Thursday, March 21, 2013

Round Up of Philly, PA

Here's a big mish mosh of a bunch of places I went to in Philly. All very good and recommended, unless otherwise stated. First up, Paesano's, the Italian market location.
The Bolognese ($8) is a gut bomb of a sandwich with its fried lasagna plus sauce, cheese, and eggs. It's a messy one.
The namesake Paesano ($8) comes with beef brisket, provolone, and eggs. A delicious combo of ingredients. Not as heavy as the Bolognese but still very filling.
Tony Luke's is one of the many cheesesteak ($8) places to grab some griddled rib eye topped with melted cheese.
I prefer mine wit onions and double cheese. Tony Luke's is one of the few places that leave their steak cooked whole in slices. I prefer this style over the extremely chopped up.
Like at Jim's Steaks. The line was out the door but we waited since it moved quickly. These guys know how to do their job efficiently.
The meat was too chopped up and basically dried out by the time it got to my mouth. No amount of cheese would have saved this sandwich.
As mush as I enjoy cheesesteaks, there's an even softer side of my heart set just for fried chicken. So Federal Donuts shot up high on the list of to go places. I mean, it's fried chicken and doughnuts. What's not to like? Well, the very small space is one but we lucked out and got two of the very few counter seats.
We ordered 2 halves of chicken. The first half was buttermilk ranch. The seasoning reminded me of the kind of seasoning one would put on potato chips. And you know I LOVE potato chips. This was pretty good. Juicy chicken that was fried to order.
The chili garlic flavor was reminiscent of Korean fried chicken. Sweet and spicy. A good combination of flavors. But I still prefer Korean fried chicken more. They've mastered it.
With each order of fried chicken, you also get a free honey doughnut. But that wasn't enough for me. I also ordered whatever was the flavor of the day. I needed my fill of more fried dough goodness. I slept on the car ride back home.
Like old school ice cream charm? Look no further than Franklin Fountain. A really cute place with workers who dress up in old soda jerk uniforms.
The flavors are pretty classic as well. Chocolate for him, strawberry for me. Hmm, really thick and creamy. So rich. The dairy adverse should avoid.
And another trip to Reading Terminal Market. It's a mistake to go here on a Saturday afternoon. It's like sardines in there and people are vicious about hoarding tables. Be ready to fight over a recently freed table with the young or old.
With that, we took most of our food standing up. An order of Miller's Twists's pigs in a blanket was a must. Mini hot dogs wrapped in freshly made pretzel bread. Awesome. Didn't even need mustard.
A sandwich from the new Wursthaus Schmitz: The Lyoner with fried bologna, muenster cheese, pickle, and horeseradish sauce. It was pretty good on its own but they also offered spicy brown mustard with a really nice kick. It helped cut through that fried meat product goodness.
And to end any meal in Reading Terminal Market, a scoop from Bassett's Ice Cream. Homemade, real dairy creamery ice cream. So thick and rich. If you like really rich ice cream, this is your heaven. I tried the English Toffee flavor this time. The vanilla base was intensely milky with dots of sweet English toffee throughout. Not too much of the toffee though. Some people didn't like that. Ahem, ahem...
Last but not least, dinner at Barclay Prime, a steakhouse in Rittenhouse Square.
You start the night with fresh, hot popovers ready for some soft butter.
And before you cut into your steak, they give you the choice of picking your knife. I went for the Shun, naturally. It cut right through my medium rare NY strip. So good.
And with any steak dinner, the sides are important as well. Creamed spinach, tater tots, mashed potatoes, brussel sprouts, and sauteed mushrooms. The mac and cheese was off the menu as it was being tinkered by the new chef.

1017 S 9th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 440-0371

Tony Luke's
39 E Oregon Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19148
(215) 551-5725

Jim's Steaks
400 South Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 928-1911

Federal Donuts
1219 S 2nd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(267) 687-8258

Franklin Fountain
116 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 627-1899

Reading Terminal Market
51 N 12th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 922-2317

Barclay Prime
237 S 18th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 732-7560


  1. Was all of this eaten in one day? Even if it was just over a weekend, still quite impressive!

  2. Two separate trips. The first was a weekend, Paesano's through Franklin Fountain. The other Reading Market through Barclay Prime in one day.

    1. sounds like fun. haven't been to Philly in a long time.

    2. It's a good, easy trip for a weekend.

  3. I've eaten at all the places in your first trip completely (though in various trips) except for Federal Donuts, which I now need to do my next trip! (Federal will be at Nationals Stadium in DC this year, too.)

    Tony Luke still reigns as my favorite steak in Philly, and Jim's (from that location) trails pretty badly. I'd say Paesano's, but that isn't fair to compare apples to oranges. The fried egg really makes the Paesano. Being in agreement with you vindicates me!

    1. Bobwhite's chicken is better but doesn't have the interesting flavors that Federal Donuts does.

  4. I need to go to Paesano's, Federal Donuts and Franklin Fountain. Maybe I need a Philly weekend of my own.

    My last trip to Tony Luke's was kinda disappointing. Very late night and their steak wasn't too tasty. Their sodawater/syrup-less Sprites didn't help either. It had to be an off-night. I was already a few beers in from Barcade too so the buzz didn't even make them taste better. HA.


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