Working for the holiday

    The soup was simmering, the turkey was in the oven, and the beans were on the stove. But these cooks weren’t in their own kitchen.

    “It’s definitely been a change of pace,” said Brian Fidiam. “Usually I’m off and my mom cooks.”

    Fidiam is head chef at Devil’s Alley, a Rittenhouse Square restaurant. He and his team cooked up Thanksgiving favorites for those who didn’t cook their Thanksgiving meal. He said some in this urban area are too old, too far from home, or just have too small a kitchen to do it all themselves.

    I’ve definitely been there, where you just kind of have a turkey hoagie or something on Thanksgiving,” he said. “So yeah, I do feel like I’m helping out. It feels good.”

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    He looked over an order that just came in for delivery. “Let’s see,” he said. “It’s for two people. We got two chicken noodle soups, two roasted turkey, two stuffings… all that should serve around 10.”

    Chances are, many people had a few extra servings yesterday, and while you may be vowing this morning to exercise in the wake of your gluttony, ballet instructor Kip Martin planned a little better.

    “We’re just working off calories that are potentially going to hit us later in the day,” he said.

    Working they were – even if they wore knee-high pink socks while doing it.

    Out on the street, Joel Cruz was working, too. But he definitely was not wearing pink: He’s a sanitation worker. Cruz had 100 stops to make on the holiday in his garbage truck. He was sure he’d be home in time for dinner, though.

    “There’s not that much trash to pick up today,” he said. “A lot of places are closed so it’s really pretty easy.” Another reason he’ll be home in time to feast with his family: “They can’t eat ’til I get there.”

    Not everyone who worked on Thanksgiving had the same assurance. Many health care workers, bus drivers, police officers, and body-scan operators worked so we could enjoy the holiday in peace. Next year, they might want to swing by Devil’s Alley.

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