I did *NOT* run up the Rocky steps

For the past three days I’ve been in Philadelphia at a work conference. It was a really interesting one, put on (in part) by Wharton business school. Refreshingly, instead of trapping us in a great hideous ballroom for the whole time, they conducted four sessions in stunning, mostly historic, venues: the Franklin Institute, the College of Physicians, the brand new Museum of the American Revolution, and the Wharton school itself.

Because of my flight timing, and the prime location of our hotel (the stunning Ritz-Carlton) I managed to squeeze in some great spots.

Zavino, a casual pizza (and pasta) and wine bar, fed me a terrific gnudi special, an enormous beet salad, and some Sangiovese.

After caffeine-ing up at La Colombe and doing a little work I decided to try out Monk’s Cafe. The front bar was busy but I snuck into the back bar, and had a great time. It was quiet back there so the bartender (John, I think?) and I got to chatting, and he pulled some killer beers for me: a Russian River Consecration sour and an Almanac blackberry gose.

Since I was now on my way to the conference I decided I’d better get some more coffee in me, and stopped at Elixr on the way back to the hotel. Straight up one of the best espresso shots I’ve ever had.

During the evening’s sessions, where they fed us dinner, I had an obligatory Yuengling. After, once the evening had wrapped up, I tried Brü, a craft beer + wurst place I’d walked by earlier in the day. It was…super-loud and full of drunk dickbags, but I found a seat at the bar where I could watch hockey (WPG vs. PHI) and drink beer. I fended off bros while drinking an Avery Raspberry sour, a Rodenbach Alexander, and Half Acre Chub Step coffee porter.

On Friday we were in sessions from 7:30 to 9:30, so I did exactly nothing fun.

This morning I got up extra-early so I could return to Elixr before the conference re-started, and the cappuccino lived up to the standard the espresso had set earlier in the week. Absolutely top-notch.

Today, when my session ended I had a bit of time before my flight, so I grabbed lunch at a classic (kind of touristy, but still classic) local spot: McGillin’s. It’s an old tavern dating back to 1860 which is found down an alley. Sweet. I had a philly cheese steak and cole slaw and a pickle and a bag of chips, and a Lancaster milk stout, and it cost me $12 with tax.

Despite a bit of schlepping around back streets due to the marathon today, I got to the airport in pretty good time. Then I saved even more time because I have PreCheck, so I had two hours to kill before my flight. Luckily as soon as I walked through security I saw a Vino Volo. I had a Mencia and a Sangiovese, and I’m drinking a California Cab as I finish writing this.

Pretty solid trip, all in all, and it made me REALLY want to come back to Philly some day.

[UPDATE: I left Vino Volo as soon as I saw my plane pull in. As soon as I got to the gate I got called to the desk, and found out I’d been upgraded. Wasn’t expecting that. Smooth, comfy flight, followed by probably my all-time fastest exit from Pearson. Travel score!]

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