Archive for the ‘Philadelphia, PA’ Category

Darwin, Discovered - Xiao Long Bao (Dim Sum Garden)

Dim Sum Garden
59 North 11th Street, Reading Terminal/Market East

As frequent visitors of New York City, we always make a point to grab some xiaolongbao (Shanghai soup dumplings) whilst playing in the concrete jungle. When we heard there was a place that served the same in Philly, naturally, we had to check it out.

Located in an underpass nearby Reading Terminal Market, Dim Sum Garden is a small hole-in-the-wall conjuring up memories of Chinatown NYC (or really anywhere, for that matter). Set with small Ikea plastic tables and chairs (some of which have seen better days), the layout was open enough that you didn’t feel like you were dining with strangers, despite its size (a common occurrence in NYC).

Read More

The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co.
112 S 18th St, Rittenhouse Square

Franklin Mortgage Investment Co. - Gordian Knot  Franklin Mortgage Investment Co. - Battle of Blythe Road
Left: Gordian Knot; Right: Battle of Blythe Road

Stepping back in time,  Franklin Mortgage Investment Company is a Prohibition-era speakeasy tucked away amongst the bars and restaurants on 18th Street. It has received numerous accolades for serving up some of the best cocktails in the city, so we decided to investigate.

Read More

Ray’s Cafe and Teahouse
141 9th Street, Chinatown

darwindiscovered_philly2013_rayscafe04

When I think about siphon brewed coffee, images of handlebar mustaches, skinny jeans, and plaid come to mind. Chinatown? Not so much. D and I desperately needed a place to recharge, and since Yelp does not lie…into this cozy establishment we went. Ray’s boasts an impressive line up of beans, including Jamaican Blue Mountain, Hawaiian Royal Kona, and a variety of blends. I selected the Japanese charcoal roast (sumiyaki) and spent the next 30 minutes in a state of caffeinated bliss. The cup and saucer! The chocolate/sprinkle dipped madeline cookie on a doily (sprinkles are key)! The eensy weensy cream pitcher! Here’s the best part…the cream remained untouched because the coffee was that smooth. At $7.50 a cup, I wouldn’t make this a daily habit, but for a pick-me-up experience it was worth every penny.

Ray's Cafe and Teahouse, Philadelphia, PA

 Ray's Cafe and Teahouse, Philadelphia, PA  Ray's Cafe and Teahouse, Philadelphia, PA
Not a java fiend? The bubble tea was perfectly creamy, the tapioca balls just the right amount of chewy. Hungry for more? The food at other tables smelled delectable, and I also hear it’s BYOB. Service is friendly and quick. Give this place a go.

More posts in our 48 Hours in Philly series:

Philly Sips: La Colombe Torrefaction
Philly Sups: Pat’s vs. Geno’s
Philly Stay: Radisson Plaza- Warwick Hotel Philadelphia (Hotel Review)
Philly Sips: Ray’s Cafe and Teahouse
Philly Sips: The Franklin Mortgage Investment Co. 
Philly Sups: Dim Sum Garden

darwindiscovered_philly2013-8-2 darwindiscovered_philly2013-7-2Hidden behind giant scaffolding on 17th street, just off of main thoroughfare Chestnut Street lays the Radisson Plaza – Warwick Hotel. Since the majority of our sightseeing and gluttony occurred in close proximity to the (somewhat) trendier Rittenhouse Square neighborhood, the Radisson’s address was ideal. Did the hotel match up to the expectations established by its location?

Read More