FUEL-ing up in Philly

Here’s a given that I cannot avoid no matter how many times I try:

Whenever I go into Philly, I spend money.

I’ve had times where I’ve managed to go down and have days where I spend little more than the cost of a modest, yet delicious lunch (which is sometimes compliments to Groupon). The art museum is a lovely way to spend your day downtown without having to spend too much money, especially if you go on the one day where you can pay what you like. I believe that day is either Wednesday or Sunday. What’s nice is that even if you do pay an admission, you can use that same admission to the other buildings in the museum AND that admission is good for two consecutive days as long as you keep the ticket.

Since I am a member to the art museum, I may have the days twisted… so check with information in case you do visit. I know it’s my town and all, but I highly recommend visiting the Philadelphia Museum of Art when you visit. Not only are the more permanent exhibits marvelous to behold, the special exhibitions are well worth the visit.

However, yesterday was not a cheap day. I went and spent some money. Let’s face it; I’m one of those females that likes to shop, and I’ve discovered a favourite consignment shop as well as other places that I like to haunt. We all know how this is going down.

I always tell myself that I’m going to the art museum when I go downtown, but this time, I knew that was a lie. Today was a food adventure day. I was fitting to shop, and try a coffee place that I had never noticed before. One day, I was coming home from 69th Street on the trolley, and I saw a coffee shop called Five Points Coffee. “Hm”, I thought to myself. “I need to try that place”.

The next day, I was on the trolley and got off at the stop where I could see the coffee shop about a block away. The location of it is good because you can see it from the 101 or 102 trolleys. Just get off at the Fairfield Stop and walk straight to it.

I walked in and I liked the feel of it. It felt like a calm place in the midst of the hustle and bustle of an urban neighborhood. If you know anything about 69th street and how busy it is, this place was a nice contrast. I really wanted to order one of the coffee drinks, but I always think “hot” even though you can get iced coffee products there. I settled for a peach smoothie with whipped cream. There was no line at all when I went in.

The peach smoothie was tasty, and I sat for a moment and admired the pictures on the wall. Something about them reminded me of the pictures I’ve seen of Morocco. I reminded myself that I need to make plans to go, no matter where I may find myself living. I don’t know about anyone else, but no matter where I find myself living, or what work I am doing, I want travel to be priority.

After the few minutes of contemplation, and looking over the receipt that was sent to me by text message (I love this option!), I walked out and went down to 69th St to catch the el.

I got off in Center City, and walked down to H&M to do a little shopping. I had been procrastinating for a good couple of years on getting some basics, so I decided to get on that. As much as I like boutiques, if you need affordable wardrobe staples and basics, I recommend H&M. I didn’t appreciate this store as much as I should, but after being in NYC, I have a newfound appreciation for its prices on things. I left there with 4 basic tees, including one white and one black plain tee, and a great mustard yellow cardigan.

By now, it was mid afternoon, and I was hungry. I walked my way up to the 12th block of Walnut St to use the Groupon I got for Fuel. I’ve seen this place a few times and had heard of it, but hadn’t tried anything in there. Today was the day.

Even though I looked at the menu online before going, I was still indecisive about what to get. It’s just that everything looked so good! After taking approximately 5 minutes shy of forever, I finally ordered the Spicy Spanish Skewered Shrimp and the Deconstructed Guacamole Salad.

Here are my thoughts:

The shrimp wasn’t bad, but I did expect it to be spicier than it was. It was on a stick, though; most anything on a stick is automatically good. I liked the sauce that was served with it, too. It tasted like something very familiar, but I couldn’t put my finger on it.

The salad?

Let me tell you guys… this thing BLEW. ME. AWAY. If you are like me and obsessed with guacamole, you will be addicted to this salad. In fact, it will mess with your head a little. It tastes so much like guacamole, I found myself thinking “Man, I wish I had more chips to dip into this!” It’s clearly not a dip when you look at it, but this is what you will think. That’s how much this salad tastes like guacamole. Even the choice of greens with it was perfect for translating the flavor of guacamole.

Editor’s note: I’m so sorry for not having pictures! I didn’t have enough storage space on my phone to take any! Since I plan to revisit this particular eatery, I’ll be sure to have pictures for you all. Everything looked as good as it tasted. :End Editor’s Note

If this wasn’t enough to keep me coming back for more, the flourless chocolate cake did it. It was served with a raspberry purée type sauce. I will add a caveat here: unless you’re a real chocolate fan, don’t get this. It’s not for the faint of heart. If you exclusively eat weak chocolate (mainly, anything chocolate confection that has a percentage higher than 62%), you won’t survive this dessert.

It was rich and tasted like they cut a piece of fudge and put it on a plate… but who’s complaining?? The raspberry sauce with this was brilliant because it cut through the richness of the slice of chocolate. There area times where I’ve had raspberry sauce with something chocolate, and felt it was completely unnecessary or didn’t work. Even for a big time rich/dark chocolate fan, this was a rich piece of cake;  this sauce was the perfect compliment.

I left lunch feeling satisfied, but not weighed down, even with dessert! Everything was delicious and, to my delight, reasonably priced… which left me more money to shop, of course!

I hit up two shops before going home, one of which was Greene Street Consignment. I’m obsessed with their feed on Instagram. It’s a groovy consignment shop with a few locations in the Philadelphia area, parts of New Jersey, and one location in Soho in NYC (which I got to visit). Not only did I make friends with the young woman that rang me up, I finally got a romper, and a $5 pair of pants with very cool embroidery down the side.

After all this, I finally went home. It was a full day, but a fun day.

I forgot how much I enjoy going into the city. I’ll have to make plans to go back sooner rather than later. Thankfully, a transpass will make that possible for me. Transpasses are wonderful things, especially when you travel into a city. Let’s face it: no matter how nifty cars are, parking in a city is difficult and expensive. Even when I had a car, I was more likely to take public transportation into the city and to get around the city.

Here’s to more Philly adventures.


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