Sunday, November 4, 2007

DiNic's Roast Pork, Brandywine Prime, Liberty Bell, National Constitution Center (Monday, Oct. 22)

We started the day with the Liberty Bell:

We spent most of our trip exploring Center City, so we had lunch every day at Reading Terminal Market. We met up with J. for lunch on Monday, with the market being a stone's throw from his office. Ironically, the one thing I really wanted to eat while we were there, the Philly cheesesteak, was not something we indulged in. However, I did have a roast pork sandwich from DiNic's in the market.

It was amazing, with buttery-soft shavings of pork piled on a toasted bun with sharp provolone cheese. The only thing needed to make this absolutely perfect was onions, which weren't an option. It's not a cheesesteak, but it was pretty good.

We explored the market for a bit. Here's a lobster clowning around:

A variety of cheeses at the Italian deli:

There were lots of produce stands:

And a pretty flower stand near one of the entrances. It's right by an ice cream stand called Bassett's Ice Cream, which was fabulous (we tried that on Tuesday).

After lunch, we stopped at Bread Top House, an Asian bakery, for some dessert.

On Monday, we spent the afternoon at the National Constitution Center, which is this amazing museum dedicated to explaining the Constitution. Through small shows and interactive displays, it explained the intricacies and intentions of the Constitution without being condescending or overly difficult to grasp.

For dinner, we met up with D.'s cousins and their spouses for dinner in Chadds Ford, PA. At the Chadds Ford Inn, there's Brandywine Prime. There was some initial panic because there were unfavorable reviews online, but they were from a few months ago. Apparently, the restaurant had a rough start. However, whatever issues they had were not evident during our visit.

I had the pan-seared sea scallops, which were divine. Per the menu:

Pan Seared Sea Scallops- shrimp & artichoke risotto, haricot verts, crispy fried onions, caramelized sherry vinegar

The risotto was perfect, with a creamy texture that still maintained the integrity of the arborio rice. The haricot verts (thin French green beans) were done exactly the way I like them, lightly blanched so they're still very crunchy. I couldn't get enough of the fried onions, which contained the bulk of the sweet caramelized sherry vinegar. The scallops themselves were seared to perfection, with the smoothest texture I've tasted on scallops. Like the sandwich from lunch, the bite into the scallop was buttery-soft... slightly springy to the bite, but smooth all the way through.

I had their homemade ice cream for dessert and it was very well-done. Nothing extraordinary, just very good, creamy ice cream.

Again, no pictures because of the dork factor.

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