Normally, Nola Nerd Couple researches moderately priced local priced places to eat on our travels. Philadelphia was different. We were there for Wizard World Philadelphia (we will definitely have more about that in a series of upcoming blogs). While we were going to do some sightseeing, our schedules were determined by the convention. We figured we would probably eat at some chain restaurants, and we did. Besides those times, we did get some really good meals in Philadelphia without researching ahead.
Of course, if you are in Philly you have to get a cheesesteak. We knew about the famous ones, but we didn’t head there basically because we were too tired to walk to them. Nearer to the Independence Hall area was Sonny’s Famous Cheesesteaks. We looked on Yelp! and surprisingly it got great reviews. We got there and three people had Phillies shirts on which made me more confident in my choice. I ordered mine with onions and cheez whiz; Cristina went with American cheese only. We both ordered bacon on it. We also went with bacon cheese fries. After taking a couple of bites of the sandwich, I realized we made a mistake. This sandwich didn’t need bacon. Let me be clear, this was the first sandwich, ever, that bacon didn’t improve. It was perfect just as it is. It was also better than any I have outside of Philly.
Listening to the Thinking Outside the Longbox podcast, they mentioned a donut shop that was mostly staffed by Amish people. This donut shop, Beiler’s Donuts and Salads, is located inside of Reading Market Terminal. This old rail station has been turned into a giant food court. There was everything here ranging from Thai to Greek to Mexican to Cajun. When we go back to Philly, I plan on eating more meals here.
The first day we were there, we didn’t get the donuts, opting for some lunch. Those meals, ribs and chicken wings, were good and packed a lot of food in for the price. The next morning we headed to the donut shop.
Hey look, it’s Long Box Mike!
I got a caramel apple and strawberry filled glazed donut. Cristina opted for maple bacon and a glazed donut. These donuts were so good they would make Richard Dawkins say oh my god!. They were so good I texted my sister, a Type-I diabetic, and told her if she ever makes it to Philadelphia that these donuts were worth her losing a foot.
We did get another meal at Reading Terminal. The sausage with sour kraut was fantastic and relatively cheap especially when I compare it to a favorite Nola spot for similar food. The potato pancake was perfectly done and paired well with applesauce. Cristina opted for a hamburger with mac and cheese that was not as good as Cowbell’s, but it wasn’t that far behind.
Outside the convention center, they had revolving food trucks each day. Surprisingly, they were not very crowded even at lunch times. That’s a shame because one, Chef Donte’s Delicious Dishes, had a fantastic crab cake sandwich and lamb burger. The honey mayo that went with the sweet potato fries was a perfect compliment to the fries.
The final day in Philly we went to the Rocky steps. Using the maps feature on our phone, we found the Kite and Key restaurant. They had excellent bar food and great service. It was Philadelphia Beer Week so I had a Yards Orang’n of the Species. If I didn’t have to walk a mile or more back to the hotel, I would have had several.
We had such a good time in Philadelphia that we want to go back. There is still a lot to see. Next time, I will do my research because of these meals are any indication what Philly’s food scene has to offer, we will be eating well.