The Endless Road Trip: Philadelphia’s Top 10 Eats 8. A Plate of Cheese and a Pail of Grapes

Sometimes it takes more than just a glass of wine. Actually, for us over at ES it usually takes a bottle (or two). But why have a bottle when you can have a bucket?

Trekking around Philly can be exhausting, but luckily there are no shortage of BYOBs where you can put your feet up. Based on several strong recommendations, we ventured to Wedge + Fig,  a gem of a market-cum-restaurant in Old City. If the weather is right, head thru the side door and walk down the exposed brick walkway to a secret courtyard at the rear of the market — it really isn’t a secret but you’d be forgiven for thinking so — here you’ll forget about your day and find yourself enamored with the tall walls, rusting fire escape and silence of the city. Oh yeah, and the cheese.

The menu is simple: tell the kitchen what kind of wine you brought and they’ll pick the cheese and meats. The nearest wine shop, Pinot Boutique had a display of Pardocx Vineyard’s paint cans full of paint cans full of wine, and obviously we couldn’t resist. Despite our klassy choice, the folks at Wedge + Fig were still nice enough to pick out a matching cheese plate for us:

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Top 10 Things I Ate in College That I’ll Never Eat Again

I don’t consider myself a gourmet chef or anything, but I can make some pretty delicious magic happen in the kitchen now and then. I will admit that in the four years I spent away at college, I made some pretty questionable food choices. Often. And not just when I was inebriated, although I will admit that three flaming Dr. Peppers and a few Malibu and pineapples (and possibly a shot of Aftershock from an ice block luge) will lead to some horrifying 2am take-out orders. So this list isn’t comprehensive by a long shot — but I can guaran-freakin-tee you that I won’t be eating any of these things any time soon. Meaning ever, ever again.

10. Bread in a Can

Okay, maybe this one isn’t that bad. I mean, it’s not like I was eating the plain variety, because that would just be gross — I only ate the raisin. With cream cheese. But it’s bread — in a can. The ingredients themselves aren’t that heinous, but the idea of canning bread just seems, kind of, wrong? Okay so maybe I’d eat this one again. After a bottle of Strawberry Hill  (like anyone drank that after 12th grade, pshaw).

9.  Spray Butter

The label is misleading — show me one person who actually has a hard time believing this isn’t butter. But you’ve got to make choices in life. If you want to avoid gaining the dreaded “freshman 15,” you can either make healthy choices and eat real food, or go with hydrogenated spray oil masquerading as butter to save some calories. Or cut out the alcohol and eat actual butter. Either way. This is best when sprayed on some Light Wonder Bread with a slice of  Kraft Singles Fat-Free American “cheese” and then nuked in the microwave for 10 seconds to make a lovely “light grilled cheese sandwich.”

 8. Congealed Nachos

Fast food nachos are all fine and well, I’m not saying I’d never eat them again (because I totally would). I’d just never eat them 3 days after their inception, cold and congealed in a Styrofoam container dug out of the back of the fridge. Because money’s tight. Meaning you’re out of cash and the credit card machine at the pizza joint is down so you can’t use mom’s Visa. My nachos of choice were from Freebirds (no BBQ sauce!), so they definitely qualified as delicious before their demise. An empty jar of leftover pickle juice makes a great complimentary beverage here. (photo by Newbirth35)

7. Copiously Frosted Fast Food Desserts (Choose Your Poison)

Cinnabon® rolls, Dunkin’ Donuts fritters, Winchell’s donuts – choose your poison. Sometimes a tooth-achingly sweet, gooey confection is in order — when you’re downing 3 cups of coffee an hour to pull an all-nighter studying, you just need the sugar rush. And the trans-fat. My artery-clogger of choice was Woodstock’s Cinnabread – basically a cinnamon roll on pizza dough, slathered in frosting and served with an additional cup of frosting to dip into. This doesn’t fall into the “That’s so gross I can’t believe I ate that” category, more in the “How did I eat that regularly and not have a coronary?” category. Because this 18-year-old wasn’t too familiar with the term “moderation.” (photo by hullam)

6. Frozen Broccoli in Canned Cheese Soup

This was a favorite during my “vegetarian” period – a bag of frozen broccoli, nuked in the microwave, topped with a can of Campbell’s Cheddar Cheese Soup. And yes, the ingredients in this one are terrifying. Commonly consumed with a can of Diet Cherry Dr. Pepper.

The Top 5: Ice cream, tacos, and a truly sinful serving of Mac and Cheese

Carb Attack: Mac ‘n’ Cheese Grilled Cheese

As some of you may know, our very own gansie has been on a mission to find the best grilled cheese in DC. One place she hasn’t yet ventured is my kitchen. What you see above is a mac ‘n’ cheese grilled cheese. Only you ESers would appreciate something as beautiful as this and wouldn’t mind that it means you have to hit the gym or an extra hour or two (or in my case actually going for once).

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When Even Mac and Cheese Won’t Do the Trick

mac and cheese

There was no amount of delicious mac and cheese that could comfort me.

Like everyone else, I can’t stop watching and reading the news coverage of the shooting in Tuscon.

At quarter to seven last night, my boyfriend and I decided we didn’t have time to head to the grocery store before the 8pm memorial/rally. Eager to hear Obama, we eyed our emptying shelves. We saw a box of Easy Mac. But I refused. Next door to the fake-cheese, however, led us to inspiration: a box of rigatoni.

And at that moment, I didn’t care that we spent 10 dollars for a slight wedge of brie-like goat cheese at the farmers’ market, we were using it, goddamnit, to make our own mac and cheese.

In a mad dash, 80P grabbed the grater, I found shallots and garlic and we started prepping. The mac and cheese finished moments before Arizona State opened its stage.

While I may have found it difficult to eat while crying over Christina-Taylor Green, I noticed that my creamy pasta was delicious.

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Top 10 All-Time ES Recipes

Ever wonder which recipes your ES co-readers are ogling most? Well here’s the rundown. From our humble beginnings throwing all our leftovers into a sushi roll to our more refined recipes for putting an egg on everything, here are the Top 10 all-time most-read recipes from the Endless Simmer archives. Click the pics to check ’em out.

10. Hot Dog Sushi


9. Feta and Roasted Pepper Egg Sandwich


8. Bacon-Wrapped Date ‘Cannolis’ with Pine Nuts


7.  Homemade Ketchup


6. Marshmallow Nachos


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