I have finally returned from my vacation home in Philadelphia!  This morning you may have heard that my mother had given Kat Mykals and Big Boy some Philadelphia-themed gifts.  I wanted to take a moment and explain what those gifts are because I’m sure many people that have never been to Philadelphia don’t understand.  Additionally, I will also let you in on a few other Philadelphia traditions and delicacies.

First off, Mom gave Big Boy a case of Yuengling Lager, a wonderful brew that was originally only available in parts of Pennsylvania and Florida…  Ironically I am from Pennsylvania and Big Boy is from Florida.  I’m always good for drinking mass amounts of Yuengling every trip back home.  If you see Big Boy sometime in the next seven hours or so, ask him for one, but it’ll be gone FAST!

Mom didn’t forget about Kat, though!  Mom picked up some truffles and buttermints from a local olde-tyme candy shoppe in scenic Hatboro, Pennsylvania, Stutz’s.  Stutz’s Candy Shoppe would kind of be comparable to something like Lib’s out here in Evansville.  They make their candy in-house and always makes for a  great gift…  Whether to yourself or a loved one.

Obviously, as a Philadelphia native, I enjoy a good Philly cheesesteak.  The key to having a great cheesesteak is to not have one outside of Philadelphia.  Restaurants all over the country tout “Philly Cheesesteaks” on their menu board, especially here in Evansville…  But none compare to an authentic Philly cheesesteak, believe me.  People always ask me who makes the best cheesesteak in Philly and I always tell them Pat’s, although Gino’s across the street is nearly just as good.  If you’re just outside of Philly, stop by a Primo’s or a Steak & Hoagie Factory.  They’re the tourist attraction steak shops so they’re the most common.  If you’re dying for one that’s not flooded with out-of-towners, hit up Tony Lukes.

You don’t need to go deep into the city for some of Pennsylvania’s best pizza, though.  About 5 miles from my house in Jamison, PA you can get some of the best pizza you’ve ever had at Randazzo’s Pizza & Beer on Route 263.  This is usually the first place I eat when I arrive home.  Last week alone  ate there five times.  That’s not a joke.

Pennsylvania even has better FROZEN pizza than here in the Midwest!  If you were fan of what’s referred to as “lunch room pizza,” that rectangular brick of pizza, do what my family does and stock up on some Elio’s Pizza, which can be found in any legitimate grocery store in the region.

Lastly, anytime you get into your car you’ll want to make a pitstop at a Wawa.  What’s Wawa, you ask?  A Wawa is a convenience store/gas station chain in the Philadelphia region.  They have any type of food/beverage you could possibly ask for, but the deli is the franchise’s main draw if you ask me.  The best thing is you don’t even have to talk to anybody!  Just touch a computer screen a bunch of times with your order and wait for your number to be called and you’re in business!  It’s also acceptable to stop at a Scheetz if you’re in western or central Pennsylvania, for the same reasons.