Looking for a foodie fix? Then hop in your car, on a plane, train or bus, and head to Philly. Philadelphia has one of the best food scenes around, and the Reading Terminal Market is a food lover’s dream come true. Music while you eat and shop? They got that too!
People talk about it, but until you see it, you have no idea how all encompassing the Reading Terminal Market is in Center City. Numerous of your cravings can be satisfied by visiting this one food market, and if you happen to start your adventure during lunch hour, lines will be a sure indicator as to which vendor has the best food. My personal objective was clear, wander each aisle, take in every smell, and check out what this place had to offer.
Almost by osmosis, I walk into the entrance near Termini Brothers which sells some of the best Italian pastries, biscotti and macaroons on the East Coast. The dreamy selection makes for a difficult choice as to what to bring home, but no doubt you’ll find something to your liking. I, of course, am partial to chocolate dipped macaroons, so I grabbed a few while sampling a butter pignoli cookie. Knowing my sweet tooth was on high alert, I ventured off to locate the Flying Monkey Bakery known for their delicious fall pumpkin whoopee pie as well as, Beiler’s Bakery for those of you looking for the best sticky bun in the city. I also spotted the Metropolitan Bakery showcasing a bite-size french cannelle looking absolutely elegant.
Snapping out of my sugar high, I begin to think along more healthy lines. I start to wander towards a fantastic display of fruits and veggies but stop dead in my tracks as I happen upon a butcher’s case filled with every edible part of a chicken you could possibly imagine. Breasts, wings, thighs, whole roasters…but chicken feet? My mind is racing thinking, what does one do with chicken feet? Well, Godshall’s Poultry must know that chicken feet a are hot commodity, because they sure had a lot of them!
Godshall’s also had an intense display of eggs. White eggs, brown eggs, free-range eggs, blue eggs and a sign that read “double yolk eggs.” I guess that means you will get a double dose of cholesterol if you eat one of those. But enough of the poultry counter, I was moving on.
Next sighting I had was an array of sausages. I never realized there was such a popularity of sausages in the city of Philadelphia, until I stepped inside this market. Rumor has it that in Philly, it is all about the cheese steak. However, the selection and variety of sausages in the different butcher cases was astounding. Martin’s Specialty Sausages was showboating pork, veal, lamb, turkey and chicken sausages. There were hot, mild, and spicy varieties along with those stuffed with garlic, spinach, apples and cheese. Chorizo, Kielbasa, Andouille and Boudin Blanc, you name it, they had it. I was having a very hard time deciding upon which to try, but when my number was called, the Sun Dried Tomatoes with Pine Nuts won me over.
As exhausted as I was from sensory food overload, I did manage to spend some nice quiet moments at Fair Food Farmstand where I was mesmerized by the local products brought in from the sustainable farmers, growers and cheese mongers in Pennsylvania and beyond. From organic flours, fresh vegetables, goat milk and then the beautiful selection of cheese, I felt warm all over. However, it’s the cheese that really caught my eye because I love cheese. Whether it’s raw cow’s milk or goat’s milk, having a bit of cheese simply makes a day complete. Blue Suede Moo was a veiny, pungent blue that spoke to me as I looked at it. And Clover Creek’s Cheddar looked rich and sharp, perfect for a cracker. With a sigh and my mouth watering, I grabbed a baguette, an apple, a pear, bought a quarter pound of both the cheddar and the blue, and looked for the nearest exit. My cravings had been satisfied and I was calling it a day at the Reading Market Terminal.