Friday, October 15, 2010

The Philadelphia Trip -

The Food Part III: Dinners

We were treated to some wonderful

foods while in the Philadelphia area.

As part of our bus tour

we stopped at

on the Old Lancaster Turnpike in Malvern, Pennsylvania.

This inne was built in 1745 and was originally called

The Admiral Vernon and was owned by

the grandson of William Penn.

Admiral Vernon is most famous for

his culinary invention.

He watered down the daily

rations of rum for the seamen

and named it Grog.

He added lemon and lime juices to it

and the men no longer suffered from scurvy.

Mt. Vernon, George Washington's home,

was named after him.

In 1758, the inne was renamed

The Admiral Warren after Admiral Peter Warren.

In 1825, the inne was once again renamed.

This time to take away the stigma of British ties.

The Admiral Warren was renamed the General Warren,

to honor Dr. General Joseph Warren,

who was killed in action at Bunker Hill in 1775.

Later the hotel became a private residence and

remained so until the early Twentieth Century,

when it once again opened as an inne.

In the 1980's the current owners purchased the

property and have worked to restore the inne

to its former glory.

There are now eight suites with private bathrooms,

where before there were fifteen rooms

with communal bathrooms.

One of the owners was kind

enough to spend the time to tell us the history

of this wonderful inne.

That is customer service.

This was our specially selected menu.

The general menu of the day.

Please forgive the poor photography.

The lighting was low and I did not wish to disturb

my fellow tour members by using the flash.

We had bread with real butter.

I always appreciate real butter.

Real butter means you care.

The General Warren House Salad

with mixed greens, tomatoes, English cucumber,

julienne carrots

and Italian red wine vinaigrette.

I chose the Classic Grilled Filet Mignon

with black pepper and zinfandel sauce.

Asparagus spears and mashed potatoes

accompanied the meat.

The filet was cooked rare, as I asked.

It was tender.

It was flavorful.

It was melt-in-your-mouth-delicious.

This is how filet mignon should be.

My husband ordered the cheesecake for dessert.

I had the chocolate mousse cake with raspberry glaze.

This was one of the best meals we had on our trip.

We learned that one of our waitresses

was also one of the newest waitresses at the inne.

She had only been there five years.

As the restaurant business tends to be an

industry of high turn-overs,

I would say that this speaks highly of the management

of the inne.

Even in these tough economic times

people don't stay in bad work places if they can help it.

Our group waits for the bus to pick us up after dinner.

On Sunday evening my husband and I were on our own.

I was hoping to go to Eric Ripert's new restaurant,

10 Arts in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in downtown Philadelphia.

Alas and alack, 10 Arts is not open on Sunday evenings.


As I could not readily find other restaurants

online within walking distance of the Downtown Marriott

and the Academy of Music I reluctantly opted to

make a reservation at a chain restaurant.

However, we have had great luck at this chain before,

so we felt all right in going with this restaurant.

Thus, I made reservations

at McCormick and Schmick's.

McCormick and Schmick's is a high-end

seafood restaurant chain.

This night my husband ordered the
Fettuccine with Bay Scallops, Shrimp and Garlic Alfredo Sauce.

He thought it was excellent.

I thought it needed more color.

I ordered the Grilled Lobster and Shellfish Brochette

with Lobster Tail, Shrimp and Scallop, grilled

and served over Couscous.

I have to say that the scallop was the most perfectly

cooked scallop I have ever had in my life.

All scallops should wish to attain this culinary perfection.

It was almost buttery in texture

and I think I saw a bright white light for just a moment there.

That being said,

this dish could have been even better if the

lobster, scallop and shrimp were not all on the same


Can you guess why?

That's all right. I'll give you a moment to figure it out.

Yep, you got it.

They all cook at different rates.

When one was done, another was overdone or underdone.

In this case,

only the scallop was cooked perfectly.

Both the shrimp and the lobster tail were slightly

(and I mean just slightly) overcooked.

Now, slightly overcooked doesn't sound

like a big deal.

And it usually isn't, except when it comes

to seafood.

And then it is a big deal.

The couscous was all right, but a bit mushy.

I do think that rice would have brought

more flavor and texture to the table.

In the end,

this was a nice meal but not especially memorable.

What was memorable was when we got up to leave,

only to be stopped by an older gentlemen who was seated


It turned out that he recognized that my husband was

a 33rd degree candidate

and as this gentleman and the members

of his table were members of the

Pennsylvania Scottish Rite,

they felt the need to make us feel welcome.

Thus, we had do to around and shake every one's hand

at their table (all eighteen or so of them) before we could leave.

Never let it be said that Philadelphians are not friendly.

On Monday evening we arrived at the restaurant that

the Indiana class president had suggested.

May I present the Moshulu?

The Moshulu is the largest four-masted sailing ship

still afloat.

She was launched in 1904 and has been involved

in a couple of notable wars

(being captured by the Germans in one

and the Americans in another).

She has been around Cape Horn 54 times in her

storied career and has carried various cargo items.

In 1968, the Moshulu was purchased and retrofitted

for use as a restaurant.

In 1974, she was towed to Philadelphia

where she was opened as a boat restaurant on

Penn's Landing until she was damaged by fire in 1989.

In 1994, the Moshulu was sold and restored in the

style of a turn-of-the-century luxury liner.

Another gentleman and I kept walking backwards

across the parking lot,

trying to get the entire ship in our camera frames.

We joked that we would have to go back to Ohio

in order to get a good picture.

Looking up the Delaware River.

Looking across towards the New Jersey shore at the

battleship USS New Jersey.

The class president recounted how when his

army group was hunkered down in Viet Nam

and they called for air support,

the New Jersey let loose her massive guns

- from twenty miles out at sea, thus saving their lives.

Our group relaxes on deck before dinner.

We quickly learned that there is no such

thing as a level surface on a sailing ship.

Tall masts.

On the upper deck.

One of our appetizers was a California sushi.

I have to admit that I have tried this type of sushi before

and have never liked it.

I have to believe now that it was never
before prepared properly.

This was sublime.

The rice was slightly sweet.

The nori was not overpowering and repugnant

as I have found it to be in the past,

and the wasabi paste was a nice counterpoint to the other

more subtle flavors.

I could eat this every day of my life.

The second appetizer was a deconstructed

insalata caprese.

A halved grape cherry,

a cube of Parmigiano-reggiano

and a drizzle of really, really good

balsamic vinegar.

Need I say more?

This was our special menu for the evening.

Remember that I said that this ship wasn't level?

The ceiling may look level,

but the floor is anything but.

I was seated at the high side of the table

and had hung my purse at the table.

It hit the floor.

I guess that this ship was built so that it would be level

when loaded with cargo?

I don't know.

That's all I've got.

The salad was mixed greens with

grape tomatoes, English cucumber, sliced radish,

garlic croutons and balsamic vinaigrette.

I decided that some of the ingredients were hiding on my plate.

Our entrees arrived:

center cut filet mignon and grilled jumbo shrimp

with merlot demi.

Mashed potatoes and asparagus accompany.


Flourless chocolate torte with red wine cherries

and vanilla chantilly cream.

Yep, this was good.

And I'm pretty sure that this fulfilled

yet another bucket list item that I didn't even know that I had.

While we were in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania,

we dined at the Historic Dobbin House Restaurant & Tavern.

Click on the picture and read the adverts for the haunted

tours of Gettysburg.

The Dobbin House Tavern dates back to 1776.

What is this?

Why it's President Abraham Lincoln

greeting his guests.

Funny, I always thought that

President Lincoln was much taller.

The old bars actually had bars that came down

to protect the liquor from vandals and vagrants.

The house salad with its slightly sweet and saucy dressing.

There were a couple of types of bread this day to choose from.

I chose this kind.

I loved this kind.

I want this kind.

Spicy, sweet, tart.

Everything nice.

Ain't love grand?

At the beginning of our tour we were asked our preferences

for our dinner for this meal.

I chose the prime rib.

I asked for it to be cooked to medium-rare.

It came with steamed veggies and a baked potato.

My husband requested the salmon.

When dessert time came around

I decided that I had had enough desserts after five days,

so I passed.

Have I mentioned that I am not a sweets person?

My husband accepted the chocolate cake.

After our dinner,

President Lincoln spoke to us about his childhood

and his ascent to the presidency.

President Lincoln is a soft-spoken man,

who was largely self-taught.

Actually, this gentleman is a school teacher who

has studied Abraham Lincoln extensively.

It was an interesting history lesson.

This gentleman is Lew, our tour guide extradinaire.

Lew made a nice trip into a memorable trip.

The original inn.
We had some wonderful food on our trip
with some wonderful people.

1 comment:

Rosie Hawthorne said...

It's only 10 in the morning and you've made me very hungry.
I'm not much of a sweets or dessert person either, but I want that flourless torte.