Archive: August, 2009
|Courtesy of Coo's|
Longtime friends Tom Fario and Ed Curran are saying this Saturday (barring any inspection snags) for Coo's Sports Bar & Lounge at 822 N. Broad Street (Broad and Parrish, a few blocks north of Ridge Avenue). Managed by Tom's son Mike, the spot will feature 32 (!) flat-screens, including a 76-incher that looks over the entire property, two facing out into the street and one 19-incher in each of the four restrooms.
Name stems from a family story in which Curran, a graduate of Bucknell, was defeated in a game of Scrabble by his then-13-year-old daughter with the word. Guess he took the loss hard, as he's now naming his bar after the sound a dove makes.
There are two bars in Coo's, one that's full-service and another that's solely spirits. Here's the sports-themed menu. A few more pics, and the crafty 21-beer opening draft list, after the jump. (Back in July, Foobooz speculated that they were "probably not going to have Chimay on draft" due to the fact that their coming-soon banner featured a Coors Light logo. Guess they took that to heart!)
1. Franziskaner Hefe-Weiss Dunkel
2. Sly Fox Pikeland Pilsner
3. Yards Brawler (will rotate Yards drafts throughout the year)
4. Victory Hop Devil (will also rotate throughout the year)
5. Chimay White Tripel
8. Magic Hat No. 9
9. Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA
11. Stella Artois
14. Coors Light
15. Miller Lite
16. Samuel Adams Seasonal (rotates appropriately)
17. Flying Fish ESB Ale
18. Ommegang Hennepin
19.Lindeman's Francoise Lambic
|Courtesy of Coo's|
Jose Garces' much-anticipated Village Whiskey (118 S. 20th St.) will most definitely open to the public next Thursday, September 3, according to Tinto GM Robert Scully, who's going to be running the show here, too. Meal Ticket will have lots more on the spot soon; in the meantime, check out our April post for some details on the beverage program and chef Dave Conn's menu.
|CP Choice '08|
Whipped Bakeshop cakelady Zoï¿½ Lukas ï¿½ she did a bunch of awesome work for last year's CP Choice issue ï¿½ tells Meal Ticket that she's looking to October to open a storefront for Whipped at 636 Belgrade Street in Fishtown. (Up to this point, she's operated off the Web and Etsy.) The green-certified space will feature an open studio kitchen on the ground level, with an 800-square-foot top floor. It'll serve mostly as a place to for people to pick up custom creations, but Lukas says she'll also have a display case for walk-ins with cupcake/cookie hankerings. No word on whether Chase Utley cookies will be a regular feature. Sorry, ladies.
SNACK TIME: a cutlet above, little Italian plates on the Square, quinine gets back to its roots, DiBruno Bros. wine bar pushed back to 2010, I dream of Vetri's spinach gnocchi (and you do, too!)
|Shank's Original chicken cutlet with rabe and prov|
Every Wednesday, Meal Ticket pokes around the food blog world to see what's simmering.
- Unbreaded pays a visit to the new, uptown Shank's Original and finds that you can take the chicken cutlet out of Souf Philly, but you can't take the Souf Philly out of the chicken cutlet (or the all-gal staff.)
- The former Valentino on the Square space will become Cicchetteria in October, reports Michael Klein at The Insider. Chef Dan Murphy, late of the Chelsea Hotel in A.C.,ï¿½ will throw down "fun, shareable-type food, including pizzas."
- Over at The Restaurant Club, Victor Fiorillo susses out the romantic origins of boutique tonic waters Fever Tree and Q, and locates the elegant anti-malarials around town.
- Grub Street's Kirsten Henri gets the lowdown on Di Bruno's upcoming-but-not-until-the-New-Year wine bar in the former Pronto Space on Ninth Street, from owner Emilio Mignucci.
- It's always a good idea to check in with Chowhound and take the pulse of those avid eaters. This week we've got a lively thread on Philly Restaurant Dishes You Dream About ï¿½ much like this week's Snack Time,ï¿½ it seems the Italians are dominating our food fantasies.
And mac 'n' cheese? (And a salad?)
|Photos | Drew Lazor|
|Courtesy of Reading Terminal Market|
The White Dog Cafï¿½ Foundation's Fair Food Farmstand, currently in the process of relocating from its original Reading Terminal Market location to the much-bigger space that housed Rick's Steaks, is aiming for the first weekend of September for its soft opening, RTM GM Paul Steinke tells Meal Ticket.
There are also two new Terminal tenants making their debuts today ï¿½ Barb & Suzy's Kitchen is now open at Avenue B and Eighth Avenue, offering Lancaster County sausage sandwiches, batter-dipped veggies and "bacon fries" (not sure what those are just yet but fairly sure we'll like them bacon cheese fries!) Just down the way from this stand is companion meat stop S&B Meats, which'll sell fresh/cured pork preparations from Stoltzfus Meats.
One more RTMer's on the way, too: On track for October is Beck's Cajun Cafï¿½, which'll offer Nawlins-style classics like jambalaya, po'boys, etouffe and beignets.
UPDATE: In addition to meats from Stoltzfus, S&B will offer products from Illgs Meats of Chalfont. Both new shops will be open till 3 p.m. on Wednesdays at 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday to Saturday. Added a few more photos which you can check out after the jump.
|Courtesy of Reading Terminal Market|
Cascading from the tap into its branded chalice, a burnished pour of Chimay Cinq Cents has been a staple of Philadelphia's beer bars since our salad days learning how to be America's Best Beer-Drinking City. The dry, slightly spicy ale can please both first-timers and seasoned geeks with its approachable flavor profile and heavy, heady credibility.
Monk's Cafï¿½ owners Tom Peters and Fergus Carey traveled to Belgium in 2001 to lobby the Scourmont Abbey to export kegs of their only beer packaged for the draft tower. A year later, the first barrel of Cinq Cents breached outside of Brussels was tapped at Monk's; the brew has been flowing through two dedicated draft lines ever since.
Until now. As of July 2009, Origlio Beverage distributes Chimay to Philadelphia wholesale accounts at a before-tax price of $199.35 per 20-liter keg (sixtel). Add on the 7 percent state and city liquor taxes, and the price comes to $213.30. In 2002, sixtels cost $150 before tax, and sales were brisk. "Somewhere, I have a plaque they gave me," says Peters. "We sold the most Chimay of any establishment in the United States."
The 10-ounce glass that cost the consumer $5 seven years ago is now $8. "Thatï¿½s just too much for me to feel comfortable charging for a glass of draft beer, especially in this retracting economy," says Peters. "My keg sales went from 16-20 kegs per week a few years ago, down to around 8-10 per week these days. The consumer has spoken, and we have listened. We will run Chimay on tap occasionally, just no longer on a daily basis."
Michael Naessens, owner of Eulogy and Beneluxx, started serving draft Chimay in 2003. Both of his establishments still serve 10-ounce drafts of Cinq Cents, which run $7.99 at Eulogy and $7.49 at Beneluxx, before tax. Naessens plans to keep the beer on draft, despite its expense to himself and the customer. "I try to keep it on all the time," he says. "It is definitely expensive, but [Chimay gets] that price because they are who they are. I always do a dollar-per-ounce-of-alcohol analysis for customers ï¿½ it's 8 percent, so that's the same as two Yuenglings, [and Cinq Cents] has less calories and better taste."
In separate interviews, each bar owner identified the same reason for Cinq Cents' high price ï¿½ the weak dollar against the Euro. "I do not think the brewery/abbaye is making a huge profit on each keg," says Peters in an e-mail. "They may even be making less money on each keg than they were back in 2002. I think the problem arises in that the brewery charges in Euros and I pay in U.S. dollars. In January of 2002 the rate was 0.88932 and in July of 2009 the rate was 1.4092. Thatï¿½s a huge difference."
Naessens concurs. "From $150 to $200 ï¿½ that's about a 30 percent increase. It matches the change in the exchange rate from 2002 to today. They're killing us with the Euro, and the price of shipping has increased substantially, as well."
A few of the Philly bars that identify as "Belgian" are pouring Chimay every day. Peters and Carey's Belgian Cafï¿½ (where this writer bartends) pulled Cinq Cents off draft more than a year ago. Zot has never served it. "It's just too pricey for the size of the keg," says general manager Charles Brodvinksi. "You're lucky if you get 65 glasses out of it, and that's with no overpour or loss."
Bridgid's, near the Art Museum, serves Cinq Cents "regularly" on draft for $7 including tax. Jose Pistola's keeps Chimay in its rotation at $7.75 before tax for 10 ounces. "It ends up coming in around 40 percent cost, which is really high for draft beer," says general manager Suzanne O'Brien. "However, it is a specialty item, and we balance our costs by having Yards and other reasonable beers on tap. We sell PBR, too; Tom [Peters] doesn't."
Peters has a rep from Chimay's importer, Mannken-Brussel Imports, visiting him this week, but it is difficult to compromise on the price of a barrel without seriously denting the bottom line, since the Trappist monks who oversee Chimay do not produce and sell beer for profit. Revenues that exceed the monies required to sustain the abbey are put into numerous charitable causes and good works, including orphanages.
UPDATE:ï¿½ This post has been edited to reflect the proper capacity of a 25cl Chimay glass.
|Photo | Drew Lazor
Leila Cafï¿½ (401 S. 13th St.), which David Snyder reviewed for us just last week, is doing a little renovation, and to accommodate, they'll be open from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. ï¿½ aka IDEAL TEAM MEAL TICKET HOURS HOLY CRAP HOW DID YOU KNOW ï¿½ till Sept. 19.
Claudio's mozzarella and charcuterie, Otolith's sustainable seafood, Griggstown Quail Farm's poultry and Metropolitan Bakery's bread will all find a West Philadelphia outpost when Milk & Honey Market (4435 Baltimore Ave.) opens in September.
Husband-and-wife ownership team Annie Baum-Stein and Mauro Daigle renovated the market/eat-in space themselves ï¿½ Daigle's a LEED-certified green builder and owner of MauHausNYC.ï¿½ Indoor seating for 20 and outdoor tables accommodating 10 will be complemented by a play space for "the stroller set."
The food focus is on sustainable products from local producers, especially humanely raised meat and fish. Fresh produce will be sourced from Lancaster Farm Fresh Co-op, as well as maple syrup, dairy, honey and jam. Name-droppers, take note: Milk & Honey's inventory reads like a who's-who of Philly food stars. In addition to the products already mentioned, there will be pints of Bassett's Ice Cream and scoops of Capogiro gelato, chocolates from ï¿½clat and John & Kira's, baked goods from Four Worlds and Wild Flour bakeries, vegan and vegetarian entrï¿½es from Cosmic Catering and salads and panini made on-site.
Baum-Stein and Daigle, who live just a few blocks away from the market, are eager to bring their favorite foods to West Philly. Baum Stein summed their philosophy up in an e-mail: "Everything we stock are foods that we think are outstanding and otherwise unavailable in the neighborhood. Milk & Honey Market is an invitation to shop at our dream pantry. These are the foods that we always want to have at home and we think our neighbors will agree."
I have been known to ring up my preferred watering holes to inquire if they have certain beers (and if that bread pudding is on tonight). As a bartender, I field similar sorts of calls from folks who want me to psychically predict when the Palm will kick so we can get to the Pliny.
Though it cannot make oracular pronouncements with any more certainty than your average annoyed bartender, BeerMenus.com will tell you where you can get your brew of choice right now.ï¿½ The free, searchable site got started in New York; Philadelphia's page was launched June 29 of this year.
Type in your mission, be it "Dogfish Head Punkin Ale" or "cask ale," and the search engine will spit out places eager to give you what you want. The nitty-gritty of prices, descriptions, ABV and methods of delivery (bottle, draft) are listed for comparison. Genius, right?ï¿½ Meal Ticket was so impressed with this innovation we caught up with Will Stephens, who founded BeerMenus.com along with brother Eric Stephens, Michael Leung and Elliott Draper.
Meal Ticket: Philly beer bars change their draft lists constantly. How will this information be kept up-to-date?
Will Stephens: Our site is set up so that bars, restaurants and beer stores can update their menu themselves by logging in and adding or removing beers when they change. We make it easy to browse recently updated menus so that you can easily find the most accurate information. Many bars already update daily in Philly and the number of bars updating grows every day.
ME:ï¿½ Have you gone out beer drinking in Philly yet? What do you think?
WS:ï¿½ I am in Philly every week going to bars and restaurants, and I am continually impressed by the number of local breweries and places selling local beers. Philly, of course, has a variety of places that specialize in great beer, but it's also exciting to see so much craft beer in places that do not specialize in craft beer. It's a real sign that Philly is a beer town.
ME: What are your most-searched beers for Philadelphia?
WS: Russian River Pliny The Elder, Yards Cape Of Good Hope IPA and Trï¿½egs Nugget Nectar.
- barstool scientist
- Brew Revue
- Chef Salad
- Dirty Dishes
- Don't Front
- Eat This Immediately
- Field Trip
- Food and Art
- Food and Holidays
- Food and Movies
- Food and Music
- Food and Politics
- Food and Sports
- Food and Web
- Food Blogs
- Food Books
- Food Events
- Food News
- Food TV
- Happy Hour Hopper
- In Print
- Meal Ticket
- Menu Time
- Not So Quickfire
- Notes from the Weekend
- On Wheels
- Patio Drinking
- Philly Beer Week 2010
- Private Chef POV
- Product Placement
- Snack Time
- Stiff Drank
- Ticket Stubs
- Top Chef
- Weekly Candy
- Weird Regional Foods
- We're Here to Help
- Where'd We Eat?
- Drew Lazor's Ill-Advised Rant Factory
- Ill-Advised Ranting
- The Week Without Meat
- Philly Beer Week 2009
- Real Big
- Where'd I Eat Last Night?
- Top Chef Masters
- The Good Word
- Next Iron Chef
- Arterial Terrorism
- Food and Radio