As a lifetime Philadelphian I’ve consumed more than my fare share of pretzels. Even with the knowledge that Philadelphians eat more than 12 times as many pretzels as the average American, I feel I consume more than all but the most zealous Philadelphia pretzel eaters. And it has been that way for a long time. In Catholic grade school, the soft pretzel was as much a part of any school day as prayer. I’ve had a pretzel with mustard for breakfast more often than any bowl of cereal. I still don’t blink at the thought of ordering a pretzel from any street vendor, though I’ve become suspicious of the watered-down mustard coming out of the squirt bottles (that’s why there are always mustard packets in my desk drawer). And I believe a certain amount of Philadelphia’s culture vanished when Herb Denenberg aired his hidden camera report on pretzel vendors, but that was disgusting.
Sbraga a 440 South Broad Street must have enjoyed feeding wing lovers during the PIFA Festival this weekend as the restaurant is again encouraging people to come in and check out the restaurant differently from dinner.
This week, Monday through Wednesday, the Sbraga bar will be offering specials between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Among the specials, Vadouvan chicken wings. And when chef Kevin Sbraga does anything with chicken (we’ve called him the chicken whisperer in the past), we encourage all to take notice.
At a height taller than the even the observation deck of Berlin’s famed TV tower, Fernsehturm Berlin, Skygarten will be one of the highest places in the world to hoist a pint or boot of German beer. And that’s what you’ll be doing on the 51st floor of 3 Logan Square (1717 Arch Street). Top of the Tower is teaming up with Brauhaus Schmitz to launch what they’re calling the “World’s Most Celestial Beer Garden.”
The 3,000 square foot indoor and outdoor space will curated by Doug Hager and his team at Brauhaus Schmitz. Hager will have four draft lines plus multiple German beers by the can and select local craft beers. Jeremy Nolen is working with the Top of the Tower’s culinary team to create a menu of bar bites and snacks.
The Diving Horse, the Avalon, NJ BYOB from the team behind Philadelphia’s Pub & Kitchen and Fitler Dining Room are back for another season down the shore. Reservations are now being accepted and in a change for 2016, the Diving Horse will be open weekends in May. Owner Ed Hackett says, “we usually hold off till Memorial Day Weekend but we received a lot of feedback from guests wanting us to open earlier in the season” so they’re obliging with reservations starting on Saturday, May 7th.
Chef Paul Carrier is back as chef at the Diving Horse. He’s spent his winter with the Fitler Dining Room team but is now back prepping for the new season. The preview menu features the likes of black pepper squid, Barnegat Light scallops and Hudson Canyon Mahi Mahi.
The fast-casual restaurant segment is booming. We’ve even taken to ranking it on Foobooz via our Fast Casual Tracker. But now it’s your turn to vote for the Best Quickie Lunch Spot in this month’s Best of Philly poll.
Vote once a day now through April 26th and when you cast your ballot, you can also enter to win two tickets to the Best of Philly party.
Vote for the 2016 Best of Philly Quickie Lunch Spot [Philadelphia Magazine]
Rival Bros Coffee, the coffee company from Jonathan Adams and Damien Pileggi have announced that they are opening their second location, this one across from the Fountain on East Passyunk, at 11th and Tasker Streets, the former home of Chiarella’s.
The Rival Bros. Coffee Bar will have a similar vibe to Rival’s 24th and Lombard location and the menu will be the same, including a rotating selection of breads and pastries from High Street on Market.
Rival Bros. Coffee Bar – East Passyunk [Foobooz]
Philadelphia’s pop-up beer gardens have been almost as big of a hit with national publications as they have been with locals seeking out cool new spaces to drink al fresco with their friends. This year, you’ll have plenty of places to add to your beer-garden bucket list. Here’s everything you need to know about Philly’s full lineup of beer gardens for the 2016 season, from where you can go for outdoor drinking now to insider details on beer gardens soon to open in the coming weeks and months.
On Saturday, April 16th, Taproom on 19th and the Philly Mobile Food Association combine to celebrate spring with Tappin’ The Trucks, Brews n’ Bites Block Party. Five food trucks will head down to 19th and Ritner to sell food while Taproom on 19th pours $5 craft beers from local brewers.
The block party runs from noon and 7 p.m. with The Cow and the Curd, Oink and Moo BBQ, Foolish Waffles, Sweet Box, and Taproom’s neighbor and hoagie fryer, T&N Homemade Kitchen providing the food.
Cheu Noodle Bar’s Shawn Darragh checks in with some news from Cheu. The Washington Square West noodle heaven is now offering happy hour and lunch combos.
For the first time, happy hour is now being offered. Darragh tells us they’ve always wanted to do happy hour but with the volume Cheu has done since its opening, the logistics have been difficult to sort out. But now chef Ian Boothman has it under control and happy hour runs Monday through Friday from 5 p.m to 6:30 p.m.
The first two beer gardens of the season open this weekend. Today, Michael Schulson’s Independence Beer Garden softly opens at 6th and Market and tomorrow marks 8th anniversary and beer garden opening at Memphis Taproom.
Memphis is celebrating inside with some great beers from their cellar plus some of the newest beers in the state. The bar will be pouring four beers from Highway Manor Brewing of Camp Hill, PA. The beers are all all open fermented and barrel aged. The beers will be Mr. Blueberry, Taste My Place, Mr. Strawberry, and Sayjohn Saison. There will also be bottles on hand for takeout, with labels illustrated by Memphis Taproom’s own Keith Warren Greiman.