Ya, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society is giving a talk on home canning at the Tacony branch of the Philadelphia Free Library on Wednesday, September 2nd at 6:30 pm. So I have a suggestion for you. Spend the evening in Northeast Philly.
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- Stop at Jack’s Place on Hegerman Ave. for a sandwich that will feed you and three friends.
- Go to the library and learn about canning.
- Get another sandwich, this time a cheesesteak from Frusco’s.
- Head down the street to see why the Grey Lodge makes Esquire’s Best Bars in America list.
- Getting hungry again?! BBQ at Sweet Lucy’s. BYOB!
Those of you who are vintage saw buffs are likely familiar with the area because of Disston’s Keystone Saw Works, once the worlds largest manufacturer of saws. But there’s more than industry to Tacony, friends, so go forth and eat!
3.6 Hours in Northeast Philly
Not too many people I know come on sightseeing trips of Northeast Philly, so I’ve been storing this up for 28 years. With that, I submit the visitor’s guide nobody asked for- 3.6 Hours in Northeast Philadelphia.
2:50 PM- Frankford Arsenal
I’d start by taking the R7 train towards Trenton, getting off at the Bridesburg stop. Take a deep breath as you step off the train, and inhale the sweet combination of odors emitting from the Ellis Coffee Manufacturing Plant and Rohm and Haas Chemical Facility. Just one block from there, is the old Frankford Arsenal- which was the among the largest suppliers of ammunition to the North during the Civil War. Today many of the buildings are reused for a variety of things, including housing the Philadelphia Rare Book and Manuscripts store- which has one of the greatest selections of purchasable antique cookery books in the region. It’s by appointment only, but they’re usually happy to have people come in just to browse.
4:00 PM Grey Lodge
You were dead right with this one. Just a mile and a half bike ride from the Arsenal, this may be the greatest establishment in all of Northeast Philly (which still lives up the Revolutionary Era Philadelphia’s ratio of one tavern to every 140 people.) With Monk’s temporarily out of commission, the Grey Lodge inherits the beer crown for the Delaware Valley. Aside from the amazing draft selection, they also have some of the best fries in the area. Just around the corner is the Original Chickie’s and Pete’s –which was a great place until they became, you know, “Chickies’ Bro!”.
5:15 PM In search of the perfect Cheesesteak
For my money, Steve’s Prince of Steaks (7200 Buselton Ave.) is the greatest Cheesesteak on planet earth, though it may throw you off course of your “East of the Boulevard” adventure. If you can get past the offensive name, Chink’s Steaks (6030 Torresdale Ave.) runs a close second. Frusco’s grease-packed roll doesn’t even crack my Top 10, but after a few pints of Arcadia Hopmouth Double IPA at the Grey Lodge, it may be just what the doctor ordered.
6:00 PM- Espresso Yourself
Since the “Insectarium” on the 8000 block of Frankford closes at 4PM, (where refreshments include Cajun- or cheese-coated mealworms, or lollypops with a caterpillar surprise,) and they have yet to erect a “Rocky” statue at Lincoln High School (where Sylvester Stallone was expelled in his sophomore year), head back on Frankford Ave. for a cup of Philly’s finest coffee at Espresso Yourself (6441 Frankford Ave.) On any given day you could walk into an AA meeting or a live bluegrass band, so be prepared to fit in.
6:30 PM- Tacony Library