Tuesday, August 28
For lunch, I'm heading to Reading Terminal which is a mecca for stimulating the senses. They have food booths that serve all types of cuisine and lots of fresh produce and delicious smelling soaps to browse. But I'm here today for a specific reason: to get the best sandwich in America as determined by my food-host crush Adam Richman from Man Versus Food. The line at Dinic's was already wrapped around the restaurant, but I was lucky enough to grab a seat at the bar before reaching the end of the line. I ordered the pork sandwich with the broccoli rab on top and a splash of gravy. Delicious, and I was pleasantly surprised that the bread soaked up some of the flavor while still keeping its crunch. Definitely order one, tip the waitress well or take it to-go, and grab a t-shirt while you're at it...
Here's the video from Travel Channel...
Dinic's Pork and Beef
Now if you're not careful, all this "good eating" will catch up with you and you'll leave Philadelphia a little rounder than when you arrived. For a good workout, I head to Lithe Method Studio. I love that the classes change every month so your body never gets used to the same routine, and there's good music and lots of different options to keep you interested. Try a class with the resistance bands, or a class with a combination of cardio, weights, and bar work. I've seen results - my calf muscles look nice when I wear heels and my arms and shoulders have really toned. Plus I've slimmed a good inch or two off my waist. And if you need to workout and eat healthy in a flash, pick up a smoothie or one of their to-go meals - some are better than others but it's convenient and easy.
If you have some free time in the afternoon, you must check out the historical sites. Go to the Liberty Bell and visit Independence Hall. Also, walk a little further to see Benjamin Franklin's grave in a super old cemetery. When I visited his grave, several of his descendants were there to pay respects. The area is really beautiful so it's perfect for an afternoon walk and you'll see lots of old buildings and perhaps a couple crazy adults dressed up like Betsy Ross or Benjamin Franklin, reading the constitution or the Declaration of Independence out loud!
For dinner, I have a special treat and hands-down my favorite restaurant in Philadelphia. Talula’s Garden is a short walk and great for many reasons. First, it has an intimate outdoor patio sheltered with greenery and twinkling lights, the perfect place for a nice meal on a nice evening with nice friends. Second, the staff is attentive and passionate about the food without being too stuffy or formal. Finally, the food! You should arrive hungry and approach the meal as a three-course-delight to fully enjoy the simple and natural menu.
You have to start with the cheese. I ordered the World Travel; An Illustrious International Collection and each one was unique, creamy, and delicious. My dining partner was quick to order the Exotic Mushroom Pâté en Croute, Speck, Fried Chicken Wing, Sunny Quail Egg, and Pickled Mushrooms and Shallots. It seems like a lot of ingredients for one dish, but it looked like a piece of toast with a couple greens, gravy, and a delicious, creamy egg sunny-side-up. I’m not a pâté kind of girl but I almost licked the plate! For an entrée, I ordered the Braised Lancaster Chicken and Tender Potato Gnocchi, Summer Sweet Cherry Tomatoes, Basil, Zucchini, and Chicken Jus. Very delicious and it was a large portion that I was happy to finish. My friend ordered the Muscovy Duck Breast, Sweet and Sour Orchard Cherries, Glazed Turnips, Beluga Lentils, and Cherry Stained Duck Jus which had a lot of flavor.
If you are too full for dessert, duck into the courtyard or perch at the bar underneath beautiful glass globe lanterns and order the drink that fits your character (I am “The Winemaker”). Please, just trust me, and thank me later!
Talula's Garden in Washington Square