Eatin’ in Philadelphia
After New York, Jeff took a train to Philadelphia to continue work. While there, he enjoyed some interesting eateries in this most historic of cities.
Barbuzzo is located in an area that had been run down and has lovingly been restored with trendy restaurants and bars. This small place was packed and Jeff was lucky to grab one of the few remaining bar seats. He started with the Mozzarella Salad with tomato pesto, pine nuts and a fresh buffalo cheese. The main course was bucatini (the hollow tube pasta) served with slow-cooked pork ragu. While the bucatini was hard to eat, the meal was wonderful to swallow! Dessert was a salted vanilla bean caramel budino (pudding) and it was perfect. A good start in the City of Brotherly Love.
Chinese workers immigrated to Peru in the 19th century. Over the years, they adapted their cooking to the local ingredients and cooking techniques. This shared cuisine became know as Chifa and that in-turn is the name of one of the most unique foods Jeff has had the opportunity to eat. Bao are Chinese buns that are typically steamed or deep fried. The Chifa version was more like a pork belly slider and the bao (bun) was formed into discs rather than a full enclosure of pastry. By any definition, this was a remarkable food. They were gone in an instant. The Humita is a charred tamale accompanied by bacon, mushrooms and aji cream. Wow, was this good! Chicharrones were crispy pork, curried lentils, pickled ginger and cabbage. Again, a tremendous taste! Finally, the Crab Empandas were light with cucumber accents. Of all I tried, this was good, but Jeff’s least favorite. He should have had another Humita! For dessert, Suspiro is a mango pudding with a lime meringue. This is the food I will most remember about Philadelphia and likely long after.
The Reading Terminal Market is located next door to the convention center. It is filled with food vendors and prepared foods. You can shop for fruit and vegetables or simple enjoy a quick lunch. Inside is The Original Turkey. The menu is simple. Hand carved, freshly roasted turkey is served as a sandwich or platter. This is a real treat and Jeff couldn’t leave Philadelphia without one of their turkey sandwiches. Yummy!
Side note: Some of Jeff’s associates decided to conduct their own Philly Cheesesteak “Taste-off.” They learned that neighboring cooks Pat’s and Gino’s were considered among the best in the city and decided to try both in one night! By a vote of 5 to 1, they preferred Pat’s, but as the evening progressed, they got hungry again and tried a place called Jim’s and without voting called Jim’s, “Great!” The controversy continues.
After New York, Philadelphia could have been a disappointment, but with this selection of food, it was equally memorable.
http://www.barbuzzo.com/barbuzzo/ 110 South 13th Street Philadelphia, PA 19107 215-546-9300
http://chifarestaurant.com/707 Chestnut Street Philadelphia, PA 19106 215-925-5555
http://www.readingterminalmarket.org/ 54 North 12th Streets (at Arch) Philadelphia, PA 19107 215-922-2317
http://www.patskingofsteaks.com/location.html 9th at Passyuck Philadelphia, PA 215-468-1546
http://www.genosteaks.com/ 1219 South 9th Street Philadelphia, PA 215-389-0659
http://www.jimssteaks.com/ 400 South StreetPhiladelphia, PA 215-928-1911