Reading Terminal Market

Reading Terminal Market

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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


  • 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) 


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

Makes 1 thin crust 12-inch pizza



  • 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.


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



  • 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


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


  • 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


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.


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.


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 for information about upcoming performances.


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:

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“18 Phascinating Phacts about Philbert the pig sculpture, the Market's Favorite Pork Product Not Topped with Broccoli Rabe and Provolone,” By Carolyn Wyman

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1. Wendy Smith Born of Metropolitan Bakery got the idea for Philbert when she saw the Pike Place Market Foundation's giant piggy-bank sculpture, Rachel, on a visit to Seattle.


2. Rachel (b. 1986) was another great idea from the founder of the Sur La Table cookware chain (which started as a single shop at Pike Place Market).


3. At the time of Born's Seattle visit, The Food Trust was a program of Reading Terminal Market and Born was chair of its board, looking for new ways to raise money.


4. Rachel is more of a traditional piggy bank with a slot for coins on her back but local sculptor Eric Berg wanted donors to "feed" his pig -- with money going into his mouth and coming out his rear end, something that kids love but that some potential funders found hard to swallow.


5. CoreStates Bank (now part of Wells Fargo) did eventually agree to pay $25,000 to get the 3-foot-tall, 225-pound bronze Philbert made in 1995. The food-decorated tile base that helps Philbert rise above the Market trash cans was crafted by sculptor Berg's then-girlfriend Victoria Davila and cost an additional $15,000.


6. Philbert and Rachel have had a longtime, long-distance love affair, initially conducted via the U.S. Postal Service or via mash notes found in their respective cash boxes and most recently, this Valentine's Day on Facebook (see


7. Philbert is a potbellied/domestic pig hybrid that sculptor Berg says he "did not sex, though I do refer to him as a him" (and there is that abovementioned romance with Rachel ...).


8. Philbert got his name in a student contest. It was inspired by Reading Terminal Market's Filbert Street location but with the f changed to ph as per local (i.e., the Phillie Phanatic) custom.


9. In 2013, Philbert raised $6,807.99 towards The Food Trust's mission of increasing needy families' access to healthy food and healthy food information.


10. Philbert contributions are also occasionally designated to help out with natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy, the 2010 Haiti earthquake and the 2004 Indonesian tsunami (for which this pig-lanthropist raised almost $4,300 in a single week).


11. Among the more unusual, less obviously useful items that people put into Philbert: foreign currency, Chuck E. Cheese tokens, straws, forks, gum, chicken bones and half-eaten French fries.


12. Rubbing Philbert's snout is supposed to bring good luck and is the reason it's so shiny.


13. Next to the Welcome Desk, Philbert is the Market's most popular meeting place.


14. Philbert dresses up for special occasions, wearing a wreath at Christmastime and pink in support of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, for instance. He's also a favorite place for Market visitors to park misplaced hats and scarves.


15. Philbert's throat was originally so narrow that a ramrod was used to make it easier for him to "swallow" dollar bills. But so many things (see No. 11) got stuck on the way down, that Berg widened it into more of a chute and also added a slot for bills at the front of the cash box.


16. Other famous local animal statutes by Berg include the Drexel dragon and the Academy of Natural Sciences tortoise.


17. A year after making Philbert, Berg was commissioned to make several pig sculptures for State College Borough, one of which was stolen in a student prank. The student's plan to stash the pig at the home of his out-of-town girlfriend was thwarted by a UPS employee who remembered seeing the outline of a pig while screening packages.


18. Berg has an exact replica of Philbert (cast at the same time) in his studio which he says he'd be willing to part with (should anyone long to legally own a Philbert).


Philbert phacts courtesy Eric Berg (, Sarah Levitsky and Michael Anthony of Reading Terminal Market, Caiti Rothenberg and Meghan Walsh of The Food Trust (www.the, Wendy Smith Born of Metropolitan Bakery ( and Suzanne Spencer of Pike Place Market Foundation.


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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Meltkraft and Valley Shepherd Creamery Celebrates Spring Fest and National Grilled Cheese Day

Saturday, April 12th will be a big day at the Market!  We are holding our first-ever Spring Fest to celebrate the end of the dreary winter with delicious spring foods!  Saturday also happens to be National Grilled Cheese Day, and to commemorate the occasion, our friends at Meltkraft and Valley Shepherd Creamery will be debuting a brand new creation: Grilled Gelato!  This decadent sandwich features a scoop of their own sheep & goat milk gelato, a dollop of chocolate, and sprinkles sandwiched in a brioche roll.  Their special machine seals the bread and toasts it.  The result - delicious!

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Down Home Diner Owner/Chef Reunites with Chef Bobby Flay

Last night on the Food Network, our own Jack McDavid, chef and owner of the Down Home Diner, reunited with his old friend Chef Bobby Flay on an episode of the new show Beat Bobby Flay  In case you didn't know, Jack was the co-host of Chef Flay's first tv show Grillin and Chillin in the 1990s (see a photo below).  On last night's episode, Jack and Chef Alex Guarnaschelli were tasked with choosing which chef they thought could beat Chef Flay.  It was great to see the two chefs together again!


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Look Who Visited the Market Today!

Today, Keven Parker's Soul Food Cafe celebrated its first anniversary, and we were so excited that the legendary Patti LaBelle was able to join the celebration! 

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St. Patrick's Day at the Market

Monday is St. Patrick’s Day, and many of the merchants are making special products to celebrate! Check out the drunken cupcakes at Flying Monkey Bakery, drink specials at Molly Malloy’s, homemade life-size Irish Potatoes at Chocolate by Mueller, and look for other St. Paddy’s day candies at the Pennsylvania General Store and Sweet as Fudge Candy Shoppe. Erin Go Bragh!

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Fasnacht Day at Reading Terminal Market

In Pennsylvania Dutch culture, the day before Lent (also known as Fat Tuesday) is known as Fasnacht Day.  Traditionally, the Pennsylvania Dutch made Fasnachts (potato-based donut without a hole) to get rid of ingredients like sugar and butter that people often give up for Lent.  For more information on these sweet treats, click here to read KYW's Steve Tawa's piece on how Beiler's Donuts keeps the Fasnacht tradition alive:

Keith Beiler makes fasnachts at his family’s bakery stand in the Reading Terminal Market. Photo by Steve Tawa.

Keith Beiler makes fasnachts at his family’s bakery stand in the Reading Terminal Market.  Photo by Steve Tawa.

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The 4th Annual Party for the Market was a Huge Success!

Thank you to everyone who made Saturday's Party for the Market a huge success!  We thought we would share a few photos of our guests partying the night away, courtesy of PhillyChitChat and


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