Philly food is so much more than cheesesteaks. Let us show you.
We’ve known 22nd and Philly’s Kristy and Bradd for years. I don’t quite remember how we met, but I’m fairly certain it had something to do with Philadelphia food, since we’re always running into each other at food events or talking about our food experiences. We’ve also got a love of travel and running in common, so there are plenty of reasons we get along. That, and they’re both awesome. They know as much about the local food as anyone we’ve met, so take their suggestions seriously!
How long have you been part of the food scene in Philadelphia, and what drew you to it?
We are the husband/wife team behind www.22ndandPhilly.com. We conceived the blog while sitting outside at D’Angelo’s Italian restaurant one night in 2008, loading up on carbs before the Broad Street Run. We realized that we went out to eat in Philly every weekend (and sometimes during the week) but didn’t have any way to keep track of where we ate, what we liked, etc. And when friends asked for recommendations, we had to dig deep into our brains to remember.
22nd & Philly became the written account of two young professionals living in Center City and constantly looking for new, fun restaurants, bars, lunch spots and more to explore. Over the years, as our own understanding of the important role that food plays in bringing together families and communities evolved, Philly’s food scene was exploding into an endless menu of top quality and culturally interesting food opportunities. We decided to focus not just on basic reviews but give readers a view into the real experiences they can have throughout the food scene in Philadelphia. We are not trained food critics, wine snobs or professional journalists. We’ll just tell you where we eat, share how we feel about it, and offer helpful tips to maximize your experience.
In addition to blog posts each week, we really encourage people to follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook where we post nearly every day with photos and quick tidbits on all sorts of delicious bites around Philly, or wherever we travel.
Philadelphia is a sandwich town, so in addition to reviewing restaurants, we often write about all the great sandwiches here. And that’s more than just cheesesteaks! There are so many excellent hoagies, roast pork and other sandwiches. We are also very passionate about Italian cooking/restaurants because of Bradd’s heritage and family focus on cooking. He created a series of posts called the “Nana Test” to compare Philly’s many great Italian BYOBs to the experience of his grandmother’s cooking at home.
What is your perfect day of Philly food – breakfast, lunch, and dinner?
Our perfect day of Philly food would start at Beiler’s donuts in Reading Terminal Market for breakfast. At only $.90 per donut, just get a half dozen so you can try several kinds. And make sure the warm apple fritter and salted caramel are among them. For lunch, we’d definitely go for a sandwich. Either we’d use Twitter to track down Spot Burger, one of Philly’s awesome food trucks, to get their cheesesteak (you read that right), or we’d head right to Paesano’s in the Italian Market for a lasagna bolognese sandwich. Finally, for dinner we’d grab a bottle of wine and hop in the car to Collingswood, NJ, for a fantastic Italian BYOB meal at Zeppoli. It’s so easy to get there and the best Italian food around, but reservations are needed. If we preferred to stay in the city, we’d aim for Zahav or Vernick.
If you only had $10 to spend on a single food item in Philadelphia, what would you get?
No contest, we’d head straight to John’s Roast Pork for a cheesesteak. It costs $7.25, but if you’d loan is an extra $2 we’d get a $5 roast pork sandwich, too!
What would you consider your “local” – the place you visit most often?
Our local joint has been Pub & Kitchen for years. We’ve lived in the neighborhood for almost 7 years now and always find it a great place to sit outside in nice weather or cozy up to the bar during winter. This spring our baby shower was held in P&K’s upstairs private room. The brunch buffet was excellent, mimosas flowed freely and the shabby chic ambiance was perfect for the affair.
Where would you take an out-of-towner to get a true taste of Philadelphia?
We always take visitors to Reading Terminal Market for a taste of Philadelphia: a hoagie from Salumeria, a roast pork sandwich from DiNic’s, a cheesesteak stuffed pretzel from Miller’s Twist and/or a Bassetts ice cream cone will do the trick, depending on how much you can eat!
What is your favorite food or drink event in Philly?
Our favorite gastronomic event is Philly Beer Week. We have made some great memories over the last few years meeting brewers from around the world, trying new beers, going on epic beer tours with friends/family and enjoying the beer gardens. Philly should be proud to host such a massive event – the largest of its kind in the U.S. – that brings people together to share good times and great beer.
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