Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Thank You, Restaurant Club

Blogs that promote other blogs. I swore that I would rarely, if ever, do it, and so far, I've kept the hall-of-mirrors recommendations to a minimum. But today I have to offer a tip of the hat to Philadelphia Magazine's food blog, the Restauarant Club, for its compilation of kid-friendly restaurants in and around Philly and the 'burbs. A handy list with goood menu suggestions, along with some practical advice from two serious restaurateurs with kids of their own.

I'm always looking for new places to take Ben and Sophie, who, like their dad, love to eat out.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

CALENDARS! The Firkinteenth Is Coming!!

(photo courtesy of Grey Lodge)

We're just 6 days away from the original, knockout beer festival in Philadelphia, Friday The Firkinteenth at the Grey Lodge Public House in Northeast Philly, to my mind the most sociable and best single beer event in Philly, and the only one dictated by the calendar. This year there is only one Friday the 13th, and therefore, only one Firkinteenth.

This year, owner/publican Mike "Scoats" Scotese promises THIRTY firkins of fine brew, starting at 9AM on Friday the 13th. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be served, and I'd advise consuming plenty of food and water, to help with your enjoyment of this terrific lineup, courtesy of the Grey Lodge's website:

Current Cask List(many more to come):

Arcadia IPA
Arcadia Whitsun
Cricket Hill Col. Blide's Bitter
Dock Street Summer Session
Dogfish Head 75 Minute IPA
Flying Fish Farmhouse (Citra hopped)
General Lafayette IPA
Iron Hill (West Chester East) TBA
Iron Hill (West Chester) American IPA
Lancaster Amish Four Grain
Lancaster Milk Stout
Manayunk Black Eye PA
Manayunk Yunkers Gold
Nodding Head Rufus
Philadelphia TBA
Prism Bitto Honey IPA naturally carbonated with fresh local honey
Riverhorse TBA
Six Point Righteous Rye
Sly Fox Chester County British Bitter
Sly Fox Standard Porter
Stillwater Stillwater Stateside Saison
Stone Oaked Arrogant Bastard
Stoudts ESB (oaked)
Stoudts Tripel (blended with IPA)
Troegs Hopback Amber
Troegs Dead Reckoning Porter
Victory Hop Devil
Victory Pursuit Pale Ale (Amarillo)
Weyerbacher Autumnfest
Yards Philly Pale Ale (dry hopped with Citra)

Check out these additional details from the website:

Tapping begins at 9am. It's a breakfast Firkinteenth.
Our kitchen will open at 9am serving a special breakfast menu. At 11am our
full menu will be available. For the Firkinteenth, all food service will be 2nd floor only.

We are hoping for 30 firkins since this is the only F13 of 2010. Looks like we are at 30, hopefully we'll find a couple more too.

With 30 firkins, we should have cask ale going until at least 9pm. Time permitting Scoats will be updating the news page and tweeting throughout the day with cask status.

7 firkins will be pouring at any time (except when we get down to less than 7), tapping a new one as one kicks. The order of the casks will be random, but hey there should be no stinkers in the line-up.

See you there! I wish I knew when I'll be getting there, but that's still up, up, up in the air.

Friday, August 6, 2010

That Special Summer Sauce

As promised, the first batch of fresh Jersey tomato sauce from the ridiculous bounty we've gotten from our weekly Honey Brook Organic Farm share, step by step in pictures. And just to add emphasis: it tastes even better than it looks!

Started with the ripest, softest, reddest beauties and a vase full of basil....

Added the chopped tomatoes to a stew pot sizzling with chopped garlic and olive oil......

Simmered and reduced the chopped tomatoes for a half hour, with some salt and pepper.....

Added TORN fresh basil leaves and simmered for another 90 minutes....

Took a stick blender to the mix to smooth out large chunks and remove skins. Bright orange-red color, amazing aroma.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

By At Least Half a Foot

I've been privileged and cursed to read some horrible reviews of restaurants over the years. Sometimes I had to actually edit them for publication, God help me. Articles so awful, spiteful and/or clueless that they were ironically funny, entertaining stuff. However this week's restaurant review from Philadelphia's weekly South Philly Review maybe the all-time champ.

The writer, a grizzled veteran food writer of a certain self-importance, has trumped anything she has ever written with this inspired screed on the brand new restaurant ADSUM.