Reading Terminal Market

Reading Terminal Market

Market Blog

A blog about what's happening at Reading Terminal Market.

“Early Birds Get the Best Breakfast in Philadelphia -- in the Market,” By Carolyn Wyman

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Photo: David Braunstein of Pearl's Oyster Bar with Bacon N' Banana French Toast 

 

The Down Home Diner and Dutch Eating Place have long been among Philadelphians' favorite breakfast destinations.

In the past five to seven years, though, they've been joined in serving eggs, ham and the like by a growing number of Reading Terminal Market businesses. Almost all of the food stands that have opened in the Market since 2007 have offered breakfast items "right from the start," notes Market general manager Paul Steinke.

Here's what you've been missing if you don't usually visit the Market in the morning, or at least haven't lately. After breakfast you might want to shop for dinner ingredients at a time when there are rarely lines. (Store them in the office fridge until quitting time!)

Termini Brothers Bakery sells individual muffins as well as six-packs of tea biscuits (like buttermilk biscuits and featuring raisins) and La Columbe coffee to wash them all down.

Breakfast is served all day at the Down Home Diner. Best-sellers include the Philly Cheesesteak Scram (featuring all the traditional cheesesteak ingredients plus scrambled eggs) and the Country Benny (eggs Benedict made with biscuits and gravy). Other menu highlights include a shrimp, grits and eggs plate, and decadent apple pie pancakes (with whipped cream).

On Saturday morning the Market's north aisle is usually clogged with lines of people waiting to have blueberry pancakes, Western omelets and fresh-squeezed juice at the Dutch Eating Place. Their breakfast items feature Jersey blueberries, and Lancaster eggs and meats (including the rarely-seen creamed chipped beef). Dutch Eating serves breakfast until noon Tuesdays through Fridays, and until 2 p.m. Saturdays.

Pearl's Oyster Bar only began serving breakfast and brunch in February but it has been a huge success. One possible reason: It was crafted by their new (as of fall 2013) chef Jason Ledee, a veteran of popular Philly bruncherie Green Eggs Cafe. Highlights of his fish-focused, somewhat fancy menu include a breakfast po' boy (with fried shrimp), shrimp and grits and chicken and waffle Benedicts, and Bacon 'N Banana French Toast (featuring banana-mascarpone-stuffed brioche, Applewood bacon bits and flambéed bananas). Breakfast items are served all day, every day.

Looking for some hair of the dog after a night of hard partying? Molly Malloy's has 24 beers on tap and a daily breakfast menu that includes omelets, egg sandwiches, oatmeal and their best-selling vanilla-cinnamon French toast and egg-topped spicy Potato Hash.

Valley Shepherd Creamery's Meltkraft grilled cheese operation's sole breakfast sandwich is the Toad in the Hole. It's offered only on weekends, mainly because of how much trouble it is to assemble prosciutto, Somerset cheese and roasted tomato on toasted brioche with a hole in the middle where the egg peaks through, says chef Rebecca Foxman. Meltkraft will add bacon to any one of their other sandwiches for an extra $1.25 any day of the week and Foxman thinks it goes particularly well with their Brielle cranberry-chutney sandwich.

Although most famous for interesting-flavored cupcakes and whoopie pies and cake/pie hybrid Pumple cake, the Flying Monkey Bakery now also sells breakfast items like banana bread and crumb cake (the latter variously featuring pecans, apples or berries).

The opening of Beiler's Donuts and Salads in May of last year rocked the Philly doughnut world. Best-sellers from among almost 35 varieties offered daily are the fritters, Salted Caramel, Dutch Crumb and Harvest Apple. Non-doughnut breakfast offerings at Beiler's Bakery include Danish, coffee crumb cake, muffins and traditional Philadelphia sticky buns in a variety of sizes and with a variety of toppings.

One of the newest breakfast offerings in the Market is also among the most unique: Pizza, Stromboli and foccacia topped or stuffed with egg, cheese, sausage and the like at Mezze. Pizza is sold by the slice and everything else, cafeteria-style so you can grab and go to work quickly.

You can also get egg, cheese and sausage or bacon-stuffed pretzels at Miller's Twist until 10 a.m. every day they're open.

Market Bakery offers breakfast baked goods they make on-site or procure from a variety of local artisanal bakeries, including glazed scones from Philly Cupcake, croissants from Four Worlds and bagels from Le Bus, which you can buy plain, as part of an egg sandwich or dressed with black raspberry and bacon, cheddar and horseradish cream cheese, among other flavors.

Hershel's East Side Deli is the Market destination for cream cheese and lox on a bagel, as well as their almost equally popular pastrami, egg and cheese bagel sandwich and challah French toast.

Lamb fans have two breakfast choices at Border Springs Farm: a lamb "ham" sandwich on a challah roll and a breakfast hash plate featuring lamb sausage, onions, peppers, fried egg and hash brown potatoes.

Old City Coffee offers three baked goods to accompany its wonderful coffee: Jewish apple cake, sour cream cake and walnut apple muffins.

Metropolitan Bakery's breakfast selections offer something for (almost) everyone), from Power and Millet muffins and bagged granola for the health foodies to scones, bagels, croissants and cheese Danish for the rest of us. Weekend-only treats include the rich, cinnamony Morning Buns and/or the caramel-encrusted Kouign-Amann.

Beck's Cajun Cafe's taut breakfast menu includes the best-selling Bourbon Street (a red beans and rice, fried egg, cheese and grilled corn bread platter) and a Breakfast Po Boy sandwich (featuring andouille sausage and eggs "over easy"), which are served until 11:30 a.m. daily. But Beck's famous beignets, New Orleans' signature powdered donettes, are only available Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays before 1 p.m. Wash them down with equally New Orleans-authentic Cafe Du Monde chicory coffee.

The most popular breakfast crepes at Profi's Creperie are the steak egg and cheese and the BLT (featuring egg and turkey bacon).

Tootsie's Salad Express' hot lunch offerings change daily but one of their cafeteria tables always features scrambled eggs, grits, fried fish, roasted potatoes and chicken and pork sausage (plus steel-cut oatmeal in cooler weather) from open to 11 a.m.

You can build-your-own breakfast sandwich at both Spataro's Cheesesteaks and Smucker's Quality Meats & Grill. Spataro's options include steak or ham with scrambled eggs with or without cheese on a bagel, toast or a long roll. Smucker's breakfast sandwich meat choices include scrapple, pork roll and their famous slow-roasted pot roast with a fried or scrambled egg or egg whites, on a muffin, long roll, wrap or toast, with or without cheese, all available all day. Smucker's also sells slices of French toast for a mere $1.35 each.

Unless otherwise noted, breakfast items discussed above are available until 11 a.m.

Carolyn Wyman is the Market's news correspondent and operator of the Reading Terminal's bi-weekly Taste of Philadelphia Food Tour.

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Morel Mushroom and Asparagus Eggs Benedict

Morel

We’re firm believers in brunch traditions, which is why this tasty dish can be made entirely from ingredients at the Reading Terminal Market. Stop by to pick up the fixings for this meal and wander the historic aisles of the market. Then, spend a splendid Sunday afternoon whipping up this decadent meal for your family and friends via closetcooking.

Mushroom and Asparagus Eggs Benedict features a twist on a classic, not to mention a fanciful use for the seasonal Morel mushroom. Jump on this meal fast, before the season expires! Our taste buds are tingling at the prospects of this delicious dish.

Ingredients & Vendors

1 tbsp olive oil – The Tubby Olive

1 shallots (large, finely diced) – Iovine Brothers Produce

1 clove garlic (chopped) – Iovine Brothers Produce

1/2 tsp thyme (chopped) – OK Produce

1 tbsp butter – Fair Food Farmstand

8 ozs mushrooms (morel, halved or quartered depending on size) – Iovine Brothers Produce

1/4 cup white wine (or broth) – Blue Mountain Vineyards

1/2 cup heavy cream – Lancaster County Dairy

Dash of salt and pepper – Jonathan’s Best Gourmet Grocer

4 slices multigrain bread (lightly toasted) – Market Bakery

12 spears asparagus (blanched) – OK Produce

4 eggs (poached) – Godshall’s Poultry

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat.
  2. Add the shallot and cook until tender, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about a minute.
  4. Add the butter and let it melt.
  5. Add the mushrooms and cook until they release their moisture, about 3-5 minutes.
  6. Add the wine or broth, deglaze the pan and cook for 2 minutes.
  7. Add the cream and simmer until it thickens, about 2-3 minutes and reduce the meat to minimum.
  8. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and reduce the heat to medium.
  9. Swirl the water in the pot.
  10. Crack an egg into a bowl and pour the egg from the bowl into the water. Repeat with another egg.
  11. Let the eggs cook until the whites are set but the yolks are not, about 2-3 minutes and fish them out. Repeat with remaining two eggs.
  12. Place the toast on plates, top with the asparagus, poached eggs and creamy mushroom sauce.
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Mediterranean Lettuce Salad

 

MeditteraneanSalad

This summer recipe from Kalyn’s Kitchen has us craving for the Mediterranean with its Moroccan-infused flavors. Far from your ordinary salad, this dish features Purslane and Sumac, giving it a unique and fresh taste. An added bonus: This recipe is low on the glycemic index! Try it out as a side dish to accompany one of your many grill sessions this summer.

You’ll need to stop by the Reading Terminal Market to pick up some of these specialty ingredients. Make a trip to the market and we’ll make sure you get every ingredient you need! It will all be worth it once you sit down for dinner with a bountiful salad on your plate.

Ingredients & Vendors

3 cups chopped red or green leaf lettuce – Iovine Brothers Produce

2-3 cups chopped Purslane – Iovine Brothers Produce

1 cup diced tomatoes, or grape tomatoes cut in half – Iovine Brothers Produce

1 cup diced cucumbers – Iovine Brothers Produce

1-2 cups chopped fresh mint – Iovine Brothers Produce

salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice – Fair Food Farmstand

1/2 tsp. minced garlic – Iovine Brothers Produce

2 tsp. ground Sumac + more for sprinkling on salad – Iovine Brothers Produce

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 cup olive oil – The Tubby Olive

Instructions

  1. Wash Purslane well if you're picking it from your garden.  After washing it in the sink, remove the roots and chop the stems and leaves. Wash again in the salad spinner.
  2. Chop lettuce, wash, and spin dry or dry with paper towels.  Pull mint leaves off stems, wash and spin dry or dry with paper towels, and then coarsely chop mint leaves.  Cut cucumbers into small half-moon slices (you may need to peel them if you don't use Persian cucumbers.) Chop tomatoes, or cut cherry tomatoes in half.
  3. In a small bowl or glass measuring cup mix together the lemon juice, minced garlic, ground Sumac, and salt.  Whisk in the olive oil one tablespoon at a time until the dressing is well-blended. 
  4. Put all salad ingredients into a bowl and toss with desired amount of dressing.  Season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper, sprinkle with more Sumac as desired, and serve.  This salad keeps fairly well overnight in the fridge, but it's best freshly made.
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NHL Draftees Visit the Market

This week, for the first time in history, the NHL draft will be held in Philadelphia.  Today, we were thrilled to welcome the top NHL draftees to the Market for lunch.  Of course, they couldn't leave without stopping for ice cream cones at Bassetts Ice Cream.  We wish them all good luck!

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Top NHL draftees, posing with Michael Strange, owner of Bassetts Ice Cream

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Crispy Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus

Proscuitto Asparagus

If you find yourself hankering for another bite after eating fancy finger food, then try this hearty precursor at your next soirée. The people at Chow know that warm weather certainly allows you an occasion to celebrate. Whether it’s a laid-back BBQ or high-strung dinner party, this snack has a place everywhere.

Chewy asparagus is wrapped in crispy prosciutto, giving you a dish that satisfies both ends of the spectrum. We found that using asparagus sized ¾ to 1 inch thick works best to balance with the prosciutto. Happy cooking!

Ingredients & Vendors

1 ½ pounds of medium asparagus spears, ends trimmed – Iovine Brothers Produce

1 tablespoon Olive Oil – Jonathan Best Gourmet Grocer

Kosher salt – The Head Nut

Freshly ground black pepper – The Head Nut

17 thin slices prosciutto, cut in half lengthwise (about 7 ounces) – Smucker’s Quality Meats & Grill

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to broil and arrange a rack about 5 to 6 inches below the heating element. Set a large plate aside.
  2. Place the asparagus on a baking sheet, drizzle it with the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Using your hands, toss until the spears are evenly coated with the oil. Transfer them to the large plate and set the baking sheet aside.
  3. Starting just under the scaled tip of the asparagus, wrap each spear with 1 slice of prosciutto in a downward spiral toward the cut end, just barely overlapping the seams of the prosciutto. Place on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining asparagus, leaving as much space as possible between each spear while still fitting all of them onto the baking sheet. (Make sure the spears don’t actually touch, or the asparagus and prosciutto will steam and won’t crisp.)
  4. Broil for 3 minutes, remove the baking sheet from the oven, and flip the asparagus over. Return the baking sheet to the oven and continue to broil until the asparagus is charred in spots and the prosciutto is crisped and browned, about 3 minutes more.

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Grilled Key Lime Chicken

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Now that summer is here, we know you’re eager to bust out the grill and get cookin’. We found this delicious-sounding recipe from The Recipe Critic and our stomachs are already growling, as we’re sure yours is too! The good news is, you can stop by today and get all the ingredients in our market needed to make this culinary masterpiece.

Ingredients & Vendors

 ¼ cup Soy Sauce – The Head Nut

¼ cup Honey – Bee Natural

2 Tbs Vegetable Oil – Jonathan Best Gourmet Grocer

Juice of 2 limes – Iovine Brothers Produce

2 tsp minced garlic – Fair Food Farm Stand

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts – Godshall’s Poultry

Instructions

  1. Cut chicken into one inch squares
  2. Mix soy sauce, honey, vegetable oil, lime juice, and garlic in small bowl
  3. Place the chicken breasts in gallon sized bag and let marinate in the sauce for at least 30 minutes
  4. When marinated, slide chicken chunks on skewers. You can also slice thin slices of lime and fold in half and slide in between chicken
  5. Baste chicken with sauce once you place them on the grill. Grill for 5 – 10 minutes on each side until no longer pink in center

 

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Music @ the Market in the Month of May

The Reading Terminal Market is one of the most popular locations in downtown Philadelphia, averaging 17,000 people per day, 358 days a year for a total of 6.3 million visits each year. This creates an interesting challenge for programming and scheduling. We often schedule performances on Sundays since weekend patrons have more time to linger and Saturdays are generally extremely busy and crowded.

 

Our regularly scheduled performances take place on the second and fourth Sundays of the month. In May, these dates coincided with Mother’s Day and Memorial Day. We programmed two accomplished solo guitarists, playing standards and original material. Matt Richards has performed at the Montreal and Mellon Jazz Festivals, and shared stages with Richie Havens and Paco Pena. He’s been described as “the most originally creative guitarist on the regional scene.’ Philadelphia Music Award nominee Rolly Brown is a national champion fingerstyle guitarist, renowned both as a performer and a teacher.  

 

One of the goals of this new performance series is to introduce the performing arts to the broad and diverse audience that frequents the Reading Terminal Market. It’s been especially wonderful to see how children respond to live music. This little girl was clearly fascinated by Rolly Brown’s guitar. When he started playing Teddy Bear’s Picnic, she danced.  

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Music @ the Market is an ongoing program; click here for information about upcoming performances.

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4 Asparagus Recipes for Spring

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Photo: Iovine Brothers' Summer Slaw

Asparagus is one of the first crops to be harvested during the local growing season, and, at the Market, we know spring has sprung when the first batch of local asparagus arrive. We thought it only fitting to post four of our merchants’ favorite asparagus recipes. Enjoy!

Beck’s Grilled Summer Asparagus

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. asparagus, pencil size
  • 2 tbs. olive oil
  • ½ tsp Granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • salt ( kosher) to taste
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 12 ea. fresh raspberries (as garnish) 

Preparation:

Cut the root end of asparagus until, wash and dry. Put in a baking dish with all ingredients except the fresh raspberries, reserve them for the garnish.

The asparagus should marinate for about two hours covered in the refrigerator. Strain the marinade from the asparagus and shake off any excess oil so that it will not flame on the grill and give the asparagus the black sooty color as it is cooking, you want a nice lightly charred look.

Place asparagus on a smoking hot preheated outdoor grill, get some quick car marking then move the asparagus to an indirect area of the grill to finish. From beginning to end; to cook this should take 3-4 min total, it should until be bright green and be al dente to the touch, it will continue to cook until it cools. Place in fridge to help cool.

Put asparagus on a platter decoratively and top with the dressing and garnish with fresh berries.

Fair Food Farmstand’s Favorite Shaved Asparagus Pizza by www.smittenkitchen.com

Makes 1 thin crust 12-inch pizza

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 recipe Really Simple Pizza Dough or your favorite pizza dough
  • 1/2 pound asparagus
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 pound mozzarella, shredded or cut into small cubes
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • Several grinds black pepper
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced

 

Preheat your oven to the hottest temperature it goes, or about 500 in most cases. If you use a pizza stone, have it in there.

Preparation:

Prepare asparagus: No need to snap off ends; they can be your “handles” as you peel the asparagus. Holding a single asparagus spear by its tough end, lay it flat on a cutting board and using a vegetable peeler (a Y-shaped peeler works best here, but I only had a standard, old and pretty dull peeler and it still worked; a mandolin would also work, in theory, but I found it more difficult to do it that way), create long shavings of asparagus by drawing the peeler from the base to the top of the stalk. Repeat with remaining stalks and don’t fret some pieces are unevenly thick (such as the end of the stalk, which might be too thin to peel); the mixed textures give a great character to the pizza. Discard tough ends. Toss peelings with olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl and be sure to try one — I bet you can hardly believe how good raw asparagus can taste.

Assemble and bake pizza: Roll or stretch out your pizza dough to a 12-inch round. Either transfer to a floured or cornmeal-dusted pizza peel (if using a pizza stone in the oven) or to a floured or cornmeal-dusted tray to bake it on. Sprinkle pizza dough with Parmesan, then mozzarella. Pile asparagus on top. Bake pizza for 10 to 15 minutes, or until edges are browned, the cheese is bubbly and the asparagus might be lightly charred. Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle with scallions, then slice and eat.

Iovine Brothers’ Summer Slaw

Ingredients:

Vinaigrette

  • 12 oz Cider Vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Celery Seed
  • 2 tbsp. Yellow Mustard Seed
  • 1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp. Salt & Pepper
  • 6 oz. Honey

Bring all ingredients to a boil in a sauce pan.
Let cool before serving.

Summer slaw

  • 1 Bunch Red Swiss Chard removed from the stem, sliced thin
  • 1 Turnip, Julienne cut
  • 4 Asparagus Stalks, French cut
  • 1 Fennel Bulb, shaved thin
  • 2 Navel Oranges, segmented
  • 6 Bunch Radish, thinly sliced in rounds

Preparation:

Add all ingredients into a mixing bowl and toss with cool dressing immediately before serving. Enjoy!

Pearl’s Oyster Bar’s Scallops with Asparagus and Mushroom Beurre Blanc

Ingredients:

  • 1lb medium asparagus
  • 1tsp. minced garlic
  • 3 tbs. olive oil
  • 2lb large sea scallops (tough ligament removed from side of each, if attached)
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • Sliced Baby Bella mushrooms
  • 1tbs. minced fresh chives

Preparation:

Trim asparagus, and cut stems into ¼ thick diagonal slices, leaving tips whole.

Heat 1 tbs. oil in a 12” heavy nonstick skillet over moderately high heat. Add garlic, mushrooms, and asparagus, stirring occasionally, until just tender (5-6 minutes). Transfer with a slotted spoon to a plate, reserving skillet off heat (do not clean).

Pat scallops dry and sprinkle with pepper and ½ tsp. salt. Add 1 tbs. oil to skillet and heat over moderately high heat, then sauté ½ of the scallops, turning over once, until browned and just cooked through, 4-6 minutes total. Transfer scallops with tongs to another plate as cooked.

Wipe out skillet with paper towels, and then add remaining tbs. oil and heat until hot but not smoking. Sauté remaining scallops, turning over once, until browned and cooked through, 4-6 minutes total. Transfer cooked scallops to a plate. (Do not wipe skillet after second batch.)

Carefully add wine to skillet (mixture may spatter) and boil, scraping up brown bits, until liquid is reduced to about 2 tbs. (about 1 minute). Add any scallop juices accumulated on the plate and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and whisk in butter, 1 piece at a time, until incorporated.

Add asparagus and remaining ¼ tsp. salt, and cook until heated through (about 1 minute).

Serve scallops topped with asparagus and mushroom sauce. Garnish with fresh chives.

 

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Music @ the Market Launched in April

Six horn players walk through the crowded aisles of the Reading Terminal Market, making music. Two drummers await them in the Market’s Center Court. Led by one of Philadelphia’s icons of jazz, music director/tenor saxophonist Sam Reed, they play a tight, intense version of Sonny Rollins’ iconic Tenor Madness for a surprised lunchtime crowd—a classic, Knight-Foundation style popup event.  11 minutes later, the audience bursts into enthusiastic applause, and the musicians pack their instruments and disappear into the crowd.

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Vocalist Ella Gahnt with pianist Aaron Graves

This popup jazz performance was organized on April 16 by the Philadelphia Jazz Project as part of Reading Terminal Market’s celebration of Jazz Appreciation Month.   Jazz Appreciation Month marked the public launch of Music @ the Market, the enhanced performance series made possible by the Knight Foundation. It’s part of a larger initiative designed to introduce Market patrons to the arts in the context of their daily lives, and reflect the diversity of the Philadelphia community.

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The Keith DeStefano Quartet

Throughout April, performances at the Market represented a wide range of jazz styles—the original compositions of the Keith DeStefano Quartet, Brazilian jazz by Minas, and the classic vocal stylings of the Ella Gahnt Trio, plus the Market’s resident Dixieland ensemble, the Reading Terminals, who have been performing at the Market for almost 30 years. Response from the public and from the media has been overwhelmingly positive. “You’re playing my music,” said one middle-aged Market patron about the contemporary sound of the DeStefano Quartet. “This band is awesome!”

Music @ the Market is an ongoing program; visit www.readingterminalmarket.org/market-events for information about upcoming performances.

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Elliott Levin playing the saxophone as part of the Tenor Madness event

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Chocolate by Mueller's "Tower" Named One of the Most Decadent Chocolate Desserts in Philly

Congratulations to Chocolate by Mueller!  Zagat has named their "Tower" one of the 10 most decadent chocolate desserts in Philly.  Here is how they describe it: "Why We Love It: Glenn Mueller could go by the name Dr. Chockenstein, because he loves constructing new chocolate-dipped monstrosities to sell from his Reading Terminal Market stand. This stack pulls together a Rice Krispies treat, a chocolate chip cookie, an Oreo, a marshmallow and a peanut-butter cup under a cloak of milk or dark chocolate."  To see the full text of the article, click here: http://www.zagat.com/b/philadelphia/10-most-decadent-chocolate-desserts-in-philadelphia#7

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