Philly, Day Two, Part Two: Heung Fa Chun Sweet House, Pat’s King of Steaks, Capogiro Gelateria, and Medusa

Following our morning meal at Reading Terminal, Steph, John and I made a short walk to Chinatown and straight into the doors of Heung Fa Chun Sweet House. Here we were astounded by a menu that offered dofu fa in a fancy of forms…including a SAVOURY version. Savoury! Can you believe it? I had no idea savoury dofu fa even existed.

There’s also plenty of ches – coconut milk and sugar syrup based. Taro, tapioca, red beans, peanuts, grass jelly. Like. EVERYTHING. I also spotted a fried noodle dish, though that wasn’t listed on the menu.

Here’s the savoury dofu fa. Isn’t that quite sight? We didn’t order this, but the gentleman next to us, who clearly found humour in my fascination, asked if I wanted a photo of the dish :) The dofu fa is topped with fried onions, shrimp bits, and green onions. Not sure what the “broth” is.

We had the sweet dofu fa in its plainest form with a pour of ginger-syrup. Back in NYC I go to that shop with the red awning on Mott Street (right before you hit Pell Street). Nothing’s more amazing than cold dofu fa in the summer, and a hot dofu fa on a snowy day, or when you’re feeling under the weather!

To finish, a hot cup of fresh dou chaing. Sweetened just a little.

About ready for a nap, we drove back to John’s place and wore down our brains with a few truly horrid (and yet soooo good) television shows. The weather was pretty decent so we went up to the roof and watched a Saturday Philly afternoon from high above.

And climbed the ladder to nowhere.

Soon enough, our bellies were rumbling again and we drove over to Pat’s for another cheesesteak. Pat’s is the more understated of the two “rival” neighboring cheesesteakaries, though both were packed that Saturday evening. We parked right in front of Geno’s – I swear those neon lights just set you into a trance. I felt like we were at a carnival. The drunken crowds of people celebrating an early Saint Patrick’s Day simply added to the complete picture.

Steph and I had our first cheesesteak the night before at Jim’s but we were excited to try Pat’s, which “everyone” said was much better.

I didn’t find that there was huge difference in the cheesesteak itself (though it is a million times more awesome “wit whiz” than it is “wit provolone.” Mushrooms are also a must have. Pat’s edges out Jim’s by a slight bit, only because the “steak” at Jim’s was cut too fine for my preferences. (Though the pulled pork from Dinic’s at Reading Terminal wins over any cheesesteak in my world :)

I nabbed a few of John’s cheese fries…tasty, tasty ^_^

Cheesesteaks and fries did not sufficiently clog our arteries, so I suggested that we head right on over to Capogiro for our third gelato trip in two days. The 20th Street location is much better than the 13th Street one because here they have GELATO SANDWICHES. And gelato cakes. Big cakes and little cakes. All composed of gelato. At 13th Street they only have gelato by the scoop.

Behold, hazelnut gelato tucked between two salted chocolate cookies. A ramekin of whipped cream on the side, because my dear, one can never ever have too much whipped cream.

Capogiro was followed by Medusa, seemingly dark, but more friendly than you’d imagine (and that’s a good thing! :)

The night? A fun mix of dance and drink. It has recently come to my attention that I am wholly incapable of dancing with people. All the dances I’ve studied in the past has conveniently enough, involved only myself. One person. Never had to think about keeping beat or rhythm with another. I should really work on fixing this in the near future, heheh.

Happy Thursday :)

Heung Fa Chun Sweet House
112 N 10th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 238-8968

Pat’s King of Steaks
1237 E Passyunk Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 468-1546

Capogiro Gelateria
117 S 20th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 636-9250

27 S 21st Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 557-1981

  • anonymous
    November 30, -0001

    First the dumplings and now the cheese steaks. I’m starving. Haven’t been to Philly in a year or so but always preferred Jim’s to Pat’s and both are better than Geno’s. The real deal is John’s Roast Pork- try that next time you’re out there. Or Talk of Town on Broad Street by the sports complex. Delicious.

  • heartkorean
    March 20, 2009

    nice pics. the tofu place on mott street in nyc is pretty darned good, so which is better?

  • anonymous
    March 20, 2009

    great post. looks like a fun city.

  • Kathy YL Chan
    March 20, 2009

    Hey HeartKorean!I actually liked the Philly one better (even though Mott St is pretty good). The syrup at Heung Fa was thinner and a lot more spicy, and the dofu was seriously MELT IN YOUR MOUTH, hehehe ^_^Hey Anon!Thanks – it was fun! :)

  • K and S
    March 20, 2009

    I had no idea there was a savory version of dofu fa either, amazing!

  • anonymous
    March 20, 2009

    wow that looks like a lot of food. have you seen gelato sandwiches anywhere in the city before? that looks seriously awesome

  • heartkorean
    March 20, 2009

    I really need to go to Philly to try that gelato sandwich. It looks amazing!!!

  • Justin Schwartz
    March 20, 2009

    I see a roadtrip in my future.

  • angela
    March 20, 2009

    you seem to have given me even more reason to return! i love the history portion, but didn’t realize there was so much good food! double the fun :)dofu fa is entirely too yummy. i miss $1 dofu fa in china! now the only thing i have to figure out is how to get away from the outrageous parking rates!

  • Kathy YL Chan
    March 22, 2009

    Kat!Yeah! It was totally new to me!! I still can’t get over it, heheh :)Danny!Both L’arte del Gelato and Otto do gelato sandwiches – but on brioche buns…I’ve yet to find gelato + cookie sandwiches in NYC…will keep searching! :)Hey Heart Korean!It’d be worth the trip along :) Bus tickets were only $10 each way!Hey Justin!Make sure you put Capogiro and Reading Terminal on the agenda! :)Hey Angela!Haha, I know nothing of the history…I think I was to engrossed in the food. It was my first trip there, but I’m already excited for the second! :)

  • The Food Hunter
    March 24, 2009

    You should’ve tried Genos; they’re really good!

  • Christine
    March 25, 2009

    I totally agree with what you said about the dofu fa. It’s theeeee best dessert, in my opinion – with the ginger simple syrup. Not only does it provide a sweet ending to a meal, but it also helps with digestion and tummy aches (cause of the spiciness of the ginger).When my family and I went on a road trip to the States two years ago, the thing I was looking forward to the most was trying the Philly cheese steaks. To be honest, I don’t see what’s so great about them (we went to Geno’s). I was so sad that they weren’t nearly as good as I hoped them to be. I don’t think it’s the way they made it though, there’s just not enough umph. It’s just not my thing. I’ll stick to my noodles =) Christine

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