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My weekend trip eating in Philly - Reading Terminal Market (DiNic's/Amish pretzels)/Amada/Grace Tavern/Percy St BBQ/Federal Donuts/Pretzel Mart

chowhounder411 | Jan 30, 2012 04:38 PM

Reading Terminal Market: It was a nearly unanimous verdict from Philly foodies/hounders to go with the roast pork sandwich (John's Roast Pork or DiNic's) over cheesesteak so I headed to DiNic's. I ordered a roast pork with broccoli rabe and provolone. The banana peppers offered as a condiment helped perk up this essentially flavorless sandwich. I just didn't get it. The Amish pretzels from one of the stands in the Market were great - similar to Auntie Anne's in flavor/texture but I'm sure featured less preservatives/chemicals on account of the Amish ingredients.

Amada: Despite being averse to restaurant weeks, I figured I would give Amada a try anyway. I thought the much-abbreviated RW menu must feature the restaurant's platinum hits. 3/10 dishes stood out - serrano ham with melon, beef shortrib flatbread and the fatty/beefy flavored beef brochettes. Note: The ham was the only dish I remembered without referencing the menu again just now. The rest were decent/fair excluding the fish I sent back for it's fishy (getting old) taste and the vanilla custard desert which had a very peculiar texture and should not exist.

Grace Tavern: So many hounders said Grace Tavern served their favorite burger in Philly and I noticed it was featured in Bon Appetit. I ordered it. The burger was dry and the medium I asked for came out medium-well. They should introduce more fat to their blend to help the meat stand up to the open flame. I'm sure somebody else in the city is doing burgers better than this place.

Percy St BBQ, Key Lime Pie: Went here to take slices home and they were awesome! Light, well-balanced filling (sweet and tart) and wonderful crust. It was not topped with meringue but rather a light key lime sauce. Far better than most of the pies I've been served in the Florida Keys. Next time, I'm pre-ordering a pie.

Federal Donuts: I got here late and only 2 flavors of donuts were left, pina colada and some kind of grapefruit. They were interesting but too sweet, odd on a donut and I wouldn't get again. However, the hot, made-to-order sugared donuts were perfect. PERFECT. I tried vanilla lavender and appolonia sugars/spices. Both were great but the vanilla was best. The chicken was quite good though the thinner pieces were dried out; Thick breast pieces were moist and delicious. The harissa blend of spices was entirely new to me but quite nice. I would like to try the Buttermilk ranch next time.

Mart Pretzel (Cinnaminson, NJ) - Voted best pretzel in Philly Mag so I decided to stop there on my way out of town. Dense and doughy pretzels - the kind I don't like. My girlfriend loved them.

Next time I visit, I'm trying Osteria for dinner and taking home Percy St's key lime pie and 1 dozen of Federal's vanilla lavender made to order donuts. Thank you Philly for all your hospitality, it was a nice visit.

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