JENKINTOWN A small-town mayor with a big-league appetite set out on a gustatory mission Saturday.
The goal: to dine at all 24 of the restaurants in his borough.
Jenkintown Mayor Ed Foley started at 6 a.m. with a single pancake at the IHOP on Old York Road and was on track to lay down his final fork around 12:30 a.m. Sunday, all in an effort to bring attention to the borough's first restaurant week, which begins Tuesday and runs through Saturday.
"It's been a long day, but I've gotten to eat some awesome food and I'm feeling pretty good," Foley said from the town square after leaving Mirna's Cafe, where he had small plates of mushrooms, grouper, and a shrimp soup.
The Montgomery County borough, population 4,443, covers less than a half square mile. But it has two dozen restaurants, about six of which have opened in the last three to four years, said Foley, who called it a restaurant renaissance.
The day's menu included eggs and bacon at Joey Tate's; a cupcake at Velvet Sky; and ribs, collard greens, and macaroni and cheese at Taste the Difference.
"Every place I go, it's a struggle between how good the food looks and how much room I have left, or how little," he said.
Throughout the day, the mayor, who took office in 2009 - his day job is in marketing for a Philadelphia insurance company - posted his chow-down schedule, along with photos and updates, to Twitter and Facebook.
Ahead of the gastro-tour, Foley said, he fasted for Good Friday.
"When I started this morning, I was pretty hungry," he said as he headed into restaurant No. 22, a Moroccan eatery called Argana Tree, about 8:30 p.m.
"I don't remember what that feels like anymore."