Philadelphia Fiesta

Cheesesteak Menu Score CardHave you ever slept so heavily that you found yourself pulling the side of your face from a chilled, unusually large puddle of drool? Don’t be embarrassed. Just by my saying that it proves you’re not alone. It also serves as the perfect metaphor for the way I drool over cheesesteak.

It was one of those magic moments the first time I had one–cheese and steak nestled harmoniously throughout the doughy in-betweens of a hero roll. There’s something unforgettable about that combination. So when Ford told me that my first monthly mission was to take three friends on a road trip to anywhere I said we had to go to Philly to taste the best that cheesesteak had to offer.

Philly Fiesta 008Before the trip even started we had to get the Fiesta camera ready; in regular spring time fashion, the trees in my neighborhood dumped pollen onto every inch of its hot magenta exterior–not a good look. After a quick scrub-a-dub session we started our trip down to Philadelphia.

The car handled great on the way down and the ride was really pleasant. At one red light we spotted a well-dressed gentleman eyeing the car from the next lane over. We rolled down our  respective windows and just when I thought he was about to pass the Grey Poupon, he started gushing over the Fiesta. Unfortunately, the cameras weren’t prepared to capture his enthusiasm. I’ve never heard so many questions asked in the short-time frame of that red light–if it was a test, I think I would’ve scored a 97% (minus 3% for lack of video documentation and number 2 pencil). The trip quickly carried on!

Crossing the bridge into Philly was like crossing my heart and hoping to die in cheesesteak heaven; we were so close we could taste it; and we would. It was an ambitious list to say the least: twelve cheesesteak shops compiled from recommendations across twitter, facebook, and travel forums.

From the beginning our biggest enemy was time. The first spot, John’s Roast Pork, was closed on Saturdays. Tony Luke’s, Jim’s Steaks, Pats, and Genos: all of them took around 45 minutes to an hour waiting on line–but were they ever worth the wait. Cheese Whiz seemed to be the cheese of choice in Philly–every shop recommended it for the “true experience.” We were full and it was getting late, unfortunately we knew we couldn’t complete the list so we decided to take in as much of Philly as we had time left.

"Eh-yo Adrienne"Thanks to a recently purchased GPS, the Fiesta made quick work navigating the city and brought us just outside the art museum and the famous Rocky Steps. The funny thing is, even though I was full of cheese, meat, and bread, the steps were surprisingly easy to run up. No body doubles needed for that scene I suppose.

After we had finished the Rocky steps ritual performed by millions before us, and actually, three others while we were there, we made route to one last location: Elfreth’s Alley. It’s known as the oldest and possibly narrowest street in the US.

This place was as quaint as a Hallmark card. We explored the little alcoves and length of the street to the sight of some interesting architecture. However, the sun was fading fast and with it our time to head back north. Before we left we christened the oldest street in the US with its first (and equally compact) Ford Fiesta.

Check out the video below and be sure to explore the channel for some other fun clips from the trip. June’s mission theme is technology and we’re looking forward to it.

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