Philadelphia Freedom: City Tavern

As I mentioned before, I have never been a huge fan of American History. In fact, Colonial people scare me just a little bit. Colonial ghosts just like the guy on this sign were always chasing Scooby Doo around.

Friday night I checked into my room at the Sheraton near Penn’s Landing.

I took a walk around the cool little restaurant row. I happened upon City Tavern and was lured in by menu items like lobster pie and rabbit.

It turns out this was a rebuild of the oldest tavern in the city which was home to the first Fourth of July celebration in 1777. As my luck would have it, I had stumbled smack dab into American History within an hour of landing at the airport.

When the Tavern was completed in 1773, it was one of the most elegant buildings in the city…City Tavern knew the patronage of the great and near-great of the American Revolution. It became the practice of the members of the Second Continental Congress to dine together each Saturday at the Tavern.

The original building was demolished in 1854 and rebuilt for the bicentennial in 1976. In 1994 Walter Staub took over and dedicated himself to recreating the 18th century dining experience.

Yes, I apologize, I know it’s humiliating. But if you’re going to wear it, I damn sure am gonna take a picture (yes, I tipped extra).

I have a feeling this is not the last time I am going to see pewter goblets.

The bread plate included Anadama bread (a molasses bread), Sally Lunn, and “George Washington’s favorite rolls”. The rolls were heavy and tasted like Amish Friendship Bread. The walnuts really made them.

In spite of interesting menu items like Martha Washington Style Colonial Turkey Pot Pie and Braised Rabbit, I had to pass them up when I saw the special.

Schlachtplatte: A traditional dish served to celebrate the Schlachtfest (the butchering of a pig). An assortment of sausages and smoked pork topped with crispy fried onions accompanied by Hengstenberg sauerkraut, homemade mashed potatoes and Dijon mustard.

If I have learned anything from Anthony Bourdain, it’s when it’s pig butchering time the eatin is good. And I was not disappointed when this immense platter of piggy was set before me

The knockwurst, bratwurst and frankfurter were made with natural casings and had a great snap. As usual, the knockwurst was my favorite. The smoked pork was very much like ham and made a great breakfast sandwich the next morning. Buried under all of the meat was a gigantic mound of creamy mashed potatoes.

It’s good to know some modern niceties, like the leftovers swan, were still observed

I wandered around a little after dinner and did not forget the first thing you have to pick up when landing on the East coast…

About Kiki Maraschino

I like catfish. Sure, we all like catfish, but I think for me it is somehow deeper.
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