Reading Terminal Market

Reading Terminal Market

Market Blog

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

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!


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


  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


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


  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.  



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


  • 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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