Saturday, February 20, 2010

Beauty is in the mouth of the beholder.

Philadelphia is but a hop, skip, and a jump from New York City. It's a deafeningly easy day trip to make by bus (with tickets as low as $8!). Yet yesterday was my first real trip to Center City (outside of a couple of dips into the neighborhood around the train station on the way to visit my parents in the 'burbs).

If you'd told me about Reading Terminal Market you might have gotten me to the city sooner. It's a cavernous, warehouse-sized space full of vendors selling food (ready-to eat and ready-to-cook), books, candies, and sundries. It's similar to Zern's, also in Pennsylvania, but there is a much greater emphasis on food at the Terminal Market, which is more like a giant food court with a few other shops sprinkled in.

Dan and I were a little enchanted by a crowded seating area near the entrance, where an older lady sat behind an upright piano and played live music for the people shopping, talking, and eating. It just so happened that we were also near, and stumbled upon, Miller's Twist, a booth of Amish-capped women (and one man) hand-rolling, cooking, and serving fresh pretzels and pretzel-wrapped sausages.

As you can see from the video above, my pretzel-wrapped turkey cheddar sausage was not particularly photogenic, but, man, I tell you. It was filling, hot, and delicious. Even better, the just-made soft pretzel Dan ordered to go with my sausage (and his Philly Cheesesteak-wrapped-in-pretzel) was the perfect combination of soft, tender, chewy and bready, with an out-of-this-world, buttery flavor.

The lemonade was a bit sweeter than I normally like it, but at this point, who cares? I'm all about the pretzels. They sure beat the soft pretzels I ate at Towne East mall in Wichita, KS when I visited Grandma K. as a child (sorry, Grandma).

For goodness' sake. I'm still thinking about them. Amazing.

Grandma, I wish you could have been there.

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