Going to Philadelphia and not going to the Reading Market is like going to Paris and not seeing the Eiffel Tower. I mean, it might be touristy, but it is worth it.
I love that place with all these merchants, a sort of paradise for foodies, with a majority of unhealthy choices, such as the cheesesteak that I could not miss. I decided to try Carmen's Famous Italian Hoagie, convinced, maybe wrongfully, that the huge line wrapped around the booth was a good sign. I went for the classic cheesesteak, with cheese whiz, onions, mushrooms and sweet peppers. It was already a heart attack on a plate, but I was thinking that, if it had to be, I should make it even more spectacular by adding American cheese, as the guy in front of me did. After I ordered, they gave me a game card that represented my order and I probably waited 5 minutes until it was ready.
It was a good cheesesteak, having for sure lots of cheese and a tender and juicy piece of beef. But I admit that it was not as good as Tony Luke's or Pat's.
Below is a short video on how they prepare the cheesesteaks, from rectangular pieces of meat...
Jodi went for something more healthy and picked Kamal's Middle Eastern Specialties, a place that proposes many Middle Eastern dishes (as its name indicates!), such as tabouleh, hummus, babaganoush or falafel.
She got falafel in a pita that reminded me of Toum NYC, a food truck I tried few weeks ago. It was good and definitely healthier than my choice.
But I think the best of all was the donuts from Beller's. We heard about this place when waiting on line at Carmen's. The person behind us had a big box of doughnuts that looked good. She said that she came from Connecticut and never misses a chance to get hand rolled doughnuts from Beller's.
The line there was crazy, even longer than the one at Carmen's and we had time to look at the kitchen section where those donuts were made, as well as make up our mind as to what we wanted as they have a large number of flavors (close to 50), from classic glazed, Boston cream or French cruller, to more unique, like banana cream, key lime and oreo cream.
It would not have been the cheesesteak before, I would have probably tried 5 or 6 of them...But I tried to be reasonable, as usual! I decided to try:
The glazed donut:
The Boston Cream donut (this one does not look good, because it was squished in the bag):
Jodi went for her favorite flavor: coconut.
These doughnuts were simply spectacular. I am not sure how they are making them, but they were slightly crispy from being fried and melting in my mouth. They were so addictive! I wish they would open a store in New York as they are some of the best I tried. And they are cheap too, as we paid $2.89 for the 3 doughnuts. Please come to New York, please!
This was a great visit. Each time we go to Philadelphia, we end up at The Reading Terminal Market and enjoy it. This is a place not to miss for sure.
Enjoy (I did)!
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