Monday, August 22, 2016

Philadelphia Weekend

I'm back from holiday today and I'm suffering from the post-holiday blues. Even more so because we flew back last night and I'm back at work today and I'm jetlagged and tired and just miserable to be here.

But, I don't want to start off the week feeling sour. Instead, I want to recap a really fun weekend we had in Philly a few weeks ago.
We were only there for a day, but we packed a lot in and it was so much fun.

FILBERT STREET FLOWER MARKET
The market is there once a month and it's a bit underwhelming but cute and because it's shaded, it's actually really comfortable even on a hot day. We were sweating on our way there but while we were browsing and playing giant Connect4, we were able to cool off pretty easily.
READING TERMINAL MARKET
Reading Terminal Market is a great place to kill time and grab a bite. Even if you're not in the market for giant slabs of meat and cheese, it's fun to browse. It's always bustling and there are locals and tourists alike enjoying the vendors.
TOM'S DIM SUM
Tom's Dim Sum is a relatively new joint, which means that fewer people know about it, which means that the likelihood of grabbing a free table at weekend brunch time is high. I loved it. It's not traditional dim sum - there are no carts - but I actually prefer this because it's made to order and you don't have to wait for the cart to make the rounds.

We shared the Chinese cabbage with garlic, the eggplant with garlic sauce, an order of the pork soup dumplings, scallion pancakes, and the mapo tofu handmade noodles. Everything was really delicious and came out quickly.
TALULA'S DAILY
After dim sum, we walked towards Washington Square Park. Since it was so hot, we decided to pick up some icy drinks to enjoy at the park so we stopped by Talula's. S and E grabbed iced coffees while my sister and I decided to try the two lemonades on offer: the Arnold Palmer (iced tea & lemonade combo, if you don't know) and the blueberry basil. Both were incredibly refreshing and totally hit the spot.
It was hot enough that several people were dipping their feet into the fountain. One particularly disgusting man ran into the spout and drenched himself. I mean, it's fine but I seriously question the cleanliness of that water.
SWEET CHARLIE'S
Because we're such pigs, we decided that the lemonades weren't enough and we needed some ice cream. We headed to Sweet Charlie's, which boasts a rolled ice cream made to order. It was really good but definitely not worth queuing up for. We waited maybe 10 minutes and that's the maximum amount of time I would wait. Even if the queue is short, it can take a long time because the actual process for making the ice cream is quite lengthy, especially because some of the workers are really slow.
Basically, you choose from the menu and they bring out the custard base and freeze the ice cream right in front of you. The ice cream is spread out into a thin layer and then scraped of the work surface into little rolls which get placed into a cup. There are also giant rolls you can get in a donut bun - it literally looks like a hot dog - which also looked really enjoyable.
Sister and I decided to share the S'more with a caramel drizzle and rainbow sprinkles on my half.
The texture is really smooth, since it's freshly made and the incorporation of the flavorings and additional ingredients is really lovely. But at the end of the day, it really is just ice cream. Everyone stands at their stations, snapchatting and instagramming (of which I am guilty too) so if you're not into showing off the mundanities of your life, then I would avoid. But, I do think it's worth going to at least once.
Quizzo was so much fun. We didn't win but we weren't dead last so we were happy with ourselves. We actually got some of the more difficult questions correct so I think we have a right to be proud.
After trivia, we went back to the house and made a pizza for dinner. It was delicious. I also snapped some photos of E & S's urban garden, which is flourishing!
TERRAIN
On Sunday morning, we had a pancake breakfast and then headed south to an amazing garden shop called Terrain. We were inspired by ideas but too stingy to pay for anything. Be warned, it's pricey. Also, be warned because this whole place is Instagram porn. I held back and only shared one video.

A video posted by ra¢h πŸ’‹ (@racheerachh) on

POKE BOWL
For lunch, we headed back to Philly and got poke bowls. The concept here is like Chipotle - you have a bunch of ingredient choices and you build your own poke bowl. I went for tuna, salmon, and albacore in a rice and greens bowl with the spicy shoyu sauce and cucumbers, jalapenos, avocado, and tobiko. It was delicious and it totally hit the spot.
JOHN'S WATER ICE
For dessert, we went to get something frozen to cool off since it was a hot day. Like, WTF is "water ice" but it's so good and everyone needs to go. I don't know why they have to call it something so stupid but it's so fresh and delicious. I went for pineapple and peach. The peach had bits of peach skins and I actually got a tiny piece of pit which could have grossed me out but instead I was enamored with the fact that they use actual fruit. It's really delicious and it's as iconic as the cheesesteak in Philly so go get some.
After dessert, we packed up and headed home. There was zero traffic, which made a great end to a really enjoyable weekend.

xoxo.

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