This was the Food Dudes’ final stop in Philly. Clearly we saved the best for last. We heard so much about RTM that we knew we would be taking all sorts of food home with us. And with anticipation of eating until we tried everything our heart’s desired, we began our walkthrough.
We walked into Reading Terminal Market around 11 a.m. We stood in the middle of the place and our jaws dropped, with watering mouths of course. Where do you start in a place like this? All around us were meat and fish markets, chocolate shops, bakeries, local produce, places for dessert, sandwiches, cookies, you name it, and this place had it.
First I stopped at By George! Pizza, Pasta, and Cheesesteaks, and immediately ordered a slice of sausage pizza and hardly chewed while I devoured it. I reluctantly broke off a small piece for my buddies. Homemade sweet sausage with fennel, thin enough, with that brick oven taste. Start your day here. And pick up a container of sauce to go. I’m a vodka sauce guy all the way, so that’s what I left with.
From there we shopped around a bit. One of our stops was the Pennsylvania General Store (On Twitter @pageneralstore) where I was able to buy a few souvenirs for people back home. The PA General Store has lots of Philly stamped items and has great fudge and the cookie I bought there, peanut butter chocolate chip was fantastic and made me wish I was still in the city after I took a bite back in Connecticut.
Everything is available at the market, from syrups, to honey, to all types of preserves and spreads. But as we debated our next move, we noticed the market filling up. Many locals come here every day to have lunch with friends, read the paper, or grab a quick sandwich to go.
It was clearly time to try a Philadelphia staple, a pretzel. We hoped our twisted breaded thingy would be the best we’ve ever had and wow, this pretzel was all types of awesome. Look up at the sign that says “Miller’s Twist” and “get you some.” We loved the fact that the pretzels were not over salted but the best part was the butteryness (easy there spell check, I know it’s not a word). We tried them with honey mustard and cheese sauce and loved both. My only regret is not getting any to bring back home 😦
As if we didn’t already consume enough carbs, it was time for a lunch, in sandwich form. Believe me, we nearly argued about what to eat. There are too many choices at the Reading Terminal Market. But when in doubt, go to the place that seems the busiest. Don’t get me wrong here, nothing at the market was bad, and I strongly believe nothing is bad or ever will be bad. Everything called out to us like a little devil on your shoulder telling you “You know you want it.” Dinic’s (Twitter @DiNicsPorknBeef) was booming with customers, at the counter, picking up sandwiches, we had to be there. We sat in the stools and ordered three different sandwiches cut into thirds (Special shout-out to our server for suggesting that). My sandwich: roast pork with provolone and broccoli rabe, Rob’s: roast beef with provolone, Damion’s: beef brisket with provolone. Our stomachs growled with roasted meat anticipation as they cooked and prepped sandwiches a few feet from our wide eyes. Time to dig in. All the meats were juicy, and needed no extra seasoning. Dinic’s creations were so simple, yet so delicious. Even today, we have no idea which sandwich was our favorite. That’s a good thing. We will be back at Dinic’s.
Other notables were the red velvet cupcakes at Flying Monkey. Trust us, we wanted to eat the whole bakery case. And for the chocolate lover, be sure to visit and buy something from Chocolate by Mueller. I loved their fudge and brought a pound of it home. Be sure to check out the chocolate covered onion. I didn’t buy it or try it, it was just cool. And odd.
Stop at the butcher shops, the fish markets, we did and left with a bunch of stuff from fish, to bacon, to steaks. We wanted it all! For you fruit and veggie fans, Iovine Brothers Produce is a great choice for local, organic produce.
On the way out, get a few scoops of Bassett’s Ice Cream. I kept it classic with chocolate and vanilla. Cherry vanilla, I heard many people order you. I will not let you pass me by again. Sorry. And forgive me.
Sadly, it was time to go. We packed a few coolers with goodies and headed out. Gone from Philadelphia but not gone for good. The Reading Terminal Market was the perfect ending to a fantastic time in Philly. The Food Dudes will return.
Reading Terminal Market
12th & Arch Streets