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As a kid, my family moved around a bit.  In fact, by the time I graduated from high school I had actually attended seven different schools.  Now, at the time, I thought that was the ultimate in terrible, but these days I look back and realize that I got to experience a greater slice of America in my childhood than many people get their whole lives. 

One thing you learn if you move around, or travel within the U.S., is that region to region food changes alot.  That’s a simple truth that most people will say: well, DUH!!  But, if you’ve lived in many places you get to a point where there are certain things you miss when you move out of those regions.

Well, Pennsylvania is freakin’ chuck a block for this sort of thing.  Everything from pretzels (if you’ve never had pretzels that weren’t some national brand, my sincerest sympathies) to various Lancaster county sweet treats, there is something for everyone.

But, I didn’t know until a few yhears ago that sometimes they even come with a show. 

My wife and I have gotten into the habit of every so often taking a jaunt out to Philadelphia for little reason beyond getting a steak sandwich.  Now, my personal recommendation is Jim’s Steaks on South Street.  The line is usually out the door and around the corner, but this is for good reason. 

We came to Jim’s second, however.  Before we discovered Jim’s, we frequented Pat’s Steaks at 9th and Passayunk.  Pat’s is a little place on an odd triangular corner at the edge of Philadelphia’s Little Italy.  The place is pretty much just a stand where they sell theit product to an eager clientele.  Their steaks are good, but a bit grisly for my taste (which is why we now eat at Jim’s).

One summer night, my wife and I were enjoying a steak and a cool breeze at one of Jim’s cracked plastic tables when a car pulled up abruptly and disgorged the cast of the evenings entertainment.  My wife and I were delighted as we did not realize our dinner came with a show, and thus we settled in and took everyhting in.

The scene looked like something straight out of a “Rocky” movie with a colorful group of Philadelphia Italians in a heated arguement with another group of Philadelphia Italians working inside Jim’s.  The whole thing seemed to center about how someone had treated someone’s sister in a way that was less than acceptable and the brother of the jilted sister was demanding some sort of retribution.  I kept waiting for Sylvester Stallone and Burt Ward to come wandering up to break everything up.

All in all, it was absolutely riveting and entirely entertaining.  I would recommend the show to anyone, but it seems to have closed for the season as when we returned it did not recur.  I think perhaps the whole project was scrapped for budgetary reasons. 

Hopefully the Balboa Theatrical Society will be able to find a new funding source, they were quite good.



  1. I’m going to be in Philadelphia at the very end of December for the Modern Language Association conference (a presentation and hopefully — keep your fingers crossed — a few interviews). I’ve never been to the city before, so maybe I should check out Jim’s!

    • Movie Druid's Wife
    • Posted August 21, 2009 at 12:26 pm
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    If I recall correctly – the “car” was a stretch limosine (black) that required the Cook (gilted brother) to come with tempers flying from the hot kitchen behind the counter – it was a Suturday night and even thoguh the show was great and all patrons and employees were viewing the theatrics – the steaks never stopped being served — truly a South Pilly Night to remeber

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