Chef Ryan

Cajun Chef Ryan

Feeling & sharing a world of cooking ~ more than your average Cajun


In the City where Freedom Rings

June 9th, 2010 · 16 Comments

Yesterday we started the recount of our tour of Philly with In the City of Brotherly Love. And we are concluding today with Philadelphia city and culinary adventures…In the City where Freedom Rings!

On Sunday, before we headed out for breakfast, My Dear Wife decided that the hotel needed to know about our nocturnal hallway events, and they proceeded to give us a free dinner for two at Thirteen! Wow! We laughed, since we had just eaten at the same restaurant the night before, but this time it would be free. We did not expect to get anything from telling them about the night, but we were feeling even better now!

Beignets at Beck's Cajun Cafe

So we headed back to Beck’s Cajun Café for some Beignets and Café au Lait, a real treat since they only make them twice a week on Wednesday’s and Sunday’s. It brought back memories of being at Café du Monde and ordering up a plate of the crispy French doughnuts with powdered sugar, ETL diet would have to be put on the back burner the rest of the week. The Community coffee with chicory was fantastic, and the first time I had that much coffee in me in months.

City Hall

After breakfast, we headed west walking onto Benjamin Franklin Parkway; we walked around for several hours, just taking in the sights, sounds, and smells. The architecture in Philly is fantastic, including the image of city hall on the left. We were in awe of all the great buildings and fountains along the parkway. We happened upon the basilica of Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church as a mass had just ended, after the parishioners exited, we entered the church and stumbled upon a guided tour of the interior. A fascinating thirty-minute tour filled with history and some amazing alters. Turns out the parish has only about 500 family’s on their rolls and thus survives on hosting four weddings each weekend, for the fair price of $15,000 to rent out the sanctuary, it really is that beautiful inside.

The Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter & Paul

The Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter & Paul

Pennsylvania Railroad Building

Pennsylvania Railroad Building

After the tour, we continued our walk westward along Benjamin Franklin Parkway and then turned back to the hotel; I had to report for work around 2:00 pm that day. Once we finally met up with my co-workers on the conference team we decided to have some lunch together and beat feet back to the Reading Terminal Market for some deli delights. My Dear Wife had the Corned Beef sandwich and I ordered the Pastrami sandwich, both were amazing, my boss had a Reuben sandwich, and we got a taste of that as well.

Pastrami on Rye

Pastrami on Rye

Reuben Sandwich

Reuben Sandwich

After working for several hours to set up the registration desk we parted our ways, and My Dear Wife and headed back to the room to freshen up, then back to Thirteen for dinner. We were so pleased with the meal from Saturday night that we both ordered the same thing again, she the crab cakes, and I the stuffed peppers. We should have ordered something else, the salad with the crab cakes was completely different from the night before, and the stuffed peppers were slightly different as well. Still a very good meal, but not consistent with the same preparations as the previous meal, anyway, who could really complain with getting a free dinner.

For breakfast each day from Monday through Friday, we took advantage of the concierge lounge and enjoyed the fresh fruit, Danishes, oatmeal, scrambled eggs, coffee, juices, bagels, muffins, and such.

Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich

Typically, for lunch we would head out to the market for new flavors and tastes. So, Monday we finally got a taste of the popular Philly Cheese Steak sandwich, My Dear Wife and I split one with some garlic and spinach added, it was as good as any Cheese Steak I’ve ever had outside of Philly. The image at left is of another one made for someone else. By the way, if you ever want a really good Cheese Steak sandwich if you are in New Orleans, go to the Quartermaster Shack on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter, it is a little corner grocery store that also prepares meals and sandwiches.

Fruit and Cheese Tray

When we returned to our room that evening we found this nice fruit and cheese tray left as a complimentary treat, we snacked on this for the next day, the refrigerator we requested came in handy.

Each evening with the exception of Tuesday evening, we ate the complimentary salads, crudités, hor d’oeuvres, and desserts at the concierge lounge.

Tuesday, for lunch, My Dear Wife and I ate at Beck’s Cajun Café again and I had the Chicken and Sausage gumbo and she the Red Beans and Rice. Both were good, but I have made and had better; however, we did enjoy the flavors of New Orleans in Philly. This is most likely our only disappointing meal at Beck’s, it is hard to create good gumbo outside of Louisiana, and the red beans just needed more kick I think, I know Bill Beck can make it happen!

Tuesday evening we all ventured to the local Hard Rock Café located across the street from the hotel. We ordered and split the Grilled Hawaiian Chicken, which is billed as a semi-boneless half-chicken marinated for 12 hours in a fresh ginger soy marinade, then slowly oven roasted. The chicken is then finished on the fire grill, basted & topped with diced grilled pineapple and green onions. Served with White Cheddar smashed potatoes and fresh vegetables. My Dear Wife also ordered a side salad along with the chicken.

Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce

Thursday, for lunch we had our last lunch at Beck’s, we split an Oyster Po-Boy, a quarter of a Muffeletta, and an order of Bread Pudding, see image at left. The oysters were crisp and huge and tasty, the oyster loaf was as good as any found in New Orleans. The Muffeletta was on par with most pedestrian loafs found on the street in NOLA, still hard to beat the Central Grocery on Decatur Street in the French Quarter. Of course, the Bread Pudding was amazing.

Friday, we packed up after breakfast we worked a half-day, packed up the conference materials, and headed for the airport and ate some of that kiosk Chinese food, which was okay for airport food courts.

Here are a few more images from our time in Philly!

Choclate Dipped Strawberries

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries at the market

Produce Stand

Produce Stand at the market

Rocky Balboa Statue

Rocky Balboa Statue

Tags: Bon Vivant · Restaurant Reviews

16 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Belinda @zomppa // Jun 9, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    Great food tour! Free meals always welcome. Reading Market is one of my favorite places in Philly.

  • 2 Cajun Chef Ryan // Jun 9, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    @Belinda, thank you so much, and by the way, I love your site and the WP theme you are using.
    Bon appetit!

  • 3 Tweets that mention In the City where Freedom Rings ~ Cajun Chef Ryan -- // Jun 9, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by digits12 (dinesh ), CajunChefRyan. CajunChefRyan said: Cajun Chef Ryan says, In the City where Freedom Rings – […]

  • 4 Emily @Cleanliness // Jun 9, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    Ahhh! I work and live all right there 🙂

    So fun to see your photos of the City that I love so dearly!

    I’ve been enjoying these so much! I wish I could buzz it thrice 😉

  • 5 GreenGirl // Jun 9, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    Great post, I haven’t been to Philly since last year, 4th of July at the Lincoln Bicentennial Festival.
    Your post brings back nice memories, thanks 🙂

  • 6 OC2Seattle // Jun 9, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    You’re right, the architecture is amazing and I’m drooling over that cheesesteak. What a fun trip!

  • 7 pegasuslegend // Jun 9, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    gorgeous art and talents here…great city!

  • 8 Gera @ SweetsFoodsBlog // Jun 9, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    What a beautiful tour!! So many delights and you know chocolate dipped strawberries, are my preferred 🙂



  • 9 Kelly (Hot Cookin') // Jun 9, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    You lucky duck! Sounds like you and your wife had a fabulous time! That bread pudding is making my mouth water. 🙂

  • 10 Cook with Madin // Jun 9, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    Great photos. Everything looks goods, I’m drooling over the Pastrami Sandwich, this is my favorite sandwich.

  • 11 Lisa { AuthenticSuburbanGourmet } // Jun 9, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    Great post! I have never been there before and now I feel like I just took a short trip. Love the photos.

  • 12 Jessie // Jun 10, 2010 at 8:51 am

    wonderful photos! That philly cheesesteak sandwich looks delicious, I’m drooling at everything over here hehehe

  • 13 Drick // Jun 10, 2010 at 9:54 am

    now, you know I could have done a lot more damage eating my way through Philly – looks like ya’ll enjoyed your trip and we appreciate the tour…

  • 14 Dawn@CocinaSavant // Jun 10, 2010 at 10:55 am

    looks like you had fun! everything looks incredible, i can imagine its hard to find good gumbo outside of LA, and i would imagine even harder outside of the south. We’re heading their next weekend, so we’ll have to check out some of these places. great post!

  • 15 redkathy // Jun 10, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    Oh wow I haven’t been back to Philly since the late 90s. What a beautiful tour. Thanks for the walk down memory lane!

  • 16 Trix // Jun 12, 2010 at 9:50 am

    Great post! We were just in Philly and had some wonderful food – but this Beck’s tip is phenomenal, and you bet that’s where I’m headed next time I’m there!! What’s up wrth the NOLA connection? We found Boscoli olive salad at an Italian market there … ended up getting 5 jars, lol!