Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Out and About

Goodness! What a month it has been so far! What with traveling, being broke, hanging out with my parents, and now the inauguration AND my 2-year anniversary, things have been busy! I have a lot of posts that are waiting to be written—including another GF guest post—so I’ll probably be updating a little more often for a little while. Ideally.

My mother and her husband, J, came up to visit this weekend. We had a grand time, even though Philadelphia has been frigid. I can’t remember the last time it was so darn cold!! We did less walking than I had envisioned, but we still made it to the Rodin Museum, the Liberty Bell, and some other tourist sites. We also ate. And ate and ate and are some more.

We started at Gianna’s, on 6th and Lombard. This oft-spoke of hole in the wall is home of the best vegetarian Philly cheese steak I’ve ever had. I especially appreciate that they will make them to order, because my mother greatly appreciated the addition of banana peppers and lettuce to hers. J, my step-dad has the 1-pounder cheese steak and declared it one of the best sandwiches he’s ever had.

Dinner that night was quite an affair. Mom had requested somewhere nice that I hadn’t gone to before and that I normally couldn’t afford. Since almost everything falls in that category, I had a lot of room for decisions. I finally hit on the Caribou Café, a French bistro and venerable Philly institution. I was a little nervous, because I had read some sketchy reviews, but it was actually lovely. I had a Kir Royale as an aperitif—I haven’t had one since I was 16 and visiting Paris. I think they tasted better across the Atlantic. I had a mixed salad with beets for an appetizer, while Mom had pate and J. enjoyed escargot. I went classic with my entrée, choosing steak frites—and wow, was it good! Mom, who doesn’t eat red meat, got the duck medallions, while J. chose the scallops. I tried the duck and it was also lovely—Caribou gets 10 extra points for the cherry sauce! Dessert was, probably, the best part of the meal. J. got 2 mountainous profiteroles whose exuberant ice cream and chocolate sauce could barely be contained. Mom got some delightful chocolate concoction while I maintained my classic sensibilities and has crème brulee. Overall, the ambiance was pleasant, the service was excellent, and the food was tasty—especially those profiteroles.

We followed this spectacularness the next day with brunch at Rx, my favorite brunch spot a few blocks away from my apartment. I love everything about that place—the décor, the ceiling fans, the coffee, the coffee cups, the eggs, the eggs Florentine, the bacon, the potatoes, the bacon. There’s a lot to love. Go. Now. You’ll love it too.

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