If I had a philosophy about food—which I’m not sure that I do—it would be that I aim to eat well, within my means. This means that I endeavor not to spend an entire week eating pizza and French fries, as that would neither be eating well or within my means. On the other hand, it means that I try to give my custom to the farmer’s markets because they have better produce and are nicer to my wallet. It also means that I’m not above splurging on a meal eaten out, or perhaps just picking up one of Fu Wah’s excellent Italian hoagies for dinner instead of cooking—eating well is not always synonymous with cooking for oneself.
Sometimes I get a little wrapped up in the mechanics of “eating well.” I stress out over how many fruits and vegetables I’m eating and what they are—are they in season? Locally produced? Am I eating enough protein? Too many carbs? Am I eating healthfully? Am I paying attention to my food or just treating it mechanically as just another part of my day? Whew. You can tell, that can get a little overwhelming and exhausting at times. Anyway, there are always the times, like last Saturday, in which eating healthily is just not the same as eating well—or eating good, as is said where I come from.
I have been walking past the Breadline Genuine Bread and Specialty Shop, in-between 45th and 46th on Springfield since I moved into my current apartment. So, about 6 months. And I never stopped, though I wondered what went on behind the steamy windows. On Saturday, I stopped. On Saturday, I found out.
I went in after a ramble around West Philadelphia with my roommate. We just stopped in because I wanted to see if it was a bakery or not; I was also following the barbecue smell hanging in the air to its source. I found a beautiful, magical of baked goods, cute décor, heart-throbbingly good home cookin’. The business was started by Doris Truluck and later joined by her daughter, Barbara Abe. In addition to rolls, cinnamon buns with real caramel on them (!!), cheese filled parker house rolls (!!!), French custard toast, pie, and other delectables, they also have a daily menu. You can choose from the assorted offerings, and about 20 minutes later you have a hot, home-cooked meal in your hands that only cost $6.50.
The meal options change from day to day. Each day of the week has a theme—I’m especially taken with Fish Friday, despite the fact that I don’t eat fish. They print a menu every month to let you know what’ll be happening when. I urge you to pick one up. This place is just too good to pass up!
I chose the fried chicken and my roommate chose barbecue ribs. As we sat down with the Styrofoam containers at the kitchen table, the only sounds were chewing and moans of culinary delight. That fried chicken was, hands down, the best I’ve EVER had—the outside was crispy and the inside was positively running with moisture. The mac’n’cheese was also sigh worthy—though, in the end, too rich for me to finish. The other side was my favorite—a tomato salad, with tomato slices, sweet red peppers (something like peppadews), and sweet onions in vinegar and oil and probably with a hefty dose of sugar thrown in. It was like being transported back to a picnic with each bite. I wished desperately for some sweet tea.
Breadline Genuine Bread and Specialty Shop
4529 Springfield Avenue