Sunday, June 14, 2015

Philadelphia Phaves

I cannot believe that in a few short weeks the hubs and I will be leaving the East Coast behind for our move to CALIFORNIA!

We have really enjoyed our time in the City of Brotherly Love. Philadelphia has definitely established itself as one of the best food cities, so I wanted to highlight some of our "Philly Phaves"!

When we first moved to Philadelphia, we lived in Society Hill. Society Hill is a very historic, quiet neighborhood just blocks away from the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. I loved walking down the cobblestone streets and passing homes that have been around since the 1700's!

Society Hill/Old City has so many fabulous restaurants. We lived literally right next door to one of Philadelphia's top-rated restaurants, Zahav. Nothing beats the beet salad (oh, puns!) that comes with the selection of salatim at the start of the meal. The baby rugelach and apricot babka are some of my favorite desserts!

Babka that would make your Bubbe proud at Zahav!

Philly isn't really known for its pizza, but we were fortunate enough to live steps away from Pizzeria Stella. We had a regular order: one spinach with mozzarella and pine nuts, one sausage with long hot pesto. Delish! We regularly made the long trek to Stella's from our West Philly apartment after we moved from Society Hill because the pizza is that good!

I am very, very particular about my tapas. Hey, I studied abroad in Spain, I know what's good! I have to say that Amada is one of the best tapas restaurants that I've been to here in the States. Their croquetas are light and creamy. The garlic shrimp sizzles when they place it in front of you. I can't get enough of the garbanzo and spinach salad. And of course, the Sangria is not to be missed!

Just up the street from Amada is Han Dynasty ,  which is truly authentic Szechuan cuisine. Definitely go here if you like it hot! You can customize the spice level for most dishes. Our favorites were the Spicy Crispy Cucumber Salad, Dan-Dan Noodles, and the Garlic Sauce Style Shrimp.

Here is B enjoying basketball and Chinese food at Han Dynasty!

You CANNOT be in Society Hill/Old City without checking out Franklin Fountain. In the summer, there is always a line, but it is totally worth it for their old fashioned ice cream floats, sundaes, and phosphates (customized sodas). When you walk in, you feel as though you have been transported into the 1920's. Even the employees are dressed in outfits from that era! Franklin Fountain has excellent classic and unique homemade ice cream flavors, from vanilla bean to honeycomb ice cream made with honey from their own beehives! Yum!

When we moved to West Philly, we were worried that we would miss our old stand-bys in Society Hill. Never fear, for we quickly discovered some favorite places in our new neighborhood! Our go-to place was Sabrina's. They serve breakfast all day, and I loved that on a random Thursday night I could get a delicious egg white and veggie omelet with "homies" (Sabrina's lingo for home-fried potatoes). My husband loves their grilled veggie sandwich, served on a Philly famous Sarcone's roll!

The view of the Philly skyline from our West Philly place!
My sister went to Penn, which is right up the street from our West Philly apartment. I remember coming to White Dog Cafe after her graduation on a chilly, rainy day and cozying up to order hot toddies. Man, I wish I didn't wait nine years to try the food! American gourmet comfort food at its best! All the ingredients are from local farms. Hub's favorite is the burger with truffle-oil fries. I love the pecan-crusted tofu or the rigatoni with spicy lamb bolognese. The best is half-priced wine bottles on Mondays! Whatever you don't drink they cork up for you to take home!

Part of White Dog's charm are all the cute dogs positioned randomly throughout the restaurant. We've named a few...this one is Paco.

 In my opinion, and I assume the opinion of many others, Capogiro Gelato is definitely a Philly institution! It is honestly the best gelato I've had outside of Italy! They have awesome flavors that change seasonally based on available ingredients. Some flavors seem daunting at first (um, sweet potato ice cream? Avocado?) but end up being delicious! One of my favorite flavors is burnt sugar, which seriously tastes like the caramelized topping of a creme brulee. Of course, their classic flavors are done beautifully, like the pistachio and the stracciatella.

Even if it is on the wrong side of the Mason-Dixon, Percy Street BBQ is the spot to hit if you are craving great barbeque! The ribs and chicken have a great, smokey flavor, they barely require the various sauces that are available at the table. I love ALL the sides, but the German potato salad in a bacon vinaigrette and the mac and cheese are truly awesome!

This is definitely a time where you want to GO TOWARDS THE LIGHT! There's great BBQ ahead!

Before moving to Philly, I heard a lot about Monk's and their famous mussels. I love mussels, and fell in love with almost all of the different preparations on the menu! Brussels (tomato, fennel, garlic) and Provence (leeks, mushrooms, celery, cream) are my favorites. It is the perfect place to go on a cold night to warm up with moules frites!

Let me just say, I had to stop my list here because I could honestly go on forever about all of the great places to eat in Philadelphia. I am sad that we will be leaving such a wonderful food city, but am looking forward to finding our go-to's and special places in our new hometown! Anyone who knows some good OC restaurants, let me know! 

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