Sunday, February 8, 2009

A Day in Philadelphia's Chinatown

We spent Saturday night in Philadelphia with our friends Stasia and Dominick. We all love food - eating it, cooking it, reading about it, shopping for it - so had a great day planned in Philadelphia.

After checking in at the Ritz Carlton we went over to Chinatown. Now Philadelphia's Chinatown is not as large as the one in San Francisco, but still, for a few blocks you feel like you are in a different place.

My parents always took us there for dinner and I still love walking through the streets and having a good lunch or dinner.

On Saturday we went to one of Stasia's favorite spots, Vietnam Restaurant. I was excited to try it, especially after hearing of my dad and sister's culinary adventures on their recent trip to Vietnam and Hong Kong.

The menu at this restaurant has so much to offer, and definitely has something for everyone.

We started with drinks - Tsing Tao for me, 333 Saigon for Jon, a pomegranate martini for Stasia, and a lemongrass martini for Dominick.

I took my dad's advice and tried rice paper spring rolls for my app - rice vermicelli noodles, tofu, mint, and chives with a soy dipping sauce. So fresh, light, and delicious -

Stasia and Jon both enjoyed the pork spring rolls and Dominick had the Vietnamese ravioli - all dishes were amazing.

For lunch I ordered another tofu dish - tofu with crispy noodles.

The noodles were very crispy, but as soon as you pushed them down into the incredible brown sauce, they almost melted and were very easy to eat. I wish we had a fridge in our hotel room because this was a huge plate and I am craving the leftovers right now!!

Stasia had a vermicelli chicken dish -

Jon had a beef dish and Dominick had a bowl with all sorts of things, including Vietnamese meatballs. I was too into my dish that I didn't get pics of theirs!

After a very satisfying lunch, we walked around Chinatown and had a great time shopping for ingredients in a Chinese market. I came home with lots of noodles, mushrooms, and sauces.

We then took a walk through the Reading Terminal Market, an unbelievable farmer's market in the middle of the city, before walking back to our hotel to drop off our purchases.

On the way back to our hotel, I snapped this picture of the front of it. Isn't it beautiful? I wish I had pictures of the rotunda that makes up the lobby.

We had a great time walking around the neighborhood around the Ritz and having drinks at a neighborhood bar. Back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. I have to share this picture of Philadelphia's City Hall at night as seen from our hotel room -

I have lived in or near Philadelphia my entire life and sometimes take it for granted, but this weekend it was so much fun to explore new areas and restaurants and acting like a tourist for just a bit.

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1 comment:

  1. Never thought I'd want to try Vietnamese food-- now I do!