Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC

Double Chili Cheeseburger
2013/06/22 01:17:14
We started our trip with a two night private room train ride from Pasco Wa, to Chicago. The meals are included, I would rate the meals on Amtrack to be like a meal at Denny's. Not exactly Roodfood, so we can call this Trackfood. The best part was breakfast, breakfast is hard to screw up, thank God. these are a few pictures of the train food we had on the trip, a few pictures of Mollie enjoying the beginning of her cross country 12 state adventure.

This was a Chicken dish with onion gravy and mashed potatoes

I think I showed a few pictures without Mollie being in them, how the heck did that happen..Mollie at dinner

you could see by Mollies face, she hates dessert.

The burger plate wasn't bad

this is Mahi Mahi

French toast and sausage, not bad, like I said Breakfast is a shoe in.

Mollies Chicken strips..she liked them

I just wanted to show you what the food looks like traveling by Amtrack train. Our cabin was fine, the bathrooms were down the hall, the shower was well stocked with towels, and everything you would need. The train went through Montana, the park service has people come on the train to talk about the history and what you will see along the way. When you book a room on the train, the train sleeper car has coffee and juice offered all day. They had a wine and cheese hour one afternoon. Sleeping on a train is like trying to sleep on a camel while he is running through the desert. The second night is better because your so tired you could sleep standing up if you have to. This is the fun of train travel, what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger...............See you all in Chicago, Mollie is looking forward to some Chicago Pizza and some shopping.
post edited by pnwchef - 2013/06/24 13:18:17
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/06/22 06:35:27
Looks like a nice start of a grand adventure...that amtrack food looks ok,,,oh if airlines could do that!!! Looking forward to the sites!
Fire Safety Admin
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/06/22 07:30:43
I have always sorta wanted to do that trip.  I had a friend that did the entire trip.  He got a bit bored at the end but did indicate that the food was somewhat better than he expected.  I guess it is sorta pricey but one heck of an adventure.
Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/06/22 08:46:50
Yay! Another trip with Mollie! Where is the little seal?
Filet Mignon
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/06/22 08:56:06
Wow!  Does that bring back one of the fondest memories of my youth.  In 1956 my mother and two grandmothers took me to the newly-opened Disneyland.  (I am the only child of only children and was a tad spoiled; some say I still am). 
From Pittsburgh we took the PRR to Chicago and switched to the AT& SF Super Chief bound for LA.  (Then 8, I was overwhelmed by the size of Union Station in Chicago; what massive columns)!  Getting there on those trains was indeed "half the fun".  And I do recall the Super Chief's "famous" French Toast.  I wonder if AMTRACK also got the recipe.
One of the many things I remember was the difficulty in making a long-distance call from LA to Pgh.  You had to "make an appointment"!  Later I was told that the call cost $30!  (In 1956 a new Cadillac Fleetwood cost $5,500!).
Enough geezing.
Molly, you are one lucky girl! 
Enjoy this trip; you will remember it forever.
This is one Trip Report I will "tune in" every day. 
Thanks, pnwchef
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/06/22 16:58:01
tcrouzer..I showed your post to Mollie, she smiled. Mollie had a line of small stuffed dogs lining her top bunk in the cabin.
Sundancer7...this train is about 2000 miles, it's not bad, lots to see, we didn't get bored. It's justa  slower method of travel that takes some time to get used to. The first day was nice going through Montana, lots to see. I would not do this trip again, I would do the Canadian one that goes between Vancouver and Toronto. That was the trip we took last year, The food is great, the people and service are nice.
MetroplexJim.. Jim, you are so right, Mollie has flown 1000's of miles and doesn't remember any of the flights. Mollie will remember these trains forever.........
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/06/22 18:27:27
We pulled into Union Station about a 1/2 hour late, Mollie was ready for shopping, Papa was ready for a real bed that didn't move along the rails at 60 MPH. The gals went shopping,then came back ready for a Chicago style pizza. We went over to Giordano's, Mollie had to have just cheese, so I ordered it with half sausage.

This is a fun pizza, different than we get in the PNW, good quality cheese and sausage, fine by me.

Mollie can't believe she likes it.

The next day we took a walk to the Navy pier, lots going on around there, but not my kind of place to eat. We took a cab up the road to Portillo's, imho this chain does a great job, they are fast and good. they also offer a big menu with lots of choices and ordering areas.
This is the Italian Beef with sweet peppers dipped.

My wife had a Chicken pasta dish

these are some Chicage dogs there were building on the service line

a few pics inside the restaurant

I twisted Mollie's arm to share a piece of Chocolate cake with frozen custard

Chicago was a fun stop, we are flying out in the morning, see yah in the Big Apple................Thanks Chicago, you treated us well.
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/06/22 19:49:12
All Right!
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/06/22 19:51:39
ohhh,that custard looks so creamy......
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/06/23 01:50:59
What a wonderful itinerary this is with gorgeous scenery you could enjoy without driving, and getting to try some of the best loved specialties of the cities where you stopped.  What a treat!
That frozen custard looked fabulous--had no idea Portillo's would have that.  So I just looked up the menu for the SoCal Portillo's, and bummer--they don't offer it there. 
Thanks for sharing this terrific report--I'm so looking forward to more!
ann peeples
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/06/23 07:28:17
Mollie is growing up fast! Fun to see her a year or two later from your last trip report. Oh, and a fun trip to read so far!
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/06/23 08:41:29
I can't believe how much Molly has grown. Thanks for taking the time to post your report.
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/06/23 10:48:40
agnesrob, ann peeples, Your right, Mollie is becoming a young lady faster than I would like. Thanks for the kind words.
love2bake, I looked at that chocolate cake, looked at the girl behind the counter and asked her, if I was your family how would you serve me the cake. She said, with two scoops of ice cream of kind of family..............The Frozen custard was great. the chocolate cake was better than I would have ever thought. You can see I got three spoons, needless to say, it was gone in no time. I liked Portillo's, it may be a chain,but, it's a chain done right. The restaurant was run like a well oiled machine, you didn't get the feeling of a Chain operation, you got the feel of a quality, caring, restaurant. I would love to have a portillo's in my home town..........
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/06/23 11:45:34
We left Chicago with happy hearts and a great one day stop over from a 2000 mile train ride. We got into LaGuardia airport late afternoon for a late lunch early dinner at Peter Lugers Steak House in Brooklyn. We hopped a cab, the cab drivers never know where anything is any more so I called PL for their address. I knew the cab driver was getting close when I saw the Brooklyn Bridge coming close. I knew we were in trouble when we were going over the brooklyn bridge. I told the cab driver to knock off the meter, it's a long bridge going back and forth. Needless to say, he said $35, I said lets do the new math, he got $25.........
   Peter Lugers, rolling in with our luggage, the manager said pile it against that wall, lets get you a table. The waiter we had last year was going on break, when I saw him he told the manager he would take our table. He is a great guy, good waiter and fun to talk with. I love the feel of Peter lugers, it's a time gone by, waiters with long white aprons, a real Brooklyn feel. We ordered a Caesar salad, the Porter house steak Medium Rare, a slice of Bacon, and fries. Peter Lugers has the feel like" I have to have a beer with this meal" that's want I have. The bread comes piled high in a basket, this bread is always a welcome site, my wife loves the Salt sticks, they call them Swords, the basket is one of the best you can get.

We started off with a Caesar salad.

The steak for two fits the three of us just fine. The steak has a nice crust on the outside, it melts in your mouth, full of flavor. This is what we have been waiting for. Thank you Peter Lugers for doing it right for so many years. Thanks also for taking good care of my family while we were there. Great people with great customer service.

The Steak cut fries are fresh cut and always great.

I ordered a slice of bacon, my wife looked at me like I was nuts, I get this look a lot. I cut into the bacon and said, oh yah, it's as good as it looks. She looked at me and rolled her eyes, I get this a lot also. She asked for a bite, I cut her a piece, she said, WOW, thats good. I rolled my eyes, she gets this a lot............

Fire Safety Admin
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/06/23 12:24:16
The bacon looked almost as good as the steak.  I enjoyed your thread and post.
Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN
Double Cheeseburger
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/06/23 12:56:44
What would you call the 'doneness' level of that great looking steak?  Medium well?  It looks perfect to me.
Get that Mollie girl on the stage in high school.  Hollywood could be in her future.  She has personality oozing from every pore.
Filet Mignon
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/06/23 13:50:34
Peter Luger's is so delightfully "old school":  no dim lighting, no white over black linen covers, no leather, no chandeliers, no Tuxedos, no piano  -- just "the real deal", some of the best food the Capital of the World (as the soon-to-be-Sainted JP II once called it, and who am I to argue) has to offer.  What a definitive institution!
I'm still drooling over the bread and Caesar salad. 
Haven't gotten to the bacon and steak yet.
Wonderful, truly!
BTW:  are they still cash/ Luger's card only or do they now at least accept debit cards?
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/06/23 16:17:42
Sundancer7: If the bacon gets any thicker it could be a steak.
easydoesit: It was Medium Rare, it doesn't look that way in the picture, but it was in real life.
MetroplexJim: Jim, it's all cash or Peter Lugers Credit card. I have a feeling it always will be. Peter Lugers is Brooklyn, all the way. Peter Lugers is the kind of place, if you walk in with a good attitude, you will leave with a better one. If you come with a ****y attitude, you just may be thrown out on your as_..............
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/06/23 16:38:19
It's been way too many years since I ate at PL.usually on someone else's entertainment account................but that BACON!.  I had forgotten!  Caling up my daughter for a return trip to NYC since she lives just across the East River
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/06/24 00:07:25
Looks like a lot of fun there Bill!
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/06/24 09:04:33
Last year we stayed up on 53rd & 6th, this area was fine, but, it didn't feel like New York. I love the hustle and bustle of this city, it has an energy that just makes you feel alive.
  We stayed on 43rd between 6th and 7th, at the Casablanca Hotel. This is my new favorite Hotel in NYC.
The Hotel is steps from Times Square, and yet quiet as a Church. Everyone at this Hotel goes the extra yard to make sure you enjoy your stay. Here are a few stock pictures of the Hotel. They have a daily European Continental Breakfast, Coffee, Tea and cookies all day, a Wine and Cheese buffet in the evening. I don't normally do a review of a Hotel, but, this hotel did a fine job making our stay pleasurable. Thanks Casablanca staff for taking good care of my family, we will see you again.
The evening Wine and Cheese Buffet

The Breakfast Buffet and seating area

The outside Courtyard..

This is our Suite.

Did I tell you Mollie was with us, This is my girl in the court yard of the Hotel, just before her walk over to see The Lion King.

The Lion King is a Mass production I wanted to see this production on Broadway. We had great seats, center stage Orchestra section, midway up. Mollie loved it, she smiled the whole time there. This is a Musical to see when your in New York, I would not put it a head of some others, but, it should be on your list. Most of the Musicals that tour the country do a fine job, some should be seen on Broadway, The Lion King is one of them.
We walked down the 10 blocks to the Empire State Building.


Main Deck + Top Deck Express

86th Fl and 102nd Floor, no waiting  Buy Tickets  All Visitors $64.50 Skip all the lines on the way to both observation decks and get there faster.
I'm not a cheap skate, but, I could buy a steak for two and a few beers at Peter Lugers for this elevator ride. Now I know why King Kong climbed up the side of the building.
Joyce and Mollie went up to the 82nd floor for about $42...... I would have paid $64.50 if King Kong was hanging off the top with Planes trying to knock him off.

After all that Monkeying around, we went out for lunch.......I'll be back soon with some pictures............
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/06/24 11:00:09

I have always seen Kat's Deli as a Tourist destination deli kind of place. I wasn't all that interested in going when I visited New York last year. After reading Billyboys posts, I saw a different kind of feeling in Billy's pictures and comments. This maybe a Tourist stop, but it is also the Best Deli type Restaurant I have ever been to. Calling this restaurant "just another Deli" would be like calling a Rolls Royce, just another car. This Deli is the real deal, This is the best Pastrami on planet earth. I haven't visited the other planets yet, so I can't say it's the best in all Galaxies. On my journey this trip, I had the Roast Pork in Philly, the Cheese steak in Philly, the Italian Beef in Chicago. These sandwiches/meats/Roasts don't hold a candle to the quality that Katz serves on their Pastrami sandwich. All the other sandwiches in all the other cities, needed some salt to complete the flavor. The Katz's Pastrami is full of flavor, juicy, with a nice amount of pepper rub to seal the deal, every bite melts in your mouth. The pastrami is hand carved, my carve has only worked there for 40 years. The Pastrami is pilled high on rye bread, I ordered the Reuben with mustard ( I never thought a Mayo based 1000 island dressing did anything for a Reuben) but, to each their own.
  I met Alen Dell, the owner of Katz's, and told him how much I enjoyed his Deli and Pastrami. We talked for a bit, he later came over to the table and we talked a bit more. I don't always give big rave reviews of restaurants. I would say, if you only go to one deli in your life time, Make it be Katz's. This is the best of the best, the owner is also one of the nicest people you will ever meet. Thanks Alen, for the hospitality you showed me and my family during our visit.
The Pastrami Reuben with mustard.

 Mollie finished the sour pickles before I could talk a picture, Kids, can't live with them, pass the mustard.
Before we stopping at Katz's Deli, we had to try

For some
Billyboy also told me about this place, it's a wonderful stop to try some great crispy, meaty Belgian fries. We tried the Smoked Eggplant Mayo dipping sauce along with the Sweet Mango Chutney Mayo. Joyce liked the Mango one, I liked both, Mollie like that fancy dipping sauce called Ketchup. ....................Thx BillyBoy for all your help and past reports, you made my food choices in New York an easy chore.
post edited by pnwchef - 2013/06/24 13:22:51
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/06/24 11:50:17
What a fantastic trip report!  Makes me want to leave for NYC right Katz's and Pommes Frites!!!
And yes, Mollie is quite a beautiful young lady.  What a difference since we saw her last year!
Filet Mignon
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/06/24 14:13:23
Pommes Frites!
The best dip I've ever had with them was sauce Bernaise, a.k.a. "Danish Ketchup". 
I know that mayo on frites is a low country "thing", but I'm surprised that Bernaise was not an offering in The City.
So, which do you prefer:  Luger's steak fries or pommes frites?
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/06/24 14:43:17
This gets better with each new post...  love New York...and you're doing it right!!!
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/06/25 12:50:34
Jim, I'll take Peter Lugers Steak cut Fries, When they are right out of the fryer, they are had to beat.
We left New York after a great stay, it was just a shot cab ride down to Penn station for our train to Philadelphia. We got into Philly about 1PM, sounds like lunch to me. With all the Foods at the Reading Terminal, Mollie had to have Churches Chicken, it was located at the Mall next to the terminal. After I took care of the gals,  Joe Rogo, my dear friend, recommended the Hilton next to the RT. Great choice, the RT is so close, it may as well be in the hotel. There was wondering why all the gals at the Hotel had a deeper voice than I do, there was a Transsexual convention across the street. I was happy to be Married, I would not want to have to try and pick up a dinner date while this was going on.  I told Mollie, for the next few days, if it looks like a Duck, sounds like a Duck, it may not be a Duck. I went over to the RT to try DiNic's Roast Pork with Sweet peppers.
This would be my sandwich, I asked the guy to smile, as you can see he looks real happy to be there. The people behind me ordered a extra roll with their sand, Sorry, we don't sell just the roll. The people behind him ordered, How hot are the peppers, Real hot the gal says. Can I have the peppers on the side, NO, we don't do that.....DiNic's has Sweet peppers, and real Hot peppers, do you think it would hurt to give the gal a side of hot peppers. The gal was worried that the peppers would be to hot for her sandwich and she wanted to control the heat........Anyway, IMHO, when you start saying NO to everything, it's time to look at your business. OH Yah, I forgot, I asked for mine Dipped, Sorry, we don't do that.............OH Well.........
The Sand was fine, I like the sweet peppers, The meat needed some salt.

Millers Pretzels, right out of the oven...........What can I say......Great........Most in Philly eat them with mustard, not I, I like them with a sweet glaze dipping sauce, they don't have it there, but, the Cinnabon at the Mall next door has their cups of Cream Cheese glaze dipping sauce. Ok, 4th steeet bakery cookies are good, take a pick, you can't go wrong.

The Ice cream at Bassetts, just buy it, dbl scoop of Raspberry Truffle, to die for.................
Breakfast at the Dutch place........The place is packed at 8AM, no seating. We ordered it to go and walked to a seating area fifty feet away. The food came out fast, beats me why everyone thinks they need to sit here and eat. I got my food faster to-go than the people sitting at the counter.
Scrapple, eggs over easy, pancakes......Good breakfast, I liked the scrapple.............

One day we stopped over to the Rib place for some ribs, the ribs were good, the sauce they have to dip the ribs, needs some help. We also hooked up the ribs with a piece of Lasagna from one of the Italian food stands.

It time to take Mollie over to see the Liberty Bell.............See you all soon.
post edited by pnwchef - 2013/06/25 15:53:32
Junior Burger
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/06/25 15:13:55
PNW I grew up in Upper Darby....You missed my favorite- John's Roast Pork....Perhaps next time.
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/06/25 15:51:31
When I stood in line at DiNic's I thought about this classic scene........
Filet Mignon
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/06/25 16:47:37
Maybe Adam Richman's "crowning" it The Best Sandwich in America gave them an extra dose of Philly attitude.
BTW:  one thing I can always forgive is under-salting. 
Over-salting (an epidemic here in Texas) cannot be "fixed".
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/06/25 21:32:47
What a wonderful report! Thank you for posting this! I had such a bad day at work and this report made me feel better!!
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/06/26 07:55:56

What a wonderful report! Thank you for posting this! I had such a bad day at work and this report made me feel better!!

Agnes, if this makes someone feel good, I'm happy it was you.............thx.......Bill
MetroplexJim, Jim, I agree on the salt, I don't salt much myself. I found 3 out of the 4 sandwiches I had lacked salt. The only one that was just right was the Katz,s Pastrami. That doesn't surprise me, it is carved to order and juicy...............take care,,,,,,,Bill
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/06/26 08:51:08
I'm trying to get all of this in, The Corn is knee high and being away from home for two weeks isn't easy. The weeds wait for no one, I wish this was a money crop, I could grow weeds with the best of them.
  The RT is a great place to  eat, they offer everything and anything a family could ask for..................We are off to Washington DC, it's only a shot 1 1/2 hr train ride, see you soon...........
These are some sticky buns at the RT.

A Stop at Pats for a Philly Cheese Steak, the owner is a great guy, 74 yrs old, he started there when he was 11.......Joyce and I shared a sandwich.

Standing in line to see the Liberty Bell, these guys came flying in.

I almost forgot, Mollie was there

The Italian Market is a few blocks from Pats King of Steaks. This is a cheese shop in the market, they make their own Mozzarella cheese by hand.

We are back on the train, last night we had Fried Ipswich clams and a Lobster Roll and the Oyster House. Being from New England, I was in 7th heaven.........Joyce and Mollie loved China Town, the RT and walk around the Historical areas of Philadelphia. Philly is a great town to visit, it is a short train ride from NYC, I would come back in a heartbeat....
post edited by pnwchef - 2013/06/26 08:53:22
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/06/26 09:20:30
Please tell me you tried those sticky buns--at least got one to go, right?
Filet Mignon
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/06/26 09:31:56
Thank you so much for this wonderful "report".
Enjoy D.C.!!!
As I lived in its environs for 30+ years I came to 'take it for granted'; shame on me.
Pierre l'Enfant designed the Mall and the city surrounding it "inspire awe" in "foreign visitors". 
He succeeded. 
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/06/26 10:27:55
I thoroughly enjoyed this post as I grew up in Chicago. One thing though, I don't know of any Chi town natives that ever ate a deep dish pizza. What surprised me as well was the trip on the Amtrak. Looked like something I could enjoy when I retire and take the missuz  along.
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/06/26 12:57:47
Washington DC, what can I say, The last time here, I got a parking ticket by the White House,This time I took the train. We stayed at the Marriott near the White house, Great location, near the National Mall, Ford Theater and Restaurants and food courts. Washington DC is a Eat when you can kind of place. I stopped looking for Roadfood places in this town. We kept Mollie busy seeing everything we could see. The Food court at the Ronald Reagan Building is a good lunch stop, it has Deli's, Chinese, Pizza, you name it, it has it, great place to stop when your dogs are tired.
This is Mollie happy waiting in line at the National Archives.

this is Mollie 45 minutes later

This was in front of the Smithsonian. If you remember the Ice cream cost a bit more at this truck. Most of the time it was Mister Softee for us, this truck was for the rich folk.

They had a bunch of old War time posters, I thought this one was interesting

Well that's about it, like I said Washington DC was eating on the run. It was more making sure Mollie was having fun and seeing everything we could, with out pushing to much at her. She got to go to all the Smithsonian Museums, we toured the Capital, walked the National Mall from end to end.............. When you visit Washington DC, you realize just how lucky you are to be living here.
Mollie thinking over what this place will look like when she will live here. I was wondering what room I get, I better stop yelling at her, pay backs are He-l

Lincoln Memoral

WW2 memorial

Vietnam Memorial

This is the end of the trip, we flew back through Seattle and then a short hop over the mountain home. This was a great trip, we all had a great time. Mollie traveled through 12 States in 14 days. Mollie has traveled over 5000 miles in two years on a train, last yr through Canada, this yr over the top of America. There is one thing you learn when you travel through America. There are a lot of good people along the way, we live in a wonderful country. ..............Thank you all for the kindness you show to my family during this report. ..............Bill
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/06/26 13:49:45
You're right Bill. We live in a wonderful country. To quote (partially) John Wayne upon being called a flag-waver: "Do you know a better flag to wave?"
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and travels. It's always fun to follow you and yours.
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/06/26 15:52:03
Thanks for the excellent trip report.  You are right, we are very lucky to live here.
Filet Mignon
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/06/26 16:21:00
Wow, I had no idea that HOV pre-dated the interstate highways!

Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/06/26 16:33:23
Thanks for this great report, thanks for doing it! Being from the Northeast, none of the food places were new to me, but I always love it when "outsiders" give their take on the food stops.
For what it's worth, we (myself and my family) were somewhat disapointed in general with RTM, and especially Di Nics. Agree totally with your assessment. I have been to the original (at least I think it's the original) in NJ a couple of times and I still describe the roast pork as one of the best hot sandwiches I've ever had. Not so at RTM. Totally different clientele in NJ, mostly local, and the guys behind the counter are glad to see you.
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/06/26 17:38:24
I thought for sure you'd go to Ben's Chili Bowl!
The Vietnam Memorial is one of the most powerful memorials I've ever been to.  It doesn't seem to convey that until you actually get there and experience it.
Thank you for sharing your report--it's a great combination of scenery, history, and classic, well-loved food favorites.
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/06/26 17:57:25
Another great report Bill, you get another gold star to put on your forehead.
ann peeples
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/06/26 18:08:30
My parents took me on a similar trip when I was Mollie's age. her face says it all, and she wont forget it. I am 54, and I haven't. Thanks for a wonderful report, and memories re-visited.
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/06/26 18:28:07
What a GREAT report...thanks for taking me along....
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/06/26 21:30:48
Pnwchef.........once again you....and Mollie.....and the "one who remains hidden" have done an outstanding job....and glad you had fun!
I had to laugh at the bit about the Sansome St. Oyster House!  As en ex-New Englander, you were brave to try it....and as a fellow ex- New Englander, I can tell you I have never been disappointed there........just not a place I'd normally take outta-towners to.
Too bad you didn't get up to the 2Amys in DC.  Mollie might have liked the pizza, but I'm partial to all their small plate offerings.  I was also pleasantly surprised by the offerings in the American Indian Museum and the National Gallery ( I think that was the bldg.)
Double Cheeseburger
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/06/27 08:19:13
Great report and excellent pictures!  I really like the WW2 Memorial. Very moving.
My only small criticism is you didn't get a knish at Yonah Schimmel Knishery, or stop at Russ and Daughters just up from Katz's.
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/06/27 09:54:19
eruby: You don't know how hard it was to pass Yonah's. We stopped at Pommes Frites and we all had some fries before we walked down to Katz's. I did walk into Russ and Daughters, what a Gem. It was raining that afternoon, it wouldn't be easy for me to get my family to try these kinds of foods. When my wife was growing up, the only Jewish person they knew of was Jerry Lewis when he did his Telethon.
FriedClamFanatic: I liked the Oyster House in Philadelphia, the clams were good, never enough, but real good, the Lobster roll was New England style, I like the CT way, but hey, Lobsta is Lobsta.......If I lived closer this Oyster house would be part of my stopping places every few months.
leethebard, ann peeples, chefbuba, lleechef, Michael Hoffman, thx for the kind words. I would never post pictures of Mollie on other sites. I trust the respect many of the members on this site.
ken8038: The RTM, fit the family well, it offered Mollie a piece of Lasagna or a slice of pizza with a Chocolate Pretzel for dessert, Joyce may want a open faced turkey sandwich at the Dutch place with a Ice cream cone for dessert from Bassetts. I may want an Italian Sub from the Salumeria, or a Roast Pork at DiNic's. It may not be the best of everything, but it sure did the job for us. I enjoyed the RTM much more than Pikes Square Mkt in Seattle. I really liked the Italian mkt, I was there on a Saturday morning. It was like going back in time. I think I also got to see a few old Dons sitting in front of some of the mkts with a strong arm standing behind him. I also stopped at John's Italian ice for some water ice.........thx ....Bill
love2bake: The day we went to the Vietnam Memorial, it was rainy and gloomy. As you know the wall starts out short, then gets taller at the middle. When I got to the middle of the wall, I felt a calm, peaceful feeling. I felt like I was among old friends, a said time for our country, a lot of old memories of friends long gone. I saw some older Vets, with tears in their eyes, sadness in their faces and pride in their hearts. I was happy I went........................Thx for the kind words..............Bill
Junior Burger
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/06/28 16:03:29
Thats some good lookin train food!
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/06/28 16:22:01
What, no picture of your Philly Cheese Steak. Other than that, great report!
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/06/28 16:35:46
pnwchef....Great travelogue and sharp photos...I always truly enjoy your reports and restaurant insight. Coincidentally, you hit on 4 of the areas we have lived in and would venture into...Burbs of DC/Chicago/Philly, and Upstate NY. I agree that it's important to expose children to travel and to experience many different areas, cultures, and food traditions. Our Daughter definitely benefitted. Thanks again
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/06/29 07:15:50
pnwchef, such a great report!  Mollie is very fortunate to have grandparents who like to travels and take her along on the adventure.  That Amtrak food looked pretty good.  I hope one day soon to make my way to Chicago for some of that pizza and Italian beef! 
So glad you had yet another wonderful experience at Peter Lugers.  Going there in a few weeks for my girlfriend's birthday.  Steak or burger?  Choices, choices...  One of the few places that just seems to get better everytime I go.  I may have to recommend the Casablanca Hotel to my family and friends who come down.  Thanks for the info and awesome pics on that! 
And Katz's, well...that's all!  When you first told me about having mustard on the reuben I couldn't see it working with the 1000 Island dressing but now seeing it alone and the sandwich you have given me a new variation to try.  And that picture?  Pure food porn! 

So glad you all enjoyed Pommes Frites.  That Sweet Mango Chutney mayo is my "go-to" sauce but that Smoked Eggplant is pretty great too.  And during many of the too-many-to-count times I have been there I have seen them making the sauces by hand.  They use Hellman's mayo as a base but I've seen them chopping up cilantro, rosemary, dill and other herb and ingredients and blending them in a food preocessor.  Really impressed me that they don't use pre-bottled sauces.  Glad I could steer you to some tasty vittles! 
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/06/29 10:57:54
Wintahaba, Don't forget, the train went through Wisconsin, we blew the whistle, where the heck were you........maybe next time...thx for the kind words.
billyboy: Peter Lugers is only a short 3000 mile hike for us. I had to take Trains, planes and Automobiles to get there. You let me get into the line at Katz's, with the memory of the picture of the Brisket Sandwich you had on your last visit. How does a person have his cake, and eat it too ??? I figured, you of all people would know the answer to this question. I just had to order the Pastrami, The Reuben idea, I got from you, and I'm happy I did. Having the kraut, mustard, melted Swiss pilled high on Rye bread, was the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Now Billy, you ask me to make the choice for you, to choose one of the best hamburgers in the world, or choose one of the best steaks in the land. No Billy, I will let you have sleepless nights, dream of the day that is coming soon that you and only you can decide on what you will order. Now Billy, imho, if you order the hamburger, with a side of bacon, I'm sure you can steal a few pieces of steak from the platter. Isn't this the closest you can come to, having your cake and eating it too ????? Billy, all kidding aside, thx so much for taking the time to respond to my questions. I love your insight and vision in seeking out quality food...............Bill ..........P.S. I hope you have a wonderful time at Peter Lugers, Happy Birthday wishes to your girlfriend. 
post edited by pnwchef - 2013/06/29 11:02:19
Filet Mignon
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/06/30 09:16:15
Thank you so much for sharing your family's trip with us!
And, for making Mollie the "star". 
As I have four of my own her expression here is so very familiar and "PRICELESS":

Buck & Vi's
Double Cheeseburger
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/07/06 08:35:20
just got to read this. as usual very good story and great pics !
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/07/07 01:12:31
Fantastic pictures and trip report!  Dinics is on my totally overrated list.  It wasn't so bad as to not want to finish my sandwich, but with that attitude and sense of "we are the with it" attitude, its a total turnoff and I would not go back personally.  Those Peter Luger pictures made me drool!  Sounds like an awesome time!
Buffalo Tarheel
Double Cheeseburger
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/07/07 20:27:25
I apologize for being a bit late to the report, but I too enjoyed reading about and seeing the pictures of your adventures, culinary and otherwise.  Thanks for taking the time to post the report.
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/07/07 21:25:22
What a great report! I had the (ahem) pleasure of an overnight on Amtrak and I loved your description! So many great pics, happy to hear of the hotel in NYC, will be checking it out. Thanks for sharing your travels!
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/07/07 22:36:09
Great report, pnwchef! Your trips always take me to some Roadfood favorites that I might never get to visit. I did go to RTM two years ago - and on the train from NC! - and I must agree about DiNics in that it didn't live up to all the hype I had read. But there was a Cajun restaurant that had great food the day I met some internet forum friends at RTM. I think the name is Beck's Cajun Cafe if you're ever back to the RTM.
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Chicago, NYC, Philly, Washington DC 2013/07/08 13:47:21
tcrouzer, TnTinCT, Buffalo Tarheelstrongy78Buck & Vi's,, Thanks to all.....We enjoyes Philadelphia more than we thought we would. The RTM was wonderful, The Historical site were great. Mollie and my wife had a ball going through the small shops of China Town. The Italian mkt is a gem, the people were great...........Taking the train from NYC to Philly was fast and easy. It doesn't take all day like trying to fly from one city to another. Taking the train is the way to go, Philly is a real easy walking city, it's also a great food kind of town, we will be back.........pnwc