My final Philly morning began at the Rittenhouse Square outpost of DiBruno Brothers, the gourmet market in business since 1939. Ever since I spied a photo of their original Italian Market location with a banner reading The House of Cheese, I knew I had to visit. I love cheese. The stinkier the better.
Turns out the store was a very short distance from my hotel, which meant I could buy a lot and not get my usual arm bruises from jostling heavy grocery bags through city streets. Hooray! (One bonus of driving instead of flying on my adventures is there’s lots of extra room in my (cooler filled) trunk. Foodies always travel with at least one cooler on hand, just in case they come across some great food finds.) Anyway, this bustling shop was filled with charcuterie, artisan cheeses, pasta, tempting chocolates and breads, olive oils. . . all displayed like a Milan market . My most exciting purchase? A slew of flavored bitters. Like chocolate,grapefruit, and sour cherry. Mix them with seltser or use them to make delish cocktails.
After a quick trip back to the hotel to drop off my goodies, one more walk was necessary before that tedious drive on the good ol’ PA Turnpike back to Pittsburgh. I started down Sansom Street, where the previous day I looked into a sweet little boutique (okay, so I didn’t just look, I bought things, too) called SA VA. What does this have to do with food? Well, read on. It was my lucky day because Sarah Van Aken, the owner and designer, was walking between her shop and her manufacturing facility next door, so I told her how much I loved the clothes I bought the day before.
Van Aken mentioned she also designs uniforms for upscale restaurants such as Izakaya at the Borgata in Atlantic City, Alfred Portale’s Gotham in NY and Gotham Steak in Miami, Forge and Rouge Tomate in NY and Supper on Philly’s South Street under the Van Aken Signature brand. So cool. Visit her beautiful shop in person or online and keep your eyes out for Sarah’s creations in the hottest restaurants. How inspiring to see young, innovative people doing good things for their city. Now, it’s back to the ‘Burgh, with one quick stop in PA Dutch Country on the way home.