City Paper is not for tourists
My good friend, Jim Shahin, has been pimping the virtues of Philly food for years now, calling it one of the great eating cities in America. He also swears that the City of Brotherly Love’s two main markets—-Reading Terminal Market and the 9th Street Italian Market—-has the goods on D.C.’s better markets, including Eastern Market and Dupont Circle FRESHFARM Market, in terms of historical value, quality of meats and cheeses, and good-old atmosphere.
After my first visit this weekend, I have to agree. We ate our way through both markets on Saturday, the morning after eating a four-course meal at a pitch-perfect Northern Italian restaurant, Le Castagne in Rittenhouse Square. Here’s what I ate and drank, in whole or in part, during a 24-hour period, from 9 p.m. Friday to 9 p.m. Saturday.
At Le Castagne:
1. Crusty bread with olive oil 2. Buffalo mozzarella wrapped in prosciutto and paired with white anchovies and tomatoes 3. Buffalo parmesan cheese 4. Parmesan flan with a pistachio crust 5. Cubanella pepper stuffed with eggplant, ground veal, tomato, and cheese 6. Pappardelle alla Bolognese 7. Chestnut gnocchi 8. Rigatoni with sausage in a Taleggio cream sauce 9. Gnocchi in white-truffle cream sauce 10. Veal scaloppine 11. Antelope steak 12. Trout encrusted with pistachios and served with a truffled sauce 13. Basil-infused ice cream with strawberries and a balsamic reduction 14. Ricotta cheesecake filled with chocolate 15. Montepulciano wine 16. Barbera d’Alba wine 17. Grappa
At the Reading Terminal Market:
18. Raisin cookie 19. Pecan-and-raisin sticky bun 20. Coffee 21. Jalapeno-pickled egg 22. Pickle stacker 23. Strawberry jam on cracker 24. Pepper jam on cracker 25. Truffled cheese with clove-and-cinnamon rind 26. Chocolate-covered pretzel 27. Sfogliatelle 28. Yuengling beer 29. Chocolate-covered orange peels
30. A cheese steak wit (Cheez Whiz version) 31. A cheese steak wit (Provolone version) 32. Cheese fries 33. Root beer 34. Water
At the 9th Street Italian Market:
35. Kona coffee 36. Roasted pork sandwich with broccoli rabe and onions 37. A taste of hot curry powder 38. A taste of Mombasa chili powder 39. Hot chocolate 40. Peroni beer
At home on Saturday night, using ingredients from the 9th Street Italian Market:
41. Tomato-and-basil linguini served with meat balls and marinara sauce
The question: Do you think I hurled on Saturday night? (Answer below jump.)
Answer: No, but it was close.