Mr. and Ms. S&C recently took a short trip to Philadelphia. We visited the city of brotherly love to catch the Neil Young and Wilco concert at the old Spectrum arena. Before the show (which was awesome), the mister and missus stopped off at two places that couldn’t be more different. Our first stop was Midtown II, the quintessential dive bar. It is a 24-hour, greasy-spoon type of place, that’s dirt cheap, and where you’re not too far removed from the grittier side of Philly. And, it has a jukebox. I love bars with jukeboxes. It is also the type of place that doesn’t serve a garnish in your gin and tonic. Mr. S&C is usually the one to seek out these bars, and I’m so glad he does. While I don’t get the off-the-charts inventive cocktail, I get a strong cocktail. And, I get a lot of atmosphere.
After a few drinks at Midtown II, we headed to its antithesis, Continental. Continental is an upscale diner plus martini bar. It has an extensive cocktail menu, and it is place where the beautiful people go. While the people are not nearly as interesting, we had a great bartender and really good drinks. I started off with a Side Car, a classic I’m loving right now. Then, I had a Pimm’s Cup with champagne. Mr. S&C had a refreshing Tom Collins and a martini with a blue cheese stuffed olive.
Side Car (circa 1922)
- Lemon juice
- Served with a sugar rimmed glass
Pimm’s Cup (circa 1823)
- Pimm’s no. 1
- Ginger Ale
- Slice of cucumber
Tom Collins (circa 1902)
- Lemon juice
- Simple syrup
- Topped with club soda
- Zyr vodka
- Blue cheese stuffed olive
The remainder of the trip had nothing to do with shoes and cocktails, but it was a great time, so I’ll share it nonetheless. The next morning, we headed to Reading Terminal Market for breakfast and a little gift shopping. It is must-see attraction when you’re in Philly. It is an extraordinary farmer’s market with fresh produce, baked goods, meats, crafts, etc. Lots of Amish specialties and ethnic vendors too. Next, we went to the Rodin Museum, which holds his largest collection outside of the Paris museum. I never get tired of looking at the Gates of Hell and The Burghers of Calais, and was able to see a new sculpture, The Martyr – all so haunting and tragic. Rodin was a genius.
We saved our grocery shopping until we got to the Italian Market in South Philly, where I picked up ingredients for lasagna: fresh pasta, fresh mozzerella, Sicilian sausage — everything needed for the best lasagna I’ve ever made. Then, we capped off our trip with an authentic Philly Cheesesteak at Pat’s.
A lot was accomplished in the 24 hours we were there. And, I would go back to every single stop next time.