September 22, 2003

the philly experience

POST #    389

some of the food i ate. i am scheduled for a triple bypass next week.

this past weekend, i went to the "city of brotherly love" (i still don't know why it's called that) to visit my friend dan and to take in a phillies game. to get to the fine city, i took the train from new york, which wasn't bad at all. the only bad part was that i had to stop in trenton's train station. even the greyhound station in detroit was better!

friday night wasn't too eventful. we just walked around a little bit, searching for food (i found a lot the next day, more on that in a bit) and a drink. we made our first stop a bar, not necessarily the greatest idea in the world when hungry. after a couple of beers, we decided to get some food. we went to a diner that, according to dan, had the best grilled cheese in the city. i must admit, it was pretty damn good. but a hungry person's judgment on food can rarely be trusted.

saturday was the big day. planned events - cheesesteak, football, baseball. what more could you ask for? after waking to the noise of screaming children and playing some video games, we ventured out for some philly cheesesteak. apparently, everything is either a 15 block or 20 block walk, neither of which is a short distance in philly. i was in the mood for a cheesesteak and we decided that it would be better to go to pat's or geno's in the afternoon on the way to the baseball game. so after walking 20 blocks or so, we were at the "hip" area of south street and nearing cheesesteak. our destination was jim's steaks, which isn't as famous as pat's or geno's, but still had a line to the corner. my first cheesesteak in philly was a provolone with (wit if you're speaking philly), which is a cheesesteak with provolone cheese and fried onions. it was D-licious. my mouth is watering just thinking about it. my only two issues were that i couldn't really taste the provolone and that i wanted another one.

after the cheesesteak, i was on a quest for water ice, another famous philly food item (i was tempted to say phamous philly phood item). after walking about 15 blocks, we finally found a place with water ice. i think water ice to philly is like italian ice to new york. it was different though. it actually tasted like fruit and not like artificial flavoring (not that i don't love the taste of artificial flavoring). some, apparently, even have fruit chunks in them.

next was some football watching, which didn't turn out as i hoped, so i'm just going to skip this and talk about cheesesteak again.

our next cheesesteak destination was either going to be pat's or geno's, arguably the two most famous cheesesteak establishments in the world. since pat's king of steaks is the original cheesesteak, and geno's is more of an ostentatious wannabe (hmm, that might be a little harsh), we decided to go to pat's. this time around i ordered a whiz with (wit), which is a cheesesteak with cheez whiz and grilled onions. it was sooooooo good. i think the whiz added a lot to do with the taste, since the flavor of the "cheese" was much more noticeable.

after my 2nd cheesesteak, dan and i went to the phillies game and used the philly subway, another interesting experience. we didn't buy tickets to the game in advance, since dan didn't think it would be too crowded, so we just got some $20 tickets for $10 from a scalper. ahh, i did a good job on that one. our seats were in center field, actually, dead center. veteran's stadium was surprisingly crowded, which is apparently what happens when your team is in a playoff race (something i wouldn't know as a mets fan). i also didn't think that the vet looked all that bad, which means very little given my choices of home stadiums (giants, mets, or even yankee). the phillies played poorly, losing to the lowly reds, 2-0.

sunday was pretty uneventful. we watched some football, had stromboli, and i traveled home.

all in all, a great weekend that leaves me craving more cheesesteak.

the vet after the game. looks kind of like shea during games. man, i love that shirt.

Posted by tien mao in Travel at 10:39 AM



philadelphia is called the city of brotherly love because philadelphia literally means brotherly love city. phila = brotherly love, delphia = city, i believe.
and that sandwich looks nothing but nasty.

Posted by: super smart jess at September 22, 2003 12:56 PM

hmm...where were you on friday with this tid bit of philly info? hmm? i can't believe you sat on that info for so long.

Posted by: tien at September 22, 2003 1:26 PM

looks like a phun weekend.

what, no mention of the mich/oregon game?

Posted by: el at September 22, 2003 3:00 PM

i mentioned it - "next was some football watching, which didn't turn out as i hoped, so i'm just going to skip this and talk about cheesesteak again."

did you really grow up in oregon?

Posted by: tien at September 22, 2003 3:04 PM

oh. i guess i missed that sentence. there's usually some huge photo of the game and an accompanying post.

i watched the last 5 minutes of the game, which was kind of exciting. i was at my parents' house and i pointed out that the game was played at autzen stadium, where they have fireworks displays every 4th of july. i also pointed out that my family went one year but i was not allowed to go because i was not finished with my dinner.

Posted by: el at September 22, 2003 3:09 PM

yeah, no huge photo to accompany the loss.

wow, weren't allowed to go because you didn't finish dinner? that's pretty harsh. oh, the asian family guilt trips. did they talk about the starving children in africa?

how long did you live in the beaver state?

Posted by: tien at September 22, 2003 3:22 PM

9 years. i used to spend all my money on stickers at the u of o bookstore. i was moved during high school to the east coast. twice. i also used to point out to my parents that it was really mean to move me during high school twice.

Posted by: el at September 22, 2003 3:49 PM

9 years? that's a long time. did you get lots of stickers with the duck on it? and did you have a stuffed duck? that would be cool. they moved you twice? that isn't nice at all. on the plus side, if they ever criticize you, you can blame it on the moving.

Posted by: tien at September 22, 2003 5:05 PM

Tien, great to see you representin' Zukeys in Philly! I was just there recently - the usual of course - 20oz Porterhouse!

Posted by: Justin at September 23, 2003 12:09 AM

i can't wait for the porterhouse!! mmm...that's about a month away!

Posted by: tien at September 23, 2003 9:28 AM

jess, are you some kind of vegetarian? cheesesteaks are deeeelicious. in fact, looking at that picture helped me decide what to get for lunch.

Posted by: dan at September 24, 2003 10:30 AM

um... (embarassed face)... yes, i'm some kind of vegetarian. but even if i did eat meat, that sandwich looks like a pile of innard slop to me. with onions. not that there's anything wrong with innards, of course.
really, i'm just concerned about tien's health. that's all. and now also concerned about yours.

Posted by: jess at September 24, 2003 11:24 AM

yeah, i took a good look at mine today before i ate it. objectively speaking, not the most attractive food in the world. but knowing how they taste, they've begun to look good to me. and tien will tell you that they're actually healthy. he'll be lying, but he will tell you that.

why no meat? animal reasons or taste reasons?

Posted by: dan at September 24, 2003 12:53 PM

well, it started out animal reasons, but is now kind of both. the texture- ew. i just don't think you need to eat meat to be healthy and all the negative effects of it just aren't worth it- but if it was a choice between meat and death, i'd choose meat. i don't talk about my meatless life much because i don't want to sound like a ranting tree-hugging carnivore hater.... do i?

Posted by: jess at September 24, 2003 1:34 PM

dan, she is a total tree-hugging carnivore hater.

well, cheesesteaks aren't that unhealthy, if you think about it. no more unhealthy than your regular cheeseburger. i mean, it's lean meat, the fat gets cooked out. sure they use some oil and cheez whiz isn't the most healthy "food" item in the world. but the bread and the onions aren't unhealthy. convincing, no?

Posted by: tien at September 24, 2003 1:43 PM

am not! brat. may you get mad cow.

white bread has no nutritional value. and i doubt they george foreman that thing, so how the fat cooks out would be a mystery to me. i think they actually cook it up IN the fat.

but whatever helps you sleep at night. while you have indigestion and heartburn infested nightmares.

Posted by: jess at September 24, 2003 1:46 PM

mmm...cooked in fat.

Posted by: tien at September 24, 2003 1:52 PM

my only nightmares involved a world without meat.

oh, if you look at the sides/back of the grill after a long day of cheesesteak preparation, you'll see a ton of fat that didn't make it into the sandwich. i've also heard that a whole cheesesteak (with wiz), has around half the fat of your average fettucine alfredo.

Posted by: dan at September 24, 2003 2:21 PM

well, fettucine alfredo is not only disgusting, and not only a completely inauthentic italian dish, but is also the worst thing for you EVER. so, if it's between death, cheesesteak, or a big honking dish of alfredo, i support your cheesesteak decision.

but perhaps eating, oh, some vegetables instead of that cheesesteak would do your heart some good.

Posted by: jess at September 25, 2003 11:09 AM

oh, and just because you don't drink the oil out of the fry-o-later after you cook up your french fries doesn't actually make the fries GOOD for you.

see, now i sound all snotty. why are you making me talk about this?

Posted by: jess at September 25, 2003 11:16 AM

um, it had onions on it. give me some credit here.

Posted by: dan at September 25, 2003 11:23 AM

Gino the wannabe?

The guy who founded Pats also founded Ginos, because Pats got taken over by somthing. Ive never had either one (Tony Lukes man myself) so I cant say which is better. They both use the same types of steak and all though.

Posted by: SPRP at November 10, 2004 5:17 PM

SPRP, Not true, if you go to It says right on their web page "Owned and operated by the original Oliveri family since 1930." I still prefer provolone to cheese whiz.

Posted by: Bryan at December 8, 2004 10:28 AM

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