Lizi’s birthday and DC/Philly trip

05/05/2015: Ben’s Original Chili Half Smoke – Ben’s Chili Bowl, Washington DC

http://benschilibowl.com/

Today was my birthday and what better way to spend it than…on a plane to DC!? Thankfully my colleagues had organised a birthday meal for me at Ben’s Chili Bowl. Guys…Obama has eaten at Ben’s Chili Bowl. #justsaying. I went for their signature chili half smoke. The chili had a fairly good kick and a pleasant flavour, but was quite thin…can’t help but feel I could do better at home with a good hearty homemade chili…but it was nice enough and good to visit a DC institution.

20150505_Suppl120150505_L20150505_Suppl206/05/2015: Roasted duck with wild rice sweet potato hash – District Commons, Washington DC

http://www.districtcommonsdc.com/

Sweet potato? Wild rice? Duck? HELLO! This pretty much jumped off the menu at me and I had to order it. It did not disappoint and the duck portion was incredibly generous. I have to also mention the AMAZING pretzel bread that we ordered as a side which was so soft and served with a beautifully balanced mustard butter. I was out with colleagues from our DC office and everything our table ordered looked absolutely delicious so well worth checking this place out if you’re ever in town.

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07/05/2015: Beef and balsamic onion panini – Room service, Sonesta Hotel, Philadelphia

http://www.sonesta.com/

Today I was moving on to Philadelphia for some meetings and I arrived at my hotel pretty late at night and couldn’t face going out to find food in a new city so I ordered room service. I went for what I thought would be one of the lighter options as it wasn’t long before I would be going to bed but when it arrived there were SO many chips! They were delicious fries though and the panini was just what I needed.

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08/05/2015: Philly pretzel with mustard dip – Philly Pretzel Factory, Philadelphia

http://phillypretzelfactory.com/

Not a proper meal, I know, but I’m in Philly so it had to be done. The pretzel was nice enough and the dip packed a good punch even though it was the least spicy of the options. Difficult to beat Tuesday’s amazing pretzel bread at District Commons though…definitely raised my pretzel standards!

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09/05/2015: Philly Cheesesteak – Steve’s Prince of Steaks, Philadelphia

http://www.stevesprinceofsteaks.com/

There’s definitely a reason this place isn’t called Steve’s “King” of Steaks. Not sure how this makes the Visit Philly top 10 list (unless of course they’re a sponsor), or maybe Philly cheesesteaks are just, well, Meh. Not was I was expecting. The steak was alright, the bread was nice, but the cheese was gross. Should maybe have gone for the provolone.

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10/05/2015: Old Fashioned Italian Hoagie – Sarcone’s Deli, Philadelphia

http://sarconesdeli.com/

Today was Mother’s Day in the US so lots of families were out in Philly today celebrating together in the warm weather and it was lovely. I had made a plan to head to the Italian Market today and try out a hoagie from Sarcone’s Deli. I’d read about the place online and couldn’t wait to get my hands on one. OMG I want to eat this again every time I think about it. The ingredients were each of fantastic quality in their own right. The cold cuts were brilliant, the cheese gave a great mature bite to the sandwich and the tomatoes were so fresh and juicy. The wait was long (like reeaally long) because people, understandably, were stocking up on these bad boys for parties, mother’s day gatherings, watching sports together etc.

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