The motorcycles too, CW?
TJ: Great report! Most of the incidents and superfluous stuff you encountered I would’ve predicted. Instead of telling you what you’ll encounter, I wanted you to experience those firsthand.
The holiday weekend definitely was a factor in your experiences. Meaning, on a different weekend, you wouldn’t run into the crowds, the craziness, the parking problems.
Keep in touch, we’ll help plan your next Philadelphia experience.
TJ, GREAT report and GREAT pictures, looking forward to seeing the rest of them. I can understand your frustration with small children on vacation but sounds like all in all there was not too much pouting!
I too am lucky to be with Zman because we both love roadfood and are always scouting out new places. Thanks for taking the time for sharing such a beautiful report!!!!
Excellent report. I’ll look it up again next time I am going down that way.
I’m glad you got to Isaly’s and that you liked Pamela’s. It’s one of my favorites!
Glad you liked your eating tour of Philly. You were there during a busy time. I m writing this before you post the details of the Middlesex Diner, so I hope you didn t have a cheesesteak there as that s not a strong point of the place. We ate dinner there Friday night after not being there for a couple of months. They serve a lot of good food, but I didn t care for their steak sandwich, mainly due to the roll they used.
I grew up in N.E. Philly and from 1982 to last year; my Mom lived about a mile away from Steve s. I don t know if you knew it, but there is also a Jim s Steaks location about a block away from Steve s. The advantage to Jim s is that it has seats indoor and is climate controlled. I agree with you about the Italian Roast Pork being a great sandwich. It s one thing I can t find here in Central PA and I usually end up making a decent imitation sandwich on my own. I can get a decent cheesesteak at two local places that have Philly style bread, but I can t get the place that I frequent to put a pork sandwich on the menu. I also prefer Tony Luke s cheesesteaks to either of the tourist traps on 9th St. But since I moved out of Philly, if I m going there, I m devouring an Italian Pork sandwich.
I hope you realize that most residents of the Philly area don’t get their steak sandwiches from Pat s, Geno s, Chubby s , Tony Luke s, etc. Most of steak sandwiches in the area are sold through pizza joints or bars. It s mainly when we get visitors or go to the sports complex in S. Philly that we ll make a stop at one of the more famous purveyors. I worked for the Navy in N.E. Philly and we had a lot of foreign military coming through for meetings, and invariably they wanted a Pat s or Geno s steak, or both. To accommodate them during lunch, we either took them to a local bar, or made the quick trek to Steve s. (BTW, their hoagies are also pretty good).
As to pork roll, if you can handle scrapple, you ll have no problem with it. Its texture is like fried bologna with more spices added. If you have a choice make sure it s Taylor s brand, if you can get it.
Strawbridge & Clothier was once a locally owned department store chain with the anchor store being the one you took the picture of. Growing up, we had Strawbridges, Wanamakers, Lit Bros, and from NYC, Gimbels. Unfortunately they re all gone now, replaced by the same old Macys or Bloomingdales. I guess an analogy could be what Roadfood.com is all about. These stores have either gone out of business, or merged into a bigger chain. What was the Strawbridges in the Cherry Hill mall will be torn down, and turned into several chain restaurants, including a Cheesecake Factory. I guess some people call that progress.
If you come back to Sesame Place, you may find cheaper accommodations in either Mt. Laurel, NJ or Center City. The hotels in N.E. Philly/Lower Bucks County jack up their weekend and holiday rates, due to Sesame Place.
Glad you enjoyed your trip.
I also am truly blessed. Jill, my wife of 41 years, loves baseball and roadfood. Most of my male acquaintances at work envy us as we pursue our hobby of trying to get to every ball park in the country. I am retiring from the airlines on July 31 and we will retain our flight privileges, so we can get to even more ball parks and roadfood places.[:D]
We lived in Philly as young newlyweds in 1965 and, to this day, the words hoagie and cheesesteak, make me salivate more than Pavlov’s dog. Of course, when we lived up north, the words "Chicken Fried Steak, could bring me to tears.
I desperately want to get to New Haven at some point.
The wife and kids love pizza so this should be an easy buy-in.
GREAT trip report and pictures! I have my wife about 50% converted, while my kids (5 and 6) seem to enjoy finding roadfood places as much as I do. I make it an adventure for them, finding it on the computer and planning what we are going to eat. My kids have especially enjoyed our exploration of many of the great New Haven and NY pizza places, and are always up for a good hot dog.
SteveKoe: no embellishments, other than the two block deathmarch to Campo’s – but it sure seemed that bad at the time! My kids are just as happy with a microwaved frozen pizza as pizza from Pepe’s. Well, they’ve not had Pepe’s, but the point remains that their "palate" is far different from mine 🙂 Which, come to think of it, so was mine at that age!
The wife on the other hand loves chains, and is rather entrenched on this pot at the moment. 9 times out of 10 she’d rather go to a restaurant she knows she’s enjoyed in the past — even if it has been inconsistent or the last few visits were disappointing — rather than try a new place. Her current favorite "adventurous" (her point of view, not mine) eating: theFrescata sandwiches at Wendy’s.
I do indeed envy y’all whose families are more roadfood oriented….but hey, I’m workin on them every chance I get
TJ, this is a great report. I found myself slathering over some of the sandwich descriptions and laughing in sympathy at your trials and tribulations. This sounds like a good but really rough trip.
The Travelin Man
mr chips, when you posted your lists of ballparks and Roadfood establishments, it occurred to me that you must have a pretty understanding wife, and you have regularly mentioned Sam in your travels. I don’t know if it is luck or good planning, but it seems like a very nice situation to have.
TJ and I may not agree on, well…anything, but I felt bad that his family didn’t seem to enjoy the adventurous eating as much as he does. I don’t know if the story was embellished for the sake of story, but I almost got the impression that he was about thirty seconds away from about a week of sleeping on the couch. I couldn’t live like that!
For me, it was the endless stops for bathrooms. Seems like half the trip was ruled by bathroom stops. Little girls appear to have bladders the size of unladen african sparrows (gratuitous Monty Python reference fully intended) 🙂
I see a lot of praise on the Internet for Dallesandro’s. http://www.bestcheesesteaks,com even makes a special point of it, noting everyone loves it, tho no one knows how to spell the name. Not so for Chubby’s. I wasn’t all that enamoured of the sandwich, either….Pat’s and Geno’s were better. And the service…grrrrrr. I pray you are wrong about them being the same, as I will get there someday 🙂
Mama’s in Bala Cydwyd (what a cool name for a place) was also high on my list, but was closed at every possible time I could have gotten there…..many of the great cheesesteak oints were closed the entire week of the 4th, bizarre as that seems.[/quote]
Yep, and this is why I take every effort (ala Pamela’s) to convert the wife….the kids will come along later, I hope 🙂
Yes, thanks for the detailed review of your trip. Reminded me so much of the trips my family took when my kids were younger. My wife was usually game for any side trip I’d plan, but the kids were another story: "I wanna go straight to Six Flags!!" (or whereever we were headed).
Also, they’d always be embarrased when we’d get to family reunions in Boston (from NJ) because while it would take everyone else maybe 4 hours to get there, it would take us seven or eight with all the food stops and off-the-wall museums.
My daughter went to Philly U for 2 years and Chubby’s and Dellasandros are just up the road. IMHO there wasn’t much difference between the two, I don’t think you missed much by only getting to Chubby’s. The Cheesesteak place we’d always find an excuse to get to nearby was Mama’s (Also closed on Sunday’s).
Thanks for reminding me of the good and the bad of raising 2 kids. Wait til they get to be 18 and 22, enjoy these years while you can, at least they can’t drive yet! –Ken
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