The Amish and Reading Terminal Market

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by kjlouden on August 18, 2005

Saturday morning, walking from Hilton Garden Inn, we see a golden oak wagon with red trim that looks as if it were just finished yesterday. The sprightly pony pulling it is as high as my waist. There he is, looking absolutely frisky and playful as he bounces along with only tiny children in the wagon. All three of us catch on simultaneously: "Die Ah-mish!"

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 food.

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 after-breakfast dessert.

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.

Reading Terminal Market
12th And Arch Streets
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19107
+1 215 922 2317

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