When you think about food in Philly, does it bring to mind thoughts of coffee-crusted scallops and toasted almond foam? How about some of the most mind-blowingly and buttery toro you've ever tasted? And gelato that might give Italian gelatterias a run for their money?
Well, having spent the better part of a week here now (where I coincidentally ran into one of the coolest girls I've met recently), I am suddenly having a whole lot more respect for this city's culinary prowess.
I have plenty of places to write about, so bear with me for a few days. But first, let me tell you about the ubiquitous Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich. Having grown up in New York, there was definitely a plethora of this oozy and delicious lunch around. But after I moved to California, I decided to simply go without instead of partaking of the mockery that is available there.
From time to time, the urge would overwhelm me and I'd go running off to WizWhit (may he rest in peace) at the corner of Norfolk between 11th & 12th in SoMa. Once the Wiz was gone, though... that was it.
So it was with a nearly giddy demeanor that I skipped off to Reading Terminal Market, just around the corner from my hotel, to ponder whether I'd be going for an Italian hoagie at Salumeria, a roasted pork sandwich at DiNic's or a cheesesteak at Rick's. When I walked up to Rick's and realized that they are the 3rd generation of Pat's Philly Steaks, the deal was sealed.
"One steak, please, provolone, sweet peppers, no onions"
Five minutes later, I had a big, juicy, slick, tender, sweet-and-salty sandwich. I promptly walked back to my room so as to keep from making a total ass of myself eating this sandwich that I just described like sex. It was likely to be loud and wholly inappropriate a thing to do in public.
By the way, for those of you wondering what Reading is like... Let me put it to you in Bay Area terms: take the archictural beauty and integrity of the ferry building, and fill with vendors you'd find in Emeryville Public Market and the Housefiles Market in Oakland. Drop it next to City Hall. And there you have the Reading Terminal.
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