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Monday, December 15, 2014

Downtown Philadelphia Restaurants Review

I haven't been on the East Coast in a long time. Luckily, I had some PTO days to use or lose, and a sister who travels for work.

I tagged along for my sister's business trip to Philadelphia for a conference. It was a business growth opportunity and a chance to travel. Finding a cheap flight was more difficult than expected. The cheapest flight I got was to Trenton-Mercer airport in New Jersey which was $144.00 which didn't include the price of $30 for a carry-on item and $25 for a check-in bag including only one personal item. This would then involve a Uber taxi ride from the airport to Trenton Transit Center for about $20. Since, it was a weekend the Septa train was $9 to Center City. Once making one of the last stops in Center City it was one block walk to my destination at Philadelphia DT Marriot.

So far still cheaper than a $500 flight from MSP to PHL. However, it is more time consuming and inconvenient.

First night, we ate at a delicious place called Original Dim Sum Garden.
We ate light Queens. Stuffing our faces with seaweed salad, scallions pancakes, shredded pork cabbage and noddles, hot and spicy soup, and chicken dumplings. We ate our dishes with their dumpling sauce and tried their ginger sauce as well. The dumpling sauce was good and sweet; however, the ginger sauce was too sour for our liking. We both typically do enjoy more sour sauces and flavors.

The seaweed salad, scallions pancakes, and chicken dumplings were very good. However, the hot and spicy soup was very bland. I wasn't a big fan of the shredded pork and cabbage and noodles. It didn't have much meat in it more my liking, but the flavor was good. This was the best place we ate at during our stay. It was also very reasonably priced.

Hot and Sour Soup, Chicken Dumplings, Scallion Pancakes, and Shredded Pork Noodles

Whenever, I travel I like to do some of the typically touristy things such as visiting the Liberty Bell, Brotherly Love sculpture, and eating a Philly Cheese sandwich.

In picking a place to try our sandwich, we went with proximity. We ordered The Works at Campo's Deli. It was disappointing and no different from anything you'd find in the Midwest. I thought perhaps they cooked the meat differently, and it was more tender. But I could have just been looking for some sort of positive of us walking in the cold and myself with a torn ligament for this sandwich.

The Works Philly Cheesesteak
However, there was a perk to our walk for an "authentic" Philly Cheesesteak. We stopped in for some warmth and hot cider at an adorable coffee shop called Menageri Coffee.

Later that night, we ate at a restaurant super close to our hotel, Hard Rock Cafe. Nothing too exciting there, since you can find that in pretty much in every big city in the US. Although, I do regret not trying the Salted Caramel Cafe drink. It looked delicious!

The following night, since I want to try somewhere different we went to Vietnam Palace even though my sister had wanted Thai, but suggested this Vietnamese restaurant. She's my point.

Not gonna was kinda disappointing especially, since we had our mind on Thai food. We ordered the papaya salad with beef jerky, beef pho, and salt and pepper seafood. I think I was most disappointed with the papaya salad since I'm used to Thai/Lao style papaya salad. Also, I wished the beef jerky was in bigger pieces, but the basil on top was a nice touch. The portion of the salt and pepper seafood was smaller than we would have liked, and we had to order rice separate. They were generous enough to bring us some complimentary Hot Tea though. Overall, it was a decent place, but compared to the Original Dim Sum Garden it was lacking.

Papaya Salad with Beef Jerky

Have you been to Philadelphia? What are some of the must try restaurants in the Downtown area?

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