Saturday, February 11, 2012

Philadelphia ! Capogiro, Beck's Cajun Cafe & Sabrina's

This is going to be a long post.  It is going to be filled with delicious pictures.  Following review of this post, you will most likely snack on something that will not be as satisfying as anything posted here, but that is okay - I just polished off a package of Andy Capp hot fries. You are in fine company!

Greeshma and I were not intending to eat ice cream in November, but after reading that Capogiro was named in National Geographic as the #1 place in the whole world to eat ice cream, we had to check it out, because you know how I feel about restaurant superlatives.  

The first thing you might notice, as I surely did, is that Capogiro is not an ice cream place.  It is a gelateria.  I immediately questioned National Geographic's loose use of the term "ice cream," but Greeshma's love for the periodical pushed us through the glass doors.  Our eyes instantly feasted upon beautifully swirled displays of Amish dairy goodness.

I believe Greeshma and I abused our sampling privileges, but it was worth it.  The Thai coconut milk was pure and delicious - like drinking a can of Chaokoh bottoms up.  I ended up getting a scoop of that flavor alongside some rich dark chocolate.

The gelato was expectedly creamy and satisfying, but the immediate question at hand was: Is it the best in the world?  Mmm...not for a long shot.  I admit, I have not eaten a lot of ice cream from across the world, but I know there is better ice cream in Santa Monica, and I can only imagine the incredible cups coming from the gelaterias in Italy, if we are extending the definition.  Capogiro will satiate your cravings, with some flavors more on point than others, but there was nothing that made my knobby knees buckle.

Fueled by Amish calcium, we then took a tour of the Birthplace of American Medicine, the Mutter Museum, one of the most interesting museums I have ever visited (look at me throwing out the superlatives!).  It was utterly fascinating, and eye-opening.  If you find yourself in Philadelphia, it's definitely worth a creepy visit, especially if eight-foot colons are your thing.

On Sunday morning, Greeshma and I headed to the Reading Terminal to reacquaint ourselves with our beloved apple dumplings, only to find one flaw in our decisioning process:

The Amish do not work on Sunday.

It should have been obvious. (We often miss obvious things when we are together.)

So we waltzed around aimlessly until we both did a literal double-take on a sandwich one young chap was unwrapping at a plastic cafeteria table.  By double-take, I mean, Greeshma stopped in her tracks and stared at the kind fellow while he took his first amazing bite.  We then politely waited for him to chew and swallow before asking where he got it.

We immediately bee-lined to Beck's Cajun Cafe and ordered ourselves a breakfast po boy to share, since, naturally, we had a brunch to tend to shortly thereafter.

I love watching eggs cook on the griddle, especially when I know those eggs are mine.

Beck's other Cajun fare looked equally delicious, especially the golf ball-sized hunks of fried mac 'n cheese in the bottom left corner.  We also sampled the jambalaya which was remarkably well-seasoned, moist and flavorful.

Although I am sure it was no more than five minutes, the wait was excruciating.  After we unwrapped our much anticipated foot-long sandwich with glee, we gazed at it with glorious admiration.

The cast of Breakfast Po Boy characters: Medium cooked egg.  Melted provolone.  Thin slices of peppery Andouille sausage.  Fresh French baguette, toasted.

It was awesome.

I think if Sam Sifton ate this sandwich, he would describe just as eloquently:

"Awesome." - Sam Sifton

I loved the spicy sausage, and the bread was perfection.  Greeshma proclaimed that she only wanted to eat breakfast sandwiches on French baguettes from now on, and I could not agree more.  The bread was soft, slightly chewy with just the right amount of added crunch from the crust.  We devoured it in minutes.

We then wiped our faces and headed over to Sabrina's, one of Greeshma's favorite brunch eateries.

Sabrina's is an exceptionally popular spot on weekends, with notoriously long waits, but Greeshma and Stef both have the routine down pat, and we waited about 15 minutes before being wedged into the bustling brunch scene.

Belmund and Stef before diving into the tremendous spread (though Stef appears to have a headstart)
Belmund dined on the huevos rancheros, a hot mess of chorizo, guacamole and jalapeno peppers piled high on blue corn tortillas.

Stef ordered her favorite, the apple and cheddar omelet.

Her facial expression is recommendation enough!
Stef admitted the omelet sounds weird, but the sweetness from the Granny Smith apples melded well with the sharpness  of the cheddar.  It was rather delicious.  I was rather jealous.
A side order of blurry sausages (my hands must've been too eager to snatch one).  Picture shown  to indicate heft of these links - ridiculously thick and meaty.
Greeshma's omelet with goat cheese and some sort of vegetables.
Going for the Thanksgiving theme at the time, I ordered off of the brunch specials menu with a dish titled the Mayflower featuring things they probably did not eat on the Mayflower, but most likely wished they did:  poached eggs, marinated skirt steak, avocado, grilled cornbread, corn slaw, the works.

There was a lot going on in the menu description, and there was a lot going on in my plate.  Unfortunately, the steak was limp, chewy and fairly flavorless, the cornbread dry and disappointing.  It was a sad breakfast order indeed.

However, the meal was quickly redeemed by the beautiful shared plate centering our table - the brunch special french toast featuring apricot jelly, cream cheese and goo galore encapsulated by the thickest slices of challah bread.

With one bite of this unbelievable concoction, all was right in the world once again.

It certainly doesn't look the prettiest, but the taste is spot on dynamite.  Decadent, moist and creamy, all french toasts should be stuffed with warm cream cheese, seared on all edges and launched directly into my large mouth.  Bliss!

Philadelphia, you were a tasty visit.  Can't wait to see you again soon!


119 S 13th
Philadelphia, PA

Beck's Cajun Cafe
Reading Terminal
12th & Arch
Philadelphia, PA

Sabrina's Cafe
1804 Callowhill St.
Philadelphia, PA 19130

1 comment:

  1. i would like to squeeze myself between those pieces of french toast goodness!!