Foodstalkers on Tour: D.C. & Philadelphia

A friend and I took an impromptu, low-budget road trip to visit friends in our nation’s capital and the city of bromance this past weekend. It was a time. And we had some fantastic eats along the way. I will skip the Wendy’s #6 that I had on the drive up. Thought it was delicious and picture-worthy. Keep reading for a diner breakfast, Chinatown dinner, late night pizza and cheesesteaks.

Saturday morning starts with a trip down the street to the 24-hour diner for breakfast.

bob & edith's

bob & edith's

Bob & Edith’s Diner [2310 Columbia Pike, Arlington VA]

This place has been serving up diner food since 1969! And I think they still have some 1969 Dallas Cowboys memorabilia on their walls.

Here’s my #1 diner predicament: to eat breakfast food or not to eat breakfast food? Though I enjoy scrambled eggs, bacon and toast, sometimes I’d just rather skip straight to lunch grub. I ordered the Western Omelette. It’s somewhere in between breakfast and lunch. It acknowledges breakfast with the scrambled eggs. But the cheese, peppers, onions, tomatoes and ham (usually with salsa and sour cream) nod to lunch fare. Toss some Tabasco on there for extra heat! This was a delicious start to the day, and got our crew back in the game and ready for a day of sight-seeing! I only wish I could have stuck it out for a chocolate milkshake.

western omellete

western omelet with homefries

Later that day for dinner, we headed to Chinatown, literally walked through the gate and parked it at one of the first places we came across. With a $7.99 dinner special. The soup and spring rolls were fantastic. I was starving.

wonton soup

wonton soup

Gah I love wonton soup. I enjoy many of the other common soups, but I always go back to my favorite. I think it’s the warm, simple broth and green onions. No fuss, just comforting. Then I shared some spring rolls. Though I easily could have eaten four. Please check out in the background…the pamphlet: “I Hope God Will Save Me: May 21, 2011!” Whatever. But we had an enjoyable time listening  to some crazy people near the Mall talk about the end of days. And we picked up some of their literature.

springrolls

springrolls

chicken time!

chicken time!

To be honest, I can’t remember the name of my entree. The waitress suggested it. I don’t know why I branched out from my regular house lo mein or moo goo gai pan type orders. But my dish was pretty standard: chicken, lots of veggies (though few water chestnuts and bamboo shoots, which are my faves apart from the baby corn and pea pods), and a spicy sauce. It was filling, though not the best. It’s hard to top Golden China and Red Dragon, my two favorite places.

Next, we departed for Philadelphia, specifically Manayunk where a friend lives. After a night at Mad River, we stopped in for pizza at a late night pizza place—Caputo’s. This was a mighty fine snack before heading home. And it was nuclear hot, right out of the oven. I topped my slice of cheese with parm, oregano and red pepper flakes. To blend in with locals on the Caputo’s sidewalk while you nomnom a slice, I suggest yelling something like “WOOOO! EAGLES!!!!” every once in a while. Otherwise, the diehards may assume that you are not an Eagles fan…at which point…you will be seriously questioned, if not hurt.

za!

za!

One more night down, and with a long drive ahead, we needed sustenance once again. After we checked out downtown Philly, we located Pat’s (King of Steaks—Never make a mis-steak!) and Geno’s in south Philly to grab a sandwich. The two cheesesteak establishments have been competing for years across the street from one another. Here’s a great video that covers the history and philosophies of the two places. Wait for these great quotes all in this one video: What does FLASH taste like?! Your home is orange? You invented the pressure washer?!


While others may have allegiances, we just had appetites. We walked up to Pat’s first and went there. I didn’t feel so bad when a swarm of motorcycles (The Blue Knights) came in hauling ass, and all chose to go to Geno’s. There could have been a BIKER RUMBLE if Pat’s biker gang were to show up.

Pat’s King of Steaks [1237 E Passyunk Ave Philadelphia PA]

Pat's and Geno's

pat's and geno's; note the mural on the right (they like murals in this neighborhood!)

the blue knights chose geno's

the blue knights arrive and choose geno's

One thing that is still unanswered to me concerns the cheese steak cheese. Is it provolone, American, cheese whiz or other? Wikipedia helped me find an answer. They claim that Geno’s sides with provolone or American cheese, whereas Pat’s first introduced the Cheese Whiz, which then became very popular. Had I known this, I would have ordered differently!

I ordered my cheese steak “wit” (that is, with chopped grilled onions—they don’t do green peppers) and provolone. In the background is the Cheese Whiz version. I tasted both, and found….the Cheese Whiz to be better! Shucks. The provolone just didn’t melt. And it was served up so fast, that it didn’t go under the broiler to get melted and crispy on top. Still I was a happy girl. Steak sandwich! Boom!

pat's cheesesteaks

pat's cheesesteaks



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2 responses to “Foodstalkers on Tour: D.C. & Philadelphia

  1. Pat’s shoulda chopped that provolone up into the steak on the grill!!! Maybe they’ve been doing the cheese wiz thing so long they forgot how to handle a real cheesesteak sandwich! But you did bring back some good memories of the Philly cheesesteak wars. My favorite is actually a dive one block /cater-cornered from 30th Street Station…Pete’s, I think it is/was called. THEY know how to melt the provolone. AND they have peppers AND onions :)

  2. WOW. that sounds like a slam-packed weekend!!! totes jeals :)

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