My first introduction to Philadelphia was 12 years ago during my first visit in this country. I was going to leave for Georgia in a week when David asked me to go there with him. We stayed in Ritz Carlton and I felt like a princess, more like Cinderella. I’ve never stayed in a hotel that nice before and it was an amazing feeling. I remember few things from that trip, strolling through the museums, having a drink at the bar on a boat where I tried to hook David up with the bartender girl (because I was leaving and wasn’t planning to come back and marry him). I also remember that I was 125 pounds and I looked freaking good. 10 pounds and 12 years later I went back to my beloved historical city, place of Liberty Bell and Reading Market Terminal, true foodie mecca. Every time I come to this place, I’m enchanted and fascinated with the vibe and bustle of it. I want to stop at every place and try everything. It’s so hard to make decisions when you see freshly made crepes right in front of you, buttery pretzels made by Amish girls, dripping fat from crispy Peking duck, the best chewy cookies freshly baked there and Phila’s iconic cheese steak sandwiches. David and I walked around the market maybe 5 times, studying every spot, checking out people eating their lunch, looking at the restaurant’s lines or checking them on yelp. No matter what you order, you’ll be happy. I’m not a pretzel fan at all, but after I read the review, I had to try it. Holy pretzel, it was soft and buttery and tasty; it melted in my mouth. It’s a must try item at Reading Market Terminal.
I discovered Elfreth’s alley few years ago, when we visited Phila for a few days. It’s the oldest residential street in the country, dating to 1702. It the most adorable street with cutest little buildings. The doors are painted in red and there are red shutters on the windows. Walking there makes you feel the history of this country; you see the horse carriages riding in the cobble stoned streets. I prefer to walk in those old neighborhoods than stand in line to see the Liberty Bell.
This time we didn’t have much time to explore the old part of the city since I had to see my Georgian friend who’s visiting her sister there. A cheese steak, pretzels and a $39 parking ticket later, we sat back in the car and went to the suburbs, where most of the emigrants live since it’s cheaper and more affordable. Tako is one of those friends you love unconditionally, no matter what. She is the smartest person and the one you can always count on. We’ve known each other since college and our friendship is very simple and straightforward. To no surprise, we got invited by another Georgian to the outdoor BBQ in the park. Zaza, our friend’s husband took care of everything, he bought pork for BBQ, fresh salad, beer, and watermelon. Table was already set when we got to the park. I won’t describe it too much. I’ll just say what David said: “you Georgians are amazing, you buy food, invite people and are happy to share it with anyone, without asking them to bring a side dish or a drink”. As you see in the photos, there were tons of food prepared by wonderful Georgian guys Zaza, Levan and David. My David was the happiest man to eat Georgian bread and smoked sulguni (Georgian cheese) and he didn’t mind to drive back home for 2.5 hours while I was sleeping on the passenger seat. Another great day and memory.
Reading market Terminal
The best Pretzels
Phili Cheese steak
Georgian BBQ mtsvadi
Levan ready to grill