Posts Tagged With: Reading Terminal Market

We Almost Missed Our Train to Philly

2/20/14
You probably don’t know this about me but I’m either early or late. I’m rarely ever on time. My mother knows this about me and thus usually forces me to be anywhere from 1-2 hrs early for planes and trains.

I woke up at 7:30am and our train wasn’t leaving until 10:30am. In my mind that left 2 hrs to get ready, 30 mins to travel there, and 30 mins to wait. Somehow that didn’t work out. It was 9:45 and I was struggling to find a bag I needed. I found it and we ran out of the house to the subway. My mother was pissed at me. I kept mumbling I told you not to book an early train. I don’t do mornings. We run down the subway stairs and catch the packed train waiting to leave the station. We got on much to the annoyance of the people standing already. We waited and waited and waited and waited. The train wasn’t leaving the station. My mother kept shooting me dirty looks while I prayed for the doors to close. In my head I was picturing a repeat of my MET fiasco where it took 2 hrs to get uptown. I kept looking at my phone for the time. What the hell was going on? We were going to miss our train and it would be all my fault. The train doors finally closed at 10:05. The train ride should take 20-30 mins. We were screwed. By some miracle we got to Penn Station at 10:17. We had made it! I didn’t majorly screw us up.

Our train was on time and we took seats in the quiet car. The lady behind me spent the entire ride sneezing and coughing on me. To quote Jimmy Fallon’s character Sara, “ew!” I used the train ride to text, respond to work emails, and plan a video my friends and I will be filming next week.

We arrived in Philly around noon. We got out of 30th st station and we could immediately tell something was wrong. A street was blocked off with caution tape. There were police, fireman, and a huge crowd. There were more sirens in the distance. I took a picture because my friends and co-workers tease that I bring horrible events to places I go (war, revolution, bombings, natural disasters, etc). I sent it them and really figured it was just a bad fender bender, but no one was hurt because their was no ambulance, sense of urgency, flames, etc. We boarded Septa and headed to our hotel. A large transvestite fell on me when the train lurched. I smiled at the thought how normal that was when my non city friends would have freaked. I’m just glad I wasn’t crushed. They were the size of a football player.

We got off the train and were very confused. The entrance for our hotel was gone. We remembered a side entrance that was rarely used and headed there. That entrance was now the main entrance while they undergo restaurant renovation. We checked in and were happily surprised to find out that our room was ready despite being 4 hrs early and we had been upgraded due to my mom’s birthday. Our room was located on the 32nd floor, who is considered one of the club floors. The club lounge was located on 31. We headed to the lounge first only to find out it is only open on weekday mornings until 10:30am. It had a beautiful view though. Lots of different chairs to sit in. We headed back down to our room which was the exact same room as last time just 10 flights up. The room had two double beds, flat screen tv, desk, mini bar, Keurig, and a bathroom with a tub. The view is lovely from the room and it is very quiet.

We were hungry so we headed to Reading Terminal Market. We picked up a mini King Cake, a brioche roll, garlic crostinis, and an M&M cookie. I ate the roll in 10 seconds. I also got a christmas rubber ducky to add to my collection. We headed to an expensive thrift store so my mother could buy herself something nice as a birthday present to herself. Every time we go to this store they are closed. We arrive and they are closed again. However, this time there is a worker on his cell and he refuses to open up. Great work ethic! That annoyed my mom so we decided to move on. We did a lot of shopping. We went to Dollar General, Buffalo Exchange, Payless, H&M, Claire’s, and the shops at Liberty Place. We got free tea at Liberty Place from Tazo. We were going to go to Federal Doughnuts to see what the hype was about, but it looked like it was going to pour. We started to walk back to the area outside Reading Terminal. We did more shopping! I went to Burlington Coat Factory and Five Below.

At 4:45pm we headed back to Reading Terminal for discounted cookies. The problem was their dough wasn’t delivered on time so they didn’t have many cookies. My mom got a bunch, but I just got two. We headed across the street to Maggiano’s for dinner. We were so surprised that the place was almost empty. It’s usually swamped so much so that you face a 2 hour wait if you don’t make a reservation in advance. They sat us in a booth. We knew what we wanted to eat right away. We ordered fried zucchini and two margherita flatbreads (1/2 price for happy hour). They brought us out hot rolls. My mom ate most of the zucchini and some of the flatbread. I downed my food. All of a sudden the waiter, Edward, came out with cookies, a strawberry, and two candles for my mom. So sweet and awesome. I had put in my Open Table reservation that it was my mom’s birthday, but I totally doubted anything would be done. She was so surprised. I ordered an apple crostada and went in search of the waiter to sneakily give my credit card to so I could pay for dinner, but I couldn’t find him. Meanwhile, the couple in the booth next to us were having a bad night. The guy sat in cherries and the girl spent the whole time crying into her menu, then a tissue, and then her alfredo. We asked them to pack up the cookies and the remaining pieces of flatbread. We got matches for future candle lighting.

We got back to the room and were shocked to see two cupcakes and a card by the TV for my mom. The hotel had signed the card. We put a candle in the cupcake and she quickly made a wish. We settled in to watch the Olympics. She ate her cupcakes and I noshed on the leftovers.

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Categories: Family Vacation, Food, Philadelphia, Travel, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

America’s 20 Best Dessert Spots

I saw the title of the article below earlier this week and I was immediately intrigued. Dessert and travel, I’m so there. Sadly, I’ve only done 2 out of the 20. I went to Flour Bakery in Boston and I’ve done Beiler’s Bakery in the Reading Terminal Market in Philly. My stomach is excited to try the rest. Enjoy the article and my Comic Con posts are coming soon. I’m just catching up on a week’s worth of interesting travel articles first.

All rights for the article below belong to Fodor’s and Emily Wasserman

To view the original article click here

America’s 20 Best Dessert Spots

October 07, 2013 4:03 pm By Emily Wasserman

There’s no sweeter way to end a meal (or a day) than with a delectable dessert (and with some of these desserts, you might want to just go ahead and skip the meal). From fudgey brownies topped with smooth ice cream to truly artistic pies and cakes, the US has a lot to offer when it comes to tasty treats. So forget about the calories, and indulge your sweet tooth with our 20 top American dessert spots!

Serendipity 3

Photo Credit: karendotcom127

Serendipity 3

Where: New York, NY

New York City’s Serendipity 3 has been a popular dessert spot since its opening in 1954. While Serendipity is most famous for its frozen hot chocolate, there are plenty of other sweets and treats to choose from. Guests can enjoy the Can’t Say No Sundae with humble pie, ice cream, banana and hot fudge, or a slice of the restaurant’s Crème De La Crème Cream Cheese Cake. For a major splurge, try the Golden Opulence Sundae, which holds the Guinness World Record for the most expensive sundae in the world.

Baileys’ Chocolate Bar

Photo Credit: Jess Dewes Photography

Baileys’ Chocolate Bar

Where: St. Louis, MO

From chocolate martinis to lavishly plated desserts, Baileys’ Chocolate Bar has it all. Guests can choose from a variety of chocolate-inspired creations, including the Chocolate Inebriation cake with layers of chocolate stout and bittersweet chocolate ganache, or the Brownie Royale with dense, fudgy brownie, bananas, hot fudge and a cherry. Chocolate aphrodisiacs can sample the Lover’s Plate, which features nine of the restaurant’s most popular desserts.

Flour Bakery + Café

Flour Bakery + Café

Where: Boston, MA

For some of the best Boston cream pie in the country, visit Flour Bakery + Café. In addition to the legendary pie, chef and owner Joanne Chang whips up some of the city’s most delicious confections—including Midnight Chocolate Cake with a milk chocolate buttercream filling, and a Milky Way tart with chewy caramel and a milk chocolate mousse.

St. Francis Fountain

Photo Credit: Bhofack2/Dreamstime.com

St. Francis Fountain

Where: San Francisco, CA

Since 1918, San Francisco’s St. Francis Fountain has served up classic ice cream sundaes and old-fashioned soda fountain treats. The diner’s dessert menu includes everything from a double dip ice cream soda to a dreamsicle float with vanilla ice cream and orange sherbet. Ice cream specials include the Battleship sundae with three types of ice cream and sauces, or the Buster Brown with a warm fudge brownie, vanilla ice cream and raspberry sauce.

Mindy's Hot Chocolate

Photo Credit: Edsel Little

Mindy’s Hot Chocolate

Where: Chicago, IL

Chef Mindy Segal uses fresh, locally sourced ingredients to create desserts at her namesake restaurant, Mindy’s Hot Chocolate. The restaurant’s dessert menu changes seasonally, and includes everything from brioche doughnuts with hot fudge and caramel corn, to chocolate “souffled” tart with salted caramel ice cream and house made pretzels. A glass of Segal’s signature hot chocolate with fluffy, homemade marshmallows is the perfect antidote to a cold Chicago night.

Ghiradelli's

Photo Credit: Leigh Beisch Photography

Ghiradelli’s

Where: San Francisco, CA

Visit San Francisco’s Ghiradelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop for decadent ice cream treats and a taste of the company’s world famous chocolate. Guests can enjoy old-fashioned ice cream sundaes topped with cherries, nuts and whipped cream, and sample the shop’s homemade hot fudge. The shop also offers a variety of shakes, floats and chocolate drinks, including a chocolate-bar infused milkshake and sea salt caramel hot cocoa.

The Varsity

Photo Credit: Lisaveta/Shutterstock

The Varsity

Where: Atlanta, GA

For over 75 years, The Varsity has satisfied hungry customers’ sweet tooth. The drive-in offers 16 flavors of ice cream, and fried apple and peach hand pies that are made fresh daily. For a larger treat, try the pie a la mode or the drive-in’s famous Frosted Orange, a cross between a milkshake and a slushie.

Doughboys

Photo Credit: cincomomo

Doughboys

Where: Los Angeles, CA

Doughboys is a dessert lover’s dream. The café’s extensive menu includes everything from cakes to scones, and the bakery makes its desserts and pastries fresh daily. Stop by for a slice of the famous red velvet cake, or try a pecan shortbread cookie filled with chunks of white chocolate and dried cherries.

Lula's Sweet Apothecary

Photo Credit:  watashiwani

Lula’s Sweet Apothecary

Where: New York, NY

Sweet and healthy don’t often go together, but at Lula’s Sweet Apothecary, that’s exactly what you’ll find. The ice cream shop offers a variety of vegan and gluten-free flavors, and tops its sundaes with organic sauces and syrups. Traditional favorites receive a healthy makeover, as guests can order New York Egg Creams without the cream and eggs, or shakes and malts with rice milk. The best part? You won’t even taste the difference.

Crown Candy Kitchen

Photo Credit: Crown Candy Kitchen

Crown Candy Kitchen

Where: St. Louis, MO

Walking into St. Louis’s Crown Candy Kitchen is like stepping into a different era. The soda fountain and candy shop has been serving up treats since 1913, and uses a copper candy kettle to create its homemade ice cream. Popular menu items include the French Sundae with toasted cashews and chocolate sprinkles, or one of the shop’s flavored malts: guests can choose from chocolate banana, butterscotch, and hot fudge. According to shop policy, anyone who drinks five malts in 30 minutes gets them for free.

Lulu's Sweet Shoppe

Photo Credit: Rosemhenri/Dreamstime.com

Lulu’s Sweet Shoppe

Where: Boston, MA

For gourmet cupcakes with a unique twist, visit Lulu’s Sweet Shoppe in Boston’s North End neighborhood. Owner Sandy Russo started the shop in honor of her mother, an accomplished home baker who made her desserts from scratch. Cupcakes include pistachio with port wine, chocolate cherry bomb, and chocolate explosion.

Hot Licks

Photo Credit: Hot Licks Homemade Ice Cream, Inc.

Hot Licks

Where: Fairbanks, AK

America’s most northerly state is home to some of the country’s best ice cream. Fairbank’s Hot Licks makes its ice cream in small batches, and uses natural, local ingredients to craft its flavors. Guests can sample everything from Alaska Blueberry with handpicked wild blueberries from Interior Alaska, to Kahlua made with fresh ground North Pole coffee beans.

Something Sweet Dessert Lounge

Photo Credit: iv Friis-larsen/Dreamstime.com

Something Sweet Dessert Lounge

Where: Tucson, AZ

Something Sweet Dessert Lounge in Tuscon offers a variety of sweets and treats. The dessert menu includes everything from shakes and sundaes to cream pies and cheesecakes, and also features unique desserts like peanut butter chocolate chip and banana melts. The brave at heart can try one of the restaurant’s giant eclairs, while chocolate lovers will enjoy the chocolate volcano cake with a gooey ganache center.

Café du Monde

Photo Credit: tibbygirl

Café du Monde

Where: New Orleans, LA

New Orleans is famous for its beignets, and Café du Monde is the place to get them. The cafe serves up its world-famous doughnut fritters 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and all doughnuts are made-to-order and dusted with powdered sugar. The fritters work well as a morning, afternoon, or anytime treat, and are best paired with a cup of café au lait.

Kermit's Key West Key Lime Shoppe

Photo Credit: Elkeflorida/Dreamstime.com

Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe

Where: Key West, FL

For a taste of fresh Florida Key Lime pie, stop by Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe. In addition to its signature pie, the shop also offers key lime pie bars and “key lime pie on a stick”—a slice of the shop’s key lime pie dipped in Belgian chocolate.

Jo-Jo's Shave Ice

Photo Credit: Sunflowersister/Dreamstime.com

Jo-Jo’s Shave Ice

Where: Kauai, Hawaii

From the outside, Jo-Jo’s Shave Ice looks like a small beach cottage—but the inside offers so much more. The shop serves over 60 flavors of shave ice made with all-natural ingredients, and is a favorite among visitors and locals. Popular combinations include passion fruit and mango ice with macadamia nut ice cream, and Jo-Jo’s special with chocolate, butterscotch and vanilla ice cream. A word to the wise—the shop closes for big surf and luaus.

Pastiche

Photo Credit: Briancweed/Dreamstime.com

Pastiche

Where: Providence, RI

On Providence’s historic Federal Hill is Pastiche, a European-style café and bakery that creates handmade, from-scratch desserts. The bakery offers delicately crafted pies, cookies, and cakes, and also features traditional European pastries such as cannoli, eclairs and tartlets. Favorite treats include fresh lime mousse tart and Italian mascarpone torte.

Beiler's Bakery

Photo Credit: MSPhotographic/Shutterstock

Beiler’s Bakery

Where: Philadelphia, PA

For a taste of Amish baking, visit Beiler’s Bakery in Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal Market. The stand features a variety of handcrafted Amish desserts, including sticky buns, apple fritters, and authentic shoofly pie. Guests will enjoy the bakery’s homemade doughnuts—popular flavors include chocolate chocolate chip and harvest apple.

Labadie's Bakery

Photo Credit: Stephaniefrey/Dreamstime.com

Labadie’s Bakery

Where: Lewiston, ME

While the origin of whoopie pies is unclear, Labadie’s Bakery in Lewiston, Maine is one of the best places to find them. The bakery sells its fluffy, cream-filled pies by the dozen, and also offers French cream horns and large whoopie pie cakes. Whoopie pie flavors include chocolate peanut butter, vanilla, and original chocolate.

Brennan's

Photo Credit: Kimberly Vardeman

Brennan’s

Where: New Orleans, LA

Brennan’s created the original bananas Foster in the early 1950s, and has since developed an extensive dessert menu that will please any palette. Specialties include “Crepes Fitzgerald” with Grand Marnier, sour cream and strawberries, and the “Bread Pudding St. Joan of Arc” with Southern Comfort-infused raisins and cranberries. Guests can also enjoy Southern classics like Louisiana Chocolate Pecan Pie and Creole Chocolate Suicide Cake.

 

Categories: Food, Mish Mash, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Eating and Shopping in Philly

8/16/13
My mom and I caught a 2:10pm Amtrak train to Philly. We picked the quiet car and chose a two seater with a window. However, we chose seats that faced the wrong direction. I hate that!! I get motion sick. This meant I couldn’t read. I tried to sleep, but couldn’t. I closed my eyes and listened to music.

We pulled into Philadelphia 30th st station around 3:45pm. We crossed the street and caught the train into the heart of Philly. We took the train to 13th st and walked the half a block to our hotel. We were going to try the Loews Hotel for the first time. Every time we come to Philly we either stay at the Hyatt at Penn’s Landing or the Hyatt Bellevue. The lobby was really elegant. We were checked in right away. The lady at the desk couldn’t have been nicer. They had free lemonade by check in. On our way to the elevator we noticed the giant vault door. We took the elevators to 22. We got upgraded to a deluxe double. We asked for a room away from the elevators and the ice machine and they actually listened to us. We had room 2212. Right away I noticed they left us gifts. There was a note welcoming us, a snow globe, and a mini LOVE sign. What a lovely touch! The room had a nice view of the bridge and the city. The decor was modern, but classy. The bathroom could easily fit two people at the same time. The shower was also roomy. They even gave us cotton balls and Q-Tips. They gave us two ropes made of silk and terry cloth. There was even a magnifying mirror. The windows seemed to be sound proof and the ceilings were pretty high. There was a coffee machine with coffee from Emeril. Everywhere I looked there were outlets. Finally a hotel that has a lot of outlets and in sensible places. The room had a flat screen tv with 63 channels. We dropped our stuff off and went out to shop.

We went to Burlington Coat Factory and Five Below. We then dashed to Reading Terminal Market to catch our favorite cookies on sale. We wound up getting 7 cookies and a marshmallow cup from the Pennsylvania General Store. My mom got a blueberry fritter from the Amish. We then went back to Burlington. We also did Claire’s and Pay Half.

We had 6pm reservations at Maggiano’s but I called and pushed it back to 6:15pm because we got stuck on line at Pay Half. The restaurant wasn’t too busy when we got there. We got the slowest waiter. We ordered a flatbread pizza, fried zucchini, and an apple crostada. I had the flatbread, which was yummy as usual. My mom had the fried zucchini. They usually give us 8 pieces of zucchini. We got about 5. I had one piece and it was good as usual. My mom had the bread and thought it was delicious. The apple crostada came and it was perfect. My mom had the ice cream that was on top. Dinner was great.

We went back to shopping. We hit K Mart and Walgreens. We then headed back to the hotel to drop our bags off. Since it was still light out and we wanted to walk off our dinner we decided to walk around the Rittenhouse Square area. We window shopped at several closed stores. We stopped in H&M and Insomnia Cookies. At 9pm everything shut down so we walked back to the hotel.

We came back to the room and ate our cookies. They never fail to disappoint. They are definitely the best cookies I’ve ever had. I had my chocolate dipped butterscotch cookie and my regular butterscotch cookie. My mom had her butterscotch cookie and her turtle cookie. We tried to watch TV, but the batteries in the clicker died. We called down and they sent a guy up with a new remote. We settled in and eventually went to bed.
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Categories: Family Vacation, Food, Philadelphia, Travel, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Press A Penny Collection Part 1

I’ve mentioned several times that I collect press a pennies. There are press a penny machines at most major sites. They usually cost 51 cents (two quarters and a penny). I own two full cases of them and have recently started a third. Here’s the first one.

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Categories: Mish Mash, Press A Pennies, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reading Terminal Market

I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love this place. This is food heaven!

I first saw Reading Terminal on Food Network. Bobby Flay was having a throwdown with Delilah. It was a mac n cheese throwdown and it took place at her stand in the market. I have had her mac n cheese and I can see why Bobby won. It’s just ok. It’s expensive for very little. Oprah says it’s the best mac, but I’ve had better. I found it a bit dry and it wasn’t hot enough for my taste. If it wasn’t so expensive I would get it once in a blue moon just to satisfy the urge.

There are several other places in the market that have mac n cheese. The Rib Stand sells a version that is coated in a nutmeg like substance that’s pretty good. Tootsie’s in the back has some in their buffet. The mac is also just ok. It tastes more like Kraft Mac.

I love the Amish bakery (Beiler’s Bakery) that’s along the far left wall when you enter. They have cakes, whoopie pies, cookies, breads, buns, etc. Everything is good and they often discount right before they close. Saturdays after 4pm everything is on sale. They also have a little candy store (Sweet as Fudge Candy Shoppe) where you can buy fudge. The fudge isn’t cheap, but it is good. It is worth getting if you can only go once. They also have a pretzel stand (Miller’s Twist) where you can see them make the pretzels. I have had several pretzels and they are all good. There are other pretzel places in the market that are also very good. Just make sure you don’t get a well done one/burnt one.

As for chocolates. When you first walk in and head to the far right there is a row of a chocolate and Italian pastry cases. The chocolate cases belong to Chocolate By Mueller and the pastry cases belong to Termini Brothers Bakery. Sometimes you can even see them dip the chocolates. They often have free samples and that’s what I usually go there for. I can’t afford the chocolates and pastries, but from the samples they are good.

The Greek place (Olympia Gyro) in the market is quite good. We’ve brought back spinach pie several times to my Greek grandparents. Again it is expensive, but try to have them pick out the biggest piece.

There is a New Orleans style place in the market (Beck’s Cajun Cafe). I got a king cake roll from them and it was fantastic. The roll was like $1.50. It was my first king cake so I don’t have a lot to compare it to, but my mom and both enjoyed. I’ve been wanting another since my last visit.

There is a bread stand (Market Bakery) that has bagels, rolls, baguettes, etc. The breads are great. I haven’t had a bad one yet. They sell out of the good stuff early in the day.

Many people buy their cookies from The Famous 4th Street Cookie Company. However, I find them absolutely awful. They are expensive, often burnt, and are just not worth it. Their location at the front of the market brings them a lot of business. My favorite cookie place is actually at the back of the market. It is the Pennsylvania General Store. The cookies are out of this world!!!!!!!!! My mouth is watering just thinking about them. There are about a dozen varieties. The cookies are filled with m & m’s, butterscotch chips, nuts, Reese’s pieces, chocolate chips, cinnamon, etc. Some are even dipped in chocolate! They are pricey, but they are worth every single penny!

Other places that are popular in the market are: DiNic’s (Home of the Travel Channel’s pick for Adam Richman’s best sandwich in America!) and Dutch Eating Place (for their pancakes).

Delilah’s Mac n Cheese

Tootsie’s Mac n Cheese

Delilah’s

The famous Reading Terminal pig

Pennsylvania General Store Butterscotch Cookie

Pennsylvania General Store M&M Cookie

King Cake

 

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Categories: Family Vacation, Food, Philadelphia, Travel, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Philadelphia

I love Philly! It is in my top 3 cities in the world (NYC and Vegas are the other two). I’ve been going there since I was a little girl. We go about two or three times a year. Philly has great shops, restaurants, and sites. We have been to so many different restaurants and historical sites yet I still have a list of places I want to go to. Since I have been so many times I’m not going to post a travel journal instead I’m going to post reviews of all places I’ve been to. I’ll also do a top 10 post at some point. Below you will find some photos from over the years (more will appear in the other Philly posts) and a link to my postcards from Philly.

Postcards from Philadelphia on Picasa
Postcards from Philadelphia Post

Back in 1995-Liberty Bell

Back in 1995-Independence Hall

January 2012-Love Park/JFK Park

January 2012

March 2012-Top of City Hall

March 2012-Masonic Temple

March 2012-Penn Museum

1995-Betsy Ross House

Delilah’s at Reading Terminal Market-Bobby Flay had a Throwdown with her

University of Pennsylvania

Maggiano’s

Reading Terminal Market

1995-City Tavern

Philadelphia Pretzel

2010-Chinatown

2010-Penn’s Landing

2009-Outside the Real World Philadelphia House

Real World Philadelphia House

Categories: Family Vacation, Food, History, Philadelphia, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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