June 29, 2012

Summer Salad with Calamari

It's summer. It's hot.  Sometimes we just don't feel like putting in a lot of effort slaving over the stove to get dinner on the table.  Inspired by many of the salads in A Homemade Life, we decided to keep things simple one night last week while still experimenting a bit by including a new-to-our-kitchen protein: calamari.

My tubular friend. That I ate.

There are three easy steps involved in putting this salad together- the dressing, the base, and the protein.  A put me in charge of making the dressing, which actually has more ingredients than the salad itself.  I soaked two chopped garlic cloves in a few tablespoons of rice vinegar for a few minutes before whisking in the juice and zest of one lemon, a small handful of chopped Italian herbs (parsley, thyme, and oregano), two teaspoons of honey and a 1/3 of a cup of olive oil.  Nothing out of the ordinary- just a great basic dressing with a well-balanced flavor profile.

While I put together the dressing, A assembled the base of the salad.  Because there are only a few ingredients, they all need to provide something special.  A bag of baby arugula provided a subtly spicy background flavor that added a lot of body.  We also picked up a pricey tub of goat milk feta from DiBruno's- this cheese was a fusion of a typical harder, salty Feta and the softer, crumbly mild goat cheese that I know and love.  Any high quality mild cheese would work here, depending on what you have on hand or what you like.

 To punch up the flavor of a carton of grape tomatoes, we sauteed them in olive oil and a sprinkle of salt until they started to soften- about five minutes.  This enhances the natural sweetness of the tomatoes and takes out the sometimes startling "popping" characteristic.

I also prepped the calamari itself.  We purchased pre-cleaned tubes of squid, but there are plenty of tutorials on how to gut clean and disassemble a whole squid for cooking.  All I had to do was chop the tubes into half-inch rings.  The meat is pretty tough- some recipes calling for a few light tenderizing pounds with a kitchen mallet- but a sharp knife was all I needed.

After the tomatoes came out of the pan, we threw the calamari in and added half a lemons worth of juice.  The rings puff up like pasta and took on a white color- the cooking process is extremely quick.  Overcooking causes the calamari to be tough and chewy; these needed no more than three to four minutes at medium heat.

Assemble the three components, add a thick slice of toasted and buttered bread (we recommend an extra seedy variety for some added crunch) and dinner is on the table.  No oven, minimal prep and stove work, 15 minutes max.

Everything played a supporting role in building a fantastic meal- tender calamari, sweet tomatoes, salty creamy cheese, and spicy greens.  A little acid and an herbal component from the dressing tied everything together.  Cooking the calamari was a breeze, and it's a relatively cheap source of protein (three dollars for three servings?) that adds a little flare of uniqueness to this summery salad.  We're definitely keeping some easy salads in mind during summer meal planning!

June 25, 2012


We've been running around the entire month of June, which has left us no time for actual sit-down restaurant meals.  This past weekend was no different, as we spent a few days in New Jersey with a brief trip to NYC.  Our initial goal was to grab a quick dinner from a food truck on our way out, but many of them close early on Friday.  However, our needs were met by the newly opened Honeygrow.  Located at the corner of 16th and Sansom Streets, this fast casual spot is helping to fill the widening niche of quick, local/organic, healthy food to go.

"Keep Calm and Grow On"
While the seating area of Honeygrow is spacious enough to fit a few dozen, it seems the majority of their business (at least in the early evening) is for those of us who are eating on the run.  The ordering process took me quite some time, as the touchscreen machines were really entertaining.  They prompt you to begin your order by choosing one of the three main items sold at Honeygrow- salads, stir frys, and cold drinks.  A sort of random combination, but honestly, it works.  Want a hot meal? Get a stir fry. Interested in fulfilling your vegetable quota for the day? Pick a salad.  Need a quick, healthy snack? A smoothie fits the bill.

Honeygrow has some pre-set combinations for each of the three main offerings, but you're welcome to switch out, add, or subtract any of the other ingredients they have on hand, or create your own-- all of which is very easy to do through the ordering machine.  Pictures and descriptions help guide you, and carefully track your order along the way.

Once your order is complete and you've paid (just swipe your credit card), your food is prepared at the appropriate "station."  Two small problems popped up: first, the smoothie I had ordered included mango, but I was called up and informed that the mango that day was a bit underripe.  The employee offered to substitute whichever fruit I liked-- ensuring I had a quality drink.  A minute later, I was handed two boxes at the stir-fry counter, though I had only ordered one.  A mixup had clearly occurred, which was quickly caught and the stir-fryer insisted on correcting the mistake.  However, I was fine with taking two "wrong" meals instead of my one correct order, but the honest and sincere apologies were much appreciated.

Fruit for smoothies and the "honeybar": three types of honey
My salad of choice was the "Kantan," a mix of a huge variety of veggies- cucumbers, radishes, scallions, carrots, bamboo shoots, red onion, orange slices, and bell peppers, topped with crispy wontons and roasted shrimp ($10).  I loved the variety of colors and flavors involved, but knew the red onion and bamboo shoots wouldn't fly with J, so opted to substitute avocado and grape tomatoes instead-- at no extra charge.

The salad is made in a large mixing bowl before being packed into a plastic container, ensuring even distribution of all the ingredients.  Honeygrow offers seemingly endless dressing choices, and even gives you the option of light, heavy, or on the side.  I opted for the Green Goddess, on the side.  Definitely one of the funnest salads I've had in awhile-- and while the price was a little steep, it would be WAY more expensive to buy each of the ingredients involved.  Plus, it's enormous!

I initially ordered the Smoked Oyster Stir Fry, but opted to get a spicier sauce (each sauce has a clearly indicated heat level).  Instead, I was given the Smoked Oyster with its original sauce, as well as the Spicy Garlic Stir Fry (the name of the sauce and the fry are the same, causing the confusion).  In the SGSF, bell peppers, bamboo shoots, onions, broccoli, and chunks of free range chicken breast are tossed with a pile of egg noodles, parsley, and of course, the spicy sauce.

They hit that range of flavor that I have a hard time recreating at home, giving every bite just the right amount of garlicky, gingery heat.  The veggies are all well cooked, but the chicken seemed a little tough.  I imagine they don't cook the meat to order (that would take forever!), but they could be a bit more careful not to overcook it.  Even so, I was definitely happy they messed up my order so I could try this combination on the house.

The Smoked Oyster Stir Fry ($9.75) has several of our favorite ingredients, including scallions, meaty shitake mushrooms, bok choy, and eggplant, again mixed with egg noodles, but featuring "naturally raised" pork.  The vegetables were the real star here, although as with the Spicy Garlic, the sauce shone through as well.

A bit more on the soupy side, the dark, thick sauce gave a deep, salty richness to the whole box- I do think that this sauce belongs with these ingredients.  Unfortunately, overcooked meat was once again a problem, ruining the flavor of what I am sure is high-quality pork.  I honestly could make a meatless dish here, save a few dollars, and enjoy my meal just the same!  On that note, you can also order your meal with rice noodles or brown rice if you're gluten free.

We ended our meal on a sweet note, sharing one of the best smoothies I've had in a long time ($4).  The concoction I initially ordered contained mango, pineapple, fresh mint, and fresh ginger, and blended with ice, would have been a tropical treat.  However, I opted to add in both strawberries and blueberries instead of the mango, and the flavor combination actually worked well.  The berries provided their sweetness, while the pineapple added some tartness.  The mint and ginger gave it an extra depth of flavor, and made it even more refreshing.

For a quick dinner, Honeygrow really hit the spot.  In and out in under ten minutes (most of which was spent studying the touchscreen), and with packaging that made it easy to eat on the run.  If I worked in Center City, this would definitely go on my list of lunch spots- and I can see many smoothie runs on the horizon.  With just a few items offered, it's incredible how much variety they offer, and the fact that many of their ingredients are local and organic make the slightly higher prices worth it.

1601 Sansom Street

June 19, 2012

Shake Shack

I bet no one is surprised that we're writing about Shake Shack.  Between our recent obsession with burgers and the fact that Shake Shack's cult following is just ripe for the blogging... well, it wasn't open long before we made plans to check it out.

Thankfully in the early evening on a Monday, the line was pretty short, barely extending beyond the door.  A friend of ours happened to walk by and hopped right to the front of the "VIP line" as he called it (actually the "C line" available for anyone ordering only custard or other cold items).  We probably waited in the regular line about ten minutes before placing our order.

While we snaked through the short line, we checked out the menu taking up up one giant wall of the front of the restaurant. Shake Shack actually keeps it relatively simple- a few burgers, a few dogs, fries, shakes, and custard.  Their most interesting offering is called a "Concrete"- a thick custard with fun and creative mix-in combinations.

Although Shake Shack is undoubtedly most well known for its original location in New York City, Philly's Shake Shack definitely plays up its newest home with personalized messages, Philly-themed Concretes and even t-shirts (LOVE shirt not shown).  One of the rotating custard flavors is "Coffee and Donuts," made with La Colombe coffee and doughnuts from Federal Donuts.  Please and thank you.

After placing our order, we snagged a table and waited with our Cheesecake Factory-style buzzer.  Unfortunately, cold and hot items are not prepared in the same time frame, meaning our ice cream was pretty soupy by the time the burgers were ready.

We were able to ignore the soup situation and dig right into the piping hot sandwiches.  I ordered the single Shack Burger- a pretty normal rendition of a cheeseburger with the addition of secret Shake sauce ($4.55).

We requested the meat to be cooked rare (options are rare, medium, and well-done with medium being the standard.)  The meat was certainly cooked to order, with a seriously pink center that extended right to the edge of the patty.  The patty itself isn't very big, but it has that quirky handmade shape that peeked out from within the egg-washed bun.  I really loved the flavor of the meat, the Shake sauce (apparently a blend of ketchup, mustard, pickles, and a few spices), and the fresh hit of lettuce and tomato.   This was a solid cheeseburger- a good melty cheese, meat cooked to order, not oversalted- my only real complaint was that I could eat my half in just a few bites.

The other burger we tried was the Shake Stack, a Shack Burger with the addition of a cheese-infused deep fried giant portobello mushroom ($8.60).  You can also order a 'Shroom Burger as a vegetarian option, so this is really like two burgers in one.

The mushroom is filled with Muenster and cheddar cheese, creating a Giant Cheesy Mess when cut in half.  A little internet detective work suggests that this is actually two mushrooms sandwiching a bunch of cheese, explaining the science behind the GCM.  I actually thought the additional American cheese on the meat was overkill, but the juicy and crunchy portobello(s) added a ton of flavor and texture- our unanimous favorite.

Of course we're huge custard fans (sorry for cheating on you Rita's!) so we ordered a couple of half Concrete's- mostly because we couldn't decide between two of the flavor combinations. The half-serving was the perfect amount for one, but maybe not a great deal at $4.25.

First up was the "Center City Pretzel"- vanilla custard with chunks of soft pretzel, caramel and marshmallow sauces, and bananas.  We loved the vanilla and banana combination but the pretzel chunks were soggy and stale at the same time- it didn't quite work here.  The degree of meltedness probably didn't help, nor did it really seem like the thick custard we're accustomed to- much more like ice cream.

There was no way I was ignoring the Rittenhouse-Squared, a mix of chocolate custard, La Colombe coffee beans, coffee marshmallow sauce (what the...??) and chocolate truffle cookie dough.  Everything about this was fantastic- the coffee flavor really stood out and gave a decent amount of crunch.  The cookie dough was blended in pretty well- a few chunks would have been nice- but it gave it an extra dimension of chocolate-y richness.

We ate with a few burger connoisseur friends, and the general consensus was that Shake Shack is a bit overrated.  I'm not sure how a place with so much hype behind it could possibly NOT be overrated, but I personally felt that I got a solid meal for a decent price.  Had I waited more than a half hour, I might not feel the same way.  There was some comparison with other fast-food burger options (primarily Five Guys) which has some legitimacy.  However, the quality of the meat and the ability to order a cooking temperature makes a significant difference in my eyes.  If the line isn't out the door, I'd hop back in it anytime!

Shake Shack
2000 Sansom Street

June 12, 2012


Even though we love exploring the entire city, it's always fun when we acquire a new neighbor.  A new food-producing neighbor is the best kind of neighbor!  Formerly the little pop-in-and-take-out Pad Thai Shack, the narrow storefront on 18th and Sansom was reconfigured by Nicole Marquis (hence, Marquis & Co on the logo), who formerly ran the amazing but now defunct Horizons.  Now the spot is known as HipCityVeg, and the concept is a vegan, fast food joint based squarely on plant materials.

Most of the customers are coming in to grab food to go, as seating space offers only four two-top tables and a tiny counter.  Each of the three times I've visited I've noticed a LOT of traffic.  Thankfully, they are quick and efficient- get you in, get your order plugged into the iPad with the cashier, and in a few short minutes, you're out with a bag of food.

The menu offers a good range of eats for such a tiny place- primarily salads and sandwiches, but also smoothies, several dessert options, and some fun drinks.  Prices are a bit steep, but considering the quality and range of ingredients you're paying for-- as well as the all-plant-based compostable packaging- I'm OK with sucking it up and paying a few extra bucks.

We placed our order for a few dinner items, but chose to get a "Groothie" to split as we waited ($4.50).  A smoothie concoction served out of a fun frozen drink machine, the ingredients inside can vary a bit but usually contain the staples of kale, apples, and bananas.  On our visit, we got the added bonus of pineapple.  Together, they blend up into a deliciously smooth and refreshing sweet treat.  A little pricey, as I will probably continue to point out, but on par for other nearby smoothie makers such as Pure Fare and Jar Bar.

HipCity is completely vegan, but vegan doesn't have to equal healthy!  I honestly feel like most of the offerings would be satisfying for vegetarians, vegans, and meat eaters alike (22nd & Philly found a veggie sandwich that may finally live up to it's meat counterparts!).  Sweet potato fries are a popular side option here- crispy, salty sticks that come with an interesting sauce, a cilantro black bean concoction ($4).  A great flavor combination with the sweet potatoes, but honestly I think I just prefer regular ketchup.  Still, this was a decent sized portion that is great for sharing.

As I'd already tackled the HipCity Ranch (still my favorite menu item), and the Tofu Curry Wrap (also fantastic) on previous visits, I felt the Buffalo Bella was the third most delicious sounding sandwich option ($8.50).  Many of the sandwiches are served on the same bun- a round, fluffy, almost overwhelmingly large one.  The Bella doesn't have a faux meat product, but instead is filled with crispy fried portobellas- can't go wrong there.

Served with thinly sliced tomato and a creamy celery slaw, the sandwich is almost certainly modeled after the typical buffalo hot wing in terms of flavor profile.  Unfortunately, I think they forgot the addition of buffalo sauce- it wasn't spicy and was missing that vinegar kick.  Good, but definitely would have been better with more sauce and a little less bread.

Shrooms, no sauce.
We debated between several of the other menu items, but I pushed for an order of the Udon Noodle Salad, as the ingredients list sounds phenomenal ($9).  Spicy "chick'n" strips are grilled to a crisp and have a really meaty flavor and texture-- seriously.  A lot of faux meats are nothing at ALL like meat, but here they do an excellent job fooling my tastebuds.  The salad underneath consists of spicy arugula, lots of udon noodles, shredded carrots and cabbage, some sprouts and a little daikon radish all tossed in a thin sweet and salty black bean dressing.  Just as I was expecting, a great ratio of different flavors, textures, as well as healthy/non-healthy ingredients.  Plenty of noodles to fill you up, but also lots of greens for added crunch and nutrients.  A complete meal in a bowl-- and for less than $10.

Seeing as I've been here three times since they opened two months ago, they must be doing something right.  Perhaps it's the trifecta of location, flavor, and speed (plus added bonus of lots of veggies!), but whatever it is, they've got me hooked.  Every time I walk by I wonder why I didn't make plans for a pit stop- and I can tell I'm not the only one!

127 S. 18th Street

June 8, 2012

The Ivy House

Home for a long weekend means plenty of catching up with family and enjoying the sticky Florida sunshine.  We combined both with a promise to our mom for a belated Mother's Day gift- lunch at a restaurant of her choice.  She chose one of her favorites- The Ivy House, a down-home Southern restaurant situated in a classic two-story country home, complete with wrap-around porch.  

Invited in with a "How are ya'll doin' today?", we claimed a table in one of the front rooms downstairs.  A short list of specials accompanies a relatively simple lunch menu- this place knows what they're good at and they stick to it.

I couldn't turn down the opportunity for a glass of ice-cold "Good Ole Southern Ice Tea" ($1.79), served in a goblet with that perfect pelleted crushed ice and plenty of sugar.  A glass of this might kill a diabetic, but for me it hit the spot.

My mom didn't even need to look at the menu, ordering the "Baked Krispy Chicken" ($9.99) off the list of specials.    The thin chicken breast coated in Rice Krispies and baked to juicy perfection is a staple, but the sides it is served with change frequently.  The plate reminds me of my plate at Thanksgiving- a little scoop of just about everything.  A small green salad, the end of a baked sweet potato, a slice of cornbread casserole, a buttery roll, baked okra, southern style white beans, and a creamy penne mac n' cheese... a real Southern meal.  At first I was turned off by their seeming indecisiveness, but getting to try so many different things in one meal is pretty special.

Another dish on the specials menu caught my eye- the fried shrimp spinach wrap.  There was a real identity crisis here- the large green salad and spinach wrap (c'mon, it has spinach in it!) say "healthy!" but the huge chunks of battered and fried shrimp and thick smear of mayonnaise say quite the opposite.  The contradiction was quite delicious- a light and fresh batch of veggies alongside a good bit of decadence.

The fried shrimp were incredible- seriously enormous and perfectly fried- and the combination of the soft tortilla, crunchy lettuce ribs, and creamy mayo was a great mix of textures and flavors.

A's Gourmet Turkey Croissant ($9.59) also came with a generous garden salad- romaine lettuce, shredded purple cabbage, and tiny bits of tomato. The house dressing is a subtly sweet, thick raspberry vinaigrette.  The croissant sandwich was terrific- we traded each other half as per usual- the flaky croissant mushing down to meld thickly sliced turkey with cranberry sauce.  Sweet and salty and the perfect size for lunch- another light meal that still seems indulgent.

With the motto "Come on Home It's Supper Time," the ambiance, service, and most importantly, the food at the Ivy House really make you feel like you're eating at home- nothing too fancy, plenty of comfort food, and lots of Southern goodness.  The front porch is so inviting- a little less humidity and I'd be dining there in a heartbeat.  I'm sure we'll be back next time we make the trip home!

The Ivy House
Alachua, FL

June 4, 2012

Burger Club: Frankford Hall

This month's Burger Club meeting brought us to the other side of town, a fun little adventure to Fishtown and Frankford Hall.  It takes a lot to get me out on a weeknight, particularly when it requires a long trek, but this meeting was worth it.  If you haven't been yet, Frankford is one of the coolest places to hang out in the city- let alone as a food or drink destination.

A large, airy indoor space complete with foosball and table tennis leads you to an enormous courtyard packed with picnic tables.  In the summer, you've got the occasional umbrella up to block the sun, and in the winter, you've got heater after heater to keep the space temperate.  To order food, just pop on over to the counter outside, place your order, and a waiter will bring your food over as soon as it's ready.

Frankford Hall is styled after the German bierhall, and according to others, is pretty authentic.  The menu reflects lots of German influence, including soft pretzels (one regular size, one twice the size of my face), spatzle, a variety of brats and sausages, and even a liverwurst sandwich.  The burger menu makes its way outside of the German style, lending a short but solid list of options.

The choice that caught my eye was the Atlantic "Lachs" burger, which technically isn't a burger at all, and almost got me kicked out of the club.  A seared salmon patty is full of bits of scallions and onion, and topped with crunchy, vinegary pickled red onion, spicy arugula, and a touch of tartar sauce ($11).  It's also supposed to come with a few slices of avocado, but ours sadly came without.

The patty was a little bit dry and rather flavorless, and wasn't saved by the toppings.  I will say that the onion was awesome but overwhelmed the rest of the ingredients.  Definitely not worth almost losing burger privileges! 

Each of the burgers comes on a small, soft, sesame studded Martin's potato roll, and typically comes served with fries.  However, I felt that the cucumber salad would be a good complement to the salmon, so substituted it in (for no extra charge!).  Definitely the highlight of my meal- I can't decide if this says more about how little I like the burgers or how much I loved this salad.  Thinly sliced cukes are tossed with slivers of red onion, fresh dill, and a delicious sour cream sauce.  The combination is refreshing and really satisfying- and for some odd reason, reminded me of McDonald's secret sauce.

The "big guy" on the burger menu is called the Kanzler, which essentially is the German equivalent of President.  A dry-aged beef patty (about 6 ounces?), grilled bacon (still pondering how you grill bacon), gruyere, and balsamic soaked caramelized onions are all piled onto the Martin's bun ($12).  All the components you might expect for a solid burger, but this isn't worthy of it's title.  Was it bad?  Definitely not.  But it wasn't something we would order again.  The combination of the slightly oversalted meat and the salt content of each of the added toppings left us... thirsty.  The meat was high quality, but overcooked (a request for medium came out well done).

The side of fries was generous, a good sized portion to split.  Long enough to dip into the curry ketchup (apparently a very German thing) but it seems you either like this combination or you don't.  We're still on the fence-- we like ketchup and we like curry, but for some reason the marriage of the two didn't hit the spot the way American ketchup does.

The fun atmosphere at Frankford Hall will forever be calling our name, but next time we stop by I'll be jonesing for some potato pancakes or a brat, not the burger.  We think we might have been forever spoiled by the Supper burger, so perhaps our criticism should be taken with that in mind, but we certainly don't think these were worth the trip.  Thankfully, enjoying the sunshine, seeing friends, and of course, the cucumber salad, were!

Frankford Hall
1210 Frankford Avenue

June 1, 2012

Citizens Bank Park

There's nothing that says summertime quite like catching a Phillies game at Citizens Bank Park.  I was lucky enough to fill in for A's fiance and watch Halladay get injured pitch against the Nationals last week.  Even though we didn't win, it was an exciting game- getting to know some of the new guys (loved the Kratz home run!) and seeing Chooch get ejected.

Even though it was Dollar Dog Night (gag), CBP is actually quite well-known for their array of ballpark food, rating at or near the top of many a ranking.  There are sit-down options, enormous sandwiches, plenty of vegetarian offerings, and of course all the staples- hot dogs, peanuts, and pretzels.

We made it to the game with time to peruse some of the options, purchase some dinner, and snag some standing room only space along the first base line all before the first pitch.  We usually enter the ballpark at the Third Base Gate, and one of the first food carts to appear is the Panini's stand right outside gate 133.

The options here are pretty slim- either chicken pesto or an "Italian Market" panini, each for $10.  I couldn't turn down capicola and pepperoncinis, so I went with the latter.  The bored looking guy manning the stand handed me a pre-made, foil wrapped brick from a warming drawer- for ten bucks, you sure get a weighty sandwich.

The bread actually maintains a good amount of crispiness from its perhaps-long-ago rendezvous with the panini press.  Layers of capicola, pepperoni, and Genoa salami are smothered in melted provolone with a bit of red onion and tomato to accompany all that meat and cheese.  There was plenty going on in this sandwich to make it interesting, but it was a little too intense (and heavy..) for me to consider eating the whole thing.  However, this would be a great option for a meat-loving dude- and certainly a good value as ballpark food goes.

Right around the corner, on the other side of home plate near section 122, is another crazy good deal.  For $8.75, Cantina Fresco sells a hefty serving of BBQ nachos (shredded chicken or pork).  You can also get vegetarian Ancho Chile Nachos and several types of tacos.  There are tons of topping options for the nachos as well- these aren't just chips and cheese!

A went all-in with the toppings- tomatoes, salsa, black beans, a thin guacamole, extra pickled jalapenos, and shredded cheddar, followed by an unfortunate dousing of nacho cheese around the rim of the bowl.  Between the shredded BBQ-sauce soaked pork, the pile of toppings, and the pound of gooey cheese, this could serve as a hearty snack for a four-person family.

However, it also serves just as well for a dinner, especially after most of the nacho cheese has been removed.  The BBQ pork has a sweet sauce- I'd prefer spicy with a bit more vinegar- but these are easily the most serious nachos I've ever eaten.  Don't forget a fork- the weight and juiciness of the meat turns the bottom layer into somewhat of a chip graveyard, but it's still plenty tasty.

After several innings of cheering, we wandered over to "Dessert Alley," the unofficial name for the sugary area of sweets and treats near Section 140 (right next to the Left Field Gate). The options are spread over three purveyors- the funnel cake stand, Turkey Hill Ice Cream (which also sells Gina's cupcakes and bags of mini-donuts), and a burger stand that also does milkshakes and ice cream sundaes.

We opted to split some ice cream in it's most fun mode of delivery- the helmet cup.  For $6 you get a mini red plastic Phillies helmet packed with your choice of ice cream flavor.  Other flavor options are offered in a full pint for a quarter more.

While we waited in line, I checked out Gina's cupcakes- next time I need to try the cannoli flavored cake, topped with crumbled pastry, chocolate chips, and powdered sugar.  For less than $5, you can also get a bag filled with mini cinnamon & sugar donuts- another great option for a family.

We decided to try the cookies & cream- a vanilla based ice cream blended with chocolate wafer cookies (dare I say Oreos?).  I'm not sure I've ever had Turkey Hill, but we were very impressed with the quality.  Extremely light, easily scoopable, with an almost fluffy texture and of course plenty of frozen, creamy sweetness.  It took us the better part of the 8th inning to get through this!

We've always been a little hesitant to eat at the ballpark, preferring to eat at home before the game or just pack some snacks (I do need to remember the sunflower seeds for next time!).  However, our venture through a miniscule portion of the offerings at CBP have us excited to go back and check out even more.  It was surprisingly affordable and far exceeded our typical expectations of ballpark food.  Go Phillies!