Monk’s Cafe (Philadelphia)

Ever have a sour beer? Not one that’s gone bad, but a beer that’s brewed that way? It’s quite distinctive, deriving its sourness from lactic acid.  Monk’s offers a Flemish sour ale that is made for them in Belgium. On first taste, the sourness is surprising, but it grows on you. It pairs especially well... Continue Reading →

Carmen’s Italian Hoagies

The hoagies of Philadelphia are justifiably famous. The sheer number of restaurants that serve them keeps the competition high. Besides Chickie’s, Carmen’s is a local favorite. I ate one of their sandwiches on our last trip to Philadelphia and was impressed. I ordered the same hoagie again, the Super Italian, filled with sweet sopressata, capocola,... Continue Reading →

Tommy Di Nic’s (Philadelphia)

Tommy Di Nic’s is another hoagie stand (Reading Terminal Station in Philadelphia) that appears on many favorite lists. They specialize in roast beef and roast pork, as well as pulled pork. I got the roast pork, plentiful slices that were piled into a light, crispy roll, mounded with sautéed broccoli rabe and sharp Provolone, and... Continue Reading →

Chickie’s Italian Deli (Philadelphia)

Chickie’s is one of many restaurants in Philadelphia that make Italian hoagies. The veggie and tuna sandwiches are their two famous specialties. The vegetarian in particular has received several awards and media recognition. Chickie’s claims that even blue collar workers can’t resist it. Roasted red bell pepper, baked eggplant and sauteed broccoli rabe are nestled... Continue Reading →

Mercato (Philadelphia)

Within a few blocks of our daughter and son-in-law's house is Mercato, a restaurant that draws inspiration from Italian and Italian-American cooking. It’s nestled in a tiny space on Spruce near 12th, but the cheerful saffron yellow walls make it feel more expansive. Our daughter brought along an Italian soave because of a BYOB policy observed... Continue Reading →

Won Ton City (Bellevue, WA)—CLOSED

One person, the proprietess of Wonton City, runs the entire operation: preps, cooks, waits and cashiers. Who we presume to be a daughter occasionally helps out. In a tiny space in the Lake Hills Shopping Center, having no more than 10 tables, she serves noodles and congee (rice porridge) at very reasonable prices. Of the... Continue Reading →

Spring Blossoms at the Washington Park Arboretum (Seattle, WA)

Emotionally, springtime is my favorite season. Life is springing up everywhere and better weather lies ahead, though here in the Pacific Northwest, that is a relative expectation. Still, flowers are blooming wherever you turn. One of Seattle's great showcases for flora is the Washington Park Arboretum, jointly managed by the University of Washington and the... Continue Reading →

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