The City of Brotherly Love

16 Jun

I’ve had a BUSY week, and I was itching for a vacation.  I had a list of things I had to accomplish at work on Friday, and when I wrapped them up around 3:15, it was all SCHOOOOOOL’S OUT FOR SUMMAH!

Except it’s really just out until Monday.

Mr. Beez arrived here on Wednesday to attend the CCMA conference, and Baby Beez and I arrived here last night to spend a weekend visiting friends, and eating thirty thousand calories a day of Philadelphia’s finest vittles.  We are staying at the Marriott, which is directly across the street from the Reading Terminal Market. PERFECT!

We got in late last night (around 9:30) and I was starved.  We went for a short walk, and discovered More Than Just Ice Cream.  I was so hungry that I DIDN’T EVEN TAKE PICTURES OF MY FOOD!  Oh the humanity! Anyway, I had a grilled cheese with tomato and sweet potato fries. There wasn’t anything fancy about my order, but it was definitely solid.  I ordered Mac and Cheese for Baby Beez.  She was being a pain, refusing to sit and wanting to destroy everything, so I ate more of her meal than she did, and it was definitely good.   Mr. Beez had stir fry and it was full of a huge variety of fresh veggies and tofu.  They don’t mess around with fancy plating techniques or exotic flavor combinations–this is basic, delicious, comfort food.  I, of course, could not pass up the ice cream. I had a cone of chocolate marshmallow and cookie dough, and all I can say is YUM.  I wish I lived in Philly, I would hang out at this place all the time.

Today was a day chock FULL of adventure.  Even though Baby Beez didn’t go to bed until nearly midnight, she still woke up right at 6, howling for a cup of milk.  When we went to Reading Terminal Market for breakfast, she was, shall I say, a “piece of work.”

We had breakfast at Smucker’s Quality Meats.  They are an Amish shop that serves mostly sandwiches.  I ordered an egg and cheese sandwich, which I tried to share with Baby Beez (she preferred to throw it on the ground).

Although the egg and cheese were standard issue, the bun was buttery, fluffy and delicious.

I know that scrapple has some die-hard fans, so I was excited to try it. I’m all for deep fried greasy meat dishes (see: my unflagging adoration of corn dogs) but I just could not like this.  It was much too greasy for me.  Maybe it would have gone better if I had ordered it inside a sandwich, so that the bread could absorb some grease, instead of as a side, but my first taste of scrapple won’t have me rushing back for more.

After breakfast, the beastie (and I) took much needed naps, and then met up with my dear pal Aubrey for a trip to Philly’s Please Touch Museum.  After our somewhat disappointing trip to Cleveland’s children’s museum, I was bracing myself for the unexpected, and not getting my hopes up too high about the museum.  Folks, I had nothing to worry about. This museum is phenomenal.  It is enormous, and beautiful, and creative, and all those things that make a kids’ museum perfect.  From what I saw, it does not have a nursery area, so this museum is best for kids aged 18mos-10 years, but we spent quite a long time there and (had we not grown weary) could have been there much longer.

Shoveling coal for the train in the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibit.

I only managed to get pictures of Baby Beez in a few exhibits, because there was so much to do and she was having so much fun, that every time I went to take a picture, she’d dart off to the next activity before the shutter clicked.

Every kind of exhibit you could imagine for a kids museum, they pretty much have.  There is a car/garage exhibit, a rocket room, water tables, a rainforest music exhibit, a nursery rhyme exhibit, an Alice in Wonderland exhibit, and tons more.

As Baby Beez was getting worn out from all the playing, we made the carousel our last stop.  Baby Beez loved it.  She giggled as she went up and down, and gleefully waved at Aubrey as we passed by.  I was happy about the carousel, because it had more than just horses on it.  I always get excited to see a carousel filled with all kinds of animals, so I picked a pig for my oinky-pig baby to ride on.  They also had cats and rabbits and goats, but I think the pig was the best.  (My favorite carousels are the ones with dragons and tigers and bears and all kinds of animals.  When given the option, my favorite carousel animal is a chicken.)

After our museum adventure, more resting was definitely in order.  After some time, hunger crept in, and I snuck back over to Reading Terminal Market for a not-so-snack-sized snack from DiNiC’s.


I had the brisket with sharp provolone and grilled sweet peppers.  Mr. Beez had a very satisfying DiNic’s roast beef sandwich earlier in the week, and he was eager to hear my thoughts on my sandwich.  All I could muster was “I WANT TO MAKE OUT WITH THIS SANDWICH.”  Yes. That good.  In fact, I’m thinking of sneaking back over there for another one before we leave tomorrow.  The meat and peppers and bread were all absolutely perfect.  I was a little disappointed during the first few bites that the provolone was cold, not melted.  But a few more chomps in, the tangy aftertaste from the sharp provolone set in, and it was delicious. Want more sandwich.

Later in the day we also took another walk around the City.  As we were about to head back to the hotel, I remembered that I read good remarks about Capogiro Gelato in the hotel’s magazine (which is probably the point of those magazines anyway), and since it was nearby, I wanted to go.

Like most gelato places, it’s pricey.  A small starts around $4.50.  The flavors of gelato are stronger than the flavor of ice cream, though, so a small serving goes a long way.  Mr. Beez and Baby Beez went for the Amish Sweet Cream gelato, which they both enjoyed.  I had Stratciatella (when it’s gelato, “chocolate chip” is just too commonplace a name) and Burnt Sugar.  The Burnt Sugar was very tasty, and tasted just like the caramelized top of a creme brulee.  I only wish that the gelato had little crunchy sugar bits mixed in, that would have made it amazing.

The gelato was quite good, but I have to admit that I prefer hard ice cream over gelato.  Maybe it’s because I hate hazelnuts and hazelnuts tend to sneak in to all the chocolate variations of gelato.  Or maybe it’s because gelato melts too fast for my taste.  In any event, if you really like gelato, you’ll probably enjoy Capogiro, but I’ll get my ice cream fix over at More than Just Ice Cream.

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