It seems superfluous to come up with more programming than the obvious “drink whiskey and other spirits” for Philadelphia magazine’s Whiskey Festival & Fine Spirits Festival, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t more to the event that’s coming up on Thursday, October 23rd at Lincoln Financial Field.
Nodding Head Brewery owner Curt Decker just passed along news that he will be moving the brewpub out of Center City. Decker says he has a deal but isn’t saying where he’s moving. Landlord issues are cited as the reason for the move.
Nodding Head Brewery has been on Sansom Street for just under fifteen years. Before it was Nodding Head, the upstairs location was a Sam Adams Brewpub. Decker says, “we have seen downtown go from ‘sleepy’ to bustling, to a new version with tremendous diversity. It has been fun watching the transformation, but now it’s time for a new adventure.”
The last day at the current location will be Friday, October 31st.
Stay tuned for where the brewpub will ultimately land.
Nodding Head Brewery [Foobooz]
Little Spoon Cafe opened today at 15th and South Streets, in the former (and a bit weird) home to Baja Room. The space has been transformed into a super attractive cafe that is open for breakfast, lunch, and on some nights, dinner. We stopped in for a late lunch and enjoyed a BLT served with crispy bacon, on excellent bread.
The cafe is owned by area residents, Jeanne French and Julia McMeans. The chef is Lauren Geary, who was once the chef down the street, at the now closed Pumpkin Market. The cafe opens at 7 a.m. and offers quick breakfast options, plus breakfast sandwiches and burritos. Daily breakfast specials include a rotating selection of scrambles and galettes, a rustic pastry with seasonal filling.
Brigantessa opens this evening on East Passyunk Avenue. The second restaurant from chef Joe Cicala and his partners Cathy Lee and Francis Cratil-Cretarola will focus on Southern Italian cooking and a menu built around the restaurant’s wood-fired oven. The bar and open kitchen take up much of the first floor with a dining room upstairs. Cicala will also have a rotisserie and grill at his disposal in the kitchen.
The bar will offer sixteen beers on draft, including several craft Italian beers as well as US craft options as well. Wine will also be available on draft and will focus on wines from Southern Italy.
Brigantessa will initially be open for dinner seven nights a week and lunch will be added later. It is walk-in only for now, OpenTable reservations are available as of Monday, October 20th.
Founding Fathers Sports Bar & Grill is the name of the upcoming project coming to 1612-18 South Street. The bar will aim to please the neighborhood, especially its sports fans with thirteen or so TVs and a menu by chef Al Anderson, who has previously worked at Johnny Brenda’s and South Philly Taproom.
Owners Jon Adler and Sam Brouwer are aiming to open the spacious mid-block bar by mid-November.
Founding Fathers Sports Bar & Grill [Foobooz]
PRO TIP: If you add the cold garnishes a little at a time, they won’t cool the soup too quickly … and the heat plus garnishes will make for a more aromatic soup.
Craig LaBan makes the reverse commute to Mount Laurel, New Jersey to find a Chinatown chef is now offering Taiwanese and Sichuan dishes in a South Jersey strip mall.
the real reason to come are the genuine Taiwanese and Sichuan dishes that earned Chu (a Taiwanese native trained under Sichuan chefs) his well-deserved reputation. Sichuan food, of course, has found mainstream popularity in the region, and CHUlicious serves excellent renditions of familiar bellwethers: Chu’s vegetarian ma po tofu is my favorite, the bean curd cubes patiently infused with the fruity heat of a sauce made with three different chilies, then dusted with a finely ground haze of Sichuan peppercorns that numbs the lips. The crystal wontons are another must, the same chicken dumplings as in the soup, but mounded over a bull’s-eye of earthy chili sauce and spotted with garlicky sweet black soy.
Two Bells – Very Good
CHUlicious: At a modest Mount Laurel BYOB, hard-to-find Taiwanese and Sichuan specialties [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Tomorrow, Tuesday, October 14th, Tria Taproom is throwing a “Meadstravaganza.” Starting at noon, the Center City bar will have two meads on tap plus complimentary snacks from Rotisseur and Weckerly’s Ice Cream. Mead, which is a fermented honey drink is rarely spotted around town and even less often on tap. Tria will have a South African mead pouring as well as one from Londonderry, New Hampshire.