[Snacking by Wilfrid: June 30, 2015]
A quick Philly trip over Memorial Day weekend left no time for restaurant dining, but plenty of gaps to be filled by what the city does so well: fast-food sandwiches. Not just cheesesteaks, but hoagies and other buns and rolls stuffed to capacity with savory things, and wrapped as tight cylinders.
There are all the classic cheesesteak outlets around town, but if you want some variety, or just don't know what you want, kick off at Reading Terminal Market. I loved the sandwich menu at Wursthaus Schmitz--all kinds of sausages, meatloaf, a fricadelle special. I had to get the leberkäse--a kind of fluffy liver loaf; literally liver cheese. Doesn't look pretty.
But it was a generous serving of hot, salty, succulent meatiness, with some very strong mustard.
For dessert, a chili dog? Why not, especially if the chili is freshly made and generously spooned over the frankfurter. No canned rubbish.
The other eating done that day came very late at night, and happened in what looked like a rough and ready biker bar on South Street. Tattooted Mom is certainly a dive, and certainly boasts a lot of tattoos and piercings per square yard. But it's also home to all kinds of non-Hell's Angels-ish tweeness. Crayons and board games and nutty art displays.
Another sure sign it's not aimed exclusively at a live-fast-die-young crown is the attempt to cater to vegetarians and vegans. The menu is simple. Food to soak up beer and/or the cure munchies.
They put anything you might need in a kind of hamper.
Tater tots are the essential order. Be ready for grease. I think this might have been a double portion, but I'm by no means sure.
The burger, I won't lie, nuked to kingdom come. You think I'm going to recommend the cuisine here? But dinner for two came to less than twenty bucks. "Never eat at a place called Mom's," not even Tattooed Mom--not unless it's after midnight and you're starving.