Some day it will be Le Bec Fin -- I walked by but did not really feel well enough to splurge that much. It was one of several places where I have seen rabbit confit on the menu lately. I must try it -- I love rabbit and confit, well, confit. And, I did muse for 2 minutes over Eric Ripert's place in Philly. Same rationale. Same savings! But meanwhile, there is reality. And some of it is very very good. Here are a few things I did in Philly recently at a conference which were terrifically tasty. Beyond a cheesesteak in my hotel (gasp) which turned out to be pretty good actually (I was persuaded into it by the Amoroso roll) and some chicken soup, what did I eat? where did I eat?
First a total side note: For those who care, and I do, neither of these places is quite in the Gayborhood, but near enough for an easy walk. And filled with lovely food. I have no idea if it is Philly, the success of gay consumerism and neoliberalism, good politics or Where magazine (for those who hotel as much as I do -- you know, that magazine we all depend on for a map and some ideas), but the magazine had a pull out section on the gayborhood -- and the 'hood itself has little rainbow flags where other areas might say (for example), antique row. In the gayborhood itself there are several places (many?) to eat as well. Next time. Meanwhile, there is always the uber-friendly, quite historically crucial, and easily accessible Giovanni's Room; their other virtual site is called queerbooks. They have, by the way, a dandy mystery section.
But, back to the main point: food.
El Vez was a place I went into a bit out of desperation. I was tired, and I needed to eat and I did not want to over indulge because I had a rough tummy. It was dandy. Totally dandy. Not too much food, an okay ambience, and I would return. And I love their tag line: Mexican-American meets East L.A. in a Tijuana Taxi." I had piri pork tacos -- aka pulled pork tacos, with pickled onions, avocado, a bit of lime and cilantro, etcetera. They were small, and tasty and well plated. I had them with a ginger ale (tummy, remember?) and I was very happy when I left. The second ginger ale (while unnecessary) was free. Another day, I might have tried other things on the menu. For a gazillion yelp reviews, click here.
Where is it? 121 13th Street. Try it. It has a campy-ness to it I loved.
Naked Chocolate Cafe -- I discovered this in a magazine in my hotel and walked by, thinking I would go to an earlier discovery instead, Max Brenner. (I did love that when I visited it last Philly trip.) But, I was persuaded to try this place. And I am glad I did. They do not (unlike the bald man's joint, Max Brenner's) serve real lunches, so I did make this trip to try them separately. What did I have? What the counter person suggested: a European style (which means very thick, served with whipped cream on the side) petite Aztec (which means as I recall a dark chocolate with cardamon and a few other spices). It came in a smallish espresso like cup. And it was both terrific and terrifically filling. (I will never ever ever be able to consume anything other than this smallest size.) I made a mess because I was a little unsure about what to do with the whipped cream which did sort of melt a bit and get runny. But: this was great. Did I say I liked it? I did. And I bought some chocolates, pretending I was going to give them away. I might. But I have already eaten a variety of them and . . . . They have several not so wonderful websites, here and (if you want to order candy) here. For zillions of yelp reviews, try here. In addition to the fun chocolate, I met a small child who was not afraid of strangers. How unusual. How nice for me.
They also serve/sell desserts. They were too much for me at the time -- but are a great excuse for a return visit.
Where are they? Here: 1317 Walnut Street Philadelphia, PA 19107.
So, all in all, while I was under the weather -- and I do not mean the unusual and heavy snow -- I did have some moments of getting those small bits of protein in that were fun.