Staycation 2016 Prologue

It was recently time for our annual Staycation! Once a year, we take some time off work to eat, drink, and see the sights in Philadelphia, as if we were tourists.

This is our second year of timing Staycation to coincide with the Philadelphia Film Festival. We each took a whole week off work, so with weekends on either end, we had 9 days of Staycation. I think we paced ourselves better this year, as we built in more downtime for eating in and didn’t try to squeeze in quite so much into each day. As with last year, Tom planned his film festival movies for the middle of the day, so we mostly went out for breakfast/brunch before the movies and dinner afterward. He took one day off from the festival, in which we went to museums. That was nice for a change of pace and also to help Tom break up the film festival a bit so that it didn’t get too exhausting. On most days we ended up walking about 10 miles around the city, except for a few days in which we stayed closer to home.

A new thing we tried this year was using index cards for all the places we wanted to try rather than a list. I don’t think we used the cards as effectively as we could have (I forgot to bring them with me in my purse most days) but we’d still like to try the cards again next year. Each card included the name of the place, what neighborhood it was in, and its hours. That way, without fumbling around on our smart phones all the time (and getting fooled by unreliable hours on Yelp or lack of missing or hard-to-find hours on a restaurant website), we could easily see what was open at any given moment in whatever part of town we were near.

Staycation index cards

Staycation index cards

The unofficial kickoff to our Staycation was the Thursday night before, when we went to Rex 1516 for some delicious drinks from our favorite bartender, Sweet Lou.

Cocktails at Rex 1516

Cocktails at Rex 1516

Our Staycation began for real on Friday night after we got off work, when we tried out Madira Bar & Grill in Point Breeze. It had been recommended to us by a former co-worker several years ago. It’s a beer bar and bottle shop that also has delicious Indian-inspired food.

Beers at Madira Bar & Grill

Beers at Madira Bar & Grill

We started off with the Chef’s special samosa (saag paneer with bechamel), Tikka masala wings with raita dip, and mango-habañero wings with blue cheese dip:

Wings and Samosas at Madira Bar & Grill

Wings and samosas at Madira Bar & Grill

 

Wings and samosas at Madira Bar & Grill

Wings and samosas at Madira Bar & Grill

Next, we shared an order of curried pulled lamb sliders on a pretzel roll:

Lamb sliders at Madira Bar & Grill

Curried pulled lamb sliders at Madira Bar & Grill

For dessert, we had gulab jamun, one of my favorites:

Gulab jamun at Madira Bar & Grill

Gulab jamun at Madira Bar & Grill

The food was fantastic, the service was friendly, and we enjoyed the excellent craft beer selection as well. We were glad it wasn’t too crowded on a Friday night, and we’ll be sure to seek this place out again.