The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

27 Hours in Philly, Part 1: Standard Tap and Franklin Fountain

This post originally took place on October 3.

Each trip I've taken to Philadelphia has followed the same routine. Alex picks me up at the Bolt Bus stop, gives me a sorely needed warm embrace, and then we gaily saunter to Capogiro where we proceed to fill our digestive tracts with gelato.

But that's when I arrive in Philly at 10 p.m. on a Friday night. During my last visit, I arrived at 4:30 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon; we skipped the gelato and went straight to Alex's apartment so I could plop down my bags and hang out Alex-style, which involved collectively oogling over photos of autumnal gourds in Martha Stewart Living, covering his mattress in more layers of fluffy bedding than I've ever felt on a sleeping surface before, and learning about the Chinese chicken feet-market on Planet Money.

Standard Tap
Standard Tap

And then at some point, it became dinner. Alex and I met up with his friend Chris at Standard Tap, one of the top places to try on my Philly burger list.

burger assembled

Alas, it didn't live up to expectations. Not that it was bad—it just left me wanting something better. The components of grilled 7-ounce patty with cheese, sautéed mushrooms, semi-grilled onions, lettuce, and tomato came together fine—nothing stood out as memorably great or bad. The meat wasn't particularly juicy, not dry. The flavor wasn't bland, nor cast any rays of bovine sunshine into my mouth. It's a good burger, just not one I would go out of my way for.


I wrote more about the burger on A Hamburger Today if you want the full sort-of-thought-out review. That's not how we do things on TGWAE. Noooo.

squash and goat cheese thing
It's cheese and stuff.

Alex and Chris shared two vegetarian dishes: the veggie burger and the butternut squash and goat cheese. Veggie burger got two thumbs down, while the squash-n-cheese dish got points for flavor, but demerits for awkward execution and inadequate amount of toasted bread.

Despite being quite stuffed, the night of eating was far from over. Because it ain't over until my intestines attempt to leech the nutrients out of something sugar-based.

Franklin Fountain interior
Franklin Fountain.

We moseyed down through Northern Liberties to get to Franklin Fountain, an ice cream and soda shop made to look like something from the early 1900s, but is only five years old. DON'T BE FOOLED. Not that you would be. Read more about the shop's history at their website since I don't feel like summarizing it.


Their menu features over 20 flavors of homemade ice cream, specialty sundaes, and a wide variety of non-alcoholic beverages (WOOHOO FOR ME) including milkshakes, phosphates, and ice cream sodas.

Rainbow of FLAVORS.

...And 25 different flavors to choose from for your soda.

The Franklin Mint
Oh god, it's a big bowl of ice cream.

Alex, Chris, and I shared The Franklin Mint, a big metal bowl neatly packed with vanilla ice cream layered on top of mint chip ice cream, smothered in fluffy marshmallow glaze accented with lines of chocolate syrup and creme de menthe, encircled by a halo of whipped cream around the edge, and finished off with a mint-flavored green maraschino cherry that is purely decorative and probably shouldn't be eaten even though it is technically non-toxic.


So...yeah, it's tasty. Because how could all that stuff in my last paragraph not be tasty? Every refreshing creme de menthe-enhanced bite features gooey creaminess heaped upon sweet, non-gooey creaminess, interspersed with crispy chocolate bits. ENJOY IT, YOU MUST.

we ate it

And finish it, you must. Even if your stomach is all like, "Nooo, I'm too full, stop it, you're going to tear through the lining"—ppfff, whatever, you just plow through the pain. Unless you feel like you're gonna puke, in which case, it's time to stop.

Japanese thirst killer phosphate

Against better judgment, which is usually how I handle situations related to overeating, I hobbled back inside to try a drink: the Japanese Thirst Killer phosphate made with orgeat (almond-flavored syrup), grape juice, and angostura bitters with phosphate.

So what the heck is a phosphate? The name given to sodas made with phosphoric acid, which Wikipedia says "gives the bite taste" found in colas—er, the acidic flavor. It might have shitty effects on your health (not that sodas lacking phosphoric acid would be good for you) like, ooh, maybe encourage osteoporosis, so don't guzzle it down or anything. I like soda as an occasional treat, such as when I come across one called Japanese Thirst Killer.

Now that I just spent way too much time looking up information about phosphoric acid (and not having much to show for it), I don't think there was much of it in my drink—it was pretty mellow without much "bite." But it was pleasant. It tastes like grape. And...other things I couldn't really discern, but I assume if they weren't in the drink it would've just tasted like fizzy grape juice, which it didn't. Sort of.

No matter what my drink tasted like (or didn't), I'm a fan of Franklin Fountain for providing interesting mixed drinks that aren't based in throat-burning fermented grain juice squeezed by the fist of Satan. (For those who don't already know, I have a sort of deep, raging aversion towards alcohol. My reaction to a sip of hard liquor is akin to that of a three-year-old who just tasted...well, hard liquor, screwed-up face and expulsion of tongue and all, the difference being that I can express my distaste with a slightly larger vocabulary: "Oh sweet jesus what the hell was that and why does anyone enjoy this?" Not that I won't try alcoholic beverages—oh, I will, but it's unlikely I will ever fully any of them.)

All I remember about the rest of the night was feeling one step below "vomitous." Once again, I ate too much. When will it end? When will I learn? How am I not obese? So many questions to which there are no concrete answers.

Philly Eats, Part II: Banh Mi from Q.T. and a Bucket-O-Bean-Curd
Philly Eats, Part I: Capogiro, Carman's Country Kitchen, Random Pizza, and Tiffin
French Toast from Sabrina's and a Burger from Monk's
A Day of Pork and Beef from DiNic's and Royal Tavern


Franklin Fountain
116 Market Street, Philadelphia PA 19106

Standard Tap
901 N 2nd Street, Philadelphia PA 19123


tian / October 25, 2009 1:17 AM

i'm glad to know that across the globe exists another chinese gal who like me has a stomach of amazing capabilities

Su-Lin / October 25, 2009 10:19 AM

I'm exactly like you with alcohol - "ugh, what's that taste?!" Unfortunately, there are a lot of people out there who just can't understand or just don't want to understand that there are people like us who just don't like it. I don't understand why it's a problem...

Yay for soda fountains!

roboppy / October 25, 2009 12:36 PM

tian: Oh there are many of us!...I'm friends with em. :D JOIN USSS.

Kristin: Thanks for reading!

Su-Lin: I wonder if we taste the same thing as other people. It's really...bad! I mean. I tried something the other day and it just tasted like rubbing alcohol. I'm a little more appreciative of beer flavors that aren't bitter. :(


Julie / October 26, 2009 10:10 AM

Thanks for the Philly ice cream recommendation. I just moved here and have no idea where the good eats are. Can't wait to check it out!

The Cheap Chick / October 26, 2009 12:59 PM

On the bright side, not loving alcoholic bevvies is WAY cheaper than downing the drinks. I wish I could follow your example... damn you, expensive and tasty wine!

Gloria / October 26, 2009 3:05 PM

Right after I saw the picture of the ice cream innards, I spilled water all over myself. SO, thank you for that~

Marshmallow...glaze??? O_O

It's all the walking. People think eating is only eating, but hey, you have to WALK from place to place that serves food. And the more food you eat, the more exercise you get. At least, that's my theory. My twisted, delicious theory.

Julie / October 26, 2009 5:05 PM

Spendy ice cream, but it looks like you got a lot for your buck!

I hate the feeling of having eaten way too much, but I do sometimes when surrounded by a lot of potentially awesome food that I'm not normally surrounded by. Just beware as you get older. Metabolisms seem to start quitting on you as you near 30. =\ I have to work out every day to eat whatever I want (in moderation, of course . . . sometimes). Never stop enjoying food, though!

jenmarie / October 26, 2009 5:36 PM

Whohoo! Another Planet Money fan. PM rocks my world. They are like the perfect hamburger of the humans-explaining-stuff universe. I think I've listened to The Giant Pool of Money at least 6 times...

roboppy / October 26, 2009 11:23 PM

Julie: Hope you like it! ALSO GO TO CAPOGIRO!!!

The Cheap Chick: I'd like to believe I save a lot of money by just drinking tap water, but I probably make up for it by..eating a lot. ;_;

Gloria: My mom tells me that too...I walk a lot, so that counts for something. But it's not THAT much walking. And it's mostly on a flat surface. Not much huffing and puffing. ._.

Julie: I figure I should eat a lot now while I'm still youngish...haha. Without myself a bad disease. Eep.

jenmarie: Alex introduced me to PM! What a good friend he is.

Julie / October 28, 2009 10:49 PM

Robyn, I ate at Capogiro tonight for the first time. Ohhh gosh was it good. I had gianduja and pistachio. Pretty sure my new favorite thing about choosing to attend grad school in Philly is my campus's proximity to that wonderful place.

Nathalie / November 21, 2009 8:57 AM

Catching up on yer posts, and I have to say that I ordered the Franklin Mint once.. to eat.. by myself. I had no idea how big it would be, lol. I think I got about 3/4 of the way through it. That was after not having eaten anything yet that day. But it was pretty good, though I would've preferred all mint ice cream instead of the mint/vanilla combo.

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