Were I on death row, God forbid, and my time had come to take the chair, I’d have trouble figuring out my last meal. I would instead petition the state to allow me to have a final day-long extravaganza of Philadelphia food. If figure that if I attach the petition to the bottom of a bill that cuts public education money or makes poor people’s lives more miserable, I am sure I could trick the governor into signing it.
My last day would look something like this…
I’d start at Wawa in the morning and pick up the largest container of their iced tea for my travels and head immediately to Federal Donuts where I’d indulge in a pre-breakfast snack. It would take me approximately 15 seconds to grab and eat a couple of Havla-Pistachio and Oatmeal Raisin Donuts. I’d regret never getting around to patenting a Federal Donuts Cologne, forever robbing people of the opportunity to smell like the magic combination of donut and fried chicken whenever they want.
For breakfast, I’d head to North Third where I’d order Eggs Benedict with extra Hollandaise and a side of their Macaroni and Cheese. To balance the meal with a fruit or vegetable, I’d wash the food down with a Blood Orange Margarita. I would not order a side of judgmental smugness, so you can just stop looking at me that way.
For my midmorning snack, I’d make my way to West Philly to Honest Tom’s for their Sweet Potato tacos. While I usually scoff at vegetarian dishes, those guys are artists with guacamole and pico.
Before long it would be lunchtime. Good Dog Bar serves the perfect burger, juicy, messy and stuffed full of cheese. (This was also my self-description on an unsuccessful OK Cupid profile.) On the way out, I’d take some cheesesteak empanadas, because who can ever have enough meat? (I asked that same question on the aforementioned dating profile.)
For my afternoon snack time, I’d head to Café Soho in Cheltenham because Korean Fried Chicken is my spirit animal. The soy-glazed and the spicy are the best, but I am never too picky when I’m there. To prove that I am no cultural troglodyte, I’d also order some of their Spicy Rice Cakes and Mandoo with cheese melted on top. One wonders if war would have persisted had South Korea just shared some of this food with Kim Jong Il before his death.
For dinner, I’d be hard pressed to make a bad choice on any of the 13th Street restaurants in Midtown Village, but my go-to plate is the Carne Asada at Lolita. While it would be distracting thinking of the pizzas and cured meats at Barbuzzo next door, the smoky chipotle sauce over filet mignon and fingerling potatoes has never done me wrong, and I am a man of loyalty.
Capogiro would beckon at dessert time, and I’d spend an annoyingly inordinate amount of time asking for free samples of gelato on tiny spoons. I would like to think that this time I might finally deviate from my norm, but as a creature of habit, I know I’d eventually settle on my usual, a combination of the creamy Stracciatella and nutty Pistachio. I’d walk down the street and finish where I began, at Wawa, where I would sit on the curb and open a pack of Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Kandy Kakes (which, ahem, ought to be available year-round.)
All this amazing food, and I didn’t even get to the Pad Thai at Circles, the Fried Manchego at Bar Ferdninand or the Steamed Wontons at Sang Kee. You’ll never run out of options here for excellent food. So, if you ever have to plan your final day of eating, Philadelphia’s the place to do it.