Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Annual Trip to Philly Flower Show 2013

Self-portrait of me at the Love statue in center city Philly - sorry Spo, no smile

Hey folks!  I'm back from my annual trip to Philadelphia.  My back is still aching from that damn short bus that Delaware Tech used but other than that mistake, my trip was a wonderful success. Clear blue skies, mild (if a tad brisk) weather, and friends.

City Hall, Philadelphia, PA yesterday

For the past four years I've been taking the annual trip to the Philadelphia Flower Show to visit my friend Don McK. in Philly and also to visit my old haunts.  I used to work and live in Philly for thirty-seven years.  You know me, I love to relive old memories and visit old friends and yesterday was just about perfect, except for that damn short bus (I know, I'm repeating myself - more about that bus later). We were packed into that bus like sardines and I felt like a sardine when I got out in Georgetown after the three hour ride from Philly.  I'm still stiff.

I met my long time good friend Don Mck. for lunch at 13th and Arch.  Woody's (the longtime gay bar) was closed so we ate again at "More Than Just Ice Cream", another restaurant just around the corner from Woody's.  

Me and Don at "More Than Just Ice Cream" in Philly yesterday
We had a fabulous lunch!  You know what I like about Philly?  So many excellent restaurants just about on every corner, reasonably priced meals and no attitude (you know, the "this is the beach, we're doing you a BIG favor by even letting you in our restaurant" attitude that I too often encounter when dining out in Rehoboth Beach and its environs).  The restaurant wasn't rushed, the service was friendly, efficient and excellent. And the food was EXCELLENT. Fresh, tasteful, and pretty. The whole time I was in Philly yesteday I saw nary one Sysco truck (i.e., no froze food reheated at "beach" prices). Say, I'm getting a bit off the subject which I often do when I venture outside of this overpriced tourist trap restaurant environment where I live now.  I sort of get used to being overcharged for mediocre meals and attitude until I get outside of Slower Lower and find out what real restaurants and real service and real prices are really about.  There, I've gone one and one and now I have to get ready for work. To be fair though to the "beach" restaurants, they do have to pay a high rental for their Sysco infused establishments. That's been the general excuse I've heard anyway when I bitch about Rehoboth restaurants.  That and the fact that I'm just too cheap to spend the money at a "good" restaurant (this attitude coming from the local restaurant snobs). 

Lunch art "More Than Just Ice Cream" yesterday.  My Chicken Quesadillo actually was one, not the cheesy mess that I've always gotten in Rehoboth Beach. Don got a pulled pork sandwich (no grease).  FRESH SALAD.  No reheated frozen overpriced Sysco crapola.
I have been chastised by some in Gayberry (i.e., Rehoboth Beach) that I don't eat at the "right" restaurants in Rehoboth, and that why I get mediocre food.  Well friends, I don't have a Washington D.C. pension to partake of those prices where I pay up to $60 or more for lunch.  I like to go to just "regular" restaurants, keep the lunch tab under $25 and get good food.  What's so hard about that?  Just saying.

Still, I'm always pleasantly surprised when  I do eat at a restaurant outside of the Rehoboth trap how effortlessly and matter of fact those other restaurants are about providing a good dining experience instead of just moving the chow hounds through so they can fill up more tables.  No rush yesterday.  Don and I took out time eating and catching up on gossip and news and never a disparaging look from the help.  Refreshing to say the least.  

Some of the artwork I saw yesterday in Philly on buildings - did not see any graffiti - again, Philly's artwork has Rehboth Beach beat by 10,000 miles - this is real art not the psuedo "art" peddled in Rehoboth Beach - just saying

More about my trip to Philly tomorrow.  LOTS MORE.  I didn't mean to get off on a tangent about the merits of Rehoboth Beach eateries versus Philadelphia eateries.  Always happens though when I venture out of my "Beach Bubble" and taste how the rest of the world lives.

Yep, that's our "bus."  Looks like a Dodge Ram 4 X 4 with a cab, which is probably what it is.  Cheap.  


anne marie in philly said...

you rook mahvelous (said in a billy crystal voice)! that red sweater becomes you! good thing you came up yesterday, since today is cold and rainy and windy.

can't wait to hear about the show AND the short bus ride!

Anonymous said...

Man, do I want to eat out while up there? Not so sure now...great review for your area, Ron!

How was the FLOWER SHOW? You know, that thing you titled this post with! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Peace <3

Ron said...

Rehoboth Beach restaurants Jay, Rehoboth Beach. Lewes is different. Rehoboth Beach is the tourist trap and home of overpriced la de dah restaurants that cater to the D C retires who can afford them. I think you'll be quite pleased with the Lewes restaurants. We only have one overpriced tourist trap restaurant which I never recommend to our guests. I guarantee we will satisfy your culinary tastes.


Ron said...

Tell me about Anne Marie. I was very lucky! Except for the sardine can bus ride, the day was perfect.


the cajun said...

You are really being unfair about RB restaurants and the food. You KNOW there is no place charging $60. for a single lunch. These blanket statements are made without any verifiable evidence. You haven't even dined at many restaurants in town, so you are not one to judge.

I am disappointed that you choose to trash what most all news organizations - from Philly, to DC, to Maryland say are the best dining experiences for the money in the state of Delaware.

And I have no idea where your obsession with the food service company, SYSCO comes from.

It's just sad, really.

the cajun said...

Jay, there are NO tourist traps in Rehoboth Beach. I work at one of the best known and loved restaurants in town - going into its 21st season (yeah, some tourist trap) and I live and dine in town.

Anonymous said...

Boy, the cajun, you really got all het up! I simply didn't know the difference between Rehoboth Beach and Lewes. No reason to accuse me of misjudging!

However, having visited many, many "tourist traps" over the years, just because something is 21 years old is no reason to believe it is NOT a "tourist trap" - that just means it is well established, and loved by some segment of the population that visits the area.

Based on someone I know, I'll stick with restaurants recommended by Ron, in Lewes. Though if I ever have a chance to make it to Rehoboth Beach, I promise to give it a fair shake. I do refuse to pre-judge, so I asked the question.

Are you coming to the Spo-a-thon? Love to talk about Rehoboth Beach! I like to learn!
Peace <3

Ron said...


You be the judge. Personally, I don't like food that has been frozen (Sysco) and then reheated with some sauce slapped on it for a pretty design. Not much taste. But hey, that's just me. I used to work for a hotel in Pennsylvania. Sysco provided the FROZEN food that we reheated and passed off as fresh. Go to the boardwalk early in the morning in Rehoboth and you'll see the Sysco trucks backed up unloading their frozen food. For the big bucks Rehoboth restaurants charge I would expect fresh ingredients. But then they have a captive audience, the tourists. I have no personal allegiance to any restaurants so I can state my opinion of the mediocrity of the food of the restaurants that I have eaten in Rehoboth Beach. However, I do get a good hamburger at the Purple Parrot at a reasonable price. Most times anyway. Again, you be the judge. Good luck!


Ron said...

SYSCO=fozen food=tastless