Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Weekend Life.....Washington DC → Philadelphia Road Trip

Road trip, Washington DC to Philadelphia, USA, February 2012.

Before NYFW in February, we took a mini road trip from Washington DC to Philadelphia and then on to NYC.

A few of my favourite things from the trip:

Good Stuff Eatery (Washington DC). Home of great burgers, fries and the glorious, rich, brain-freeze inducing marshmallow shake. If you go, you just have to have a shake (any flavour!). So good.

Ray's Hell Burger (Arlington, VA). If you are flying into Dulles International airport and driving into Washington DC, Ray's Hell Burger is well worth a stop along the way, particularly if you have avoided the food on the plane and need to refuel with a juicy, fresh burger.

Bens Chili Bowl (Washington DC) - Disclaimer: I am a big fan of Man v Food (how I didn't know about the show, along with Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, until last year, I am not sure!) so I have dozens of bookmarks noting places I'd like to visit in the US. And this was one place I bookmarked for when we visited Washington DC. And how good it was. It was pouring with rain when we arrived, but as soon as we opened the door and joined the line (it was early Saturday evening) our mood lifted. The beats were pumping (people were grooving along in the line), the main dude behind the counter was bustin' some moves with the guys working the grill and smell of chili and hot-dogs was in the air. And the food? We had the chili half-smoke and it was excellent (although admittedly I don't eat hot-dogs very often. I think the last time was at the Jets season opener on September 11th last year at the MetLife stadium in NJ).

Di Bruno Bros (Philadelphia) - A great Italian deli near Rittenhouse Square if you want to stock up on picnic ingredients for lunch/dinner. We arrived in Philadelphia mid-afternoon on Super Bowl Sunday so just picked up some salads, sliced Italian meats and cheese for a wee picnic in our hotel room before the game. Sometimes a makeshift hotel room picnic is just what you need after a long day sightseeing.


M.E. Swing Co (Washington DC). Righteous espresso and very close to the White House. Only open Monday to Friday.

Peregrine Espresso (Washington DC)

Elixr Coffee (Philadelphia)

Volo Coffeehouse (Manayunk, Philadelphia). We stumbled across this cafe after we called in to Three Potato Four (my favourite online store to browse for vintage/retro American homewares. Their warehouse isn't really open to the public (except by appointment) but Janet and Stu were kind enough to show us around anyway).


Hotel Palomar Philadelphia. This was my first time staying in a Kimpton hotel and I have only good things to say. The staff were very helpful and nice, the room was super clean and nicely decorated and the location is ideal - walking distance to The Liberty Bell, Rittenhouse Square, Reading Terminal Market. Plus, they are a pet-friendly hotel so four-legged furry friends are welcome to stay with you (love that!).


Arlington National Cemetery - so quiet, moving, peaceful. We visited at 8am on a Saturday morning and had the place pretty much to ourselves (jet lag is sometimes useful).

We walked from the cemetery all the way to the Capitol Building (via the Lincoln Memorial). A long way but highly recommended if you enjoy walking. Plus Good Stuff Eatery is just on Capitol Hill so something yummy to look forward to.

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum - brilliant. I highly recommend the free guided tour.

Lancaster County - home to the Pennsylvania Amish community