Tag Archives: Philly

Recap: A Quick Trip to Philly Day 2

Yesterday I wrote about Day 1 of my quick trip to Philly so today it’s time to write a little about the 2nd and  final day of the visit.
After breakfast we started off  by visiting the first hospital in the United States. We were told the self- guided tour would take 20 minutes but we ended up spending close to an hour there. We then weighed our options and ended up going on a mini- food tour. My brother and I shared a cheesesteak at a well known place and then headed a few blocks down to try out some very unique hot dogs. Soon after we headed over to Reading Terminal Market, one of my favorite markets (and one that I haven’t been to in almost two years).
Here is a recap of the day:
  • Self- guided tour of America’s first hospital: Pennsylvania Hospital
  • Tried out a cheesesteak at Jim’s Steaks
  • Had a unique and tasty hot dog at Hot Diggity
  • Wandered around the Reading Terminal Market
Pennsylvania Hospital

While walking around during our first day in Philly my brother and I came across a sign that mentioned the nation’s first hospital was right next to us. We read the sign and the hospital sounded pretty interesting. There was a phone number to call to find out about tours. I called up and found out that the self- guided tour was $4. This sounded like it was worth checking out so we came back the next day.

Pennsylvania Hospital is over 250 years old. One of it’s founders was Benjamin Franklin. Highlights of our visit were checking out the surgical ampitheater and medical library, both the first of it’s kind in the country. The visit was definitely worthwhile and I’ll probably write a full post about it at a later date.

A Philly Classic

I attempt to try out a new cheesesteak on each trip I make to Philadelphia. I heard that  Jim’s Steaks was one of the best so I had to give it a try. We showed up early and it was pretty quiet inside. We decided to share a cheesesteak to save room for something else later on.

We ordered the cheesesteak with whiz. My half is on the right, without the onions. When ordering, the staff was not the friendliest but that usually seems to be the case at these places. The cheesesteak was really tasty. The meat was juicy and had nice flavor. I also liked the roll that it was on. I would’ve liked a little more generosity with the cheese whiz though. Overall it was a very good cheesesteak but not much different than others I’ve had.

Texas Hold’Em

I heard about Hot Diggity thanks to the TV Food Maps app.We were walking around and we happened to walk by the restaurant so we went in for a look. The menu is really interesting. Each hot dog is named for a different city or area and it is dressed in various toppings based on where it is representing. The store has really cool menu posters that are pretty much caricatures showing the hot dog with toppings. I preferred to see what they had to offer by looking at the posters rather than at a more traditional menu. I went with the Texas Hold’Em.

I eliminated a couple of ingredients so mine was a bacon- wrapped hot dog with shredded cheese and barbecue sauce. The hot dog was very good. I didn’t really notice the bacon much but the hot dog itself was really good. I also liked the cheese and bbq sauce but the thing that stood out too was the bun. We were told that they come from a local place and if they run out of buns, they close shop for the day.

I love Reading Terminal Market. There are lots of great choices of things to eat. Too bad we weren’t hungry. At first we walked around, checking out what was new. This was the quietest that I’ve ever seen the market. I guess a freezing Tuesday afternoon can scare people off.
I bought a pretzel and whoopie pie from a couple of the Amish vendors. I brought the whoopie pie home to share with Kim (it was really good and pretty cheap) and shared a pretzel with my brother at the market & took another with me for the bus ride home. Great call on both items!

Well that sums up what we did during the rest of our time in Philadelphia.

Check back for a review of my Megabus experience which is coming soon.
There also might be a new Ridiculous Street Signs picture to share from the trip.

Recap: A Quick Trip to Philly Day 1

We are back from our quick visit to Philly and now it’s time for a recap of Day 1. We left NYC early Monday morning and arrived in Philly a little before noon. I was pretty happy with our ride with Megabus and will be writing about it later in the week.

By the time we arrived in Philly, my brother and I were pretty hungry so we headed to a place with a very interesting menu. Along the way I stopped for a few moments to take some photos of Independence Hall. We also visited a really weird “mosaic art environment”.
I enjoyed wandering around with no real purpose before dabbling in some points earning with Vanilla Reloads. We ended the day at a bar that had a pretty awesome burger.

Here is a recap of the day:

  • Quick photo-op at Independence Hall
  • Lunch at Federal Donuts
  • Visited Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens
  • Walked around and stopped to buy some Vanilla Reload Cards
  • Dinner at Good Dog Bar

I’ve visited and passed by Independence Hall many times. The last time I was in Philly, Kim and I got to take part in a tour inside the building. The one problem was that the tower was covered while it was being repaired and restored. I wasn’t pleased with how those photos came out so when I got off Megabus (right around the corner) it seemed like a great opportunity to take a few photos.

Fried Chicken

While reading about Philly, I came across Federal Donuts. I figured that we would try to stop by to sample some tasty treats but then I read about another item on their menu- friend chicken.
The menu sounded a bit strange and a perfect spot for lunch. I’ve never heard of a place that only sells donuts and chicken. The chicken was possibly the best that I’ve ever had- moist and juicy but not really greasy. I also liked the dry seasoning that I selected for my order.  The donuts were good but in some ways disappointing. They were probably a little too dense and heavy for my liking.

So Magical

We weren’t in the mood to visit a museum or historical site so we decided to visit Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens. It sounded like the perfect place to visit. The garden is really bizarre, odd and weird. It isn’t even a garden, it’s an art installation. There are wacky mosaics and sculptures all over which were fun to look at. This made for a fun and enjoyable visit. If you’re in Philadelphia I definitely recommend stopping by.

While walking around Philly, my brother and I decided to stop into a few pharmacies to look for Vanilla Reload cards. The reason to buy these cards is for the points bonus you receive from certain credit cards. We used our American Express Hiltoncard which offers 6 points per $1 spent at pharmacies. We didn’t have much trouble finding the cards and 2/3 stores sold us them without any issue (some stores will only accept cash). This was my first time buying  Vanilla Reload cards so I am definitely no expert. Here is a quick explanation of how the cards work. Loading money onto a card costs $3.95 so by loading $500 you earn 3,000 Hilton points. You then load/ send the money to a Bluebird card which can be used to pay bills. The cards can be hard to find in New York so that is why we looked for them in Philly.

With so many good food options in Philly it was tough to make a decision on where to go for dinner. Since we were both really tired, we decided to stay close to the hotel. We headed over to Good Dog Bar for burgers. The bar was pretty busy for a Monday night which was a very good sign. The decor was pretty cool too. The walls were covered with photos of dogs.
I ordered the Good Dog Burger which was stuffed with Roquefort cheese and had carmelized onions on top. The burger was really tasty. I loved the meat and fresh brioche bun that it came on. The onions on the top also added some good flavor. My one complaint about the burger would be that there wasn’t enough cheese inside.

Well that sums up what we did during our first day in Philadelphia.

Check back for a post about our second day in Philly soon!