Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Destination #4: Philadelphia, PA

Before starting in on the adventures in Philly, I want to share a quick story from our Sunday dinner at Old Ebbitt Grill in Washington, DC.  As we sat down at the table, we really showed no sense of urgency as we looked through the menu, drink list, etc.  Our waiter (who eventually sat at the table to drink with us) looked at us and said "Just focus on the drinks, alcohol will provide clarity one way or another" - I thought it was a quote worth sharing.  After dinner, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for the long day on Monday.

On Monday morning we got up a little bit earlier that average, enjoyed the complimentary breakfast in the hotel lobby, and boarded a morning train to Philadelphia.  To start off the day, we visited some of the significant locations in American History.  First stop was the Liberty Bell:

We then walked several blocks to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the American Revolution - a much smaller memorial than the one in Arlington:

From there we went to City Tavern, which is a historical building where Washington, Adams, and Jefferson enjoyed some libations over 200 years ago.  We each had the beer sampler which included, but not limited to, beers that were favored by Washington and brewed by Jefferson.  These guys could drink - none of the beers had an alcohol content below 8%.

Following the beers, we toured Independence Hall and viewed the location of two of the most important events in United States history - the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the signing of the Constitution of the United Sates of America.

There was no way I was going to leave Philadelphia without enjoying a famous cheese steak. We planned to head to the infamous block that housed Geno's and Pat's; however, our cab driver told us that those places cater toward tourism and locals never eat there.  He gave us the recommendation of Jim's, which turned out to be absolutely amazing.  It definitely felt like it was the real deal - your better have your order ready to go or the staff would start yelling.  The sandwich turned out to be delicious and I am craving one right now.

It was then time to head towards Citizens Bank Park - it was about a fifteen minute drive through some interesting parts of town but eventually made it to the stadium which was pretty much in the middle of no where.  The area was strictly for professional sports - I stood at one intersection and there was the home of the Phillies, Eagles, Flyers, and 76ers.  With the limited develop around this area, the only pre-game spot available was McFadden's which was actually attached to Citizens Bank Park.  So we headed in, enjoyed several  beers, and Berto grabbed a couple of $1 hot dogs. 

The bar provided an entrance directly into the ballpark, we headed up to the stairs in the Hall of Fame Club, and begin to enjoy the game with the 45,000+ fans in attendance.  I was surprised to see this many people at a Monday night game - they were all dressed in red cheering along their home team.  The rain started mid-way through the game but fortunately for us we could head into the club area to keep dry while still having a view of the game.  At the end of the evening, the home team dominated with a 12-2 victory which featured a 3-run homer and a grand slam. 

I really enjoyed the design and layout of this stadium - besides being in the middle of nowhere, I would say this has been my favorite stadium desgin thus far.  A few unique things worth mentioning.  First, the bullpens were in the outfield but were stacked with the visiting team above the home team:

Number two was the liberty bell in the outfield that would ring and move after a home run or a Phillies' victory - we were forunate to see this multiple times throughout the night:


Finally, I discovered a very unique concession item - Chickie & Pete's Crab Fries.  I wasn't sure what these were but I simply saw a sign that said Famous Crab Fries.  The basket of fries was accompanied by their own cheese sauce - it was delicious to the point we had to get a second order before we left the stadium.

We spent the 45 minutes or so following the game in the club area for another couple of beers before they closed,.  We then returned to McFadden's, which was much busier than the pre-game, for a few more beers before needed to catch the train back to DC.  We jumped in a taxi to head back to the train station - side note: taxi drivers in Philadelphia are much more vulgar and rude than the ones we have recently come accustom to in DC.  Since there was a little time between the time we arrived at the station and our train departure - we headed across the street grabbed a drink at the local Irish bar, and watched the end of the Yankees v. Red Sox game.

Just before midnight, we boarded the train and sat in the bar car where we turned the return trip home into quite the exciting adventure. 

After arriving back to the hotel just around 2:00 AM, it was quick to the pillow for a good night's rest.  Next stop Baltimore...


  1. Young Andrew! Good stories....Good info about cheesesteaks in Phillie...Great pictures, by the way....It would be helpful if you identified who "we" are! What exactly are crab fries?!

  2. I'm going to venture to guess that you were hung over when you wrote this.

  3. philly cheesesteaks are amazing!!! i had geno's, pat's, and jim's last time i was there. jim's is hands down the best.

  4. When I saw you drinking something other then bud light (Sampler) I was a little worried that was something was wrong, but I scrolled down a little and saw you holding a bud light, for a second I thought this blog was a scam....