Friday, February 18, 2011
Bakery Review - Termini Brothers Bakery - Philadelphia, PA
I was first introduced to sfogliatelle by Alex Guarnaschelli on her show on Food Network called "Alex's Day Off," the Italian Dinner episode. Unfortunately, the Food Network posted for the pastries was severely edited and the reviews are terrible, so I wasn't about to try it, and wouldn't recommend you do either.
In the ChowHound forums, as I prepared my trip to Philadelphia, I kept running across mentions of the Termini Bros. Bakery, a south Philadelphia institution that also has a stand in the Reading Terminal Market, which would be a block or so from my hotel. I saw that they had highly acclaimed pastries, including the elusive sfogliatella, so I added that to my list of things to track down.
I went to the Market three times and never saw the pastry, because by the time I was there for lunch or in the afternoon, they were sold out. The last day I was there, I was in the Market for a committee meeting brunch, and snuck over to the Termini Bros. They had half a tray of sfogliatelle left, so I bought two to take home.
Sfogliatelle (is that plural? I confess my Italian isn't good) are interesting as pastries go. The outside is crisp with a bunch of thin layers, and it is filled with ricotta (the two I bought had a few pieces of citron inside as well). It is filling and not very sweet, but delicious. Definitely a distinct pastry, and I'm glad I got to try it.
My co-workers got to enjoy assorted cookies from Termini Bros., which included fig bars, pignoli, macaroons, and amaretti, all of which smelled delicious. They also had beautiful cakes and torrone in the case. If you end up in the Reading Terminal Market, or near any of their four other locations in Philadelphia and New Jersey, they are definitely worth a visit!
at 6:50 PM