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Philly for T-day


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Okay, we are doing the long drive to Philly with three kids for Thanksgiving. Actually, dinner is in Swarthmore, but we are staying at the Sheraton Society Hill to be near hubby's aunt and to get to see more of the City.

There is no way I am going to be able to fix, much less pack, anything to bring from Raleigh, given the crowd in the van and the number of stops we are making.

Any suggestions on something we can pick up in Philly on Wednesday in Reading Terminal Market (where we hope to get!!!) or anywhere else somewhat near our hotel that we can take to dinner in Swarthmore on Thursday. I don't want to show up empty handed (we are taking wine, but.....). We will also be doing the museum thing with the kids at some point, so we will be in that area too.

Any suggestions on any local delicacies we should pick up at the Market to take home for ourselves would also be appreciated!

Also, any suggestions on where to eat (not fine dining, we will have the kids...who are good, but not good enough for white table cloths) in Society Hill?

Thanks to all !

Beth

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If you scroll through the Reading Terminal Market, what I found on my most recent visit, thread, you will get a good idea of the most seasonal offerings from the vendors.

I'd suggest apple cider from Benuel Kaufman, if it hasn't sold out. Go early for this.Fyi, it's unpasturized.He has one of the Amish stands and always has excellent seasonal produce.

Other ideas, an assortment of cheese from City Cheese,Anything that looks good at Fair Food Farmstand.

Check the map when you enter the RTM for vendor locations. If you drive to the market, park in the lot right next to the market and get your parking ticket stamped by a rtm vendor once you've spent $10. you will save a mint on your parking fee.

Another FYI, I imagine the RTM will be very crowded Wedneday.

Another idea that would be a local specialty, Capogiro Gelato. The best gelato I have ever eaten! This stuff is seriously good. (There is a thread also.) It wouldn't suprise me if they had some Holiday flavors. Not in society Hill, but a short cab ride or drive to 119 S 13th Street.

I just checked www.capogirogelato.com and they have Zucca.Italian for, you guessed it, pumpkin.

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Take anything from Isgro's - 10th and Christian.

They may not be filling cannoli to order because of the holiday, but "suffer" thru the pre-filled ones.

And if the case still has a pastry that looks like a peach, don't leave without it!

Isgro's - the correct link with pictures

Edited by Mummer (log)

Charlie, the Main Line Mummer

We must eat; we should eat well.

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wkl and mummer had some great ideas (bringing some Capogiro gelato would make you the hit of the party for sure, if you had some way to keep it cold. I don't know if they'll be open on thansgiving day for you to grab some on your way out. The bigger problem would be that you would be in imminent peril of eating all of it before you got there...)

Pastries from Isgro's is a good idea, although the crowds at those great bakeries get pretty nutty right before holidays. The Italian Market (where Isgro's is located) is not really close to where you're staying, but it's not too far, and there are other cool shops to explore as well. DiBruno's and Claudio's are great cheese shops on 9th street. Claudio's makes outrageously good little fresh mozzerella balls at a place next to main store.

There's also an awesome DiBruno's store in on center City, on Chestnut street, near 19th, that is SURE to have something appropriate.

If you had a cooler or something to keep things cold, a selection of cheeses either from Downtown Cheese in the Reading Terminal or from DibRunos or one of the places in the Italian Market, would go over at a thanksgiving extravaganza, I'm sure. All of those places have other less-perishable food as well.

--

As for eating near your hotel, there are lots of restaurants nearby, but most of them in that neighborhood are on the expensive/fancy side. But the Pagoda Noodle Cafe is pretty solid Chinese food, and barely a block from the Sheraton Society Hill. Walk north on 2nd street (out of the main doors of the hotel, take a right) and just a little past Bookbinders, on the right, there's an open area that's a tiny historical park of some sort. There's a parking garage on the far side of this open space, and the Ritz Old City theater toward the back. Under the garage, just before the theater is where the Pagoda Noodle Cafe is. It's officially on "Sansom Walk" but I don't recall ever seeing a sign for that. The noodle soups there are very good (most of them very large for sharing) and I like the fact that you can order individual Peking Duck rolls. Most things I've ordered there I've liked.

Or if you continue north on 2nd street up to the next stoplight, that's Chestnut street, and if you turn right there, there are a couple of possibilities. There are two Afghan restaurants, Ariana and Kabul. I've seen plenty of kids in those places, and while not super-casual or super-cheap, it's good, interesting food, and not too weird for the little ones, a basic kebab on rice is usually a crowd pleaser. I think Kabul is a little more formal than Arianna. In that same zone, there's also the Aromatic House of Kebabs on that same block, and that's very casual, pretty inexpensive, and while not the best kebabs on the planet, they're pretty good.

Also on that block is the Mexican Post, which serves fairly average Tex-Mex food in a slightly grungy atmosphere, but I'll admit to it being a guilty pleasure from time to time... It's a pretty loud bar scene later in the night, in fact all of Old City is, but earlier in the evening it should be fine for the family.

If you continue up 2nd street to Market Street, then make a right, down a short block there's a fantastic retro ice-cream shop called the Franklin Fountain. If you don't take your kids there at least once during your stay, we might have to report you to the authorities.

If instead you turned left on Market, there are a couple of sandwich places where one can get a credible Philly Cheesesteak or hoagie. Campo's and Sonny's are between 2nd and 3rd on Market, and while not my favorite in all of Philly, they're not bad at all, and have the benefit of being walking distance from your hotel. They're very affordable, good sandwiches, and the places are totally kid-friendly.

A little bit further up Market, there's a nice restaurant called Fork that might be a touch too swanky for the kids, but right next door is something called "fork etc." that has prepared foods, baked goods etc, and a few tables, so it's more of a cafe vibe. You might be able to find something actually gourmet-ish to eat, but in a more casual environment that the kids would groove on. Come to think of it, you might even find something there to take to thanksgiving dinner, so check that out on wednesday!

Slightly off in a different direction, at 6th and Chestnut, there's a place called Jones that serves homey comfort food, in an ironic, 1970s setting. It can be a little bit of a mob scene, and ends up being pricey for what's often basically gussied-up diner food, but it IS actually gussied-up, the food is well-prepared, and I've really enjoyed most of the things I've eaten there. Your kids won't get the joke of eating in what looks like the Brady Bunch family room, but they'll probably find something they'd like to eat, and you will too.

As you stroll around your general neighborhood, you'll see more, it's one of the denser concentrations of restaurants around town. maybe something will appeal to you. There are a few very well-regarded places in the vicinity, like Amada and Tangerine, (maybe Buddakan depending on who you're asking) but I wouldn't consider any of those great spots for kids. And of course there's lots more to choose from elsewhere in the city, but these places you could walk to, which saves the hassle of moving the car, and burns some energy by letting the kids run around a bit on the way.

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

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Just a FYI

This Wednesday at Reading Terminal Market is one of their busiest days of the year. Especially in the morning-the crowds with thin in the PM but sometimes the merchants will start closing early.

Also-you can get the killer gelato at the Fair Food farmstand-smaller selection though

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It's a shame you didn't post earlier. You could have ordered a pie from MANNA's(Metropolitan Aids Neighborhood Nutrition Alliance) annual "Pie in the Sky" fundraiser that provides a mojority of the annual funding for this wonderful organization. MANNA delivers over 40,000 nutritious, freshly-prepared meals each month into the homes of individuals and families living with HIV/AIDS.

Barring that, the suggestions of Reading Terminal Market and DiBruno's are good ones. Mummer likes Isgro's pastries but I have a soft spot for anything from Termini Brothers Bakery, a Philadelphia institution. Their Amaretti cookies are the absolute best I've ever had.

Not sure what day and time you're arriving, but remember that many of these places will close up shop on Wednesday and not be around again until Friday. Reading Terminal may provide the most choices in one spot, but as mentioned, it's certain to be a madhouse. Get the kids some Fisher's pretzels while you're there. The best soft pretzel known to man. Hand twisted before their saucer-like eyes by Amish ladies and girls, brushed with real melted butter while they're still warm and lovingly sprinkled with crunchy coarse salt before being handed into eager hands. There's nothing like it. :wub:

The Italian Market could be interesting to explore and there's a smaller (the original) DiBruno's shop as well as Claudio King of Cheese and their "mozzarella factory" right next door. D'Angelo Brothers butcher shop is also a great find as their homemade sausages are the best I've ever had. Might be a place to stock up and take some interesting things home from if you bring a cooler (which you should!).

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Just for the record, Capogiro is NOT open on thanksgiving day. I'll pretend to be disappointed for the sake of our out-of-state visitors, but I'm actually just bummed that I'm not going to be able to finish off the day with a scoop of pumpkin gelato.

You know, I wouldn't be all that surprised if they had Turkey Gravy flavored gelato...

But if you find yourselves near 13th and Sansom, or 19th and Sansom, on wednesday or friday, ya gotta go...

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

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I'll reinforce what Katie and 18/10 have already already established: the Reading Terminal Market will be pandemonium on Wednesday. But if your kids are okay with crowds, it still might be fun.

A warning on the parking. There are any number of garages on the blocks by the market. The only one that offers a discount is the Parkway Corporation garage on the block bounded by Arch, 12th, Filbert and 13th Streets. Entrances ramps on all four streets. When entering, DO NOT use a credit card to open the gate; if you do, you won't get a discount. Take a ticket and bring it with you the Market. Once you make a $10 purchase (or show a merchant receipts totalling $10) ask to have it validated. Upon return to the garage, insert the ticket into the machine which, after it reads the ticket, will show a $2 fee (payable in cash or credit card). Pay and get the ticket back, because you'll need it to exit. Be forewarned: if you are parked for more than 2 hours, the rate increases exponentiially.

I think the suggestion for Benuel Kaufman's unpasteurized cider is brilliant. But Mummer Charlie makes a good suggestion for Italian pastry at Isgro's; if the cannoli is pre-stuffed, I'd go for my fav, sfogliatele (looks like a flaky clamshell). Termini's has a location in the Reading Terminal Market (expect long lines).

Downtown Cheese at the Reading Terminal Market offers an excellent selection. Becaue Downtown Cheese is so good, we tend to forget that Salumeria offers a nice range of cheeses, too; maybe not as broad as Downtown or DiBruno's, but one that almost any other city would covet.

The 9th St. Italian Market can be a lot of fun, too. In addition to Isgro's, DiBruno's and Claudio's, you can always pick up a house gift at Fante's. And where else can you get a tripe sandwich (George's)?

For dinner with the kids, a red gravy Italian place would probably work out well. I can't think of any in Society Hill, but Ralph's and Villa di Roma aren't that far. If the kids will go for Indian food there's Karma, just a block or two from your hotel. Chinatown isn't that far away (about a baker's dozen blocks away). Also, Headhouse Square and South Street are just south of Society Hill and within walking distance. Dark Horse Pub on Headhouse for English-style fare (shepherd's pie, bangers and mash, steak pie, etc., as well as burgers and sandwiches) and South Street Souvlaki for reliable Greek grill and salads. At Fourth and Bainbridge, a block south of South, can be found the Famous Deli. Huge kosher-style corned beef and pastrami sandwiches and Jewish platters; open breakfast, lunch and dinner. On your way out, pick up some two classic American colonial desserts, halvah and rugelach, to bring for Thanksgiving!

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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Just for the record, Capogiro is NOT open on thanksgiving day.  I'll pretend to be disappointed for the sake of our out-of-state visitors, but I'm actually just bummed that I'm not going to be able to finish off the day with a scoop of pumpkin gelato. 

buy a pint ahead of time! it's only $10.

But if you find yourselves near 13th and Sansom, or 19th and Sansom, on wednesday or friday, ya gotta go...

minor clarification: it's on 20th, not 19th.

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minor clarification: it's on 20th, not 19th.

Oh sure, go ahead, tell everybody, now there'll be none left for us....

And yeah, one could buy it ahead of time, but that removes my favorite part: deciding what I'm in the mood for at that exact moment in time. Keeping a pint of everything in the freezer at home gets impractical. Not that I'm not willing to try.

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

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