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Sunday, September 25, 2011

La grassa vita!

 Saturday morning Molly took me to the Italian Market on 9th Street. As we got off the bus we suddenly found ourselves surrounded by fresh handmade pasta, seafood, cannelloni and a bunch of Italian flags. Even the weather felt Italian as it was humid and warm. The street was full with cars and even more people spilled out from the side streets.

This is Frank Rizzo a former mayor of Philadelphia of Italian descent.
 Next to all the stands on the street they also had some amazing grocery and kitchen supply shops. In one of the shops massive long cheeses were hung from the ceiling, another sold only spices in big glass containers while a guitar player sat in the shop playing music. The atmosphere at the market was really nice. Most people seemed to know one another and you could hear loud chatter everywhere you went. Very similar to Italy.

 At the market we got several delicious treats. For example this amazing pumpkin spice Ice-cream (rather Unitalian), cannelloni (very Italian) and delicious peaches.

We left the Italian Market for a very Philadelphian experience, the cheesesteak! This is a soft Italian bread filled with sliced steak and covered in a cheesy sauce with optional onions on it all covered in glittering fat. There is an ongoing competition between two cheesesteak places which are right opposite one another on a crossing, Geno's and Pat's. I had read in a blog that they preferred Geno's cheese steak so I tried that one. People were queuing for Geno's all the way onto the street and, go figure, most of them were tourists like me. The cheesesteak was a once in a lifetime experience for me as I could feel my risk of an heart attack increasing while eating it. It was not bad but just not great either. Dare I say... it was a bit blend.

There is just no way to make an cheesesteak look appealing.
What is the perfect thing to do after you just had an incredibly fat bomb of carbs? Right, go shopping! Feeling like petite elves, Molly and I walked to Walnut Street to go shopping. We went into American Apparel whose appeal (aside from the sweatshop free!) I cannot understand, Urban Outfitters which I usually like but minus one dress did not find anything I like and Buffalo Exchange were I for some reason always find something. Buffalo exchange is a second hand shop which used to be frequented by punks but has now turned into an late-teenage hipster shop. 

In the evening we went out with friends of Molly and Dave's to a bar called .... where they sold an impressive number of American real ales. Sadly though they had no cider so I had to drink a rum cocktail which name I couldn't catch over the noise. At 2am we went back (8am Central European Time). Needless to say I was a bit exhausted!


Tess Malone said...


I think I would actually like the famous Philly Cheesesteak given that I enjoy all the fattening elements of it.Nothing better than Cheese Wizz (only half kidding here).

Deb said...

That pumpkin ice cream sounds AMAZING! And you know, I've never been to Geno's or Pat's, I've heard Pat's is friendlier, in that Geno's doesn't like non-English speakers.

Nic Oliver said...

The food tour is going well ... pumpkin ice cream!!!

Caroline said...

I did not know how xenophobic Geno's is before visiting. My recommendation woudl be to go to neither of them but just get a cheesesteak somewhere else. It's cheaper, probably friendlier and the cheesesteak will be similar.