wanted to take a bite of as much as we could during the weekend!
The first thing I had to eat was a cheesesteak. Period, end of discussion. This is literally one of my favorite treats and whenever I can get a good, real, legit one…I am in and I am usually in for more than one. While the famous spots like Pat’s and Geno’s are excellent and always a cool scene, I wanted to try some new spots that are a but more under the radar. I searched online and asked some locals. I contacted foodies friends and read all the foodie Philly lit. We came up with two spots that I was sure would be rocking.
The first spot we hit was Sonny’s Famous in Old City, a great part of town. This was a no no nonsense true steak joint. I loved it. The ordering was typical and the woman behind the counter was pure Philly. Brusk, snarky, down to business, but in a very fun and jovial way. If you’ve ordered a cheesesteak n Philly, you know what I’m talking about. The steak was great, really on point. Even the grilled cheese was excellent. This hit the spot and was the perfect place to start the Philly foodie tour!
After this, something sweet and fried needed to be consumed. Stat. A friend of mine swears by Frangelli’s Bakery in South Philly, so he hit it. This is my kind of place. Old school all the way. At close to 70 years old, it was just what we needed. The Italian bakery also rocked cookies and some amazing donuts. Their jelly donuts are awesome, super fresh and made every day almost to order. They move fast, so they are always great. Ahh…donuts. Spot 2 in the tour was exactly right also. Batting 1.000 isn’t too bad!
After checking out the city’s many historic sites and really getting into the weekend, it was time for dinner. For dinner we hit a spot in a very cool, kind of trendy area just north of South Philly. I’m not really sure of the name, but it’s known for being super cool and a little gay-friendly. We decided on a great place called Tredici Enoteca. This was a really great spot in a hopping part of town. Sleek design, yet homey, this place was just what the doctor ordered. While it was high on style, it was also high on quality and deliciousness.
The mediterranean tasting board with hummus, falafel, vegetables, tuscan bread, and quinoa salad was an amazing app to start off with. Super tasty, fresh, and healthy. The Pork Milanese and the Roasted Chicken was as good as it gets. Yes, I do love pork, but I don’t normally get all that impressed with chicken, so that means a lot. The drinks were great, both cocktails and beer. This was the perfect end to our first day in Philly.
The next morning, while Homewood Suites by Hilton does offer an excellent hot breakfast, complimentary with every night’s stay, we had to try a couple of highly recommended breakfast/brunch spots in town. My Weekend Escape Travel MANager hat was on and I was ready to impress. It was off to Honey’s Sit N Eat.
This place is great, with a robust menu of American comfort favorites. From eggs to Matzoh ball soup to friend green tomatoes, you will fill good and you will be satisfied when you leave Honey’s. It only been around 10 years or so, but it’s a classic not to be missed.
After we rolled out of Honey’s it was off to see the sites once again. The Philadelphia Museum of Art was really awesome and the Rocky statue made the visit for me. Yes, I know, the art was amazing, too. The day really flew by and since we had a late breakfast, it was time for a very late lunch/early dinner (linner?). And by linner I meant a Philly cheesesteak. This time, it was all about a South Philly favorite, Jim’s Steaks on South St. South St. is like the “village” in NYC. It’s super hip, very young, and very cool. Like me. Jim’s has been around since the best year of all time, 1976. Many a person say Jim’s is THE BEST in Philly. I was going to the judge of that.
It’s a great spot that I love for steaks. Simple, basic, all-Philly. Order it right and you will a happy person. Hoagies and steaks and awesome, oh my! This place was great. I really enjoyed the steaks, especially with some hot peppers. That’s the dope. These steaks were maybe the best I’ve had, but I’ll have to get back to the other joints, just to make sure. A Philly institution, and for very good reason. Hmmm…let me check that calendar now.
This really hit the spot. We took the rest of the night to check out some really cool spots in the city. When we went back to the hotel, we were wiped out. We had a long, full, very delicious day.
When we woke up the next morning, it was all about the breakfast that was included with the stay. That and the free wi-fi is such a home-run, I just love it. It really makes you feel like you’re being taken care of and that the hotel is not trying to nickel and dime you all the time. The staff at the Homewood Suites by Hilton – Philadelphia City Avenue was perfect, too.
Once we had breakfast, it was off to see more sites. The day went by fast again, so we decided it was time for some brunch and then, time for the drive home. We had a blast, but the kids were waiting. We hit Sabrina’s Cafe, again on a big-time foodie rec. The french toast was, um, bananas! This was awesome, full of delicious, satisfying, just good to eat food. Once again, homey, nice, and not a budget buster. This was another great spot and perfect for when you don’t want to blow your bank account with every meal on a quick Weekend Escape!
After brunch, we said goodbye to Philly and our Weekend Escape and after two hours we were loving on our three kids. We felt good and refreshed, as you should feel when you go on vacation. It was a nice weekend and a great reminder of why we got married in the first place! It was also fun to be the planner and not just show up with directions and orders from my wife. I think this will be the first of many Weekend Escapes planned by Bill Sweeney, Travel MANager.