Thursday, May 5, 2011

5 Amazing Things I Discovered in Philly Last Weekend

Last weekend my best friend Jules and I went on a road trip to Philly. Why? Well, it all started because a few months ago we were watching a show on the Food Network about the best barbecue places in the U.S. We saw the most mouth-watering barbecue sandwich advertised at a whole-in-the-wall place called Bebe's Barbecue, and since it wasn't too far of a drive for us (I'm in Baltimore, she's in Northern Virginia), we decided to partake in a road trip to find it.

With little planning and nothing but barbecue on our minds, we drove the hour and half to Philly. Before we had barbecue our goal was to get the ultimate cheesesteak because let's face it, going to Philly without eating one would be a sin. It would be like me going back to Korea and not eating rice. Just doesn't happen.
Deliciousness on a sub roll

Awesome Discovery #1 - Jim's Steaks

Gluttony at its finest.
Our first stop was Jim's Steaks on South Street. I was told by numerous people that this was THE place to get a cheesesteak.

The line was long but went by super fast as the chef plopped massive amounts of cheesesteak on sub rolls with every topping imaginable. Jules and I went simple: meat and provolone.

Yes, I should have got it with cheese whiz, but let me tell you, I was not disappointed.


Awesome Discovery #2 - Condom Kingdom

My mom would not approve.
Whenever you eat a massive cheesesteak you always think of porn, right? Since it was across the street from Jim's Steaks, Jules and I decided to visit this mysterious shop with the name Condom Kingdom. I thought it was a kingdom...full of condoms. I was wrong. It was actually a huge sex toy shop with more than just condoms.

From penis lollipops to half-naked Obama toys, the amount of absurd objects in there was pretty awesome. However, the giggly teenagers and the cashier who didn't look up at us once turned us off from the venue, so we left and visited a few cool thrift stores a used record store.

Sharon Jones signing autographs.
Awesome Discovery #3 - Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings

After going back to the hotel to let our cheesesteak and Condom Kingdom concoction settle we went down to the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts on Broad Street. The festival is basically a month-long celebration of all this is awesome in the arts. While at the festival we saw a free performance of Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings.

Now I was actually not familiar with this funk/soul band before the show, but I will definitely be familiar with them now. Sharon is a feisty, over 50-year old black woman who could be the love child of James Brown and Tina Turner. This woman can sing! Plus, her band is tremendously talented, each playing instruments like the trumpet, bass and guitar as if they were musical messiahs.

Haven't hear of them? Watch this video:

Sharon was one of those performers who actually sounds good live, so if you ever get a chance to see her perform, I highly suggest that you do.

Awesome Discovery #4 - Yogorino

Who cares about brain freezes? This stuff is AWESOME!
So, after the amazing performance of Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings we decided to eat. We met my friend Mark (who lives in Philly) and decided to find this Bebe's Barbecue place. Much to our dismay we found out that it had closed!

But, as luck would have it, the barbecue from Bebe's was being sold at Fergie's Pub, which was close to the festival. We headed there, got our barbecue (I actually had a change of heart and had fish and chips), had a beer and decided to head out.

Before we left to head back to the hotel Mark told us that we had to get some frozen yogurt at this place called Yogorino. Slightly curious, yet not fully convinced of its awesomeness, Jules and I walked with Mark to the place. It's a small shop that only offers one flavor of "Yogorino" frozen yogurt but an array of toppings. I got strawberries and kiwi. I got a cup  full of awesome sauce.

I can't really explain how the frozen yogurt tastes, except to say that it's like the world's best vanilla and whipped cream couple gave birth in a cup. It was tasty. It was grand. It was a place I will visit again.

Amazing Discovery #5 - Penrose Diner

Penrose: Where the Sopranos' second cousins eat.
Jules and I couldn't leave Philly without getting breakfast, so we asked the front desk lady about any cool diners near our hotel. She suggested Penrose Diner, a so-called "famous All-American Diner" in Philly. It wasn't too far from the hotel, so we drove there and sat at the bar.

From the moment we walked in it felt like we were in Jersey, rather than Philly. The guys looked like old mobsters and the women had big hoop earrings and big hair. I'm not saying this is a bad thing. Quite the opposite actually. The service was quick, the home fries were tasty and the coffee was hot.  Plus, the old guy next to me dropped his fork on the ground, so I picked it up, gave it to him, and he started eating with it. Didn't even wipe it off. Loved it!

Although it was only a short overnight trip, I'd have to say my trip to Philly was a success. Jules and I are already planning to go again.

Next time I WILL get cheese whiz on my Jim's cheesesteak. And bring Pepto Bismol.

1 comment:

  1. Dude cheese whiz is not the real thing