April 28, 2008

Tappin' in to the RareBit

Tonight I stayed in. I was sort of itching to go out and try some of the new menu at the South Philly Tap Room around 10, but will power won for once (i must be 30;) and I stayed in. But staying in meant no food, and I was famished.

With a fridge full of beer and condiments I was out of luck. I really regret not taking my sis up on her offer to take home my birthday cake, but I struck gold in a king size Take Five that my Ground Zero salon friends got me for my big day. One hour later, I am in a bit o' pain wanting a stomach transplant. I even took a Tums
(I must be 30).

I can't go out every night. Every night gets rough. real rough.
But I always appreciate those evenings that I have more than a beer at a bar.
*I eat something I never heard of
*My bartender/server rocks
*I learn some new fun fact about what I am eating or drinking

In a short five days- I can already tell that the Memphis Taproom will be a good locale for all of the above. They opened Tuesday night to 500 people. It would have been 501, but I was in Mount Holly, NJ.

I made it a point to go the next day for lunch, where I was to meet Yards' Steven "Mittens" Mashinton... he brought his entourage with him to boot, so I got to chow down with Frank and Tim Roberts as well.

The place looks great. Nice mellow hues of green and yellow lather the room. Decor is limited to some neat hotographs, not too cluttered and well selected.

Spanky himself is pouring drinks and entertaining as usual. I can barely drink my Founders Red Rye while he's "on stage." Other options included:
Poperings Hommel Ale (they went through 3 kegs in 2 days)
Rogue BuckWheat (he made a special arrangement to get this beer...no one else is pouring it on draft in the East -i think)
With a tip of his hat to his resume: Monks Cafe Flemish Sour and Nodding Head 60 shilling
Sly Fox O'reilly's Dry stout
Yards Pale Ale
Troegs Sunshine Pils...and more

All our priced to move at $4. They won't be doing drink specials per se. But every happy hour, the beer that's been on draft the longest, will be priced to drain at 1/2 off.

It was tough to decide lunch, but I first coursed it with Tempura Battered Butternut Squash served with a Poblano Coconut Curry. I love how I order squash to feel healthy, but make sure it's fried all the while. This counter productivity plagues my days.

and went on to enjoy the Welsh RareBit - A beer and cheese fondue over toast with a fried egg on top. The beer of choice was the Old Peculiar and there was certainly a note of dijon to the fondue as well. Rare to me, but not those living in Wales.
It is a traditional Welsh dish that can be served with or without the egg.

There are different theories on how the delightful dish was named. But they all seem to be along the general lines of - The poor people of Wales ate cheese because they couldn't afford butchers meat. In England, the peasants ate rabbit. So in the next land over, they called roasted cheese over toast, Rarebit. No meat involved .

The dish dates back to 1725 and American big box frozen food company, Stouffers even has a commerical version of it.

I enjoyed the rich Rarebit so, that I even called it"I have no intention of wearing a bikini this summer" rarebit.

Other than that, some other menu items include:

Beef and Onion Pasties: Rodenbach braised beef and onion horseradish
*/* ALT :Avocado Bacon and Lettuce with tomato on Toast The Port Richmond Platter: Grilled Keilbasa, perogies, potato pancakes and Kraut
(only $12 buckaroos)
Chicken Fried Chicken:Buttermilk Biscuits, braised collard greens, and Red Chili Mayo
(only $8)
Jalapeno Corn Dodgers: Crispy cornmeal fritters with roasted red pepper ketchup
Walla Walla Suicide Rings: Sweet and Spicy onion rings with Habenero cream

Chef is Jesse Kimball, whom trained under Dominic Feloni (Bianca, Savona) and mastered the kitchen at Matyson following. As the website reads he had a brief course in Molecular Gastronomy at Lacroix and made his way to Memphis and Cumberland.
And they are darn glad to have him.

Just as the beer list has something for everyone, the menu is complete with a key of sorts for Vegans and Vegetarians that certainly haven't been forgotten.

The bar is a mere two blocks from greensgrow farms...In case you ever heard of Greensgrow and wanted to check it out.

The community has welcomed them with open arms. The doors have been flooded by beer industry and fishtown residents alike.

The area has been referred to as one of the last family communities in Philadelphia.
With the addition of the TapRoom, the family grows. and the best part is the reunion can happen daily.


  1. I don't know about keg sales of Rogue Buckwheat, but we've gotten bottles in NJ not too long ago.

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