City of Brotherly Love Handles

We went for the history but left with hips. Bigger ones. Who knew that Philadelphia was for foodies?

Philly skyline from the freeway. It doesn’t look fattening from here, does it?

We stayed at the Rittenhouse Hotel, located, no surprise, on Rittenhouse Square.  If I lived in Philadelphia, Rittenhouse Square would be my go-to place. It is an enchanting square block of a park and everyone of every age and demographic seems to come here, day and night, to watch the world go by.

You’ll know you’re there when you see the Evelyn Taylor Price sundial.

“Who said you could be in my park?”

Our friend, John Allen, recommended a place for dinner that was close by our hotel, so after we unpacked, off we went to Butcher and Singer. It seemed unassuming enough from the street, but when we walked inside – wow! An atrium ceiling and massive chandeliers let you know that you’re not in any ordinary steakhouse.  We were so bedazzled by the interior that we just sat back to enjoy and let our charming waiter order for us. Uh-oh. That might have been a mistake.

I especially liked the mural over the bar at Butcher & Singer. (image from

Hash browns are one of the house specialities. I arched an eyebrow at that suggestion, but the waiter said, “Trust me. You want these.” Turns out they are “stuffed” with all manner of deliciously evil accompaniments and are most definitely to be shared.

Butcher & Singer hash browns (image from

Then there was the steak. And the salads. And, oh dear, the Baked Alaska. Hey, not our fault – the waiter made us do it!

Baked Alaska at Butcher & Singer (image from

We planned a lot of walking the next day in an effort to atone for these sins. Philadelphia is a great walking city. Only problem was this: the first place we walked to was Reading Terminal Market, which is basically a consortium of calories. Every travel forum I looked at said this was a “must-see” in Philadelphia. And a “must eat”. Once again we were helpless. From what I’d read, two of the top stops at the Market are DiNic’s and The Dutch Eating Place.  We couldn’t agree on which, so oh dear, oh no, we went to both. Yes, I hang my head in shame as I tell you this, but really, am I ever going to be back in Philadelphia? This was probably our only shot.

The pork sandwiches at DiNic’s are famous (polloplayer photo)

The crowds are famous, too (polloplayer photo)

The Dutch Eating Place is staffed by Amish and Mennonite women who dole out traditional breakfast fare, including scrapple, along with the most decadent apple dumplings you’ve ever tasted.

Not exactly “health food”

Now we know why Ben Franklin was portly – he lived in Philadelphia! And full as we were, we were eager to to explore the history of our Founding Fathers. Next post: off we waddle to Independence National Historical Park.

About polloplayer

Empty nester searching for meaning of life through the occasional chicken epiphany.
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4 Responses to City of Brotherly Love Handles

  1. dizzyguy says:

    CE here: Philly did not disappoint in the food department. The eateries were of NYC quality in most cases, and the portions were targeted toward pre-tractor Pennsylvania Dutch draft horses. In fact, I went looking for my yoke after the Amish breakfast dumplings, but could not see all the way down to my shoes in case it was still on the floor. Left the Dutch Eating Place without it, but I am sure it will also fit the next customer after he has done one of their breakfasts.

    Indeed, the City of Brotherly Love Handles it remains, and proudly so.

  2. Katherine says:

    Sounds to me as though Philly is just trying to distract people from the fact that it used to be the capital and the fact that the Fresh Prince famously moved from there to Bel Air. Frankly, I’d take delicious food over contentious governing and/or having that theme song ingrained in my mind day in, day out.

    (Bring home some apple dumplings! Not sure you’ll get them past the sniffing dogs at the airport, but worth a shot!)

  3. alexandra says:

    I love the title of this post! It made me laugh out loud. You’re so witty

  4. tdevir says:

    Alexandra is right – you have very clever titles to all your posts! I would have never guessed that Philly would be such a foodie haven! All those food pics are making me so hungry…

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