Today we are driving up to Philly for an overnight stay at the Marriott on Market St. This trip will mostly consist of finding some good cheesesteaks, what ever other restaurants we might find, and a little site seeing thrown in along the way.
I was up first, as usual, so I did a little searching on line for maps and places to eat. Thanks to all the TB's that have reviewed different places in Philly; got some good ideas on where to go now! After I fixed us both some pancakes and bacon for breakfast, we showered and got ready for the 2-1/2 hour drive north to Philadelphia from Annapolis. It's actually an easy drive up I-95, as long as the traffic isn't too bad.
Well, I guess I jinxed myself.
Just a few minutes north of Baltimore, we pasted a large highway sign letting us know there was an accident ahead and all lane were closed. Yep, all six lanes of a major highway which follows the entire east coast from Miami, Florida to the Canadian border in Maine closed down! Well, there was nothing we could do now but sit and hope they opened the highway back up soon. Good thing Lena pack some snacks and water for the trip J It wasn’t long before I saw a Maryland State Police Medivac helicopter fly over headed to the accident scene. Now I knew this was a bad one and hope everyone involved would be ok. About 20 minutes later, the medivac helicopter flew back over headed towards Baltimore and one of the best trauma centers in the country.
The main enterance of our hotel.
It wasn’t to long after that and the highway opened back up and we were on our way.
Random street in Philly
We arrived in Philadelphia around 2:00 pm, about an hour later than we thought we would. We found our hotel and parked in front so we could go inside to check in. We were greeted outside by an employee who helps with the luggage and parking. He asked if we needed help with our bags, and if we wanted to use the valet service. We first said yes, but when we said we didn’t need the car during our stay here, he suggested we use the parking garage across the street because it was $10.00 cheaper than the hotel. So, after going inside, checking in and settling in to our room, I parked the car in the garage across the street from the hotel.
Now it was time to go find us some lunch.
We started walking south and headed towards two very well know cheesesteak places in South Philly, Geno’s and Pat’s. Walking the 20 or so blocks from the hotel was nice. It got us away from the bustle of the city and the normal touristy places and into the local neighborhoods. Small tree lined streets, brick rowhouses, empty schoolyards; the 30 minute walk was very nice and quite.
As we approached the corner of S.9th Street and E. Passyunk Ave, we saw the two places we were looking for. We walked up on Geno’s first, and the line was a bit longer than the line across the street at Pat’s, but we decided to do Geno’s first. It only took about 10 minutes for us to get to the window to place an order. Since we had other places on our list for tomorrow, I ordered just one cheesesteak, fries and a soda from Geno’s, we found an empty table and split the sandwich between us.
Then, we walked across the street and got in the short line there. Good thing we didn’t spend to much time at Geno’s, because just as we got in line at Pat’s, a tour buss pulled up and a large group of teenage kids got off and in line right behind us! Wow, good timing on our part! It was only 5 minutes in line at Pat’s and I ordered the same here, one cheesesteak, fries and a soda. We found an empty table and ate it all except for half the fries. Even though I like the fries at Pat’s better, I was full! Lena said she like the fries at Geno’s more, along with the sandwich. I also thought the cheesesteak at Geno’s was better, even though you got more meat at Pat’s. The cheesesteak at Pat’s was a bit “chewy” and even though I asked for no onions, “wit out” when you order, there were still a few in there.
Lena and me in line at Geno's
Now that the taste comparisons were completed, we walked back towards our hotel, but using a different street this time.
You never know what you might find strolling through the neighborhoods. We arrived at the hotel and Lena was a bit tired, so she took a short nap while I updated this blog. I then took a walk outside and around our hotel to get a few pictures as the sun was starting to set.
Me ordering at Pat's
It is now a little after 8:00pm and we needed to start thinking about dinner, but were having a hard time deciding. I wasn’t hungry yet, but I knew I would be soon. We went down to the hotel lobby, looked over the menu for the restaurant there, which did look pretty good, then talked to the Concierge for suggestions on something close. Neither one of us was up for another 20 block walk at this time. At first I was thinking sushi, but Lena wasn’t up for that, and I didn’t want a full seafood meal, and neither one of us wanted anything spicy, so Mexican and Indian were out, so we decided on steak.
He suggested a place just two blocks down the street called The Capital Grill. He called and made a reservation for us, but also asked if they had béarnaise sauce on Lena’s request. They actually do not have it mentioned on the menu, but said they could make it just for her. Wow! now that is service!! So, with very easy directions in hand, we were off. Hmmm, more meat! Didn’t we eat enough “steak” already today?? Oh well, this would be much different, and a bit more elegant.
Another ramdom side street in Philly.
We arrive about 15 minutes before our reservation time, so after giving our name to the hostess, we sat at the bar and I ordered a glass of wine. Just as I was served my wine, our table was ready. The meal and the staff here were amazing!! Everything was done just right, including Lena’s béarnaise sauce, and this made for a perfect end of our day.
Tomorrow I think we’ll check out the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, but we’ll see how the crowds are.
Lena and me at The Capital Grill.