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Chicago Visitor Reports Back on Phiadelphia

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Chicago Visitor Reports Back on Phiadelphia

peter & tracey | Jun 16, 2003 04:53 PM

Hello All – fun trip. Marriott was a pleasant surprise, lobby was a lot nicer than the cookie cutter Marriotts I usually stay at on business – great location.

Reading Terminal was awesome, a real feast for the senses. Split a cheesesteak first at Rick’s (I think) – was just ok, too much bread & not enough meat. We split a roast pork with the provolone & rabe @ DiNic’s – WOW! First bite was incredible, spicy and juicy with a great balance between all the ingredients. My wife and I polished that off, what a great sandwich. Walked past Salumeria on the way out, and temptation proved to be too strong – ordered a six inch Italian hoagie with artichokes. My wife thought me insane, but I said I just wanted a small taste. Now THAT was a sandwich – again, the first bite was just perfect. High quality ingredients, great bread, really nice balance. Made room in my belly for that one, even though I’d only intended a few bites.

After wandering around, ended up at Pat’s in Italian Market. Eh, just ok – pretty disappointing actually. Too much bread, very skimpy on the steak. Hard to see what all the excitement is about.

Now, Tre Scalini for dinner – that was exciting. Great energy in the room, sincerely friendly and helpful staff. We don’t have many BYOB’s in Chicago, so that felt kind of weird. But after knocking back a nice white and a nice red, and getting a check for $60 for two with 3 courses I can say I’m a convert. Food was great, we were in Italy couple years ago and this was the first meal we’ve had since returning that reminded us of it. Really fresh ingredients simply prepared, but it all came together perfectly. Had a lot of simple dishes – mostly appetizers. We’d taste each dish and look at each other and unspokenly go, “wow, that’s really good!” The Italian restaurants in Chicago get too fussy for my liking, too much gilding the lily. This was a fine meal.

Breakfast Down Home Diner – price was certainly right, seemed like everything was less than $5. Had eggs & scrapple, wife had pancakes. Was very good, not earth shattering.

Lunch at Brasserie Perrier was excellent. Beautiful day, sat outside at the café tables and watched Tout le Monde walk by. Appetizers were scrumptious, they have a great source for their produce. The asparagus in vinegarette was particulary memorable, as was the yellow tomato gazpacho. Ordered the steak frites to see how well they did with the basics, perfect. Check was a little steep for a lunch, but it was a very fine meal.

Dinner at La Buca was ok. Tried getting into Buddakhan, and asked the concierge to get us a table but no such luck. She didn’t even bother calling, she whined about a six week advance reservation policy. Shoulda stayed at the Ritz I guess, oh well. Was tempted to go anyway and grease the hostess, but didn't bother. Does $20 get you a table in Philly?

Really had a great time, the city is much prettier than I imagined. The squares are beautiful, especially Rittenhouse. The whole area around Ben Franklin Parkway and Fairmount Park is just gorgeous. Oh – favorite site by far was Eastern State Penitentiary, starkly beautiful in its own way.

Thanks again for all your help, we had a great time. You folks are lucky, what a great city! Take care, Peter & Tracey.

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