Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Philadelphia Freedom, Shine On Us

The Dried Cherry Manhattan, at Tangier
All the rain and thunderstorms took their toll on us this Independence Day weekend—we had to get away. So after Pricelining a hotel, we hopped in the car and drove down to Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love and Revolutionary War historiana. There we discovered Polish food (hot red borsch and pierogi filled with cabbage and mushrooms) at the restaurant cum bar and disco, the New Wave Cafe; quaint-beyond-belief streets with quaint-as-hell townhouses; and a general aura of calmness that permeated the sultry alleyways and main thoroughfares of this truly lovely (and clean!) city.

We also discovered a colorful, Eastern Mediterranean–inspired restaurant, Tangerine, where we had one of the most inspired Manhattans we’ve ever imbibed, the Dried Cherry Manhattan (cherry-infused Woodford Reserve Bourbon, sweet vermouth, and a dash of bitters, garnish with a bunch of bourbon-soaked dried cherries on a pick). It’s a bit pricy at $15 (Pennsylvania has some truly messed-up liquor laws forcing bars and restaurants to charge too much for a tipple), but truly worth every penny. It paired beautifully with the Shortrib Spanikopita appetizer (shredded beef, spinach, feta, pine nuts), and even though we wanted another, we decided to get some bubbly and finish our meal with some hamachi, arugula and manchego salad (with honeyed almonds that were crunchy bursts of happiness), and the perfectly tender octopus salad. Our waiter, Seth, was a gift from the food gods. He, a whiskey and wine connoisseur, helped us with our choices and made sure we were taken care of.

The next morning, we trekked on down to Bridget Foy’s for a full-meal-deal brunch of eggs, real bacon, potatoes, good coffee, wheat toast, and some fruit. Diner food? No way. This meal tasted as fresh as a just-laid egg and kept us satisfied until the early evening hours back home in Brooklyn.

But before we hopped back in the car and headed to the NJ Turnpike, we stopped at AIDS Thrift and found a whole bunch of blue glasses called “Dots” that we already have a slew of (but you know how it is—how can you pass up a great offer for something you like). Plus a pair of jeans. All for $18. Now where can you find that in NYC?

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