Thursday, May 2, 2013

Philadelphia: Tommy DiNic's & Cuba Libre

Recently got back from Philly and Boston, so will be updating with pics from the two trips!  And yes, I actually flew to Philly, then flew back to LA, and then the next day out to Boston.  Philly was for work and when I was planning the Boston trip, I found out that it just wasn't worth it to pay to change my flight and book a train ticket, as well as paying for an extra night for hotel out of the own pocket.  Two red eye flights in one week, definitely tough.

To be honest, Philly is not really my destination of choice for exhibiting for a tradeshow, especially the largest in our industry, but Philly does offer some delicious grub (and not cheesesteaks).  The best part about the Philadelphia Convention Center is that the Reading Terminal Market is right across the street and Chinatown is about 3 small blocks away so there's plenty of option for dining.

Tommy DiNic's
Reading Terminal Market 
136 Arch St 
Market East
Philadelphia, PA 19147

reading terminal market
For lunch that first day, I knew what I wanted to eat so as soon lunch break arrived, I headed towards Reading Terminal Market for Tommy DiNic's!

line for cheesesteak
Why... would you wait for this average cheesesteak when you can get a much better hoagie/sandwich??

Tommy DiNic's!  

The line.  It was still shorter than the line for some cheesesteak vendor.  I made it a priority to go there because I knew that once the show started, the line would be twice as long.

Hmmmm.... a little pile of delicious roasted pork sitting right there.

pulled pork with sharp provolone & broccoli rabe
The Italian Style Pulled Pork with sharp Provolone and broccoli rabe!  I did a pretty horrible job ripping the sandwich apart :P

juicy pulled pork
Look at how the bread just soak up all the juices!  They put the sharp Provolone on the bottom so after you chew through the bread, the cheese is the next thing you taste.  Love the mildy bitter flavor of the rabe.  Still one of my favorite sandwich anywhere.


After doing manual labor in setting up the booth, we were rewarded with a dinner and bossman wanted to try something new, so on the way back to the hotel, we saw a Cuban restaurant and decided to dine there.

Apparently Cuba Libre is a popular high end Cuban restaurant, with several locations mostly on the Eastern part of US.  The only Cuban food I've had is Versailles in LA so definitely excited to check it out.

Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar
10 S 2nd St 
Old City
Philadelphia, PA 19106

cuba libre
Cuba Libre.

Bar area.  

cool decor
Cool decor to make you feel like you are in Cuba!

toasts with mango butter
Buttered toasts with mango butter!

lechon asado
I decided to go with a classic and ordered the Lechón Asado.  Definitely a lot more fancy than Versaille's.  Slow roasted marinated pulled pork, classic sour orange mojo with vigorón slaw, amarillo chile smashed yuca and black bean broth.

Mojo is the garlic sauce and a must for this dish.  The vigorón slaw is a cabbage salad with pork rinds.  Very nice and refreshing and since it is a bit acidic, helped with the heaviness of the pork!  At first I thought the mashed yuca was sweet potato because it was very similar.

seafood paella
Also got to try a bit of the Seafood Paella.  Comes with shrimp, clams, mussels, Mahi fillet, squid and baby octopus, and completed with saffron “Bomba” short grain rice and the roasted piquillo pepper salad.

seafood paella
I love the flavor of saffron so this dish was a win for me.  A little more wet than your Spanish paella, but never anything wrong with fresh seafood!

I gotta say, not bad for first day!  Even better that it is all paid for :] 


Linh N. said...

Definitely going to stop by Cuba Libre after that amazing paella. Hopefully your guide in Philly will steer me right when I go there next month!