It's ironic to watch people waiting in line outside Cantina Los Caballitos while you're inside eating excellent authentic Mexican fare right across the street at El Zarape. Order the al pastor, with crispy pork and tasty pineapple, or don't make a decision at all and get the combo-beef and chorizo together on a single taco. 1848 East Passyunk Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19148, .
State Rep Josephs accused her primary challenger, Kravitz, of only pretending to be bisexual so he could pick up some, uh, swing votes. "I outed him as a straight person," she boasted, forcing Kravitz to insist on his bi bona fides. The twist on "Don't ask, don't tell" (nobody asked, nobody cared) drew bipartisan mixed reactions, with Philadelphia Gay News publisher Mark Segal noting, "We've hit a new high point when candidates are accused of pretending to be gay to win a seat." Whatever Josephs crushed Kravitz in the primary. 00000,
It's on the other side of sad-sack Trenton, in a not-so-romantic warehouse wasteland. But this tiny Claude Monet-inspired French village and 35-acre sculpture park, the formal whimsy of Johnson and Johnson heir J. Seward Johnson (and named for Wind in the Willows character Ratty, the quintessential host), boasts a decor that's Frida Kahlo meets Swiss chalet, with bright colors, arched wood beams and fireplaces. The food is beautifully done eclectic French, but the sell here is the sculpture park and its moodily lighted paths. Its goofiness (dancing twigs!) strikes just the right note of postprandial surprise and how-did-this-place-get-here? delight exactly the stuff, in fact, of romance. 18 Fairgrounds Road, Hamilton, NJ 08619, ratsrestaurant.org.
Only a place this good could make it so difficult to enjoy. It's only open Monday through Friday until 3 p.m., and is located a block from Delaware Avenue, so you basically have to take the day off to experience John's warm slices of house-roasted, deeply spiced pork stacked on a kaiser roll whose doughy interior is made soft and gooey by the pork's jus, the tangy spinach, and heady, barely melted provolone. Yeah, time to take a sick day. 14 East Snyder Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19148, johnsroastpork.com.
There are bad locations, and then theres JG Domestics location on the first floor of the Cira Centre, directly across the street from the train station cab stand. The place has virtually no visibility from more than 10 feet away. Its hard to find, and difficult to get to. And yet, the facts that 1) people who know good food still go there, and 2) some of us go out of our way to go there a lot, really speak to the amazing things the kitchen at JG Domestic is capable of. 2929 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, jgdomestic.com.
"I'll have the carciofi alla giudia from Amis, orange-ginger carnitas from Lolita, a Corpse Reviver #2 from the Corner and a scoop of Lancaster-sourced fior di latte gelato from Capogiro." We wish there were a street in Philadelphia where we could say that. Oh, wait ... 00000,
Old Philadelphia can have its stodgy caricatures at the Palm. The new status symbol is a namesake sushi roll at Zama, where, if you rank, you'll be in the company of ?uestlove, Marc Vetri, Michael Solomonov and Ryan Madson. A portion of all celebrity-roll proceeds benefits charities. (And the ?uestlove is delish.) 128 South 19th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103, zamaphilly.com.
If you've ever tried to board a SEPTA bus with a stroller or baby-proof a roof deck, you'll be in good company here. City moms meet at the back of this baby-clothing-and-gift boutique to vent, cheer each other on, and attend classes (from $10) on breast-feeding, baby sign language and sleep routines. 2017 Fairmount Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19130, aliswagon.com.
Leave it to the French to concoct the idea for this annual pop-up picnic at which 2,300 guests wear their finest whites and compete to see who packs the most impressive baskets. But if youre not already on the list for the August 22nd fte-de-fancy, youll have to get on the waitlist: Its been sold out since May. 00000, philadelphia.dinerenblanc.info.
Some of the Shore's best surf-fishing is at Townsends Inlet on the southern tip of Sea Isle, where you'll find plenty of good-sized stripers and flounder. Because this is saltwater fishing, you don't need a license and you can actually eat what you catch, though you'll have to draw straws to see who gets to do the cleaning. See website for tackle shops, 00000, hookandbullet.com/fishing-townsends-inlet-avalon-nj.
Whether in his personal training studio in Center City or in the privacy of your own home, Maher, a certified strength and conditioning specialist, provides a custom exercise program, sensible nutrition advice, and, most importantly, the firm but friendly voice you need to drown out your inner "I'll just skip today" monologue. 1429 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102, phillypersonaltraining.com.
Commitment-phobes have nowhere to hide from this energetic, tough-as-nails fitness pixie. When five-foot-two-inch Waters isn't cheering you on at the gym, expect e-mails, texts and calls rooting you toward your weight-loss goals. She's happy to be your (adorable) motivation as you learn to tap into your own. Philadelphia, PA fitnessalivephilly.com.
From four-foot-long noodles to smoked gnocchi and silken tagliatelle slicked with rabbit sugo, Joe Cicala rolls and stretches his dough with a rare (yet affordable) touch. 1927 East Passyunk Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19148, levirtu.com.
Download the Fairmount Park Art Association's new and free audio guide to about 50 of our city's public sculptures (museumwithoutwalls-audio.org) to your iPod and start walking. You determine the pace and how much ground to cover, all the while getting a thorough oral history of each work of art. And nobody will stop you from sipping a $5 black-and-white milkshake from Frog Burger (222 North 20th Street, 215-448-1100) while you take it all in. 1528 Walnut Street, Suite 1000, Philadelphia, PA 19102, associationforpublicart.org.
From fall through spring, a mere nine bucks will get you a lesson, skate rental and two hours of open skating, so you can pretend its 1979 while burning hundreds of calories. Check out the su-mmer family sessions currently offered on Wednesdays at 6 p.m. And if you dont have children in fact, if you want to avoid them Wednesday nights after 9 and Saturday nights after 10:30 are adults-only skates. 11586 Roosevelt Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA 19116, palacerollerskatingcenter.com.