I used to dread road trips. As a kid, the thought of getting jammed in a car with my parents arguing about directions for hours on end was enough to make road tripping an obsolete term – I did not associate it with vacations. It wasn’t until recently when I eased myself into short road trips with friends that I realized…it wasn’t all that painful. I cannot stress enough how big of a difference travel companions can make or break a trip. After tackling drives to New York and Montreal, I was about to embark on my biggest roadtrip yet. A 14hr drive away from Toronto to South Carolina. To make the journey less daunting, we decided to stop in different cities along the way, experiencing the culture and food of 8 destinations.
Our first stop was Philadelphia. No…we didn’t go for a Philly Cheesesteak. Instead, we visited DiNiC’s, a sandwich joint that was featured on Man x Food which looked utterly mouth watering. We arrived in Philly on a wet, chilly day, but we quickly made our way into the Reading Terminal Market that was home to the joint. Line ups wrapped around the little shop and workers busy piling up meat and toppings on the famous sandwiches.
We had the classic Beef & Pork with sharp provolone and broccoli. The slices of meat are drenched in gravy and slopped all over the buns so that all the juices seep into the bread. It was one of those disgustingly glorious grimy meals that we crave every once in a while…except we were prepared to eat like this for the entire trip because…we’re on vacation and we’re in the States.
Verdict? Not as satisfyingly juicy and mouth watering as I had expected. Even with the help of a generous coating of gravy, the meat still ran a bit on the dry side. The cheese was a bit too strong for my taste but the greens gave it a nice crunch. One problem that K and I both had was that it was near impossible to get a bite with all three elements of the sandwich due to the sheer size of the thing. All in all a decent sandwich, but not completely worth the hype in my opinion.
We planned to only spend a few hours in Philadelphia as a quick lunch stop before heading off to Baltimore for the night. We milked our parking ticket and explored as much of the downtown core as possible by foot. It had a bit of a New York vibe, but a bit more ghetto and rustic. Old architecture popped up here and there amongst the sea of modern buildings owned by conglomerates.
We wandered into a Macy’s and found this spectacular Spring showcase of artistically arranged flowers that was a seasonal display that the store crafts up to welcome the warmer weather. The interior of the store was really cool because it looked like the building had multiple tiers and looked like it might’ve been a mansion or some grand venue.
Got lost around Philly Chinatown before making it back to the car just before our ticket expired!