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The One Thing In Philly

August 7, 2018

Failure. It’s around every corner. But failure isn’t something to fear. Who has never failed? My hope is to always learn from my failures, and then I can fail in new and unexpected ways.

I mention this because I had one thing I wanted to do in New York City, and it didn’t happen. That was giving the kids a dim sum cart experience, complete with doufuhua. For those who don’t know that’s a warm tofu pudding, and it’s a favorite of Little Miss Fussy.

Sunday, we figured the dim sum place I wanted to go in Flushing would be mobbed. Really, all dim sum places are mobbed on Sunday. At least the good ones are. And the drive plus waiting in line for the better part of an hour would put us at odds with my baby nephew’s nap schedule.

More reasonable voices suggested Monday would be better. Except a late start on Monday pushed us into that awkward end-of-service time frame where the dim sum carts keep circling around the last remnants of the day. So we opted for Shanghaiese across the river in Fort Lee instead.

With this recent failure under my belt, I’m coming out swinging for Friday’s trip to Philly.

Philly is a great food town. And if you were going to visit, it would be impossible to eat all the delicious things at your disposal. Which is why it’s good to have a plan. For some, it might be a hard question to just name one food that they had to try.

Now, it’s easier for me, in part because I went to college in the City of Brotherly Love. So I’ve had enough cheesesteaks to last me a lifetime. And it’s not quite that I’m over them, but I am not terribly invested in chasing the very best version of the form.

I did just get the Zahav cookbook, and tried to make the restaurant’s famous hummus. It would be interesting to taste it directly from the source to see how far off I was from the mark. Although, my Israeli friends seem to think I need to fly halfway around the world if I truly want to understand the dish.

Vedge has been on my radar for a long time. And I do think it would be inspiring to visit a restaurant where vegetables are given the same center-of-the-plate attention that is usually reserved for meat.

But no. It’s not that either. Nor is it the Reading Terminal Market. Are there dim sum carts in Philly? I’m sure there are. However, that’s something for the kids. This time, I have my own selfish interest to pursue.

One of the reasons I’m less interested in cheesesteaks is because I’m a lover of Philly’s newer sandwich. When it comes to roast pork with greens and sharp provolone, I’ve been to Tony Luke’s and DiNic’s. For the record, DiNic’s is better by a mile.

However, I have never been to John’s Roast Pork. And that is an experience I feel I need to have in order to fully understand this fantastic sandwich.

It should be doable.

One sandwich.
Just one.
That’s all I want.

We get into Philly on Friday and we pull out on Tuesday. I just got news that my old college fraternity has died. So I guess I can cross that off the list of places to visit. But beyond that one sandwich, and hopefully seeing my cousin who lives there, I’m pretty flexible.

Simply out of curiosity, if you only had to limit your desires to just one eating outing in Philly, what would it be?

One Comment leave one →
  1. Gretchen Platt permalink
    August 7, 2018 10:29 am

    Hi Dan,
    We make several trips to Philly each year. On our last visit we went to Vista Peru in Old City. Remember to order LOMO SALTADO.
    Here is a small suggestion list in no particular order.
    Kanella-Mediterranean, Rangoon-Burmese, Tamalex-Mexican, Vietnam Restaurant, Sabrina’s for brunch.
    FYI- I just spent the weekend in Boston and Hei La Moon had the tofu pudding you speak of. Nothing like rainy day dim sum!
    Have a great trip to Philly!

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