What a whirlwind week and weekend! First, I attended the #MylanSummit where the collective food allergy bloggers from across the United States, or, better known as the women who rock the world with their passion and knowledge of kids with food allergies, gathered to exchange information on food allergies. I went right into a a few days away with our #foodallergy teen in Philadelphia for another food allergy event and meeting.
From New York City’s Penn Station, we took the #Amtrak regional train down to Philadelphia’s 30th Street station. Teen and I stayed at the Courtyard Marriott in downtown Philadelphia, a smoke free, pet free hotel near Center City and directly across from the historic City Hall. The hotel is family friendly and has a swimming pool. We checked our bags and headed out to the city. Our first stop was Hip City Veg. I was thinking that teen would have a lovely salad that was safe for her. The fabulous chef Lauren came out and talked to us directly, offering to go and make us a feast that was free of all of our allergens and cross contamination, but in the end teen wasn’t hungry or feeling veggies so we continued down 18th Street to Rittenhouse Square Park.
The statue above is entitled Lion Crushing Serpent by Barye. It is in the middle of Rittenhouse Square Park. A similar bronze statue is in the Louvre made from the same cast. You can read more about this beautiful statue here. Teen loved it, and we spent a good half hour with it. Then we moved on to an equally beautiful section – a fountain with another bronze statue of a girl carrying a goose.
Afterwards, we headed to Chipotle, 1200 Walnut Street for a bite to eat. Teen had the rice for the first time since outgrowing a food allergy to soy. I requested the server change her gloves which she did immediately as if it was no problem. When we went back the next day I instructed the food server to only serve the rice, then put a to-go top on it right afterwards. I explained that the food allergies were serious. She completely understood, didn’t ask any other questions and this time I didn’t climb the walls watching the bowl make its way past the other allergens. In the end, I knew it was food allergy safe.
After a quick nap at our hotel, we returned to Rittenhouse Square’s premiere restaurant, Parc. Parc is owned by the Starr Restaurant Group and was recommended to me by another mom of a food allergic teenager. I called beforehand to make a reservation and spoke with manager Nicole Bell, to explain and see if they could accommodate our food allergies. Upon arrival, we told the hostess who we were and asked to see a manager just to make extra sure. David, the manager came by and introduced himself to us after Megan, our excellent waitress had already taken our allergen list back to the kitchen. Although I could tell everyone was a bit shocked, but I was sure that Nicole had already spoken to the chef and that we would be well taken care of. And we were! The chef made a chicken breast not on the menu for us and served it on a bed of greens with a side of olive oil and vinegar. To end our wonderful meal, teenager was at the house made sour cherry sorbet which was delicious! I had the Duck Confit, which was also excellent.
But the highlight of the dinner was actually going on outside of the restaurant, steps away from us on 18th Street. It was the annual Philly Naked Bike Ride! Imagine a restaurant full of diners treated to well, to be frank – naked and scantily clad people on bicycles. About 1,000 of them men and women of all ages took part in this event. As you can see from our picture below, the onlookers made sure to capture the event with their smartphones, just like us! Teen’s response? “This city is cool…”
Philadelphia is a wonderful city to visit and we will be back. Next time we’re going to make sure to go to the Rodin Museum and take in Independence Hall. Thanks to all the restaurants we visited along the way to being food allergy aware and ensuring our safety during our trip.
To recap – here are the restaurants we visited during our 24 hours in Philadelphia with food restrictions.
1200 Walnut Street (at 16th), Philadelphia, PA
11AM – 10pm M-Sun
227 S. 18th Street, Philadelphia, PA
M-Fri 7:30A – 10P
Sat-Sun 10A – 10P