Since I promised a culinary recap of my time in Philadelphia, that’s what you’ll be getting today! Brian from Bridges, Burgers, Beer documented the tasty food that fueled me before and after the 1/2 marathon. I’m getting hungry just looking at these photos….
If you know Meg fairly well you If you know Meg well and/or read her blog frequently, you’re very aware of her love for addiction to Larabars. So of course at race number pickup/check-in, we found the Larabar tent and Meg went to town on grabbing samples (see above photo).
meg struggling with chopsticks
You may also know that Meg hates pasta but loves Asian noodles. Knowing this, I had to take her to Han Dynasty, a Sichuan restaurant in Old City Philadelphia, to try my favorite Asian noodle dish…EVER. Many places try to make dan dan mian, but can’t quite replicate the real taste and flavor. This is the only place I’ve been to so far that’s pretty much dead on to what I had in China. I loved it (obviously) and I’m pretty sure Meg did too, though she might have not said much because the spice may have been taking over (real Sichuan food is no joke for the unsuspecting palate). I also got to give some chopstick lessons!
can you see the excitement in her face?
To cool down our palate after our spicy Sichuan noodles, we headed just north to The Franklin Fountain, a traditional ice cream parlor complete with soda jerks and carbonated drinks (phosphates, egg creams, etc.). We decided on the homemade hot fudge sundae – 2 scoops of vanilla bean ice cream, homemade hot fudge, fresh whipped cream, and topped with a cherry. Oh so good.
Dinner time came quick and we went out on a foodie double date with Michelle and Art at Pizzeria Stella, Stephen Starr’s artisanal pizza joint in Society Hill. We started off with the two appetizer specials, heirloom tomatoes & red onion w/ a pesto aioli and topped with ricotta salata and eggplant bruschetta w/ caramelized onions and topped with ricotta salata. Three pizzas were ordered: piccante – capicola, aged provolone, crushed red pepper, tomato; spinach – baby spinach, oven roasted tomato, mozzarella, pine nuts; san daniele – prosciutto, smoked mozzarella, arugula. Of course, being the beer drinkers that we are, we washed down our meal with Ithaca Partly Sunny, which Stella has on tap.
clockwise from bottom: gianduja, nocciola, stracciatella nocciola
This was a Meg day, so of course there were be sweets before night’s end. We hiked west towards Capogiro Gelato after dinner. Both of us are also big fans of gelato, so this was a must this weekend. We split a medium with three flavors: nocciola, gianduja, stracciatella nocciola.
hummus & laffa
crispy haloumi (Megan says – I’m sorry, but I just have to interject and say that the haloumi was one of the best things I have EVER eaten. Hot, crispy, salty, savory, and a little sweet!!)
After Meg was done kicking ass and setting a PR in the Philly half marathon, we headed over for lunch at Zahav, Chef Michael Solomonov’s Israeli restaurant in Society Hill. Since it was Philly Restaurant Week, they were offering a 4-course lunch menu. The appetizers were four salads – double cooked eggplant, fennel, radish, and cucumber/tomato; and hummus & laffa. I’ve been here once before and the hummus and laffa were amazing (and still is) – homemade, fresh, and brought out warm to your table. The second course were small plates and we ordered crispy haloumi w/ pine nuts & a date spread and house smoked sable over challah w/ a fried egg. Our main courses were the galil – eggplant over tomato couscous w/ zucchini and tahini and monsieur merguez – lamb sausage w/ couscous and matbucha. Lastly, for dessert, we had an almond semifreddo served w/ a chocolate crisp and halvah mousse w/ a chickpea praline and blueberries.
meg w/ iced coffee
red velvet cupcake
Before sending Meg on her way, we took a stroll through one of, if not my favorite area of Philadelphia, Northern Liberties. We got iced coffee (no surprise, I’m sure) at One Shot Coffee and then went to Brown Betty Dessert Boutique for red velvet cupcakes!
nom nom nom nom
In Runners Kitchen style, here are my questions for you. Have you ever had authentic Sichuan food? Do you prefer artisanal or mom & pop (proper term?) style pizza? Gelato or ice cream? What’s your favorite kind of cupcake?
Thanks for reading! Huge thanks to Meg for giving me the chance to write here!