In February of 2022, we were lucky enough to talk to Philly based climbers Alex Wildman, and Jeff Markovitz for a podcast featuring their book The Sharpest End. Toward the end of our talk, I asked them about rock climbing crags near Philadelphia, and some recommendations for delicious eats that people need to be aware of. Among the recommendations were the Birdsboro Climbing Quarry, and Miss Rachel’s Pantry.
Birdsboro Climbing Quarry (The Bird) is an extremely unique crag with idyllic scenery and a rich history. Birdsboro Foundry dates all the way back to 1740 where founder William Bird built his first forges along the Hay Creek and Schuylkill River. The ownership of the business would change over the years, but the site itself has a common thread of producing munitions and armaments for nearly every U.S. war from 1740-1988. They were making weapons and ammunition during the Revolutionary War, the U.S. Civil War, the Spanish-American War, WWI, WWII, and the War in Vietnam. The contributions of steel went well beyond just weapons of course to include railroads, machinery, and building materials.
The original foundry now sits as an industrial park in Birdsboro, PA. The rock quarry is now sits as Philadelphia’s nearest and dearest crag.
Just fifty miles northwest of Downtown Philadelphia climbers can find themselves surrounded by over 160 sport routes of all styles and grades. From slabby multi-pitch to tough overhangs, The Bird has you covered. Some of the best routes include Groovin a 5.11d, Jenga a 5.10a, and the classic 5.8 Mighty Aphrodite. Whether it’s the butterflies in the spring, the shade in the summer, the colorful leaves in the fall, or the ice climbing in the winter, Birdsboro Climbing Quarry has something for all seasons. All climbers of all levels are sure to enjoy the rock, the vistas, and the sounds of nature at this beautiful craggie resting in the heart of Berks County Pennsylvania. Load up your gear (make sure to bring your helmet), load up the coolers, and load up your cameras. Most importantly you need to climb HARD and work up an appetite because snackies await!
As you make the fifty-mile trip back to the City of Brotherly Love you’ll be on the seat of exhaustion, but you’ll also be on precipice of anticipation for what is sure to be one of the greatest meals ever introduced to your gastrointestinal system.
Some restaurants have a knack for drawing the line between allocating sustenance and serving food, and then there are the restaurants that leap the culinary chasm into a full-on sensory immersion that transcends the corporeal realm into the sublime. Miss Rachel’s Pantry is one such place.
Vegan fine dining at its best! Miss Rachel’s sits in the heart of South Philly just minutes away from FDR Park. Here inside of a converted little warehouse on S. Chadwick St. you’ll enjoy a five-course meal in a tranquil setting. The meals are a fusion of homestyle cooking and world cuisine, complete with dessert. While there isn’t a bar, guests are invited to BYOB.
Miss Rachel’s has a perfect 5 star rating on Yelp, which is almost unheard of, but when you see what they’re whipping up in the kitchen it makes sense. I’m not sure but I believe that the chef’s at Miss Rachels are direct decedents of the Greek God of Food, Demeter. Or maybe it was the Roman Goddess, Ceres. Either way their culinary skills are divine!
There is one small catch. Miss Rachel’s Pantry is an incredibly popular dinner destination, and so reservations are required ahead of time. Dinner begins promptly at 7, and there is no formal dress code. Although, if you’re heading straight from the crag to the restaurant, you may want to pull over at the nearest Wawa Gas Station to splash some water on your face, slap on a fresh layer of deodorant, and rinse the choss from your hair. Above all, resist the urge to satiate your hunger with a bag of Combos or a Snickers Bar. When it comes to Miss Rachael’s Pantry delayed satisfaction is the only way to go.
Five courses of epicurean delight are laying in wait to satisfy your hunger and fill your growling belly. Miss Rachel’s Pantry is the perfect fare to replenish your post climb famishment, provide euphoria to your taste buds, and fill your memory bank with a lasting impression of culinary ecstasy.
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. “Philadelphia Maneto”
Restaurant: Miss Rachel’s Pantry
Distance: 53 Miles Away