Eating is one of my favorite things to do, in fact I do it every day. It’s impossible for me to blog about Philadelphia culture without talking about food. However, I will need to carve out a niche that has nothing to do with talking about signature dishes at new trendy Philadelphia restaurants. In the past five years, I have developed an aversion to eating out. Spending $20 – $30 for 15 minutes of gustatory pleasure makes little sense to me. For me restaurants are gathering places for people, not destinations in and of themselves.
I got out of the restaurant habit when I took a multi-year hiatus from dating and romantic relationships. I tried eating at restaurants alone, but realized I’d rather grab a snack at Wawa and take a walk around the city instead. Sitting at a table surreptitiously eyeing other diners wasn’t that interesting. However, eating junk on the run isn’t desirable either unless you can use sartorial skills and fashion a lovely dress out of the remains of processed meals.
Since I work near Chinatown, my favorite places to eat are near there…and I adore lunching at Reading Terminal Market. For $3 I can get a decent sized salad at Tootsie’s. I’ve been trying to slowly steer myself toward vegetarianism & now that my friend Cory tell me that Bacos are vegan, I’ve been eating those bullets of smokiness without guilt. They’re kosher too!
In sum, I’m not adverse to restaurants, but honestly I can’t think of a single meal I’ve eaten that has generated memories that I keep for longer than 30 minutes. My most vivid restaurant memory was sampling toro on a date at Morimoto’s sushi bar. I remember enjoyed toro very much, but cannot actually remember what it tasted like.
But if I want to participate in the life and culture of Philadelphia, I need to find some dining spots that I can afford and enjoy. At the very least, I need to be able to have a place for friends visiting out of town and the occasional celebration.