Two Days Off Trail in Camden, NJ and Philadelphia, PA!

7/14 & 7/15/2022

I had a great couple of days spending some time off the Appalachian Trail to reset mentally and spend time with my daughter in Philly.

Bye to my husband, Jake-a-Lope and fellow hiker, Phoenix. See y’all in a couple of days!!

I bought tickets to the Back Street Boys a little over a year ago (maybe longer, i don’t actually remember) with a group of ladies (family) and I was looking forward to attending since I never had a chance to see BSB in my twenties 🤷‍♀️. Fast forward through COVID and then logistically assisting my husband for his through hike on the A.T., and i wasn’t sure if i would make the concert at all. Plus i had developed some sort of tooth or mouth infection that was absolutely killing me (turned out to be severe allergies).Thankfully after much internal debate, a convo with a fellow hiker (thanks Chirp), and some significant medicating I decided to suck it up and go!

Also, to be clear and for those thru-hikers that may be reading this, I am no longer considered a thru-hiker. I am supporting my husband’s thru hike. To his 100+ miles completed weekly, I might hike 20 miles, intermittently…when I feel like hiking🥾

Back Street’s Back Alright!

The concert was on Thursday night and we had stellar tickets, right up front in the pit! I had no idea when I bought them that they would be so fantastic! BSB put on a very energetic and super fun show! They were all rocking the dad bod’s and damn they can still move 🕺 🕺 🕺 🕺 🕺

In the Mosh Pit!
🤣
So close!!

Après-Concert

After the concert we were both in need of some heavy post concert snacking, so we stumbled in to a bar (Victor’s Pub in Camden, NJ) on the walk back to the hotel. Had a fairly decent cheesesteak (a little skimpy on the meat) and some banging parm-garlic wings (we had to send the first batch back because they were grossly overcooked)! The parmigian cheese must have been infused with garlic oil, because they were so savory and delicious, yum! And as an aside, I rarely send food back but, the waitstaff were so kind and understanding. We really appreciate the prompt response and thanks for recognizing there was an issue!

The next day, we slept in late and decided we would have one super amazing meal, and it would be Italian. After cruising through Yelp reviews for about an hour, I booked an early table at Positano Coast, just across the Benjamin Franklin Bridge from our hotel.

Old town Philly, across the bridge from our hotel

We spent about 4-hours wandering around Philly and checking out the sights. Of course we hit up the local market area, Reading Market (pronounced “Red-ding”, which is weird because there are tons of bookstores and libraries nearby?).

Oh man! Why don’t we have fresh markets like this where I live?! So much fresh food, from farm to market to your mouth! We grabbed three BBQ pork spare ribs from an Amish lady at Glick’s Rb Shack and a donut from an apparently famous place named Beiler’s (tourist were lining up for boxes).

Soooo sweet!!
We ate the ribs before i could photograph 🤷‍♀️😋

Everything was so incredibly tasty! The ribs were fall off the bone and had a flavor that brought me back to Texas BBQ. Dry rubbed and you could taste the hickory smoke. The donut (we shared) was very light (like a crispy cream) with way too much glaze. I felt like (my daughter agreed) they could have gone with no glaze and maybe a light dusting of powdered sugar, so that you can actually taste the donut.

Of course we have to look fabulous for our dinner!

It’s right about here, I realize I previously said “one super amazing meal” but, a tasting of ribs and a shared donut are more like a snack, not really a meal per se. 😜

A girl has got to eat! 😜🤣

Anyway, we had to pace ourselves in anticipation of our upcoming Italian feast, so where the friggen exit door?!

On our way to Positano we found a all sorts of amazing photo ops with art installations and murals around every corner. This was very reminiscent of a recent European trip! My daughter found THE CUTEST little beer garden, tucked in between some buildings and playing the freshest chill jams. It was a great little stop to rest our feet and have a couple of photo ops!

We had about a 1.6 mile walk to the restaurant, so we sucked back our beers and hit the road.

The Restaurant

#positanocoastphilly

After a fairly brisk 40-minute walk we found Positano situated through a back alley and nestled behind a fairly historical looking structure and courtyard. The decor was coastal. Think Amalfi Coast with lots of blue and white mosaic tiling. It had a very clean, fresh vibe and i was already getting in to it. The music really helped with the vibe as it was pumping with my favorite “electronic chill” jams and i think i just saw a DJ walking in?! Let’s get this party started!!

I had decided the night before that we would do a multi coursed dinner so we could have maximum tasting experience. I always have to pre plan a little or I can be overwhelmed with too many awesome choices and not enough stomach or cash to enjoy them all! It’s a fricken struggle being The Food Guru and all… i obviously love food. 🤷‍♀️

We ordered a bottle of white wine. It was Orvieto. Clean, crisp and fresh. My daughter actually recommended it and she was spot on! Perfect for a hot, sweaty day of walking and exploring. To start, i ordered us the Roasted Beet Salad, Burrata, and Meatballs. I’ve been on a meatball kick since getting in to NJ and each place has been better than the last. I’m hoping the trend continues.

Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese

This salad had a perfect balance of vinegar and lemon. Am i tasting champagne vinaigrette with maybe shallots here? 🤔 It just popped in my mouth and was like a gentle nudge to my senses that something special was about to happen, then BAM 💥 the salty goat cheese! The champagne vinegar, the shallots, that lemon confit, pairs so gosh darn well with the earthy beets and goat cheese 😋 The serving was big enough for two or even three people to share (maybe four if, you have *skinny bitch friends that don’t really eat…), which i highly recommend if planned a coursed extravaganza.

Roasted beets with goat cheese

Burrata

I’m going to go out on a limb here and speculate that the Burrata may be house made? This was like a light pillow of cheesey goodness, that seemed to be hovering just above the plate of ripe heirloom tomatoes. Either these were the best I’ve ever eaten, or i was really craving tomatoes!! Where the dressing on the salad was a light vinaigrette, this plate had a full bodied balsamic glaze that balanced with the delicate burrata perfectly!

Burrata with heirloom tomatoes (i think they used some sort of basil infused olive oil here?)

Meatballs with Ricotta

Whereas most of the Jersey meatballs had ricotta IN them, these were served over a bed of ricotta. Even though they weren’t as light and huge as the others I have had recently, the meat was perfectly seasoned and they had a very equal balance of veal and pork (I’m guessing here). The tomato sauce tasted freshly made, like grandma is in the back room squeezing the life juice out of tomatoes she just picked from the garden she planted with seeds from HER Nona’s heirloom garden!! 😆

Meatballs with Ricotta

The ricotta was like she gave grandpa a job to do in the kitchen and he didn’t want to disappoint because he wouldn’t be getting any action later from grandma. So yeah, awesome job grandpa. Looks like someone is getting something extra special from grandma tonight!! 💋 💦

Obviously I was super amped up after these kind of starters. The juices were flowing and we couldn’t wait for the main event, Casarecce Bolognese and Lobster Ravioli!

Lobster Ravioli

The Lobster Ravioli was ok, but was a little heavy on the seafood essence, flavor-wise. I’m sure a lot of people love those big flavor notes, but i prefer a more subtle, layered flavor profile. The size of each ravioli were huge. Like 2”x2” each. They had spinach inside, which i really wanted to work, but probably would have done better with a cheese or mushroom filling. Spinach was just too overpowering of a flavor for the seafood. The sauce tasted very much like a lobster bisque. I guess what it was really lacking were lumps of lobster. And after the starters, I was ready to put some significant meat in my mouth…you know what i mean?! The chef did have some incredibly tasty shrimps thrown in to the sauce, but i would have left out the shrimp and gone a little heavier on actual lobster. 🤷‍♀️

Casarecce Bolognese

Now the Casarecce Bolognese is a superstar dish! I mean the Chef obviously loves their mother kind of dish! I could feel the love with each bite. I realized about two bites in, I was actually audibly enjoying my food when i looked across to the neighbor table and they were giggling…”I’ll have what she’s having” type of giggles! Bravo Chef, you really brought the meat here!! Layers and layers of flavor, this taste like a sauce that’s been cooking and resting for the past couple of days. We are talking short rib meat and steak maybe ground together for this?

Both dishes plated

We were both stuffed and completely satiated, but dessert? I mean, who doesn’t like cuddles after a main event like that?! 😜 Well, we can at least look at the menu 🤷‍♀️ we decided on tiramisu and salted caramel gelato. I mean come on… Plus cappuccinos! Everything was so great! We thought, they should make an ice cream tiramisu 🤔 maybe use a layer of the salted caramel gelato in there? You’re welcome.

If you ever get to Philly, you have to try this place. You will not be disappointed! Hell, you should go to Philly for this place! Just make sure to bring a healthy appetite and an open mind with your music tastes 😜

I would be remiss if i didn’t finish out our trip notes by not mentioning our brunch on our final morning. Yes, we still had an appetite after our dinner!

First of all, shout out to my daughter for finding this place. She is the breakfast/brunch master! She found a placed named “Winkels” at 1119 Locust street. Holy Shit! I mean, how can the food here keep up with itself.

We started with the Bitterbitten.

Bitterbitten

I wasn’t sure what the hell this was. The name sounded awful but the description had pork in it so we ordered. It was tasty but the texture kind of threw me off. Like a warm, mushy tuna salad 🤷‍♀️ it did have a very pleasant outside texture and the flavor was good. I really liked the pickled onion on the side. They kind of teased out the flavor in the dish!

For my main, I ordered the Bread Pudding French Toast. Cooked perfectly with a nice crunch on the outside. And the candied bacon laid over the top was completely over the top delicious. Don’t give me that look. It was fricken delish!

Bread Pudding French Toast with Candied Bacon

My girl ordered an omelet with mushrooms which she said was fabulous albeit could have done with one less egg. We won’t complain about portion sizes here!!

Mushroom omelet

I’m super interested in hearing what your favorite place to eat in Philly is and/or what is your “go to” Italian dish? Drop me a comment below!

Philly At sunset

*writer’s note: i love surrounding my self with skinny bitch friends. Leaves more for me and they usually have great jokes that keep me laughing all night!! Also, if you are offended by this phrase, then 🫵🏼🖕🏼🤌🏼

Published by Analiese Kennedy

Ecology and anything outdoors is my Jam! We love exploring new places and connecting with others over a good meal and wine.

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