Overall ambience: Bright and sunny (although these bonus points really go to the sky for being on top form, rather than to PHL itself). Clean, efficient, restrained.
Number of people who looked dead: 1
Number of elderly men in Panama hats, clinging to 4-foot-long, inflatable pink dolphins: 2
Number of people wearing American flag or eagle-adorned apparel: 4
Number of suitcases abandoned on the tarmac as planes came and went: 1
Friendliness of people encountered: Not effusive, but polite and quick to smile.
Food: Although signs and printed things announce the existence of approximately seven billion restaurants and shops in PHL, I ended up in a bit of the airport where the eating choice was burger-y trash, chicken-y trash or “Asian Chao.” I consumed renowned Asian classic, Bourbon Chicken, which won a score of 7.5 on the tasty trash scale.
Best eavesdropped utterance: US Airways cabin crew lady about to do Nashville run to US Airways cabin crew lady about to do Vegas run and complaining that a 14-hour Vegas layover wasn’t long enough to do “ANYTHING”: “14 hours in Vegas? 14 HOURS IN VEGAS? I could do THINGS in 14 hours in Vegas. I could get PREGNANT in 14 hours.”
Eaten: “World-Famous Rendezvous Charcoal-Broiled Pork Ribs.” The menu proclaims, “You’re about to settle in over a slab of Rendezvous ribs. About as far as a pig can go in this world. And we picked out the good ones for you.” Pig!
Review: I finally understand the concept of “finger-licking good!” Good God, Rendezvous ribs are mind-meltingly delicious! I finished the entire slab in approximately 11 seconds and spent the next 20 minutes gnawing every possible hint of sauce off the bones, my plate, my hands and the bar counter.
Ambience: Dark. Cavernous. Some sports on screen in the corner. Apparently the Memphis Grizzlies were playing, um, some other place with sporting abilities. Every so often a staff member came over to ask me what was happening in the game. This continued for over an hour despite the fact that my answers revealed that I obviously had no idea which team was the Grizzlies. “Um, a blue guy just, um, threw a ball at another blue guy…” Yeah! High five! Those friendly, charmingly enthusiastic Memphis folks! Love ’em.
Staff: Reviews grumbled about off-hand service, but I found everyone delightful, despite the fact that it took me between 3 and 7 attempts to understand what anyone was drawling at me. Even as I was leaving, one staff man dashed over to tell me, “I like that hat on you.” Got it on the second attempt! Progress!
Other eaters: Hard to say. It was all about me and those ribs. And the Grizzlies.
Eavesdropped: (In a voice so husky it too could have been hickory-smoked and charcoaled for weeks), lady beside me at the bar, on the phone, “I ain’t gonna marry you. Hell, I ain’t ever gonna marry you.”
Rating: A total Turtles score of 10.