Posts in Category: Ice Cream

One Day in Philadelphia

As a preface to this post I spent a year of my life in Philadelphia living in North and South Philly and I have been asked many times what people should see in Philly if they have some time there.  Below is an edited version of what I have sent to 3 separate friends and relatives:
Near Center City
 
Reading Terminal Market
          The old train station in Center City.  Located close to City Hall, China Town and the Masonic Temple.
           Highlights here are all the Pennsylvania Dutch People selling amazing from scratch food.  We bought the most amazing bread pudding here. Bassetts Ice Cream is Philly style Ice Cream, made with eggs and cream very thick and rich.  Cheesesteaks can be bought here and they are good and if you are only in Center City it is a good place to get it but there are many better places to get one.  The Italian Deli here is amazing.
City Hall and Penn Tower
Fun to visit the top of Penn Tower is a cool way to see the city, you need to book a reservation.
(Everything above is about 11-12 Blocks away from everything below)
Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell
     If you go to the Visitors Center which is North from the Bell and Independence Hall right when they open you can book a tour that is scheduled (for the hall) so you don’t have to wait in line.  This is the NPS version of a fast pass and it is amazing.   You can just go see the bell the line moves pretty quick as it is just a bell and once you look at it and take a pic that is kind of all you can do.  If you have never been it is a must.   As a side note just South West of here is Washington SquarePark block and it is the location of the tomb of the unknown soldier from the Revolutionary War.
US Mint
     I think you can book a tour here it is very cool but for one day I might skip it.  But if you are into coins like me a quick lap in the gift shop is very cool
Christ Church
       Like its counterpart in NYC (trinity church) Christchurch is where the founding fathers met.  The steeple was funded by a lottery that Ben Franklin ran.  It is a few blocks east of the mint.  But just south of the mint is the Christ Church Cemetery it is a cool old cemetery where a bunch of signers of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution are buried.
Franklin Court
      Home to the first post office in the US.  There are lots of ‘Firsts’ in Philly, Bank, Stock Exchange etc.  Ben Franklin founded the first post office in the US here near his old house which is just north across the street but no longer stands there as there was a fire i think.  Now there is a museum that displays some of his inventions.  It is cool but i would put this lower on my list
Elfreths Alley
       The oldest continuously occupied street in America.  It is an old street a few blocks east of Christ Church.  Its pretty cool but in the end is just a street.  If you like colonial architecture it is a must if not it is a few blocks out of your way.
Betsy Ross House
       With people dressed in colonial attire it is hard to not find this place a little cheesy.  The house is real the furniture is correct to the period and the house is cool.  I would do most other things on this list first but it is near Christ Church and Franklin Court and on the way to Elfreths Ally.  So could be worth a stop.
Now for a list of things not near Center City but could be cool to see none the less
Cheesesteaks
Tony Lukes Cheesesteaks
This is way in South Philly. Worth the Drive could be quite busy
An alternate would be http://www.patskingofsteaks.com/ or http://www.genosteaks.com/ which are right across the street from each other in the very Italian part of South Philly (think Rocky Running down the street with all the Italian Market Stores).  All 3 are Great Tony Luke’s used to be more philly but now they have a location in Dubai so that may have changed.  I have eaten at all 3 places and you can’t go wrong.
West Philly
In West Philly near the river are a few things that could be worth your time but I would say more for day 2 or 3 which you don’t have but it is still worth mentioning.
Franklin Institute
Rodin Museum
Further west
Boathouse Row
University of Pennsylvania 
http://www.upenn.edu/  UPENN has a very cool campus and bookstore
Valley Forge
http://www.nps.gov/vafo/index.htm  Cool if you are near it but not much too see.  Same goes for Washington’s Crossing in NJ
Valley Forge is similar outside of the city just a place where people camped on winter
Day Trips Beyond the City
If you have more time I would recommend Intercouse, PA (yes that is the name) this is Amish Country.  Great food and fun to see.  Beyond here are Hershey, PA.  Not worth a stop unless you are right there.
Gettysburg is a few hours west of Philly well worth it if you are close.

Berthillon – Paris

Salted Carmel and Pink Grapefruit Ice Cream

Salted Carmel and Pink Grapefruit Ice Cream

During our last trip to Paris we were standing near Notre Dame wanting a treat. Having already eaten crepes for breakfast and lunch we decided it was time for a change, at least until right before bed. In every travel book we have read Berthillion is always listed as a place to get ice cream in Paris, ALWAYS. Even though we tend to follow these books as if Napoléon himself wrote them, in the past when it came to the best ice cream in Paris we were skeptic.  But this day we weren’t, so we wandered from Isle de la cite to Isle de Saint Louis, a short walk but worlds apart. Soon we were in narrow streets and there were very few tourists or really people. The only place one could see a crowd was in front of 29-31 rue saint Louis en l’ile, which is the location of Berthillion. We were not in the mood to wait in line for any treat but good news is that any purveyor of ice cream on the island carries Berthillion and it all made in the same place by the masters at Berthillion.

So for our first foray we shared a scoop of Salted Caramel and Pink Grapefruit. Not to oversell it but it was the best ice cream ever. Better than any ice cream we had had from the Tillamook factory in Oregon, to Bassetts in Philadelphia to any thing we had ever had in Europe.  If we add Gellato to the mix there are some places that will give it a run for its money.  But if we have to go across Europe seeing where the best ice cream is to settle a spat we are in!

Vine Peach and Pink Grapefruit Ice Cream from Berthillion

Vine Peach and Pink Grapefruit Ice Cream from Berthillion

So the next day we went back, luckily it was less busy. We sat in the salon and did not share this time. We ordered Vine Peach and Pink Grapefruit and Salted Carmel and Pink Grapefruit. The salon at the Berthillion was fun, it would be a great place to take kids as a reward for not damaging the Venus de Milo.  When you look at the many reviews on Trip Advisor the most common thing people say it is a little pricey for the portion, but in our opinion worth it.

Long story short Berthillion is a must do.