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eG Foodblog: MarketStEl - My Excellent Sub/Urban Adventure


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We usually find great little places to eat (if we don't eat at RTM) but once we were talked into a place called Maggiano's or something similar, it seemed like a family style Macaroni Grill. I think it's called Center City in parts, but I'm never sure.

The Center City outpost of Maggiano's Little Italy is right across 12th from the RTM. As chain Italian restaurants go, it's pretty good, and the portions are indeed family-sized.

As for what it's called: Philadelphia is divided into seven broad geographic regions: Center City, South Philadelphia, North Philadelphia, West Philadelphia, Southwest Philadelphia, Northwest Philadelphia and Northeast Philadelphia. All of these terms save "Northwest Philadelphia" are commonly and frequently used.

Within each broad region are scores of separate neighborhoods, and within some of those, sub-neighborhoods. For example, the Northwest Philadelphia neighborhood of Mount Airy is in turn subdivided into East Mount Airy and West Mount Airy.

"Center City" refers to the area within the original 1682 boundaries of the City of Philadelphia, bounded on the east by the Delaware, the west by the Schuylkill, the north by Spring Garden Street and the south by South Street. Real estate promoters have annexed South Philadelphia's northwest corner to this and refer to the area as "Southwest Center City."

There are a few neighborhoods, such as Grays Ferry, that are not associated with any particular broad geographic region in the public mind. (Based on the lay of the land, it should be part of South Philadelphia.)

The neighborhoods within Center City are Old City (roughly everything east of 7th Street and north of Walnut), Society Hill (east of 8th, south of Walnut), Chinatown (8th to 11th streets, Arch to Callowhill), Washington Square West (8th to Broad, south of Walnut), Rittenhouse Square (Broad to 21st, Walnut to Pine), the "Graduate Hospital area" (Broad to 21st, south of Pine), Fitler Square (21st to the Schuylkill, south of Walnut), Logan Circle (15th to 23d, JFK Boulevard to Callowhill) and the "Art Museum area" (20th to the Schuylkill, north of Callowhill). All of these boundaries are approximate, except for those of Society Hill and Wash West. The "gayborhood" is a subdistrict within Wash West.

Dividing the rest of the city into its component neighborhoods is the subject of a Ph.D. dissertation.

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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Thanks Sandy for this wonderful blog, which to me is truly a gift as a native Philadelphian. I don't know if I'll ever return for good, but I do visit often and when I do, prefer to visit the classics and local places that bring back old memories, vs. eating at a SS restaurant or whatever tragically hip place is lurking beyond the velvet ropes

.

I would have liked to have seen the Crystal Tea Room as well. Growing up, my Mom would take me into CC, from the Bethayers Station to the old terminal. We'd go and see theater shows at the Academy of Music, shop at Wannamakers and always have lunch in the Crystal Tea Room. I can never eat a club sandwich and not think of that place*getting misty here*. That was my de facto meal.

Perhaps your next blog, which I look forward to immensly.

Cheers.

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"The podiatrist told me to do stretching exercises, get arch supports and roll my left foot over a frozen can of juice or food to fix the plantar fascitis."  :shock:

You should get hazardous duty pay for doing all this hoofing around with plantar fasciitis. I know from experience how much that can hurt!  Various types of shoe inserts have helped a lot, but they ain't cheap.

I'm wearing my Airwalk sneakers today. That helps a lot.

Love the blog! I don't make it to Philly too often, in spite of the fact that my brother and only niece live there, but now I have a wealth of information to put to use whenever I am there. Your writing is so entertaining and I love the photos.

On the plantar fasciitis note, none of the inserts ever helped me. I finally found a new podiatrist and he suggested I wear a 1-2" heel and that did the trick. Not sure how you would swing wearing heels though! :hmmm: Born brand shoes also really helped.

Take care and thanks again for such a great blog,

Angela :biggrin:

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Sandy - thank you so much for this blog. It has really been a great advertisement for Philadelphia, and a reminder how fun your city is - and nearby.

I am kicking myself for missing the quiz that one day! And, I wasn't sure if it was cheating to "phone a friend" But my father, who went to Penn and Wharton, knew the market answer instantly when I asked him on Sunday evening. My parents lived at 9th and Pine when they were newly married and apparently the Italian market was my mother's favorite place to shop.

But tied is still an honor and kudos to Mizducky!

I'm wishing I had a big cheesesteak right now- except as I eat vegetarian for most of my meals, I'd have the abomination of peppers, onions, mushrooms and cheese with no meat! I know, you Philadelphians are hanging your head right now, ready to throw me out of the kingdom.

When we went on our whirlwind trip to Philadelphia (as part of a longer roadtrip) we decided we couldn't leave without getting cheesesteaks, and ate them in the car in a messy endeavor. But so good and so worth it!

I digress - thanks again Sandy for a great blog.

The Kitchn

Nina Callaway

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If it weren't for Pizza Club, I might never have stumbled over your most excellent blog, Sandy.

Notes to self: There's more to eGullet than the PA forum. Find out if those New Yorkers still need thermometers and calipers to eat burgers.

Charlie, the Main Line Mummer

We must eat; we should eat well.

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Sandy - thanks for your blog this week - your attention to detail paired with your photos have been so much fun!

In a nice coincidence, I was in your fair city on Friday night after a hellacious flight from Providence where we circled above the Philadelphia airport for an hour. However, we managed to regroup and head to Tattoo Mama's on South Street for a pint or 3. I don't often see PBR on tap where I live currently - Boston - and the bumpercars were pretty badass. Oh and of course the Yuengling was a bonus!

Eating pizza with a fork and knife is like making love through an interpreter.
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Postscript: Since I guess I can still get a little more food in, this morning I had a piece of leftover Popeye's chicken. I had brought a 10-piece box home for the rest of the brood.

And remember the "Pasta Jambalaya" I said I packed in my partner's lunch at the beginning of the blog? Well, there is still some of this stuff in the fridge, so I packed it into my lunch this morning:

gallery_28660_2808_5161.jpg

And remember what I said about Upper Darby becoming "more urban" back on Thursday? Well, I was catching up with reading the Daily Times this morning, and there is a reason that the phrase "inner ring suburb" has entered the language, carrying with it a connotation similar to that of "inner city neighborhood."

69th Street may still hum with life, and Upper Darby High may be a multiethnic educational model, but not all is well in the township:

gallery_28660_2808_58815.jpg

Speaking of Upper Darby, didn't one of you mention going to the Tower Theater when you lived here?

gallery_28660_2808_52624.jpg

It's still a hot concert venue--rock, mainly. As far as attending concerts at suburban theaters is concerned, my own tastes in music lean towards the Keswick Theater in Glenside. (Edited to add: Yet one of my favorite pop musicians is Upper Darby's own pride and joy, Todd Rundgren.) Since I've not touched on the northern 'burbs at all, that could be a subject for a future report.

Edited by MarketStEl (log)

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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Thank you so much, Sandy, for such an awesome blog! I'm not too proud to say I kept coming back (in between playing with my kiddos) to check for your updates. :laugh: The only problem is now I want to up and move the family to Philly. :unsure:

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Thank you Sandy for such a great great job you've done. I was born in Philly but my family moved to Maryland when I was an infant. My mother's family stayed in Phila. mostly in the Southwest section, 54th & Whitby (off Baltimore ave). When I got out of high school in the mid 60's I moved to the city and lived with a great aunt and went to night school at St. Joe's and worked in center city in the day. After a while I got an apt. at 40th & spruce with 2 other college guys. That was an unbelievable experience for a kid who grew up in the remote rural country side of MD. Anyway for one of my jobs I was what they called a "runner" in the stock market industry and my job was to take stock certificates of transfer all over the city to the different brokerage houses so I use to be out on the streets way more than I was ever in the office and I use to know every coffee shop, deli., bakery, restaurant and even bars in center city. I moved away more than 30 years ago and just started going back 3 years ago to take my daughter to some shows at the Forrest and Academy and Walnut st. theaters and some Philly and Eagles games. Your blog really made me think about all the other things that there are to take advantage of in the City. We live at the shore and the last several time we went by train, which she though was just the greatest thing. Thanks again for all the wonderful things you've reminded me of and especially for the fabulous pic's. I have a pic of my daughter in front of the Academy of Music with city hall and Wm.Penn as the background as my computer screen so it reminds me daily to keep going back.

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Thank you so much, Sandy, for such an awesome blog!  I'm not too proud to say I kept coming back (in between playing with my kiddos) to check for your updates.  :laugh:  The only problem is now I want to up and move the family to Philly.  :unsure:

Don't let me stop you! More fresh blood here is good.

As I suspect that everyone who wants to say "Thanks and farewell" has now done so, let me say once again that I thoroughly enjoyed trekking around Philly for all of you--even if some of those treks were just around the block--and hope you had as much fun following my escapades as I had engaging in them.

I know I'll see all of you on these boards, but I hope you'll all be here to join me when the urge to blog once again strikes me.

Warm regards,

Sandy

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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Not everyone yet!

Sandy, thank you for your unsparing attention to detail and wealth of knowledge of urban (and suburban) factoids. What a great tour of the city for the uninitiated, as well as the rest of us. I've lived here for quite awhile too, yet you showed me many things I knew not of. Bravo! A most impressive blog, my friend.

I’d just like to add (for those of you with a sweet tooth) that those Apple Dumplings at RTM are the bomb. And More Than Just Ice Cream serves a cinderblock sized slice of deep dish apple pie that I have yet to finish with several friends helping me. Capogiro is all we’ve promised and not to be missed if you come and visit. There are all kinds of good eats to be had in the City of Brotherly Love. Come visit and check it out!

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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Whoops! One last detail.

I promised you all you would see the Pizza Club launch its "Best of Philly Review Tour."

I just posted the writeup of our first stop on the tour to the "PIZZA CLUB 2006" thread on the Pennsylvania board. You're invited to come over and hang out with us there.

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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Sandy - thanks for your blog this week - your attention to detail paired with your photos have been so much fun! 

In a nice coincidence, I was in your fair city on Friday night after a hellacious flight from Providence where we circled above the Philadelphia airport for an hour.  However, we managed to regroup and head to Tattoo Mama's on South Street for a pint or 3.  I don't often see PBR on tap where I live currently - Boston - and the bumpercars were pretty badass.  Oh and of course the Yuengling was a bonus!

Tattoo Mama's?

Next time you're in town and have a hankering for PBR, you need to get yourself over to Bob & Barbara's Lounge in the 1500 block of South Street.

Besides being the official religious shrine to Pabst, Bob & Barbara's features great jazz most nights and the best drag show in town on Thursdays. The best office Christmas party I've been to in quite some time was the one Red Tettemer Advertising--the agency behind the current SEPTA ad campaign, BTW; I spent a month there as a freelance proofreader at the end of '05--threw there. Great food--Ron's Ribs catered--great jazz, and a fun crowd.

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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You know, I'm beginning to feel like Michael Jackson here--I never can say goodbye.

Just when I think I have it all wrapped up, someone comes along with a memory like the one above that just begs for followup.

There is just too much here for a measly one-week blog to do it justice. Folks, you'll just have to come here to experience it for yourself.

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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Sandy - thanks for your blog this week - your attention to detail paired with your photos have been so much fun! 

In a nice coincidence, I was in your fair city on Friday night after a hellacious flight from Providence where we circled above the Philadelphia airport for an hour.  However, we managed to regroup and head to Tattoo Mama's on South Street for a pint or 3.  I don't often see PBR on tap where I live currently - Boston - and the bumpercars were pretty badass.  Oh and of course the Yuengling was a bonus!

Tattoo Mama's?

Tattooed Mom's. On South, somewhere between 7th and 5th. Same owner as Sugar Mom's in Old City.

Herb aka "herbacidal"

Tom is not my friend.

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Sandy,

Will you please have a frozen custard at Rita's for me? Pretty, please.

Well, it's water ice, not frozen custard, but I'm glad to oblige:

gallery_28660_2808_25019.jpg

I'm eating a passion fruit water ice, which was fantastic!

Thanks Sandy! Passion fruit is one of my favorite flavours for water ice. Looks really good.

Great blog. It is really nice to see Walnut Street again. My former company's headquarters was on Walnut.

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