Surbhi Puri’s ode to the Philly Food Scene

Surbhi Puri (ex-pat files)
Favorite Place: Philadelphia’s food scene

I am: A life sciences consultant currently in Boston. I went to UPenn for my undergrad and grad education. Philly will always be the wonderful city where I found myself.
Years in Philly: August 2002 to August 2011
Current Home: Boston

(photos taken by the ladies at Philly-ism and by Jason Varney. If this post doesn’t make you hungry,
these photos and their website certainly will)


My Love Note:

Ode to Food-a-delphia

I was but eighteen when I first arrived,
To the city of brotherly love, to partake of Penn pride.
I discovered, soon enough, that old-world as you were,
Your soul, your story lay in the food that you served.

Two months of dorm food had me bored and disgruntled,
“I cannot eat this!!” I constantly grumbled.
So I ventured across the street to try the food trucks,
Praying for deliverance, for else I was stuck.

Kim’s spicy tofu and rice, packed with aplomb,
Yu Kees was good too, though the line was so long.
Sunday breakfast from Buis became a weekly treat,
“Sal, peppah, kecha, hah saww,” they would sing to a beat.

In case of the occasional nutritional need,
One had healthier options, or so it would seem.
The fruit carts were tropical feasts on wheels,
Magic Carpet doled out vegan entrees with ease,

The crepes at Houston Hall would make the French cringe,
But for hungry college students they were the perfect binge.
Further West I found happiness in Ethiopian cuisine,
Sharing soft injera till we were bursting at the seams.

In center city I found an expansive lot,
Steven Starr or BYOB, they all hit the spot.
Long Saturday brunches after long tiring weeks,
French toast at Sabrina’s made you weak at the knees.

I found such comfort in daal chawal at Sitars,
Even though most desis thought their food was from Mars.
Many a cough caused by wicked winter cold,
Was bettered by green curry from Erawan next door.

Catching up with friends is always more fun,
Curled up at La Colombe, or basking in Rittenhouse sun.
Savoring Capo Giro gelato amid giggles with girls,
Dark chocolate and strawberry #outofthisworld

When I left last September I did not realize,
I was parting from a gastronomic, culinary prize.
As I get to know Boston, I cannot help but compare,
Quincy Market grub to Reading Terminal fare.

Where ever I go, no matter the miles,
My food city memories will always bring smiles.
I plot my return for a fine, sunny weekend,
To savor old delicacies, some new ones even.

Thank you dear Philly, for the fabulous dine,
Till we meet again, by fate or by design.
Keep up the fry, the sauté, the baste, the grill,
I’ll show up with my appetite, I promise, I will.

– Surbhi Puri


Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in West Philly 4 Comments

4 Responses to Surbhi Puri’s ode to the Philly Food Scene

  1. Rabia

    Amazing!!! 🙂

    • Surbhi

      Thank you!! Must plan food trip to Philly. 🙂

  2. Jessie

    WOW just what I was looking for. Came here by searching for aplomb

  3. The Finance Frat-Chic

    I am curiously Hungry..

    The ability to make a brain dead man truly imagine the taste of simple yet truly exquisite food is a talent to be reckoned with. 🙂


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