Results 1-10of 14 Reviews
June 30, 2010
From journal Quick Trip to Philly
San Jose, California
June 26, 2010
From journal Philadelphia June 11-13, 2010
New York, New York
October 16, 2008
, West Virginia
August 18, 2005
Without the presence of mind to snap a photo, I jog along
behind the wagon until it leads me to Reading Terminal underpass and the Amish Festival. I almost run into a
cow! Now, what a black-and-white spotted cow looking just like Borden’s Daisy is
doing here, I haven’t a clue, but I finally think to get a photo of these ponies--sure, now
that they aren't bouncing like puppies anymore!--before I begin to look for
I notice jugs of dark brown brew. Closer, I see "homemade root beer--50 cents a cup."
After a few each, we wish we had bought a half-gallon jug ($3.95). We’ve had
breakfast at the hotel, but we want to sample Amish cooking. I spot the perfect
I have tasted peach pie I didn’t relish, but this one is scrumptious and without any sugary
or other aftertaste.
We must walk to Market Street to get our bus, but we’ll stop on our way back to the
hotel--not too late for the market, because we’ll have to shower before our Candlelight
Walking Tour of Society Hill, which, incredibly, begins at 6:30pm (sunny and nearly 100°F). I’ll want more root beer then! All the Amish haven’t arrived yet; perhaps there
will be more.
We don’t make it back until late Saturday, after most Amish vendors have left. A band is
playing outside in the underpass, and a few folks linger at tables. We have another peach
pie and look inside for something to take back to the hotel. At a pastry counter, a girl is
buying an Italian pastry I want: crostata di frutta. There are only two, so I wait to
see if she scarfs both. When she buys only one, I take the other. Heavenly! The thick
and flaky pastry wafer covered with Italian cream, fresh pineapple, kiwi, and other fruit
is one of the best-made desserts I’ve had on this continent! Sorry, I devoured it fast and
didn’t think of a photo (or the hotel), but I can tell you that it was beautiful.
I buy plums to take to the room, and they are perfect specimens. My one
disappointment at Reading Market hits me hard--no Philly cheesesteaks! There
are places here where you can buy one and sit and eat it, but they aren’t open late Monday afternoon! Only burger and seafood stands are open, but we find a diner-style restaurant.
Our turkey sandwiches ($7.50) are a full meal, with broccoli, potatoes, and dressing.
We’re glad we’ve stayed next door! Now downstairs for R-1, the airport train.
From journal Philly Had Signers and Singers--The Poets!
August 28, 2005
The only "formal" restaurant is the Down Home Diner, the offering of the chef/owner of Jack's Firehouse. He plumbs his Southern roots to produce a unique twist on traditional diner menus featuring huge breakfasts, fresh soups, etc. While not as adventurous as his other place, the food is wonderful.
Other food spots include the venerable 12th Street Cantina, a good Mexican place with fresh, fresh, fresh ingredients, and several Amish stands offering traditional menu items, such as chicken pot pie with a waffle crust and chick fricassee. When perusing these menus, I believe the Amish tend to forget that we don't all farm for a living and therefore don't eat the hearty noon meal!
The one spot I never miss (and neither, apparently, does anyone else judging by the inevitable line) is Fisher's pretzel stand. Centrally located, they make pretzels continually: forming them, baking them, brushing them with butter, salting them. One good thing about the line: the salty goods are always warm when you finally get them!
After breakfast or lunch, it’s time to shop. The meats and poultry, most of it local, are incomparable. You can find free-range and antibiotic-free items with no problem at all. Butchers (yes, real butchers!) will cut and trim to order. They will order special cuts for you and even teach you about meat in case your Joy of Cooking doesn't cover the finer points. The fish is fresh and the variety seems endless. I know I'm rhapsodizing. It's deserved.
I'll just say "ditto the veggies," okay?
PRETZEL, check, check, check, check…
From journal Dining in the Philadelphia Area
by Owen Lipsett
July 6, 2005
Reading Terminal Market, which, as its name suggests, has coexisted with Philadelphia’s railway lines since its foundation in 1889 and (this being Philadelphia) can trace its heritage back even further. An outdoor market preceded it on this site (in whose memory the market moves some stands outdoors for a single Saturday in June) from 1860 onwards, but in all likelihood, this market itself derived from the centuries-old outdoor markets from which Philadelphia’s main East-West thoroughfare takes its name.
Perhaps as a result of all this history (many of the stalls are quite close together, although never cramped), Reading Terminal Market has a charm and feeling of authenticity I haven’t experienced in any other American food emporium (and I do make a point of sampling many different ones!) While the Market’s website offers a useful map and list of merchants, this overhead view is of scant use on the ground. Unlike other markets, purveyors of the same specialty are not always located together (in particular the fish markets and butcher shops are somewhat scattered). Consequently, you should decide before entering whether you’re aiming for a particular type of food or whether you’re content to let your senses (all of which will be stimulated in the process) guide you. I heartily recommend the latter. Philadelphia is a city that amply repays idle wandering, perhaps nowhere more than here, near its very geographic center (although not, ironically, on Market Street).
If you have a particular objective in mind, however, I can provide a few recommendations. Amongst the numerous (and mostly Chinese-run) fish markets, the Golden Fish Market is my favorite. Similarly, my favorite cheeses come from the nearby Amish-run Esh Egg Farms counter – they often offer samples although if they don’t it’s hard to go wrong with any of their cheeses made with various kinds of vegetables inside. Indeed, any visit to the market without purchasing at least something from one of the bakeries, cheese counters, or butcher shops run by this strict traditionalist Protestant sect would be incomplete. Their ancestors fled religious persecution in seventeenth century Germany and have remained in Lancaster County ever since.
Many of the merchants also run small lunch counters, and needless to say, it’ll take years before I try every one of them. For the moment, I’d recommend you try Kamal’s Middle Eastern Specialties, which has some of the tastiest (and most reasonably priced) lunch options and exceptionally friendly service. These are my own personal favorites, however, and shouldn’t guide you too much. One of the greatest joys of visiting (and revisiting) the market is discovering your own.
Further information: http://www.readingterminalmarket.org
From journal Philadelphia II: Eating and Strolling
Glen Mills, Pennsylvania
August 2, 2005
Famous 4th Street Cookie Company – Okay, these cookies are a meal in themselves. Soft and chewy, they are really large and are not greasy or overloaded with nuts – in short, just perfect.
Lancaster County Dairy – Located at the north end of the market, this Amish-run store sells juices like no other. Fresh and with zero additives or preservatives, they are worth the slightly high price tags.
Metropolitan Bakery – The rare place where the emphasis is on really good bread. I’d rather just chew on their bread than any of the desserts they offer. That is not to say that bread is their only good item--by all means, feel free to try anything, as you will rarely go wrong. BUT get ready for the sticker shock–-they are pricey.
Le Bus Bakery – Also makes good bread, I am told. I tried a couple and found them to be a tad dry.
Fosters Gourmet Cookware – A fun place to browse and find gadgets you never even knew existed, like a ‘butter warmer.’
Beilers Bakery – Run by the Amish, this is the first store that seduces you at the NW entrance. Almost all their stuff is good – it better be, with all those wholesome eggs, full-fat milk, homemade butter, and sugar. Right now, I am addicted to their Hungarian roll and have had it for breakfast, lunch, and evening snack yesterday – sigh! Their breads, though, tend to be a little dry.
Esh Egg Farms – Right across from Beilers, another Amish place selling cheese. They have samples out the whole day that you can taste, and when the description says ‘really spicy’ or ‘very spicy,’ BEWARE! I am a level 9/10 in spiciness and felt steam come out my ears!!
12th Street Cantina – Let’s just say I've had better--waaayyy better--Mexican food. Then again, I lived in south Texas for a while.
Bassets Ice Cream – If you happen to be there on a Monday or Tuesday, when the Amish aren’t around, then this is an acceptable substitute.
Down-Home Diner – I’ve never been there because I have been told by my co-workers that it really, really is not worth it, even to just check it out.
Andro’s Fine Prepared Foods – Some of the best desserts I've ever had, and the selection changes every few months or so.
Iovine Brothers Produce – The cheapest and freshest produce around. They have a gazillion different kinds of fresh mushrooms, squashes, and peppers, apart from the grocery store staples.
From journal Philadelphia - more than cheese steak
March 7, 2005
This is not an exhaustive list--actually about half of the eating establishments.
Nanee's kitchen--Indian and Pakistani--mediocre service, bland food, and my teeth grated on sand in the daal--twice (hey, I was giving them the benefit of doubt).
Chinese Places: There are three or four, and the only consistently good one is Golden Bowl. They do not use MSG in their food and will honor special requests and substitutions.
Delilah's: What can I say about the queen of soul food? Their mac and cheese (voted no. 1 by Oprah Winfrey), although made from five (I think) different cheeses, is not stringy. They use egg in their secret recipe, which breaks up the cheese. It's good if you like that kind of dish, but for me, my cheese should be cheeeeesy!
Termini Brothers Bakery: Brusque service, but excellent desserts at reasonable prices
Amish fare: From Wednesdays through Saturdays, the Amish bring in hearty, homemade, artery-clogging fare that tastes out-of-this-world. They have pot pies, various kinds of salads, roast meats, and desserts--the best is a whoopie pie made up of two large, soft chocolate cookies sandwiching a kind of soft, melt-in-your-mouth cream. Also, Fishers ice cream is really, really good.
Thai Singhania: Really tasty stuff, the only drawback being the layer of fat that sits on top of literally all their dishes.
Mezze (Mediterranean): Expensive and rather bland. Looks good though--large colorful portions!
Profi's Creperie: They offer very good breakfast, savory and sweet crepes--but the trick is knowing what to order when. Their breakfast crepes are offered the whole day and are great to-go. Their lunch and sweet crepes have dressings/sauces that tend to make the crepes soggy and drip all over within 10 to 15 minutes--so order them only if you are going to eat your crepe right away and have lots of napkins handy.
Salad Express Buffet: Regular standard fare, nothing special
Rick's Philly Steaks: A really good place for the perfect Philly cheesesteak. If you are picky, then you can 'build' your cheesesteak, starting with chicken or beef, adding onions, peppers, mushrooms, cheese, etc.
Franks A-Lot: One of the worst service I had, and don't even start me on the skinny, dry, pathetic sausage--I don't know how they were voted Philly's best something sometime.
Kamals Middle Eastern: Large portions, fresh and flavorful, but a little pricey
Olympic Gyro: Normal and regular... handy for a quick pickup during the height of lunch hour
Monday through Saturday, 8am to 6pm, closed Sunday
by Liam Hetherington
Manchester, United Kingdom
November 13, 2011
From journal Philadelphia - the Birth of a Nation
September 28, 2002
Get a map when you first walk in and if you're with a group, pick a common meeting spot (a good place is the big stone pig, Philbert, near center.
For fresh produce you have choices among Asian,Italian, Pennsylvania Dutch and several organic stands.Each one has a little something different to offer.
For bread that tastes as good as that in New York, try Le Bus or Metropolitan Bakery...a little pricey but worth it. Don't leave without stopping at Termini's Italian Bakery stand (row 3) for some Sicilian cookies or fresh cannolis.
If you are interested in seafood,the selection is UNBELIEVABLE. I found prawns the size of small lobsters for a very reasonable price. Vendors are more than happy to answer questions and though I've tried many it seems to me the Asian seafood guys have the freshest fish.
Old City Coffee carries not only every conceivable flavor of coffee but an unbelievable selection of teas as well. If you're thirsty for something else there's Four Season's Juice Bar for fresh blended drinks and smoothies,and even a Beer Garden serving domestic and imported beers,wines and spirits.
There are several Amish stands clustered next to each other for fresh eggs, turkey products,REAL original hot pretzels- made on site. Then there's Glick's Salads for pickled chow-chow,apple butter and honey. Keep moving and you'll find several Pennsylvania Dutch butchers (with pork,veal,prime beef,sausage,lamb) and poultry vendors,(with home-raised duck,geese,turkey and game birds). Pick up some fresh Lebanon Bologna at any of the Amish butchers, take it home,spread it with Philly cream cheese and slice into rounds. Heaven! Move along and you'll find farm fresh dairy products(with ice cream, fresh-churned butter and local cheeses).
An interesting day stand is My Kid's Dairy where fresh goat's milk cheese and goat's milk fudge are sold... This is just a small sampling of the many quality items sold at Reading Terminal Market. You will have to come and see yourself the best that Philadelphia has to offer!
From journal The Philadelphia Story- new entries 2004