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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Around Philadelphia's Italian Market

We headed straight for the Italian Market area in South Philadelphia the day we visited and had lunch at a little local joint called "Mr. Joe's Cafe" on 8th Street. We had read that it was located on the original site of the Termini bakery (now across the street, where we also stopped for some dessert afterwards!) It's a tiny space but seemed very authentic. We spoke Italian with the waitress and felt transported back to Italy with a table of 5 generations of an Italian-American family sharing a meal nearby. I loved the Penne alla Norma and Bob enjoyed his eggplant panino with tomato and mozzarella. I would definitely go back and recommend it if you are in the area. I couldn't find a website but they are located at 1514 S 8th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147 (215) 334-1414. Yummm.

Afterwards we drove through the 9th Street Italian market - it was already closing up for the day so we didn't walk around. It is the oldest and largest working outdoor market in the U.S., closed on Mondays. We got a tongue lashing, complete with hand gestures from a bicyclist when we paused a bit too long to get some of these shots. This is an incredibly colorful area with very over-the-top “architectural” styles. It was fun.

Geno's Steaks - started by Joe Vento in 1966, it's a Philadelphia tradition.

Giordano's Produce Market.

Pat's King of Steaks. They were still lined up outside munching away.

Some of the local singing stars born in Philly, like Frankie Avalon (Francis Thomas Avallone), Eddie Fisher, Bobby Rydell (Robert Louis Ridarelli) Al Martino and Chubby Checker (Ernest Evans) are immortalized on a Wharton Street mural along with the fresh cooked crabs, clams and mussels of Anastasi's Seafood restaurant.

Quick grab shot of Cappucelo’s Meats - a cool neon sign with lots of intersting stuff hanging in the window

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