Day two of Mom’s visit to UPenn began much like the first: with some really yummy food. I took her to Metropolitan Bakery, one of my local favorites. My friends from campus almost never know what it is, and if they do, they haven’t been. I consider them majorly missing out on one of the best breakfast/lunch gems of West Philly. With locations throughout Philly and a semi-convenient one right near FroGro, Metro is one of my go-to places.
The fun art on the walls, the huge open glass display of baked yumminess, and the small but intimate setting makes Metro a comfy place to study or meet with friends. They have a huge selection of drinks, paninis, salads, bagels, and breakfast sandwiches, and their homemade granola isn’t something to miss.
Today, I picked the smoked turkey panini (a personal fave) and an iced green tea with honey. I steered Mom toward their breakfast burrito (another fave) and she demanded coffee.
The panini was fantastic as usual. Unlike most paninis, where the bread seems heavy and dense, the bread on my panini was light and fluffy, almost like it wasn’t there. The meat was fresh and delicious, and the pepper jack cheese and roasted red peppers were a perfect complement. The green tea was pretty good too. (Can’t really mess up green tea!)
Mom loved hers as well. Metro’s breakfast burrito is less smothered, heavy, and fat-laden than its mainstream cousin, consisting of fresh scrambled eggs, spinach, salsa, and black beans, all wrapped up in a wheat tortilla. Even Mom, the infrequent breakfast eater, approved.
After a day of walking, packing, cleaning, and more walking, we were hungry yet again. With less vigor than yesterday, we chose to stay close to campus, and check out one of Sansom Street’s food offerings: Doc Magrogan’s Oyster House. I had heard that it was good, but seafood is risky; there are a lot of ways to do it wrong. Luckily we were pleasantly surprised.
The atmosphere was clean and bright, a place where you could feel at home taking a colleague or professor out to dinner, or casually grabbing something to eat (this was us). The wait staff was super friendly and helpful. And the menu was awesome.
It’s a sign of a good restaurant when you can’t even choose which of the menu items you want. It all looked good. With an extensive selection of seafood, surf and turf, sandwiches, and raw oysters (not my personal fave but still!) I was pretty happy right away.
We started with the orange sesame shrimp, which were lightly fried in tempura and then served with a tangy orange glaze. The shrimp were cooked perfectly and the tempura was not too heavy or overbearing. The sauce was sweet and went well with the shrimp. Mmm.
I also decided to preempt my main course with lobster bisque. Good choice. It was creamy, flavorful, and didn’t feel oily or over-buttery like a lot of cream-based soups do. The lobster flavor was strong, and there were real pieces of lobster throughout.
By the time the main course came, I was already pretty full. But I decided to follow the maxim of YOLO and continue on about my dinner. I ordered the chicken Oscar and crab cake. Sadly, this wasn’t my favorite part of the meal. I don’t think you can go completely wrong with chicken covered with crab and Hollandaise sauce. But it wasn’t ideal. The chicken was pounded a little too thin and the sauce wasn’t anything special. That being said, it was still okay. The crab cake was really good and was all crab, unlike most which are mostly breadcrumbs.
Dessert…dessert. I should have stopped. I really should have. But when the waitress brought out a giant boat paddle with about seven or eight different mini desserts on it, it was over. The peanut butter chocolate mousse won. I won’t go as far as “best dessert of my life” or anything like that, but it was pretty good. Obviously. Because I got so excited about eating it I didn’t even take a picture until it was too late.
Day Two somehow managed to be just as delicious as the first. And I still didn’t miss dining hall food.