October 8, 1989 |
For architects, the sweep and design of buildings define the allure of a city. For ethnologists, the mix of cultures makes a town interesting. But for foodies, one of the marks of a mighty, sensuous civilization is the quality and quantity of street eats, the foods hawked by vendors. Philadelphians know all about this. Among American cities, Philadelphia is to street food what Greece was to drama. The Philadelphia Standard Metropolitan Eating Area, with its hot-dog and pretzel vendors in quilted aluminum booths and its Asian fruit and egg-roll booths, far surpasses most big cities when it comes to meals on wheels.