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New York Times reviews 4 Philly restaurants, loves them all

Philadelphians already know that Philadelphia has some pretty great food, but over at the New York Times, it appears that they are continuing to catch on.

Philadelphians already know that Philadelphia has some pretty great food, and the New York Times has taken notice, as well.

On Tuesday, Robert Draper 's "A Four-Day Feast in Philadelphia" ran down four more prominent restaurants: Kanella, Vedge, ITV, and Vernick.

Draper, a Washington native, writes that Philadelphia's restaurant scene can help folks "reclaim a coherent sense of America after this nervous breakdown of an election season."

Elements of Philadelphia such as our "ruddy fiber," the "agreeably scruffy" East Passyunk Avenue strip, and, of course, the "sheer deliciousness of the food" here made the city's culinary scene "memorable" for Draper during a recent trip.

"Even leaving aside its indigenous cheesesteak sandwiches and soft pretzels, Philly as a culinary destination feels like an organic accomplishment — the natural outcome of being itself — rather than the banal eventuality of economic development," Draper writes of Philly's food scene.

(He actually wrote "cheesesteak sandwiches"?)

Draper could not book a table at Laurel, as Nicholas Elmi's East Passyunk restaurant has a 90-day reservation wait. Instead, however, he cozied up at its sister restaurant ITV (read LaBan's review), where smoked trout on pumpernickel and a tomato salad stole the show.

The trip wrapped with Vernick in Rittenhouse (read Laban's review), which had the writer mourning "the absence of such a spot" in his neighborhood because he would "like to eat here once a week."

"We would be back again and again, if only we lived in Philadelphia," Draper wrote of Vernick. "And why, exactly, didn't we live in Philadelphia?"

Well, if you are to believe the hype, it's probably because we are rude, unattractive, and love sweatpants. But, hey, at least our food makes up for most of that.

Lovely photos by Steve Legato, too.