Philadelphia Part One

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Philadelphia

My brother lived in Philadelphia for three years. During that time I lived within a two hour drive of Philly. I can count the number of times I went to visit on one hand. So when he decided to live in the city again for the summer I knew I needed to visit him while he could still call Philly his home.

My first opportunity came when my family decided to meet up in Philadelphia for Mother’s Day weekend. We left Saturday morning from Syracuse (where I was visiting the previous week) and arrived in time for lunch. We were pretty starving, so we went to the nearest restaurant which happened to be a place called Marathon. They’re known for their burgers, and I got the veggie burger. The whole experience wasn’t too memorable for me, but my brother swears by their burgers so they’re probably doing something right.

After lunch we wandered around Center City, where we were staying, and ended up at a coffee shop called Toast. It was a nice airy place with room for my whole family to sit and relax for a bit. I got a fantastic chai latte. My mom got a cafe au lait, my brother an americano, and my dad got a green juice.

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Then we went to our hotel to get ready for dinner. We stayed at Club Quarters Hotel Philadelphia. It has a kind of stately elegance, but not too stuffy due to some modern twists.

For dinner we went to a Stephen Starr restaurant, The Dandelion. I had been to Buddakan a couple years before and loved it, so I had high expectations. The Dandelion is a British gastropub. The aesthetic is what really drew me in. I was obsessed with all the little rooms you could dine in. They each had a different feel, but all with the same British quaintness. Floral wallpaper for the win. And look at these place settings..

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I was still pretty full from lunch and tea, so I opted for a soup and salad combination. It was delicious. An asparagus soup with a goat cheese and crouton garnish and a seasonal salad. So simple, flavorful, and lovely.

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My family got heavier dishes, so they didn’t quite believe me when I insisted that they had to try my simple soup and salad. I also tried their dishes which were excellent too. We decided to skip dessert at the restaurant to go to Insomnia Cookies (a chain that started in Syracuse!)

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Then we rolled ourselves back to the hotel.

The next morning I woke up earlier than everyone else (training for my early morning job I was starting the next day) and decided to go to Federal Donuts. I had heard that they had good donuts, and had to check them out while I was in Philadelphia (being a donut aficionado). I had a plain old cinnamon sugar donut and a coffee, but they had plenty of other interesting flavors to choose from. The donut was practically just out of the oven and so good.

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Once my family woke up we headed over to Green Eggs Cafe to get Mother’s Day Brunch. There was a wait, so we enjoyed the beautiful spring weather outside. And took shoe selfies, as one does.

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Is shoe selfie the appropriate term? Well, now it is.

When we got inside and looked at the menu, I had a hard time deciding what to get. I finally decided on the special, peaches & cream french toast, and a berry lemonade. Unfortunately, I think I should have gotten something else. They definitely used canned peaches, and for a restaurant that bills itself as “eco-friendly” you would think they would source some local peaches, or at least use the regular non-canned variety. Regardless, it wasn’t terrible by any means and I’m sure that someone who is less picky about produce would have loved it. The other dishes my family got were delectable.

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After brunch, we walked over to Rittenhouse Square Park. There was a craft fair going on around the perimeter of the park. We looked in on all the different booths, but we weren’t in the mood to shop so we ended up on a bench in the park soaking in the gorgeous weather and lazy Sunday atmosphere.

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And took Mother/Daughter selfies, of course. Philadelphia did not disappoint.

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