Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Birthday with Phil-ly

July birthday season started with a trip to Philadelphia.
Before the game on Saturday we ate at a restaurant called Village Whiskey. The executive chef is Jose Garces, a top chef who has defeated Bobby Flay on Iron Chef. I found it because it has a nice selection of bourbon. We ended up not having any straight bourbon while we were there but we did have a great meal and some very tasty cocktails. We started by picking one of their pickle selections, it was a hard choice but we went with the truffled cauliflower. The cauliflower was mixed with some carrots and they were in a vinegar bath with a nice background of truffle. I would love to try and make them myself. The pickles also came with some toasted sourdough bread, whipped ricotta cheese, and an olive tapenade. It was definitely a plate of food that made me happy. For lunch we shared a burger and a wedge salad. The wedge had roasted red pepper slices, grilled red onion, shaved parmesan and it was topped with a buttermilk dressing. The burger was a big messy burger that was perfectly cooked, served on a nice soft bun and topped with a house made thousand island dressing. It was more than enough food for two people. Michael enjoyed an Old Fashioned to drink while I had a cocktail called the 'Bee Charmer'. The 'Bee Charmer' was a mix of lavender and chamomile infused gin with yellow chartreuse, lemon, and honey. It was an interesting flavor mix that was really light and refreshing.
Saturday night we had some fantastic seats to watch the Braves win over the Phillies. We sat behind the visiting team dugout and there were lots of Braves fans in our section.

We stayed at the Le Meridien in downtown. We could walk to Independence Hall, Reading Terminal Market, and Rittenhouse Square. The hotel is an old YMCA building that has been updated and renovated. There was a big open atrium area with modern seating where you could see the old building but you were still inside of the hotel.

Before the game on Sunday we walked over to Independence Hall. Unfortunately there was a heat advisory in the Northeast that weekend and it was really hot and humid. We were dying by the time we got to the National Constitution Center and all we wanted to do was go in and cool down, but they weren't open yet for the day. We could see the condensation on the building doors and we knew it was nice and cold inside but we were out of luck.


We didn't have enough time to go inside Independence Hall for a tour, but we did tour the grounds. It is always great to visit a spot with so much history. We peeked in at the Liberty Bell and the visitor center had some great info on Benjamin Franklin. 

The game on Sunday wasn't as much fun as the game on Saturday. It was really hot, we were seated by all Philly fans with lots of young children that had no interest in watching the game, and the Braves lost - boo! At one point during the game McCann ran from 1st to 3rd base and it looked like he was going to pass out at 3rd - it was just too hot to be out there on the field!

After the game we hung out in Rittenhouse Square and had some food before the Amtrak ride home.