l

Louise4071's Profile

Title Last Reply

Canadians in Philly: Good eats had by all! Trip Report

Well we are back from our trip to Philadelphia and I must say that we had a blast! The food, the people, the history and the shopping made for a great time. Here is the breakdown of our eating experiences:

Sunday night we arrived late so decided to head out and find a cheesesteak. We were exhausted from the 10 hour drive so we didn't want to stray too far from old city. We ended up at Sonny's and had a traditional "whiz wit". Good greasy food to fill some empty stomachs and good enough to satisfy our need to try a cheesesteak. On the way back from the hotel we noticed Franklin Fountain (and the line out the door). Decided to share a Stock Market Crunch sundae and that was actually the only miss of our whole trip. It was just meh and not worth the small fortune they charged. Headed back to the Penns View and crashed.

Monday we did some touristy things and ended up at the Reading Terminal Market for Lunch. We ended up sharing a Reuben and it was probably the best sandwich either of us had ever had. The meat seemed to melt in your mouth, it was amazing. We also shared an order of Latkes that were good but really filling. Hit Millers Twist for a soft pretzel that was also pretty freaking amazing (so much so we went back twice more on our trip). Took some white chocolate and PB chocolate pretzels from Muellers and some double chocolate chip cookies from 4th street with us back to the hotel. Both pretty good indeed and lived up to the hype.

Monday night we went to the Ritz Five to see "I AM" and then across the parking lot to Zahav. This meal was the highlight of our whole trip. The food, the service and the amazing surprise that occured while we were there made for a magical evening. So first, the surprise. While we were there a big cheer erupted and we found out that the chef had just won a James Beard award!! We were so happy for everyone and you could tell the staff were all so proud and excited. Very cool to be part of that. Then came the food ( and the booze, oh the booze). So we decided to do the TAY'IM tasting and were very happy we did, also ordered a pitcher of Lemonna to wash it all down. Everything was amazing, here is what we had:
Turkish Hummous: warm and buttery, I loved it. My hubby was not so keen but I would have bathed in it if I could. He was expecting traditional hummous and this is far from it. Delicious, more for me!

Crispy Halloumi: Salty and loved the texture, these were little fried pieces of heaven.

Fried Kibbe: My husband's favorite and definately a treat. The seasoning was amazing. Either these or the Tuna Bastura came with cilantro microgreens that I just loved, need to find those in Toronto.

Tuna Bastura: Ordered this for the fiddleheads (a personal favorite) but it came with asparagus instead. Fiddleheads have a very short season so that is most likely why. It was delicious none the less although we may have ordered a veggie Mezze instead since we chose all protein dishes.

Lamb Tongue: DELICIOUS! Loved this, it was my fave for sure. The texture was divine and again, the spices were lovely. Very gamey tasting, which I love, but not really chewy like beef tongue. Glad we tried it.

For Al Ha'esh we chose Beef cheeks and Lamb Kebab, both of which were awesome. I prefered the rice dish that came with the lamb to beef's pumpkin rice but the proteins were both cooked perfectly. All of the presentations were beautiful as well. It was as much a feast for the eyes as it was for the mouth.
Then came the dessert which I didn't think we could possibly eat but decided to give it the old college effort and are so glad we did! I had the Rugelach which was rich and buttery. The winner though was my husband's, Cardamon Vanilla Custard. Like a deconstructed creme brulee, this dessert was among the best I have ever eaten. It was so flavourful and decadent yet still remained light. The dessert portion sizes were perfect as well after such a large meal. Perfect with coffee.

The management was beyond friendly and generous providing the restaurant with free champagne to celebrate the James Beard win. At the end of the meal, they also comped my husband and I a traditional anise flavoured liquor that was to die for (we swear that this review is not tainted by the ample flowing of alcohol!). Overall we had a blast and it was a meal that will be remembered.

Tuesday it was back to the Reading Terminal for lunch at Dinics and the roast pork was everything I had expected. Delicious. We also grabbed some coffee from Old City coffee and Cannolis from Terminis for dessert and they were divine. Sweet but not too sweet and oh so rich. Tuesday dinner was take out in our hotel room because I had buggered up my knee. My husband wanted italian and so he visited Gnocchi for two very good orders of gnocchi and homemade tiramisu. One of the better meals I have had in bed in my lifetime. Simple and hit the spot for under $30.00.

Wednesday was another great food day. We decided to go to Green Eggs Cafe in Northern Liberties for brunch. Hubby had the Kitchen Sink and I had the special Blueberry cheesecake stuffed french toast. Both were amazing and the portions were huge. The only complaint was how dry the biscuits were in the Kitchen Sink (and we learned how really GOOD biscuits should taste once we hit Amish country). But you smother anything in sausage gravy and it becomes pretty damn good.

For dinner we ended up with a 8 pm reservation at Matyson and so glad we did. Loved the energy of this little BYOB. Everyone seemed so happy to be there, staff and patrons alike. We decided to do the Kennett Square Mushroom tasting menu. Each course came out looking beautiful and tasting even better. My favorite was the soup with the fois gras toast and my husband loved the truffle stuffed beef tenderloin. Service was a little slow but very pleasant and my only wish was that we had brought a second bottle of wine.

Thursday we headed out of Philly and into Amish country (Lancaster area) before hitting the road back to Canada on friday. Again, just wanted to say how much we loved Philadelphia and I wanted to thank everyone for all their suggestions which made our trip even better.

May 14, 2011
Louise4071 in Philadelphia

Amada, Zahav or Kanella?

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for all the feedback. We ended up at Zahav for an amazing meal on Monday night. It was the highlight of our trip. Will review it more in our trip report but I highly recommend everyone visit this restaurant, the food and service was unbelievable.

May 14, 2011
Louise4071 in Philadelphia

Trader Joes

Thanks guys!

Apr 30, 2011
Louise4071 in Philadelphia

Trader Joes

HI There,

Being Canadian and on many food/diet forums I have always wanted to check out a Trader Joes. I noticed there is one in Philadelphia so I had a question. We are coming down from Sunday to Thursday and staying at the Penns View. We are driving but plan on pretty much parking the car and hoofing it or taking public transit where we want to go.
I was wondering if Trader Joes has wine (would love some organic reds) and if so, a good selection? I think they are quite a hike from our hotel so I thought we might drive and then pick up enough for the whole time we are there (along with anything else we might need). How is the parking there?

Also is south street good for parking?

Thanks!

Apr 30, 2011
Louise4071 in Philadelphia

Amada, Zahav or Kanella?

I was thinking Kanella might be nice for Lunch, the lamb sandwich looks amazing. Are they all in Olde City or a little farther away?

Apr 28, 2011
Louise4071 in Philadelphia

Amada, Zahav or Kanella?

HI Hounds,

We are coming in for a few days in Philadelphia in May. I am trying to choose between Amada, Zahav and Kanella for dinner one night. We are staying at the Penns View Hotel in Olde City.
Which one would you choose and why?
We will also be eating at Matyson one night and I think Osteria for the other.

Thanks!!

Apr 28, 2011
Louise4071 in Philadelphia

Lancaster: Hershey Farms or Dienners?

Thanks guys! We will definately do Dienners, just have to make sure we get there on time!

Mar 23, 2011
Louise4071 in Pennsylvania

3 days in Philly, good food choices?

Holy Sweet Mary Jane!!! now THAT Is some food porn right there!!!

Oh my god, can you get half sizes or something? That is insane!

Mar 22, 2011
Louise4071 in Philadelphia

3 days in Philly, good food choices?

Great idea Barry! I wanted to try their corned beef hash whereas my hubby is more the sandwich guy. I will switch them: 4th Street for brunch and Amada for dinner. Should we do the prix fixe menu at Amada or order off the menu?

Mar 22, 2011
Louise4071 in Philadelphia

3 days in Philly, good food choices?

Nooooo I meant Barbuzzo! Looked at the wrong link. It was Barbuzzo on Tuesday.

Mar 22, 2011
Louise4071 in Philadelphia

3 days in Philly, good food choices?

LOL Buckethead....I don't know!! I think it must have been on another site....maybe tripadvisor. It seems close to the hotel and nice, affordable italian menu but very open to other options!

Mar 22, 2011
Louise4071 in Philadelphia

3 days in Philly, good food choices?

THANK YOU all for such great responses. We are thinking of coming in a day early just to see more and EAT more :) Soooo if we come in Sunday here is how it will all shake down I think:

Sunday Night: Jims since it is Mothers Day and we don't feel like facing restaurants on such an occasion. Franklin Fountain deliciousness if room after

Monday Lunch: Amada
Monday Dinner: Famous 4th Street Deli (We don't get deli like THAT in Toronto)

Tuesday Lunch: RTM Dinics pork sandwich and some treats
Tuesday Dinner: Spasso Italian Grill (BYOB)

Wednesday: Brekkie at Dutch Eating Place
Wednesday Dinner: Zahav (Lamb prix fixe, I love me some lamb!!)

Thursday Brekkie before heading to Lancaster: Honey's Sit and Eat or Sabrinas.

How does that look now? :)

Mar 22, 2011
Louise4071 in Philadelphia

Lancaster: Hershey Farms or Dienners?

Hi There,

We will be coming into the area for one night on a thursday in May. Staying at the Best Western Revere. We would like to try one of the smorgasbord restaurants that feature PA Dutch foods. I think I have narrowed it down to Hershey Farms or Dienners. Not worried about which is cheaper, we would like to go where there is the best food.

I would love some feedback on which you think would be the best choice :)

Thanks!

Mar 21, 2011
Louise4071 in Pennsylvania

3 days in Philly, good food choices?

LOL Thanks Prettypoodle, I grew up downwind from a Nuclear Power Plant so I can handle it. Besides the tail, I turned out ok :)

Mar 18, 2011
Louise4071 in Philadelphia

3 days in Philly, good food choices?

Thanks Bigley, sounds good!

Mar 18, 2011
Louise4071 in Philadelphia

3 days in Philly, good food choices?

Barry, thank you so much for letting me know this! Food sounds good but I can't justify that amount for dinner on a tuesday night :) Will find a nice italian BYOB or stick with Friday, Saturday, Sunday as originally planned. Kanella looks amazing as well so that might be another good option.

As far as AMADA goes, does anyone want to give me suggestions on dishes to try? We have never done the tapas thing before but it looks lovely.

Thanks!

Mar 18, 2011
Louise4071 in Philadelphia

3 days in Philly, good food choices?

Thanks so much! I am thinking now Barbuzzos and Vetri for dinners, look great! I am not sure that my hubby is a Zahav type of guy but I think Amada looks great for a lunch and RTM for the other.

So a question about RTM. Is there a place there to get a good philly cheesesteak? We are definately going to do the roast pork at DiNics but really don't want to miss out on at least trying a cheesesteak (we will split them).

Mar 17, 2011
Louise4071 in Philadelphia

3 days in Philly, good food choices?

Thanks Ray, I think that was it. Not into theme restuarants ;)

Mar 15, 2011
Louise4071 in Philadelphia

3 days in Philly, good food choices?

Ohhhhh Supper looks good as well. I love restaurants that use local ingredients. Is that a good call?

Mar 15, 2011
Louise4071 in Philadelphia

3 days in Philly, good food choices?

Loving all the replies, keep em coming please! So what do you think of Friday, Saturday, Sunday? I love the look of the menu and the area but no one seems too jazzed about it. Also, there is a restaurant in the hotel (which I generally avoid) but apparently it has a wonderful wine bar. Panorama or something like that? Any views on that.
One of my clients mentioned a restaurant in center city but for the life of me I can't remember the full name (something tavern I believe). He said it is in a historic building and the food was great. Sadly, he is no longer with the company so I can't find him to ask him again. Anyone know which I might be talkign about.

Mar 15, 2011
Louise4071 in Philadelphia

3 days in Philly, good food choices?

I don't think my reply went through so I will try again.

The prix fixe looks amazing. Is it too much food for just 2 people? Granted we are good eaters and I love me some lamb!

Mar 15, 2011
Louise4071 in Philadelphia

3 days in Philly, good food choices?

I thought Percy's looked damn good. Not authentically Philly but hard to get good bbq in Canada. Not sure why the influx of Torontonians? I think maybe it is because of the good shopping and that Philly is more affordable to visit than NYC? Regardless, sooooo looking forward to it!

Mar 15, 2011
Louise4071 in Philadelphia

3 days in Philly, good food choices?

Thanks Bluehensfan, where would you go for an authentic philly cheesesteak? I know it is a very personal preference and I have read so many differing views. If there is a good option in the reading terminal, maybe we can get both the roast pork and a cheesesteak and share. Leaves us with Monday night open to check out Buddakan, Continental or Percy's BBQ which were all restaurants I was interested in checking out.

-----
Buddakan
1 Atlantic Ocean Unit 3108, Atlantic City, NJ 08401

Mar 15, 2011
Louise4071 in Philadelphia

3 days in Philly, good food choices?

Hi there,

So excited to visit your beautiful city from Toronto in May. We are both foodies so of course already planning what to eat. Below is our itinery, would love some feedback. We will be staying at the Penns View Hotel so if you have better dinner suggestions near that area, we are open!

Monday arrive at night, will grab cheesesteak from Jims or Campos due to vicinity (which do you think is better?). If not too full, Franklin Fountain for some ice cream action.

Tuesday we will be checking out the sights and plan to have lunch at Beau Monde and dinner at Friday, Saturday, Sunday (love the cheap wine!)

Wednesday will be a full day shopping and eating in the area of Reading Terminal. Think we might hit it in the morning for brekkie at the Dutch Eating Place (pancakes and apple dumplings)
and then LINNER (lunch/dinner) mid afternoon at DiNics (roast pork) and whatever else catches our eye. WIll take some snacky things back to the hotel for later.

Thursday we are heading to the Philadelphia Outlet Mall and then on to Lancaster for the night. We were thinking Honey's Sit and Eat (I think that is the name) for Brekkie before heading out of town and then hitting Dienners smorgasbord for dinner on our way to the hotel.

Friday we head home to Toronto (boo hoo!)

Would love some feedback :)

Mar 15, 2011
Louise4071 in Philadelphia

Canadian food for Canada Day!

Thanks in advance for your help!

We are heading out with friends for a nice Canada Day dinner in the GTA. I am looking for suggestions for good Canadian (whatever the heck that is!!) food. We are making it a mission to make the meal as canadian as possible since we usually do indian, thai, italian when eating out.

Jun 28, 2008
Louise4071 in Ontario (inc. Toronto)