This Monday night- I am taking off from Bridgids and hosting dinner at Brauhaus Schmitz.
Chef Jeremy Nolen is straying from the daily menu and has come up with the four courses below.
The restaurant limits seating so everyone can have a nice intimate evening.
Pumpernickel butter? MMMM.
I hope you can join us.
$65 inclusive of tax and tip.
Reservations at (267)909-8814 or just stop by.
October 29, 2010
This Monday night- I am taking off from Bridgids and hosting dinner at Brauhaus Schmitz.
October 25, 2010
Very sad to share that I lost my Aunt Eileen over the weekend. She had struggled with asthma her whole life. She spent years of her youth in Denver at a special school away from her family because of it.
The last year she was in and out of the hospital but thankfully spent enough time out of it to get to see her first grandaughter, Sophia's first year and see her oldest, Marianne get engaged.
My aunt was a such a strong woman. Growing up, she was the "strict" aunt who lovingly called me honeybunch and made sure we got to the boardwalk during the summer (my family didn't take week long family vacations at the shore like most.) She would put way too much butter in the mashed potatoes during the holidays, but I would eat two plates of them right now if she would join me at the table. She had a great laugh, and kind ways. She was an educator for years, and I'm certain made her imprint on thousands of children, especially the two of her own.
My Aunt loved children so much. My mother was due with me in April of '78. Since I was born on her birthday, she felt compelled to name me Suzanne, but gave me Eileen as my middle name in honor of her sister. Within a year Eileen adopted my cousin, and had a namesake herself.
Growing up we were always at the "kids table" during holidays, Little Eileen and Little Suzy.
Life moves on, and there's no longer a kids table. Little Eileen now has a child herself. And I haven't even seen her in years despite the fact that she lives an hour and a half away.
My aunt's passing has brought my mother from across the country, and has had me thinking nostalgic thoughts as these times tend to do. Losing this generation is hard. You're reminded that death has no prejudice. It's not reserved for the nursing home. It's your 66 year old uncle, and your 67 year old aunt.
Losing them is hard, and even harder is knowing your cousins have lost their mother, and you're uncle has lost the love of his life after 41 years of marriage. Suddenly ibus, foam retention, and bars' obsession with rotating tap handles don't matter much at all.
I'll be back soon.
The Obituary below is written by my cousin, Marianne Cotugno with her father, Harry.
October 22, 2010
The other day I stopped in at one of Sly's long time O'reillys Stout bars- Murphs across the street from Johnny Brenda's.
When you walk in you'll see a long bar covered in pennies, an elvis lamp, and a circle of Fishtown friends. And if Colleen's working, some of you guys will be happy.
They had Great Lakes Edmund Fitz on tap, Oreilly's, PBR and a couple others.
I noticed that they had started brunch and can't wait to go back and have the Elvis with Peanut butter, banana, and apricot jam on Challah. That day though I wanted comfort and I found it in the classic grilled cheese and tomato soup for $6.50.
Lance Romance has been working hard this week to ready for the Great Pumpkin.
One day a few weeks back he even went to work at 5 am to roast the pumpkins while the chefs weren't in the kitchen.
So I am personally excited to see (I mean drink) the fruits (pumpkin is a fruit) of his labor.
There was actually a shortage of pumpkins this year because that crazy summer we had. But there's certainly no shortage of pumpkin beer.
Lance will be tapping his Pumpkin ale, his Imperial Pumpkin Ale, and a 2009 Bourbon Pumpkin Ale (in Limited quantities).
There will be pumpkin snacks and prizes as well.
October 21, 2010
Met up with a gal pal at Jose Garces' new JG Domestic last night. Our party of two expanded to include Lance Romance and Ommegang's Megan Maguire within minutes. So I was able to sample and sample some more.
Getting dressed today was slightly depressing. No-I can't tone this down. REALLY depressing. I need new jeans desperately. But every bite of that beignet was worth it.
When you get to the dessert portion of JG Domestic, each of the 5 desserts are simply titled,
Chocolate, Huckleberry, Pear, Bourbon, and Pumpkin. Further details are given underneath the bold, capitalized words. Four out of 5 have a house made ice cream or sorbet accompaniment.
Beignets, Bourbon Vanilla Mousseline,
Maker’s Mark Butterscotch
I freaked out when I ate this. I mean I contained myself- I didn't embarrass anyone in my party. I guess it was more of an inner freakout. You get three beignets. You get this bourbon laden caramel sauce and then there's the mousseline on the right hand side. I didn't know quite how to attack it. So I dipped the beignet in the sauce then spread some mousseline on it. It was the best bite of the week. Month. Maybe year. And now I must go to New Orleans more than ever.
Now go and have your own JG Domestic bourbon freak out. Feel free to drink a can of Sly Fox Pikeland Pils while you're there;)
October 20, 2010
Last night I headed south to Lucky 13. I love this bar and wish it was at 8th and Carpenter sometimes. I had a Pikeland Pils then moved on to a Founders Reds Rye. I really enjoy this beer. It's the kind of beer I want to drink when fall hits as opposed to being pelted with pumpkin beers with too much cinnamon and nutmeg.
Then we walked two blocks to the new
Watkins Drinkery (On Watkins by 10th and Morris). Owner Jonn Klein had a ton o' trouble getting open, but now all is good- quite good. He only has 3 crap beers in bottle and the rest is all craft. Differing from his first effort, the popular Dive on Passyunk just north of Carpenter, he's food focused and looking forward to doing a lot of food and beer pairing.
He's behind the bar 3 nights a week in the same fashion as Clark from Lucky 13. It's always nice to see owners so involved in their biz.
The menu is big on game but tops off at 9.95. It gives guests the chance to try something that might never have had but at a reasonable price.
Last night I went for the scotch egg (which I think is the ultimate beer food) and the escargot.
Then pumpkin choco chip bread pudding. I was starving but had a little help from friends.
I'm already looking forward to my next meal (and beer) there.
Our group threw back an Oskar Blues Gordon- then I finished the night with a Sly Fox Bitter on the handpump.
And I slept well. Quite well.
October 18, 2010
Tomorrow night 6 pm
We will be pouring Sly Fox Grisette (think lil sis of Saison Vos, lighter in body and alcohol) and Sly Fox Rt. 113 IPA.
And Pork Belly Tacos will be a mere $1.
Last time I did Brewsday Tuesday, I gave out random plastic eggs that had surprises in them like "Free beer" or "free taco." Or some people just received notice that they were sexy or smelled nice.
Maybe I will sponsor a taco eating contest this time. These non-stop events aren't easy. It's been a long two months but I'm in the cliche home stretch (that is until I schedule 15 events in Nov. and Dec.) Hope to see some of you there.
It's fun, delicious and sustainable!
It's the head-to-tail dinners at the newly opened Fork and Barrel on Ridge Ave.
I already mentioned it here two weeks ago, but I'm repeating myself.
I'm even arranging for the Ladies beer club to take a trip out there for one of the dinners.
You need to give them at least two weeks notice.
It's around $80 a person which includes some big bottles for sharing.
Contact Matt: (215-848-1990)
Now on to raw vegetable month...
Wegmans hosted a local beer dinner on Friday at their Collegeville location. Victory, Stoudts, Weyerbacher and Sly were involved.
Chef Haines did a fantastic job.
Before each course he came out to explain how he came up with the pairing. So much more personable than many others out there.
The main course was paired up with Victory's Moonglow- their Weizenbock. He paired that with a Pork Tenderloin and an Apple chutney with roasted celeriac. I usually don't care for celery but the root roasted was okay. The pork wasn't too dry and who doesn't like apples?
The dessert was awesomely paired with Stoudts Fat Dog Imperial oatmeal stout. It was a German Choco Bar with homemade whip. Jodi Stout joked that she would have enough energy for the drive back west after getting a few forkfuls.
Keep your eyes and ears open for upcoming news on future Wegmans events. They do a great job and they're quite reasonably priced.
October 15, 2010
I will be there after our Wegmans beer dinner.
If you didn't know that Sidecar Bar and Grille hosts "Pork me Sundays," now you know.
What happens during Pork Me Sundays?
It runs from 5pm - 1:30am
All pork offerings are 1/2 off! Carnitas, nachos & BBQ pulled pork... All drafts are $1.00 off!
And you can chow in your pork to some old skool soul while you're at it.
But I was there on a Thursday during Happy Hour in which a lot of apps are 1/2 off as well.
So you can get carnitas for $2!
You can get 2 for $4! And that will fill you up. Maybe you'll have just enough room leftover for their homemade purple slaw.
The sidecar is behind tomorrow's BLoKTOBERFEST.
We'll be pouring beers all day from 12-8. Pay as you go with tickets.
There will be some of the best food trucks in town for you to grub while you glug.
October 14, 2010
Nick Macri, Sheri Wade (Southwark)
Gene Giuffi (Cochon)
Breads and pastries by Patrick O'Malley, Balthazar NYC
Sly Fox Grisette
October 13, 2010
I didn't make it out to Mt. Airy on Saturday eve.
I was "thirstoberfested."
But Earth bread + brewery opened a Sly Fox Renard D'or from 2007 and toasted their good times of the last two years.
Congrats Tom and Peggy. Everyone loves you.
World Cafe Live will be hosting their 3rd annual Oktoberfest
There will be over 30 beers to sample throughout the day.
AND -=The EAGLES game will be on to boot. Das Gut!
I ran into the GM of Amis in Fairmount after work on Monday. I hadn't seen him in a while.
I haven't been to Amis since February despite having enjoyed it so much during my first two visits-and Lance Romance has never been.
It's kind of funny we almost got distracted by 3 different places just on the walk there from 8th and Carpenter. A reminder of what a great dining scene we have in Philly.
We ate a little bit of everything. Some cheeses, some sweetbreads, then shared a few larger plates.
We ordered the Fennel and Persimmon Lasagna (wow!) and Guinea Hen Saltimbocca- which I thought would count for my "Porco del giorno"
But Brian, our most amicable bartender, wanted us to try what was simply stated on the menu as "pork-stuffed cabbage."
When it arrived Lance points out that its a traditional polish dish- Galabki.
The tomato sauce was awesome- so vibrant. The pork was ground up like a oblong meatball of sorts.
Italian? Polish? Doesn't matter Delicious is what it was.
We (mostly he) wrapped things up with the Olive Oil cake. Some of the other dolci might seem sweeter to the eye. But that cake was soooo good. Don't be tempted by all that semi-freddo. Lastly, they have a nice, albeit sort of pricey, variety of craft beers. As tempting as it is to think vino at a trattoria, try a few of the rare Italian beers (also to be found at Vetris other locations and Chicks)
Who doesn't like Chimichurri? I usually associate the marinade with steak. But Misconduct spreads it on the challah bun holding their Pork Loin sandwich.
Its a big one. And a bit too much to get into my kisser. I ate the pork out of the bun and saved my carbs for a cask-conditioned Hops Infusion.
I also subbed out the fries for a house made coleslaw. Still quite full for a mere $9.
Other things to mention:
*They make their own Buffalo Mozz in house for the Chicken Cutlet Sandwich
*They make their own Boursin for the skirt steak
*They tap a pin every Monday around 5. They do flight nights with varying breweries on Tuesdays with food specials.
* They have a friendly staff and have really stepped up their beer program in the last 2 years.
*Its also a good place with watch a game.
Labels: misconduct tavern
October 11, 2010
I've already blogged about our trip to Yocco's this summer. I think it was the beginning of July. Lance and I went out to Bear Creek and bopped around the Lehigh Valley. He was on a hot dog mission of sorts to eat at as many Yoccos as he could. Yocco's is a family-owned hot dog chain in the Allentown area.
I think we hit 4 in 24 hours- maybe 5. I'm trying to forget it. He was all jazzed up on secret chili sauce. I had had enough by the time we were done.
Lance would probably say, "Nothing says love like sharing your enthusiasm for hot dogs with your significant other."
Then again, he also thinks chicken butt is a term of endearment.
The best hotdog I had while we were up there was actually at Potts hotdogs across from Dorney Park.
Other notable hotdogs
I really need to make it to the "Dapper dog" cart. I guess we haven't been at Standard Tap late night when they are around.
The one Dibrunos will make from time to time wrapped in bacon. That could almost count for 2 days during Porktoberfest.
and VARGA has a great one, but its kobe beef not pork.
You can also get foot long hot dogs at the POPE during Phillies games!
October 8, 2010
Green Flash Imperial IPA
Green Flash Le Freak
Sierra Nevada Tumbler
Sierra Nevada Fritz and Ken
Sierra Nevada Charlie, Fritz, and Ken
Dogfish Head Saison Du Buff
Dogfish Head Bitches Brew
Monk's Flemish Sour
Ayinger Brau Weisse
Ommegang Cup O Kindness
Du Ciel Peche Mortel
Bear Republic Racer X
Weissenohe Monks Fest (Firkin)
La Trappe Quadrupel
J.W. Lee's Moonraker
WIntercoat Cockney Imperial Stout
Victory Saison Du Buff
Yards Love Stout (Firkin)
Yards IPA (Firkin)
Yards ESA (Firkin)
Flying Fish Exit Series (Exit TBD)
Flying Fish Octoberfish
Sly Fox Keller Helles
Sly Fox Octoberfest
I believe you buy tickets at the event. So you don't have to commit spending $40 if you're only going to have a few beers. Chef Jesse Kimball will be making some nibbles for the day.
See you there! I know Jesse has a smoker- so I can't wait to see what Porktoberfest Day 10 brings!
I had an event at a beer bar in the Financial District of Jersey City last night.
Yes there is a Financial District. Before I left, a few people warned me of what to expect in JC.
I don't know if I was just guided wisely by my wholesaler rep, PJ, or what-but I had a great time.
There are a few good beer bars like LITM ( Love is the Message- a gallery/bar) Skinners Loft, Star Bar (Gay-friendly with craft beer!), and Iron Monkey (where my event was).
I got my pork in at Skinners Loft. I hadn't crossed dumplings off yet. So I ordered the pork dumplings with kimchi, watercress & tofu, chili-lime ginger & ponzu dipping sauces.
I was still hungry after the dumplings so I ordered this Pulled Pork Potato Crisp. So good. There was a mystery ingredient to the bbq pork. It could have been cinnamon or nutmeg. It was served on top of a thinly sliced potato with cheddar and green onion. It was Delicious with a capital d.
Lance- if you're reading this- it made me almost like potatoes.
October 7, 2010
Jose Pistolas has a solid beer selection, refreshing margaritas (house made sour mix) and the best carnitas nachos in the city.
It's also owned by two guys that appreciate a little Pennsy Dutch addition to the Philly Cheese Steak.
For $11- this artery clogger can be yours all yours. Porktoberfest day 7 brings you the SCRAPPLE CHEESESTEAK.
Joses is also one of my favorite places to watch the Phils. And not just because they feature Sly Fox cans for $3 during all games;)
October 6, 2010
I grew up in a fairly strict household.
No arms on the table.
No saying "what?"
We weren't even allowed to refer to my mother as "She" in the 3rd person even if it was grammatically correct.
"Mother is going to Hennings. Mother wanted to pick up some corn on the cob for dinner."
I was also never allowed to say "I hate..." I was instructed to say "I don't care for that."
Well, my I don't care for that list was pretty long and involved many of the usual childhood dislikes.
Like asparagus. The award for eating asparagus at Grandmom Pryors house was Sara Lee cupcakes, so I managed to get it down.
I now appreciate the branched green a bit more than I did back then, but I still don't love it. I actually have a fondness for white asparagus, but you don't see that around as much.
So now that the prelude's over- I had serrano ham wrapped asparagus at the Bistro on Bridge in Phoenixville last night. It's a bit of an extension on the "Everything is better with bacon" philosophy.
Appetizers are half price from 5 till 7. So 6 pieces were $3.50.
They have some craft on tap including Ommegang Hennepin and Founders Centennial IPA.
You can get a few big bottles as well- like Sly Fox Christmas Ale vintage 09 and Sly Fox Black Raspberry Reserve.
I have a firkin at Standard Tap tonight. I am sure there will be some good eats. Come by if you can.
October 5, 2010
With the arrival of Autumn, the No Libs Standard Tap has revived firkin Wednesdays.
Join me at 6 pm for a tapping and hopefully you will still be joining me for the kicking of a firkin tomorrow night.
It's either Chester Co.Bitter or Standard Porter. Not sure just yet. Whatever Captain Firkin, Ron Johnson, says goes.
I bet there will be a few options for Porktoberfest day 7 to consume-=
Ladies -there's no official beer club till Kraftwork next Wednesday, Oct. 13th- but hopefully you'll come support Sly at the Tap. Stop by anytime after 6.
Porktoberfest Day 5: Rembrandts' Resurgence: BBQ Pork Belly and Octopus Skewers AND Bacon and Egg Gelato
It was then I discovered that the changes made over the course of the last year were most favorable. Robert Legget formerly of Cuba Libre, is in the kitchen, Erin Butterworth (formerly of Continental) is managing the Fairmount restaurant and things are looking (and tasting) pretty good. Their beer selection has improved (both draft, bottle, and can) with the careful choosing of Beer Manager, Rich Leibensperger
I fondly remember the 21-day Dry-Aged Burger topped with Pork Belly I had during that PBW.
I thought it would be a perfect spot to hit to celebrate Porktoberfest while I was in the Art Museum area.
I went with BEER BRAISED PORK BELLY & BBQ OCTOPUS STICKS with toasted macadamia, sesame seeds, sprout salad. You don't typically see the mollusc (k) blanketed in bbq. Interesting switch up from the Spanish or Mediterranean norm.
Molly, the bartender tempted me with a "Bacon and Egg" gelato.
Chef adds smoked bacon fat to the creamy custard then tops it with bacon bits as well.
Side Note: Legget also won best dish of Philly's 2010 Comfort Food contest in March with a short rib dish that incorporated foie gras ice cream.
Sure I ate too much (didn't event tell you about the Butternut Squash soup start) but it's Porktoberfest and Porktoberfest is a no holds barred kinda thing. My sister has already suggested Raw Veggies Month after this.
The buck- I mean pig-doesn't stop there. Other swine to swallow at Rembrandts:
*PULPO romesco sauce, octopus, manchego, chorizo sausage, kalamata olives, roasted onion
*TORTA CUBANA homemade chorizo, smoked ham, swiss cheese, latin slaw, pickles, dijon mustard, pressed country roll
*WOOD-FIRED CHICKEN prosciutto, summer vegetables, new jersey cream corn, red wine demi glaze
*REFRITO DIP queso fresco, refried pork black beans, salsa verde, fresh tortillas
Here's the rest of the menu
October 4, 2010
The hardest-yet best- part about Porktoberfest is deciding what item from what bar/restaurant. I can't repeat any one type of pork.
For example: I can't double up on Pulled Pork sandwiches.
I can kind of cheat by doing one South Philly Roast Pork Style and one Southern Bbq. Even then it's tough to say- This is the best- this is the one you should try.
But David Conn makes it just a little easier because the BBQ Pork Sandwich at Village Whiskey is superb.
I think I put in my 2 bites notice after the first 2 bites.
So-it's a big one.
But go hungry and you will leave very, very happy.
The buttery brioche bun's the best!
Don't forget the Saturday afternoon happy hour.
You can get Pork BBQ sliders!
Recently I had the opportunity to write about a few bacon dishes for CBS online's "Best of Philly."
I had to include the simple yet delicious "Bacon Stack" at Ants Pants cafe. Here's what I wrote:
This Aussie café situated on South St. in the Greys Ferry neighborhood has been around for 7 years serving up brunch food and these day-brightening crunchy violet crumble candy milkshakes made of the choco-coated honeycomb. Ants Pants features daily specials but the “Bacon Stack” is special all the time. It’s toasted country white bread, stacked with BACON (Hatfield), tomato, arugula, two sunny side up eggs, and freshly shaved Pecorino Romano. The ladies serve up “brekkie” all day long until 3pm to pay homage to the land down under where meeting people for breakfast is as common as meeting someone for lunch.
The other night I attended the Wednesday night Rock Tits festivities at P.o.p.e.
I saw three young gents drinking cans and felt compelled to buy their next round. I can't always do that kind of thing- but I figured it would be cheap and they might be Sly Fox can drinkers for life!
So I bought them a round and they came up to me a little bit later and handed me this>>>>>>>
I think a lot of people feel that way.
Sly Fox cans had an amazing summer flying out of regional distributors. Hope the fall chill doesn't stop sales-cuz these cans (Pikeland Pils, Phoenix Pale, Rt 113 IPA) are the ultimate tailgating beers.
October 2, 2010
I scheduled myself in New Jersey today- but due to one of the the worst rains since1902 (The 2.99 inches that fell overnight broke the old record of 1.79 for an Oct. 1 set back in 1902) I wasn't going to risk it.
So I detoured to Mt. Airy. I thought for sure I could get some pork of some sort at McMenamins. But surprisingly enough- there was none (just delicious, just-tapped cask of Sly Fox Pale Ale). And even more surprising- buddy next door at Earth Bread + Brewery, Tom Baker, who has a pretty veggie friendly menu entices me (I ran into him at Mcmenamins) with a special this month- Bratwurst flatbread.
Brats (Veal and Pork), creamy mustard sauce, red cabbage, potatoes with a bit of scallion-a little munch of Munich right on Earth's delicious flatbread.
I enjoyed that with his smokey Beechwood Brown.
Fans of the brewpub can look forward to their 2 year anniversary on Sat. October 9th. They'll be putting a few special beers on tap. And the couple is finally going to open that Jeroboam of Sly Fox Renard D'or from 2007!
Enjoy your Saturdays. I'm off to Kennett Square now.
October 1, 2010
There's nothing sexy about pudding. At least I don't think there is. Mousse- pretty sexy. Creme Brulee with that torched sugar on top- twice as sexy. Pudding just reminds me of Bill Cosby and the 80s.
Until now- maybe because it's actually called Budino (pudding in Italian) or maybe because everything Marcie Turney touches is so darn delightful. Her and partner Valerie Safran have turned 13th st. in Midtown Village into Inspiration Ave. for me. I don't know them- but they seem every bit as nice as they are talented.
So back to this Budino. It's on the menu at the new BARBUZZO (so are cans of Sly Fox Phoenix Pale Ale). It's a Salted Caramel Budino with Dark Chocolate Crust, Vanilla Bean Caramel and Sea Salt. It's $8. It's served in a cute jar. And It's the best thing I ate all week.
I take pictures of pig I dig throughout the year--so I have enough to do 16 days.
But I will also be hunting it out over the next two weeks or so as well. The fall is a nice time for pig. Well, the summer is too. I guess it's a year round treat.
And typing of treats brings me to one of the best I've had recently.
Pork rinds/cracklins/scratchings at upscale bars and restaurants.
These are not you're run-of-the-mill, plastic bag, road trip-impulse buy Pork Rinds.
I've already been to Barbuzzo twice for Marcie Turney's "Pig Popcorn." It's mandatory. It's so airy- and it for some reason the food compaction is limited-which is always a good thing.
When was the last time you were at Xochitl?
They have Chicharonnes on the menu served with a radish, mint and salsa verde.
BEST part? There are no carbs in pork rinds. There's some fat (like 9 grams a serving) but there's also protein so they're sorta kinda good for you if you're on a no carb diet.