Monday, May 25, 2015

Weekend in Philly

Happy Memorial Day! Thank you to everyone who has served, is currently serving, and will serve our great country. It is a privilege to live here, thanks to you.

At the beginning of the month, I went to Philadelphia for the weekend to hang out with my cousin and her husband at their new house (which is gorgeous and amazing, by the way). The four of us are huge food lovers (as in, we really love food, not that we're all obese) and we ate at a lot of yummy eateries. We also made a party for their official housewarming (for the Kim family) and cooked up a bunch of yummy food too.
My sister and I drove in on Saturday morning to incredibly gorgeous sunshine. We dropped off our stuff at the house and then went for a stroll in their neighborhood.

Spring was certainly blooming in the City of Brotherly Love.
We stopped by the Urban Jungle sidewalk sale just to browse and I fell in love with the lemon verbena pots. It was a love so deep that we went back later so I could pick one up.
Our rumbling bellies soon led us to P'unk Burger, which is a play on its location on Passyunk.
The menu is full of awesome burger combinations and the option to make your own.
The shop itself is on the smaller side but still offers seating for at least 20 people.
I went for the Juicy Philly burger which had a patty stuffed with cheese that was subsequently topped with cheese and fried onions. The melty cheese inside the patty was basically molten and the drippings burned my hands but it tasted so delicious that I didn't even feel the pain.
Baby sister went for P'unk burger and opted for the combo so we could share the fries and drink. The fries here are thin and crisp.
After our meal, we went for another stroll and walked past this super quaint community garden.
And then we walked past Pat's and Geno's, the famous cheesesteak rivals. But, since we had just eaten, we just skipped on by.
And we ended up at the Italian Market where the produce was gorgeous and also crazy cheap.
I mean, two watermelons for $1?
Bartlett pears in my local market are usually $3 per pound, but here it's $3 for three pounds. Is that not insane?
After the Italian Market, we took another stroll and this time, we headed towards the South Street Spring Festival.
The first block of the festival seemed to have a German theme with people in lederhosen holding giant steins of beer and even a band setting up with an accordionist.
After the first block, the rest of the festival was more familiar to me. There were several stands set up with people representing their different eateries and local businesses. Whole Foods was handing out free brown sugar body scrubs (which were scented with kind of yucky smelling oils). There was a long queue of people waiting in front of a comic store because they were giving away a free comic book. There were cupcakes and tacos and people in costumes.
E decided he wanted to try the banana biscuit pudding from the Scratch Biscuits tent.
The crowds were getting to be a bit too much for us so we walked another block to the Philly Aids Thrift Store. I ended up buying a pretty vintage tea saucer for $2, which I plan on using as a jewelry catchall.
Just to give our tiring feet a break, we stopped at Cups & Chairs for a break and some cold refreshments. I tried the banana matcha smoothie, which was actually quite creamy and yummy.
Since we didn't want to tire ourselves out too much, after our drinks, we headed back to the house and had some craft time. S had found watercolor pencils at the Aids Thrift (originally $18 but on sale for $2) so we decided to make some food art for the kitchen. See? Even our crafts were food-related; that's surely some strong evidence that we are food lovers.
I ended up sketching some garlic bulbs. I didn't use real garlic bulbs; I just found a sketch online and mimicked it.
After a few hours of sketching, we were hungry again so we headed out for dinner.
We settled on Mexican and ended up at Mole Poblano, which is a v. unassuming restaurant on the same street as the Italian Market.
My sister had never tried a tamale before so she got one. The masa was super flavorful and the texture was soft and velvety and not at all mushy.
For a shared appetizer, we got the tacos dorados de papa, which are deep fried potato tacos topped with avocado slices, crema, shredded lettuce, and crumbled queso fresco. The crispy shells were a lovely contrast to the soft potato filling and it was a super flavorful, memorable dish.
For her main, my sister got the carnitas tacos. The pork was super tender and flavorful and though I wish there were some sort of sauce - perhaps a cilantro chimichurry - a squeeze of lime also worked well.
E's a fan of mole so he got the enchiladas de mole. The mole was smoky and just lightly sweet with a hint of chocolate. I need to work on my mole and get it tasting more like this one.
S got the beef tacos, which again, could have benefitted from some sort of a sauce. Even a drizzle of crema would have been a welcome sight because the tacos were too dry for my taste. However, the beef was tender and was actually seasoned really well.
I felt like the pig of the group because this giant platter was brought to me. It was a grilled chicken platter with grilled nopales, grilled jalapeno, rice and beans, and a pile of flour tortillas. I cut up the chicken and built a little wrap and it was awesome. The jalapeno was crazy spicy, which I loved and everyone at the table loved. However, the chicken was the real star because it was so incredibly tender and juicy and the charred bits from the grilling were super flavorful.
On Sunday morning, we went outside to cheer on the Broad Street Run participants. There were so many people and they were an inspiration. We were standing on the corner near mile marker 6 or 7 but everyone was still giving it their all and running at great paces, which totally impressed me because I am the worst runner.
Choppers came by several times to tape the action for whatever local news channel was covering the race.
Afterwards, we headed back inside and started cooking for the family party. I didn't document too much of the cooking because honestly, we were just having fun and I wasn't trying to be all blog-obsessed but I did document the cake making.
We made a simple sponge cake and frosted it with a lightly sweetened whipped cream and then decorated it with sliced strawberries and fresh blueberries. Seriously, how professional does this look? Our family was complimenting us left and right. S commented that this would also make an awesome Independence Day cake.
After the party, we all said our goodbyes, including a long goodbye to this little cutie pie, and then I hopped on the Amtrak back up to Massachusetts. I did a few fun things while in MA which I will eventually be sharing over on my travel blog, so if you're interested, you can pop over and check that out.
xoxo

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