51. A significant number for a very ambitious journey I plan to embark on beginning this Friday.
Philadelphia Magazine I am blaming you if my waistline expands in any form in the next 353 days. You got me started on this idea, and I know you knew someone would take on the challenge! Although I am not sure how obvious of an idea it is? Do you know of anyone else trying to plan a well thought out journey through the streets of Philadelphia and it’s suburbs to get a taste of all 50 of Philadelphia Magazine’s “Best Places to Eat Right Now” list?
Please let me know if I have company, because right now I am slightly intimidated. There are only 52 weeks in a year, and captain obvious would like to point out that we are 2 days away from being 2 weeks into those 52 weeks…. Yes that means a restaurant a week without factoring in possible sick days? Vacations? Holidays? or um, the real responsibility, my job?
At any rate, Philadelphia area chefs, get your game face on! I might not be a professional restaurant critic, but that does not mean I do not have the experience to give each one of your dishes a real once over…. and write about it, for people to read! Then again, what do people say about me… I’m too nice. So maybe you only need to put on your uniform but not the entire game face….
So what’s the plan?
To start at restaurant 50 and eat my way to number 1.
So I title this post “51” as a precursor to each of the 50 reviews I will be able to share with you on GtoG.
Besides the obvious incredibly exciting prospect of eating amazing meals, every week, for a year, I am actually looking to forward to something else. Getting acquainted with a city I have lived outside of my whole life. I know my way around the streets (sort of) and I know most of the neighborhoods (I think?), but never have I given this much of my time focusing on the hidden gems in the city. Maybe I will need…
Na…. That’s what my amazing iPhone 4 is for. *MAPS app downloaded*
I am planning 3 weeks at a time in order to insure reservations are available for each location.
Therefore these are the reservations I have logged into my iCal…
1. Square 1682
“Get past the defects common to many hotel restaurants – boring wine list, unfocused menu – and let Guillermo Tellez’s ebullient international spice palette paint you a vividly flavored masterpiece” – Philadelphia Magazine (Restaurant 50)
I have not done my research yet on the inaugural reservation location, but needless to say, the lemon scented hummus on the menu already has my taste buds excited… If you didn’t know I am a self-made hummus connoisseur.
2. Union Trust Steakhouse
“Beneath the grandiosity – the marble, the soaring ceiling, the cushy booths shielded from the prying eyes of the hoi polloi – beats the heart of a great red-blooded steakhouse where the best things will always be a big slab of beef and a potato, even if the latter’s served ‘fingerling lyonnaise’ style” – Philadelphia Magazine (Restaurant 29)
I know I skipped ahead a little bit,but I made this reservation last month in order to take part in Philadelphia Restaurant Week. Union Trust is magnificent. One of my favorite Philadelphia restaurants. However, I cannot wait to come at my dish from a new perspective…. Not to mention, it’s a prix fixed menu. I live for those!
3. Percy Street Barbecue
“The barbecue joint from the owners of Zahav initially struggled to find the zone between authentic smoked Texan flavors and Philly’s particular palate, but it’s definitely hit its stride” – Philadelphia Magazine (Restaurant 49)
I know very little about number 49, except that I am always down for a new take on the grilled stuff!
4. La Famiglia
“It’s the last of a dying breed. Old World Elegance (pink marble, thick drapery), soigne service, and a tasty – if not groundbreaking – Italian fare has kept the Sena family’s Old City stalwart chugging along for the past 30 years, while similar spots have come and gone” – Philadelphia Magazine (Restaurant 48)
I have heard wonderful things about this family owned eatery, but have never had a chance to taste any of their creations. If anything, I love when someone keeps a tradition, and it seems that I have found a great restaurant that honors that!
I can’t even explain in words how excited I am to get this ball rolling. I know most of us will agree, in the winter months, there is nothing more comforting than a nice warm restaurant and a full tummy! I will be alerting the magazine about my undertaking, but I also hope you will use my reviews as even more of a reason to support these local eateries. Local is the way to go.. not just for produce, but for everything. Supporting the chains whether it is a restaurant or a Walmart means that hard working people just like you and me don’t get to see their dreams come true. Fine, maybe Steven Starr is almost failure proof, but maybe he isn’t! He works really hard to get us to eat his many cuisines, and to keep his ideas fresh and popular. I can’t wait to not only support but taste the best that Philadelphia and it’s suburbs has to offer. Rewarding hard work is a rule I was raised with. Now it’s time for me to pay it forward and support those that will probably serve as an inspiration to me!
Here’s to Friday!