This Thanksgiving, We’re Thankful For: The Foodie’s Philadelphia

(Photo courtesy of Amada)
(Photos by J. Smith and G. Widman)
The Arroz de Langosta dish at Jose Garces' Amada, Tacconelli's Pizza and pie at Reading Terminal Market: Delicious from start to finish. (Photos courtesy of Amada, by J. Smith and G. Widman)

For the third installment of our Thanksgiving series, the spotlight’s on: Food, glorious food! Thanksgiving isn’t just about what’s on the dinner table — but boy, are we thankful for it. And we thank our lucky stars that Philadelphia is sheer gustatory paradise.

Dear Foodies,

Two words. Come hungry.

1. The James Beard Foundation has awarded Best Chef honors to Susanna Foo, Georges Perrier, Jose Garces, Marc Vetri, Jean-Marie Lacroix and Guillermo Pernot.

2. Kennett Square, the mushroom capital of the world, produces about 25% of the nation’s entire mushroom crop.

3. Taking advantage of ideal growing conditions, 27 wineries flourish throughout the Philadelphia region.

4. The Italian Market is the world’s oldest and largest outdoor market.

(From left) Open-air dining at BYOB Mercato; and the fried cauliflower at Zahav. (Photos by G. Widman and by J. Varney for Zahav)
(From left) Open-air dining at BYOB Mercato; and the fried cauliflower at Zahav. (Photos by G. Widman and by J. Varney for Zahav)

5. One of the nation’s oldest and finest working farmers’ markets, Reading Terminal Market houses more than 80 merchants, including Amish farmers.

6. Old City’s Zahav was named one of the “50 Best New U.S. Restaurants 2009” by Travel + Leisure.

7. Diners can eat in the fresh air in Philadelphia, where more than 150 alfresco restaurants serve patrons in the sidewalk seats, courtyards and patios.

8. In 2008, Bon Appétit magazine ranked Bella Vista’s Little Fish third on its list of the nation’s 10 “Best Seafood Restaurants,” and then included Marigold Kitchen in its list of the “Top 10 Brunch Spots” in the country in 2009.

9. Girl Scout cookies, bubble gum, licorice and ice cream soda were all created in Philadelphia.

(Clockwise from bottom left) Grapes on the vine are a common site in the Countryside; outdoor dining at Parc; and microbrews, paired with upscale pub grub, at Johnny Brenda's. (Photos by J. Smith, courtesy of Parc and by G. Widman)
(Clockwise from bottom left) Grapes on the vine are a common site in the Countryside; outdoor dining at Parc; and microbrews, paired with upscale pub grub, at Johnny Brenda's. (Photos courtesy of Crossing Vineyards, courtesy of Parc and by G. Widman)

10. Making Philadelphia the largest gluten-free zone in the tri-state area, more than 30 local eateries have completed Gluten-Free Resource Education Awareness Training and offer gluten-free items on their menus.

11. ForbesTraveler.com put Tacconelli’s Pizzeria on the top 10 list of “America’s Best Pizzerias” in 2008.

12. Visitors love to eat their way through the nation’s third-largest Chinatown, filled with more than 50 restaurants and 15 grocery stores.

13. The folks at Gourmet magazine know where to rock out. In 2009, the Web site listed Johnny Brenda’s as one of the “Eight Great Rock Venues with Great Food” in the U.S.

This Thanksgiving, We’re Thankful For… [uwishunu]

The Official Philly Brag Book [gophila.com]

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