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Dining in Reading Terminal Market


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Heading up to Philly in a couple of weeks for a mini-vacation. Me and my 4 yo son.

Planning to visit Reading Terminal Market, for either brunch or maybe to grab some things for a picnic lunch, and also any goodies that should come back to DC with us. What's good? What's "don't miss"? (And what's "not cheesesteak"? I've had them. I'm not sold.)

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Heading up to Philly in a couple of weeks for a mini-vacation. Me and my 4 yo son.

Planning to visit Reading Terminal Market, for either brunch or maybe to grab some things for a picnic lunch, and also any goodies that should come back to DC with us. What's good? What's "don't miss"? (And what's "not cheesesteak"? I've had them. I'm not sold.)

My last breakfast in Philadelphia over Labor Day weekend was Blueberry Pancakes and Scrapple at Dutch Eating Place. The pancakes look exactly as pictured, and the plate of food is easily enough for two people. The scrapple is wonderful with a slightly offal-ly kick to it that's easily covered up by the syrup, the butter for the pancakes is terrific (I tuck it between them so it melts), the orange juice is fresh-squeezed and worth the money (I got two of them), and even the coffee is wonderful which surprised me - I was expecting watered-down dreck, but it wasn't at all. There was only one thing that kept it from being "the greatest blueberry pancake breakfast of my life," and that's that they don't have any real maple syrup - I was prepared to pay big bucks for it as a supplement, but it's not available at all. Honestly, if I were to go again, I would bring my own bottle of maple syrup (it's the kind of place where they wouldn't care in the least, or even notice). I grew up on scrapple, so it provides me with a childlike comfort, but you may want to stick with a more traditional sausage (pictured) or bacon accompaniment. My dining companion ordered a lunch sandwich and regretted it - we ended up splitting my pancakes, and still couldn't finish everything. Note: The touristy Courtyard by Marriott is just one block west of Reading Terminal Market (right next to City Hall), and had plenty of $99 rooms on Hotels.com - they're starting a $15 million renovation in October, but I suspect it's more for the decrepit elevators than the rooms themselves which were perfectly fine; to contrast, I'd just gotten back from Seattle, Vancouver, and Victoria where I couldn't find a room of this quality for under $200 - either Labor Day isn't a high-demand for Philadelphia, or Philadelphia in general is less expensive than the Pacific Northwest these days. I also found a private lot about four blocks away for $23 a day and left my car parked in it the entire time I was there - the hotel charges $40 a day to valet park, and I couldn't justify it (the parking lot is at the Holiday Inn Express, and was the cheapest I found in the area using an iPhone App).

Incidentally, the line at Tommy DiNic's was long, and the sandwiches just didn't look all that wonderful; we hit John's Roast Pork on the way home, and I'm glad we did.

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Totally agree with Dutch Eating Place* for breakfast or lunch. Definitely breakfast. The portions are generous and the food is good and inexpensive. If you're up to it, give the scrapple a try. You can't get it more "from the source" than this. It's like getting a croissant in Paris or a pizza in Naples.

Another Dutch specialty that shines in PA is the apple dumpling.

One breakfast visit was just before Christmas, they had homemade cookies scattered throughout the counter. It was that visit that I spied Adam Richman (Man Vs. Food) checking out their menu. I tracked him down at DiNic's and said hello. We chatted for a minute about what foods he was going to highlight at RTM and I told him about DiNic's legendary roast pork (and Philly's love of the sandwich being relatively unknown) and the rest is history.

At least that's my version <_<

*(try to get there early vs. mid rush hour because the line can get long, but is always civil and organized)

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Wow. Those pancakes look awesome, but we'll be doing a Sunday excursion, and they are closed Sundays! :( In fact, looks like a lot of the Amish folks don't do Sundays.

We'll certainly look out for the apple dumplings.

And thanks also for the hotel recs--we are tagging along on Mr. Phor's business trip so we have a room, but appreciate the thought!!

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Border Springs Lamb opened this year in Reading Terminal Market.  For those of you who visited the Border Springs stall in Union Market, the store in Reading Terminal Market is very different and miles better (the stall in Union Market was much smaller in space and in offerings and menu, and it didn't have the cooking facilities that the Reading Terminal Market store has.)

The Reading Terminal Market store has both meats for sale and a counter for eating in (or takeout).  I had a lamb kabob which is described as having a Korean marinade.   The person asked me how I wanted the meat cooked, and the kabob was cooked to order.  The marinade was soy based with a slight spiciness.  The lamb was juicy and tasty (though I'm not sure I would have called the marinade "Korean" if I was asked to guess the marinade).

Again, sorry about the sideways picture, but here's a picture of the menu:

post-889-0-24080700-1384659184_thumb.jpg

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