Saturday, February 19, 2011

Marathon Grill

After I've been away for a while, I like to reconnect with the city.  Wander around Rittenhouse, shop, pick up produce at Sue's, browse DiBruno's, maybe stop in a bookstore.  These days always begin on a weekend, at the Marathon Grill at 16th and Sansom.  I grab a window seat and watch the world go by.  Over eggs benedict.

I try to take the New York Times crossword puzzle, kindly delivered to me ahead of schedule on Saturdays.  I always dream up wonderfully productive plans for my day and realize mostly none of those plans, aside from walking around Rittenhouse Square.  Marathon has been there for me through thick and thin, predating my arrival in Philadelphia.  When I worked at the Big Law Firm, I knew the menu by heart - lunch and dinner, of course.  I knew the phone numbers, our account numbers; it was a staple.  But brunch was always all mine, devoid of work.

Marathon was also around before the Stephen Starr or Jose Garces restaurants.  It made a name for itself by using higher end ingredients, offering a lengthy menu where everyone could find something, and delivering that something pretty speedily for workday crowds.  Different Marathon locations have different vibes.  The 16th and Sansom Marathon offers amazing people watching through its glass windows that surround half the restaurant.  Over the years, it added a bar and scaled back its options.
It still offers the Eggs Benedict with spinach and Canadian bacon (formerly Eggs St. Bernard) or with smoked salmon.  I opt for the more traditional.  The Hollandaise sauce is on the money, frothy and rich without being overpowering.  The potatoes are done to a crisp exterior with plenty of flavor, managing to hold their warmth through the consumption of the eggs.

If you go, get their early to snag a choice seat.  And enjoy the city.

Marathon Grill has locations at 13th and Chestnut, 19th and Market, 10th and Walnut, 19th and Spruce, 40th and Walnut and 16th and Sansom,

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