Top Philly Import

By Ratha Tep Posted September 10, 2007

I just had wisdom-tooth surgery, so my visit to Philadelphia this past weekend was like a masochistic exercise in denial. I had a few hours to while away before a good friend’s wedding festivities and would have loved to try any (or several) of the restaurants on my Philly wish list—namely, Marc Vetri’s Osteria and any of Jose Garces’s spots. I even salivated at the sight of Potbelly Sandwich Works, the ultra-cheap sandwich chain that Chicago star chef Grant Achatz told me he’d go to once a week if he could. (The first Potbelly in Philly debuted two months ago near the University of Pennsylvania’s campus; the second opened last month on the corner of 12th and Walnut Streets.) Instead, I did what any sane, food-loving person who could only open her mouth a few centimeters would do—headed to La Colombe Torrefaction, off of Rittenhouse Square, and ordered a thick, foam-topped latte. Years ago, as a college student living in Philly, I firmly announced (to friends) that La Colombe was one of my favorite cafés ever. Now a resident of New York City’s West Village, a neighborhood that probably has more cafés than any other in the U.S., I still stand by my conviction. Next stop: Tribeca, to check out La Colombe’s first NYC outpost.

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