Epic Food Adventures: Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia

During our move, our broker eagerly rattled off Delaware’s virtues.  “The best thing,” she effused, “is it’s only 30 minutes from Philadelphia, 90 minutes from New York, and 2 hours from DC!”  We hear this a lot.  (So…. the best thing about Delaware is it’s easy to leave?)  But now that we’ve started to settle in, it is time to explore!

Earlier this month, my husband and I took my youngest – a high school sophomore playing for the St. Mark’s football team – to Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia for a food adventure. On an empty stomach.

Reading Terminal: A Historic Landmark

Being a mom, I began with a history and cultural lesson.  Established in 1892, Reading Terminal is the nation’s oldest continuously operating farmers’ market. Today, the market offers a colorful selection of local produce, fresh eggs, milk, meats, poultry, seafood, handmade crafts, jewelry, and clothing from more than 80 merchants. With 100,000 Philadelphians and tourists passing through every week, it is LA’s Grand Central and Farmer’s Market all rolled into one spectacular foodie mecca.

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None of this impressed my teenager. Then we arrived, let him loose, and ran amuck until, like Templeton at the fair, we collapsed into a food coma.

Appetizers: Fried Mac & Cheese Balls.

To stave off hunger pangs before jumping into the serious food, we started with the fried mac & cheese balls at Beck’s Cajun Cafe.  I was expecting something more akin to a risotto ball, dried and bland.  But these scrumptious balls of mac & cheese are gooey, melt-in-your month deliciousness. The are ginormous, and served with a spicy creole tomato sauce for dipping. Yum!

Adult Beverages: Evil Genius on Draft

As we scanned the cacophony of food surrounding us, it was obvious that my husband and I were going to need more fortification for the adventure.  So off to Molly Malloy’s for one of two dozen local brews on tap — how can you say no to the Evil Genius on draft?  As a bonus, Molly’s will conveniently provide your beer in a to-go cup so you can continue to wander the market.

A Brief Detour:  Whoopie Pies

While searching for sandwiches, we discovered that Spencer had never had a whoopee pie before.  Clearly that needed to corrected, so we detoured by the Flying Monkey for  two classic whoopee pies.  The pumpple –  a cake that combines chocolate cake, vanilla cake, pumpkin pie, and apple pie into a single mega-dessert – was tempting.  But it was important not to loose focus here.

Doughnuts… So Close, Yet So Far!

After jumping back into the fray, we found ourselves at Beiler’s on a quest for their famous, maple bacon, yeast-risen doughnuts.  Sadly, they were closed. We left empty handed.

Lunch! An Italian Roast Pork Sandwich

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By now, we had really worked up an appetite. So what better place to stop than DiNic’s for the roast pork Italiano, voted “Best Sandwich in America” by the Travel Channel?  Thinly sliced, juicy roast pork, a long roll with sliced sharp provolone, and bright green chopped broccoli rabe to top it all off.  We had two.  Heaven!

Dessert: Leave the Gun, Take the Cannoli

After a quick recap of the Godfather for Spencer (more cultural history!), it was time for dessert.  Because how could we possibly leave without getting some of the best cannoli in Philly?  That required a stop by Termini Bros for fresh made cannoli — the shells stuffed individually as they fill each order ensuring a perfect, crunchy exterior, and the interior packed with creamy, sweet, chocolate chip ricotta filling.  Perfection.

A Snack for the Road: Peking Duck & Roasted Pork Noodle Platter

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At this point, a lesser family would have given up.  But, undeterred, we pressed on and picked up a light snack for the trip back home.  The roast duck and roasted pork noodle platter (because, really, who can choose between the gorgeously burnished Peking duck and the deeply flavored roasted pork hanging on display?) at Sang Kee Peking Duck House.  Although Jeff kept holding out for the Muffaletta back at Beck’s Cajun Cafe, it was here that we finally tapped out.

Stay tuned for my review of the Hockessin Athletic Club, where we will be spending the rest of the month recovering…!

Mette K.

 

 

Making Bankruptcy Sexy Again, and Of Delawarean Chickens…

Yesterday my journey through Delaware’s bar admission process took me to Day 1 of the 2017 Pre-Admission Conference held by the Delaware Supreme Court.  Here are a few of the more memorable take aways for those of you who are following along.

A Home to Corporations… and Many Chickens

Of fewer than 7,000 lawyers admitted to the Delaware bar since 1913, roughly 4,000 lawyers practice here today.  Over 900,000 people call Delaware home.  Over 1 million companies are headquartered here, representing roughly half the corporations in the country and 2/3 of all Fortune 500 companies.  What I bet you didn’t know is that over 200 million chickens live here. Fortunately, they are a very friendly and collegial population. And so are the attorneys!

Bankruptcy Court Is the Place to Be!

27708353 - silhouettes of concert crowd in front of bright stage lightsAs soon as I stepped into Room 119 for Workshop 3, I knew I was in a special place. Newly minted lawyers jockeyed for a seat with all the enthusiasm of millennials at a Justin Bieber concert.  “I told you this is really the place to be!” one young woman squealed. The topic?  Bankruptcy Courts, lead by the Honorable Judge Brendan L. Shannon.  I haven’t seen this much enthusiasm in California about the prospect of spending an hour curled up with the local bankruptcy rules since 2009.  Folks, I am in my happy place!!  (And did I see Judge Shannon giving out autographed copies of the Bankruptcy Code as I left?)

Help, I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up

34561100 - woman portrait, staircase accidentAfter all the excitement of the bankruptcy program, naturally, one could be expected to be a little lightheaded. So as I returned to Vale auditorium and scanned the isles for seating for the final lecture, its hardly surprising that I might miss a step.  Or two.  Or several, as I slid down a few rows, papers flying. As I watched the horrified faces of the 20-somethings surrounding me – Oh my god! Is that old lawyer okay?! – all could think of was the ruckus at my uncle’s funeral a few months ago when my 98-year old Great Aunt Barb fell in the middle of the isle just as the service was starting. I am pleased to report that Aunt Barb and I are fine.

But today I will be arriving early in hopes of switching out name tags at the registration desk and avoiding recognition.

The Fine Print

Yes, this means that I passed the Delaware bar exam this summer!! But, least there be any confusion, I have not yet completed the application process and been approved for admission.  MPRE results are pending.  The clerkship is still in process.  I need to procure an original transcript for a study abroad course that I took in Austria back in the summer of ’89….

Road trip!!!!

Mette K.

 

A California Attorney Arrives in… Dela-Where?!

Six months after announcing my move to Delaware, I have settled into The First State! Along with my husband; a teenager; a grumpy, old dog; two electric Fiats; a truck; and a Harley.  Here are a few of things we have learned along the way.

Question #1: Dela… Where?

53986263 - usa map with magnified delaware state. delaware flag and map.A few people (I won’t name names) have asked: “What state is Delaware in?”  More often, I’m asked: “Um… Where is that?”  Or just thrown a puzzled look.  So, for my geographically challenged friends, fly to New York, then drive south through New Jersey.  Stop.  If you hit Maryland, you’ve gone too far.  And pay attention, because Delaware is only 90 miles from top to bottom!  (Yes, it takes longer to get to a Dodgers game in rush hour traffic than to drive through the entire state of Delaware.)

Lesson #1: East Coast v. West Coast Stucco

One thing Californians take for granted is stucco.  We are surrounded by stucco in every possible color and texture.  It is cheap, versitile, and requires virtually no maintenance in a desert climate.  It photographs well with palm trees.  So naturally, Jeff and I immediately fell in love with a stucco covered home in Wilmington.  Moth.  Flame.
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What we quickly learned is that Delaware’s average annual rainfall is 46 inches.  Los Angles, 7 inches.  And stucco is porous, so it loves to absorb all that water.  Suffice it to say that we are now veritable stucco experts.  If any of you have questions about stucco testing, flashings, drainage or other stucco/water related questions and have a few spare hours, give us a call.

Surprise #1:  Wineries…. In Delaware!

44215589 - red wine pouring into glassCalifornia accounts for nearly 90% of all American wine production.  We have been producing wine in the state since the 18th century, when the Spanish missionaries first planted vineyards to produce wine for mass. Wineries are everywhere.  Napa.  Sonoma. Temecula.  Malibu.  We celebrate our wines and our wine culture in movies like Sideways or Bottle Shock.  We recycle wine bottles and turn them into handcrafted soy candles.  We worship wine.

One thing I’m fairly certain Californians have never done with wine before is to put it in a paint can.  So you can imagine my surprise when I stumbled across Paradocx Vineyard in Kennett Square.  Their signature product?  A line of 3.5 liter pouches packaged in, you guessed it, a decorative paint can! And when you’re finished with the wine, you can recycle your paint can as vase or perhaps a decorative wedding centerpiece. No, really, I did not make this up. You can visit their website here.  In fact, Paradocx is only one of six different wineries and historic landmarks along the Brandywine Valley Wine Trail… and you can bet we will be visiting all of them as we continue our epic Delawarean adventure!

Stay tuned for the next exciting episode…

Mette Kurth

A California Attorney Heads East

A few months ago I sent my husband another seemingly random text without warning or context. “How would you like to move from LA to Delaware?” That started a dialog, and a chain of events, and now we are packing up my family—husband, teenager, dog, hamster, electric cars—and my practice and heading east to the center of the bankruptcy universe. Wilmington, here we come!

I have already learned a lot, and we are only just getting started.

About the Delaware Bar

Applying for the Delaware bar is hard. Very hard.

There is a FBI background check. A Delaware state background check. I need to supply certified college transcripts dating back to the days of Izods, the Rubik’s Cube, and Mork & Mindy. And my original application to UCLA Law School, which I last saw on a floppy disk over two decades ago. (If I can find it, does anyone have a floppy disk reader?)

I have to supply fingerprints and a passport photo. I have to provide a list of any traffic tickets I have received in the last  decade. I will have to pass both the Delaware state bar examination and the multi-start bar examination. I have to survive a five-month clerkship process known affectionately by Delawareans as the “Scavenger Hunt.”

About Delawareans

I have also learned that Delawareans are incredibly friendly. Everyone from the local coffee shop barista to my colleagues at various Wilmington law firms have been warm, welcoming, and helpful!

About Newark

I have learned that there is a Newark, New Jersey and a Newark, Delaware. But in Delaware its pronounced New Ark. I’m not sure if this makes things more, or less, confusing.

About Mushrooms

I now know that Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, just across the Delaware border, is the Mushroom Capital of the World.

About The Bobbie

And on Friday, we discovered that ordering Mexican food anywhere east of Texas is a sketchy choice at best. (Although, in fairness, we should have known better).

The BobbieBut we also discovered an iconic Delaware sandwich, The Bobbie.  Slow-roasted, pulled turkey, cranberry sauce, homemade stuffing, and a schmear of mayonnaise on a freshly baked roll. In other words…. Thanksgiving on a roll! As the story goes, the sandwich was introduced at Capriotti’s, a sub shop in Wilmington’s Little Italy neighborhood, 40 years ago to recreate the sandwiches made by the Margolet family’s beloved Aunt Bobbie.

Stay posted for more adventures and as I continue to explore the legal and cultural landscape of my new home!