Philadelphia is Delicious!
Two of our family's favorite places to visit in and around Philadelphia are Chinatown and the Reading Terminal Market. Both places are always bustling with activity and the main attraction is an amazing selection of foods and culture.
Chinatown is centered two blocks north of Market Street at 10th and Race streets. The Chinese Friendship Arch at 10th and Arch greets you as enter the area. This 40-foot tall arch is one of the largest authentic Chinese gates outside of China.
For a delicious meal at virtually any time of the day, our family's favorite restaurant is the Sang Kee Duck House at 238 North 9th Street. We love the Peking duck, but everything tastes delicious. And now that Joe's back in town, another place we enjoy dining at is Joseph Poon Asian Fusion Restaurant at 1002 Arch Street.
Because my 5-year-old and I do all the family cooking, we discovered many special places to purchase our supplies for cooking Chinese meals at home. There are numerous places to purchase items such as woks and bamboo steamers, but there is also an amazing restaurant supply shop, Grand Restaurant Equipment Co. at 1023 Cherry Street. Here you can purchase the same dishware, serving ware, teapots and cutlery that are found in your favorite Chinese restaurant. It gives us the feeling of eating out at home. Of course, your last stop for supplies is one of the numerous grocery stores in Chinatown. I often go with a specific list and a photocopy of the recipe or I just bring the cook book, because if you are not prepared, you may encounter a language barrier and end up with the wrong ingredients.
The Reading Terminal Market at 12th and Arch Streets is another place full of gastronomical delights. Used by both locals and visitors, the market is home to more than 80 merchants, many of which are pure Philly. From authentic Philly Cheese steaks, soft pretzels, Basset ice cream (America's oldest ice cream company), and Termini Brothers Bakery, it's all here. Another of our favorite spots here is the Pennsylvania General Store, (their chocolate covered pretzels are the best). The spot is also the perfect place to pick up one of their awesome regional gift baskets. Because we do so much cooking at home, we often visit the Market to pick up the catch of the day or farm fresh poultry and dairy products from Lancaster. There is even an Amish stand with shoo fly pie, apple dumplings, strudel, and other Pennsylvania Dutch treats. Visit the Cookbook Stall (say hello to the extremely friendly and helpful owner, Jill Ross) for an amazing selection of cookbooks, including one of our favorites, Matthew Locricchio's The International Cookbook for Kids.
Matthew G. Rosenberger is author of "ABC Travel Guides for Kids-Philadelphia" and "ABC Atlantic City: A Travel Guide for Kids."