Archive: July, 2012
Note: Welcome to State Store, a column where we hit the Wine & Spirits shops of Philly and see what's new and noteworthy or just plain weird.
Due to the whims of PLCB Pennsylvania state liquors stores are home to some pretty bizarre booze. Today we're going to take a little stroll through the unsettling world of vodka at Wine & Spirits Store located on 2nd between Market and Chestnut.
The wall of vodka in this Olde City location is truly fascinating. Sure, it's home to all of the old standbys but it's the wild selection of flavored vodkas that makes shopping in this section a psychedelic experience.
Pinnacle proves that French doesn't always equal classy with Atomic Fireball, Swedish Fish, cherry whipped cream, layer cake and fruit punch Flavored vodkas.
Three Olives corners the American-made market on gag inducing ideas like s'mores, supercola, fruit loops, and something that is just called Purple. There's also a head scratcher of a vodka with a label that reads dude. Apparently dude tastes like lemon and lime.
If your tastes run towards the preteen, Pucker Vodka has bottles modeled after Jolly Ranchers and Sour Patch Kids, complete with bright packaging that would look right at home in a candy store.
And if, by chance, you're in the market for a gym appropriate cocktail, please note that this location carries Devotion, a sugar- and gluten-free vodka with added casein protein.
Amateur cocktail concoctors and professional barmen, please feel free to leave your craziest flavored vodka ideas and recipes in the comments section.
The elusive Shake Shack corn dog is making its debut today. Only available three times a year, this dog is topped off with sunny corn relish from Brooklyn's Rick's Picks. The corn dog plus a limited run blueberry pie concrete will ensure that lines will stay nice and long for the 4th.
Jake's Sandwich Board (122 S. 12th St.) is continuing the Summer of Barbecue with a new for July sandwich special, barbecue chicken with pickled onions, bacon, and long hots. Jake's is also offering summer only items like fried pickles with sriracha dip and cherry pie shakes, crust and all.
Chicken tikka and saag paneer might not be your go to 4th of July fare, but Tiffin and Tashan (777 S. Broad St.) are trying to change your tune. On Independence Day all of Tiffin's locations are offering a deal where customers pay only $35 of the first $50 of their bill, including booze. Over at Tashan, they'll be running $7 drink specials all day for your fireworks viewing enjoyment.
Notes from the Weekend is a feature that sees the members of Team Meal Ticket compiling all the food/drink highlights uncovered during prime eatin' time, Friday to Sunday. We'd love to hear all about YOUR weekend eating adventures in the comments. Go for it! (View past NFTW installments at citypaper.net/notes.)
Adam Erace: AE
Caroline Russock: CR
Apologies for the lack of NFTW-age on my end the past two weeks. I was on my belated honeymoon IN ITALIA! In lieu of a full recap here are some of my favorite food pics from the trip—AE
Friday saw the final hours of me and C's Italian honeymoon melting away like a cone of gelato. We'd transferred to Munich from Sicily on Thursday, spent the night, and headed to the airport early Friday, where I proceeded to gorge on soft pretzels and German cookies before boarding our flight back to Philly. Eight hours and one microwaved dish of tortellini in blush sauce later, we were back in Philly. After two weeks of a straight pasta/gelato diet, we thought we'd kickstart the detox with sushi for dinner and headed to the new Toyotomi (1704 S. 11th). I'll have more details on Meal Ticket later, but it was pretty decent and very inexpensive. Really liked the lacy seaweed salad with avocado. The choice of artwork (an abstract zebra that looks lifted from Spencer's Gifts circa-1999), not so much.—AE
A full Friday night of running from City Paper HQ to The Academy of Music for a live performance of Radiolab and then up to Johnny Brenda's didn't afford too much down time. A slice of none to memorable pizza may or may not have been involved. What was memorable, however, were a few pints of Free Will Citra Pale Ale enjoyed while taking in a mind blowing set by Japandroids.—CR
Hit the Shore early on Saturday morning, and hit traffic anyway. Starving by the time we got to C's fam's in Cape May, so I fortified myself with a chicken parm sandwich from Primos Hoagies in Rio Grande. After some pool time, rolled meatballs with MIL, who served 'em with al dente spaghetti.—AE
Looks like Adam and I had similar ideas about beaching it up on Saturday. An impromptu trip to AC began with frozen cocktails at the sparkly new Revel (500 Broadwalk) followed by a stop at Mussel Bar. An awesome selection of Belgian beers plus some smoky harissa merguez mussels made for the kind of meal that one doesn't typically associate with casino eats. Next stop was Sammy's Beach Bar (3109 Boardwalk). Yes, as in Hagar. This place bills itself as a non-stop summer party and it did not disappoint. The wildest daytime dance party I've ever experienced. Diabetic shock inducing Rum Runners were sipped out of oversized souvenir glasses. Moving on to the slightly classier digs of the Tropicana, a boat sized cold antipasto platter was demolished at Carmines (1609 Boardwalk) along with a few quartinos of Trebbiano. The night ended up with slots winnings going towards some late night sushi and sashimi and cilantro-lime cocktails at Fin (2831 Boardwalk).
Sunday morning breakfast at the quirky Mel's Waffle House (603 Bayshore Rd.). Couldn't decided between sweet or savory, so I went for both: biscuits with sausage gravy and poached eggs, with a side of strawberry pancakes. So much for detox.—AE
Knowing that the majority of my Sunday would be filled with burgers and beer, I opted for a trip over to Miss Rachel's Pantry (1732 W. Passyunk) for a little vegan lunch action. The unlikely winner of was the Tune Up, a faux tuna salad made from chickpeas served over a bed of cucumber ranch dressed romaine. To combat whatever semblance of healthfulness lunch might have introduced, I headed up to Morgan's Pier (221 N. Columbus Blvd.) and proceeded to enjoy more than my fair share of Watermelon Rickys, a cheeseburger, and an order of sweet-salty Snack Bacon.—CR
Is it a little too early to be thinking about beer? Well, considering the blazing heat and impending holiday, we're going to go with no.
Tonight Brauhaus Schmitz is hosting Sebastian Sauer of Freigeist brewery in Cologne. Translating to free spirit, the experimental brewery's goal is to bring back long forgotten styles of German beer. If your knowledge of German beer is limited to blah Becks, this event is sure to broaden your bier horizons.
Sauer will be on hand to answer all German beer related queries and Brauhaus will be tapping four rarely seen on these shores beers from Freigeist: Abraxxxas, a sour wheat beer, Hoppeditz, a smoky Alt-style, Ottekolon, an unfiltered Kölsch, and Pimock, a wheat beer with a whole lotta hops.
Last week it came to Meal Ticket's attention that there's a spice blend on the market called Hipster Dust. Obviously it was imperative that we get our hands on a sample immediately and share our findings with all of you loyal Meal Ticket readers.
Contrary to what one might imagine, this Williamsburg blended seasoning is not made of fixed gear bikes, cigarettes and Navajo prints.
Hipster Dust is a kicky mix of cayenne, chile, salt, seaweed, orange zest, garlic, and a handful of other undisclosed spices and seasonings. The site advertises the vegan Dust as an all-purpose flavor enhancer that can be used on anything from vegetables to soups, noodles and everything in between. If we had to liken Hipster Dust to another seasoning, we'd go with a garlickier shichimi togarashi. We're thinking it would make a nice addition to a bowl of ramen or udon.
So there you have it, Hipster Dust. You can request a sample for yourself for one penny on facebook.
In the market for Olde City lunch options? Newly opened pizza and cocktail den Barra (139-141 Chestnut St.) is offering a lunchtime pizza promotion for the month of July. Coal oven pizzas are half price with the purchase of a salad every day from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Brew (1900 S. 15th St.), Newbold's favorite beer and coffee one stop is running a special on 6-packs of 21st Amendment cans all month long. Get your hands on a cold sixer of IPA, Bitter America, Back in Black or summer fav Watermelon Wheat for $8.99.
Fancy pants Italian steakhouse Davio's (11 S. 17th St.) is dressing down for the warm weather with a new Summer Burger. Beginning with naturally raised Brandt beef, the burger is topped off with onion rings, cheddar, sweet pickles and steak sauce and served on brioche.
Mark your calenders and save up those singles, the Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll is making a comeback. On July 19, August 16, and September 20 West Philly restaurants and businesses will be giving away everything from beer and tofu skewers to yoga classes and theater tickets for the bargain basement price of one measly dollar.
Aiming to take beef jerky out of the shadows of gas station convenience stores and into the sparkly world of all things local and artisanal, we're happy to introduce Side Project Jerky. Billing itself as jerky for gentlemen, this beefy brainchild of Marcos Espinoza (otherwise known as Fidel Gastro), Daniel Olsovsky and Mark Novasackis bound to cause some serious meat snack mania.
Side Project's jerky masters have concocted a menu of three flavors: Original, Mongolian, and Southwestern. As a nod to Philly heritage, the Original is cheesesteak flavored. Not that over the top cheesesteakiness that you get at the intersection of Pat's and Geno's, this one is more about subtle notes of beef and Whiz. The Mongolian jerky had beginnings in more Korean territory, but Side Project opted to go with a profile more akin to really good Chinese take out. And finally, the Southwestern jerky. This one has roots in Espinoza's green chile filled childhood. Importing New Mexican Hatch chiles, the jerky is marinated in garlic, soy, cumin, and a bit of cayenne for kick.
For now jerky is available on Side Project's site but be on the lookout for jars of jerky behind the bar at Lemon Hill (747 N. 25th St.) to satisfy your cocktail snacking needs. Side Project is going to be hosting a Meat & Greet at Pub and Kitchen (1946 Lombard St.) in July. All three flavors will be available to sample along with happy hour beer specials courtesy of Six Point.
Calling all chefs! Side Project is looking to collaborate on limited edition jerkies with a portion of the proceeds going to charity. If you'd like to team up with Side Project get in touch via twitter @sideprjctjerky or shoot 'em an email.
Sitting bar side at any of Tria's three locations is an experience that is both enjoyable and immensely educational. The staff at this mini chain of wine bars is incredibly well versed in the beer, cheese, and by the glass options, always ready with an suggestion, pairing, or answer to even the most wine-nerdy query.
If you're looking to up your zymurgy game (that would be the science of fermentation i.e. how all of those wonderful beers, wines and cheeses come to be), Tria is offering a very limited number of seats in their new-hire training class on July 5 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The first class, Wine 101, is a basics session that will walk you through a whopping 15 styles of wine, breaking down varietals, styles, regions, and viticulture. Considering the calibre of Tria's pours, this class is a sweet deal at $28, not mention a sure fire way to advance your oenological chops. To reserve head over to Tria Fermentation School.
Geared towards giving back to the folks who work so hard in the front and back of the house, Industry Nights at Amis (412 S. 13th St.) are always a rowdy good time. And tonight's is gearing up to be a memorable one. An Industry Night collaboration with a restaurant that's all about serving those in the service industry? What could be more perfect?
Teaming up with chef Patrick Szoke of The Industry, the menu promises to be a wild ride with crispy pig ear lettuce wraps, ginger scallion spaghetti, General Tso's wings, Mexican elote, barbecue pork sandwiches with samurai slaw, burgers, and sprinkle topped ice cream cones.
As per usual, food is free and drinks are cheap. All you need to do is show up at Amis after 10 p.m. and flash a pay stub proving your industry cred to get in on the action.
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