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The Dutch Eating Place (Reading Terminal Market) – Philadelphia, PA

The Dutch Eating Place (Reading Terminal Market) – Philadelphia, PA

In my opinion the two things that immediately come to mind when I think of the The Reading Terminal Market are great food and Amish vendors. The Amish are the longest tenured vendors and a major contributor of its revival and continued success. Strolling the market makes me want to eat almost every time I visit, so I decided to get a bite at The Dutch Eating Place (DEP). I ordered the open-face fresh carved hot turkey sandwich with gravy and fresh cut French fries.


This meal is all about comfort. On a cold day, what better way to warm up then with nice slices of fresh turkey drowned in gravy. DEP is not a dining destination worried about current trends or fades. They serve what people have eaten for hundreds of years and do it in an affordable and efficient manner. Their space is surrounded with booths to sit and eat, but you either have to get there early or wait in line to sit on one as they serve the masses. The meal was delicious as the turkey was fresh, platter was swimming in gravy the way I like it, and the fries were the perfect way to top it all off and have me fat and happy. DEP is not somewhere I could eat every day or very often, but if and when the opportunity presents itself that you just want something good and your belly full, DEP may just have what you are looking for.


Three and Three-Fourths Stars out of Five

Kevin Parker’s Soul Food Cafe – (Reading Terminal) Philadelphia, PA

Kevin Parker’s Soul Food Cafe – (Reading Terminal) Philadelphia, PA

Kevin Parker’s Soul Food Cafe (KP) at the Reading Terminal Market takes the spot formally held by Delilah’s Cafe who was there from 1984 until their sudden closure in 2012. Delilah’s Cafe was a media darling for a little while with the spotlight shining bright from a proclamation by Oprah Winfrey on her show “Oprah” that they had the best Mac and Cheese in America, but financial problems ruined their empire. With taking over this location KP has big shoes to fill, but Kevin Parker himself is no stranger to the high profile soul food scene with his already successful venture Ms. Tootsie’s Restaurant Bar Lounge on South Street.

The line at KP was brisk, but moved quickly and the new decor looked amazing and makes their location seem like a miniature restaurant inside the Reading Terminal which has added a nice flair not seen by other vendors. The order consisted of fried chicken, mac and cheese, and cabbage.

kevin parker

My first bite into the fried chicken was an immediate success. The meat was juicy, skin crisp yet loose, in every way cooked to perfection, and the seasoning was spot on. I do not know if I just got one of their best batches ever produced, but this was one of the best down home versions of fried chicken I have enjoyed in quite some time. With such a strong start I hoped for the trend to continue, but the sides just could not compete. They were both good, and slightly above average for each of them, but nothing really stood out about them. The cabbage was a little too crisp and under-seasoned for my tastes and the mac and cheese was a bit overcooked. Even with the sides deficiencies, the chicken really compensated for their downfalls. The price for the entire meal was about $15 which is a tad high for soul food compared to other locations around the city, but the other locations are not in the heart of the Reading Terminal.

KP has a good thing going in one of the greatest food terminals in the world, and if they focus some energy on their sides they could be one of the terminal’s must go to locations for any citizen or visitor of Philadelphia. They are a welcome addition to this storied locations legacy, and I hope they have just as long of a run if not longer than the previous tenant.