I just got back from a weekend away visiting my bestie in Philly where she now lives. She’s been there since December but this is my first visit out there and I was honestly really surprised. I’ve heard from a few people that Philly is not the nicest city in the US, but I had to find out for myself and it’s been too long since I’ve seen my friend.
Our first dinner was at a Mexican Restaurant called El Vez. The space itself was really big and sprawling with lots of seating for dinner and at the bar. We had pomegranate margaritas and some guacamole with lots of garlic (mucho garlic), the drinks were super delicious. I drank my first one in about 10 minutes flat (this is fast for a non-drinker). My entree was the Mexican chopped salad with grilled steak, and I am a total salad person but a non-salad person would really like this too. The dressing was flavorful and it was filling without having a tortilla shell like so many other Mexican salads. My bestie had the black bean enchiladas which arrived in a nice hot skillet. The food here was really very good, and the drinks were even better, I payed for that later, woops!!
In the morning, we set out to the Reading market. It’s an indoor market where lots of vendors are selling things like quick foods, gifts, cheeses, meat, seafood, coffee, spices, and my favorite part was all the Amish people. Not that I’ve never seen an Amish person, but they’re all really pleasant! We picked up a sour cream and onion pretzel that they made right on the spot for us.
The amount of food they had in this market was unbearable. I wanted to eat all of it, and I could have stayed in there all day! There was even a pickle vendor, they were selling buckets of giant pickles! They had dill, hot, sweet, basically any time of pickle you could ever imagine. I regret not getting one, but next time that’s the first thing I’m going to do
We made a lot of touristy stops through the rest of the day:
I even had my first Philly cheese steak from Jim’s, which apparently is the best. I got the cheese steak with whiz (cheese whiz) with onions and mushrooms. Don’t judge. Was it the best cheese steak I’ve ever had? No. Was it the most exciting experience of a cheese steak? Yes.
We also had dinner at a sushi place called Raw. The people there were kind of strange, Ok, they were really strange. They asked us if we had a reservation about 3 times, how many of us more than 3 times, and then when I was ordering the waitress sighed at me (I don’t enjoy being sighed at), and she messed up our order. Fortunately, the food was good! I probably wouldn’t go back to be honest, only because I’m sure there are a lot of other good places to go with staff that don’t suck so hard.
Brunch the next morning was at The Continental, it’s a Starr restaurant who is some kind of chef or something out there. I’m guessing it’s sort of like going to a Todd English restaurant in the Boston area. The food was Really Good! I had such a hard time deciding what to eat because the whole menu looked drool-worthy from their eggs to their chicken rad-na. I was really happy with the Continental salad that I ordered and the service, the roof deck, and my bloody mary. They did everything right here and I would definitely go back if I got the chance.
Overall, Philly was really fun. It’s a lot bigger than I thought it would be and there is bustling social scene which I never imagined. The women all wear dresses, and everyone is always out and about walking around and hanging out in the big parks with their dogs. I’ve never seen so many roach coaches selling food and drinks or homeless people who didn’t appear as though they were homeless. I would like another visit so I can get the pickle and go to a Phillies game!