Collingswood restaurant stalwart, chef Mark Smith of the Tortilla Press and Tortilla Press Cantina (in Pennsauken), is renowned in South Jersey for his long-time commitment to local farmers. Tomorrow, he’s thanking his farmer-suppliers and saying goodbye to the year’s harvest with what he’s calling “WHAT JUST MIGHT BE YOUR BEST DINNER OF THE YEAR!” (caps his).
BBQ has become such a THING, hasn’t it? Not that there’s anything wrong with it. I mean, who doesn’t love meat slathered in spicy sweet sauce? Other than vegetarians, that is, who are in the news today with this juicy little scrap on Philly.com.
So enthralled have Americans become with ‘Q that the people who bring you the DO AC campaign are throwing their first BBQ hoe-down this weekend as part of the third annual Boardwalk Rodeo because, to my slight chagrin, the
redneck country lifestyle is also accumulating quite a following.
So tomorrow and Sunday, from noon to 7pm, 80 pitmasters from around the country will compete for prizes worth $50,000 – the largest cash prize for an East Coast BBQ competition. It’ll be held in a parking lot at Pacific and Delaware Avenues near Showboat, and it costs $5 to get in, unless you’re under 12 or have a ticket from the rodeo.
As for said rodeo, that happens at Boardwalk Hall Saturday at 7:30pm and Sunday at 1pm. That oughta be a hoot. It’s the biggest rodeo competition on the East Coast and it includes events like bareback riding, tie-down roping, saddle bronc riding, team roping, barrel racing, steer wrestling, and bull riding. Cowgirls are competing in this, too, so if you’re looking to rustle yourself up a little cutie, you know where to find ‘em this weekend.
File this one in the “Stuff I really wish I could do but I need a day off from drinking” category.
The couple behind the awesome website PhillyTapFinder.com are hosting a bottle exchange with Philly Beer Scene magazine on Sunday, and they’re making it a period event. And by period, we mean the 18th century period.
For their fifth bottle share, they’re holding it in the lovely garden of the Powel House, a Society Hill rowhome once inhabited by Samuel Powel, the first mayor of Philly after the Revolution. $15 gets you in; $20 includes admission and a branded snifter (if you don’t buy one you’re asked to bring your own). The event is on Sunday, October 6, and runs from 1-4pm. It will be moved inside if it rains. Although organizers are making this a non-intimidating event by saying that non-geeks are welcome and beers don’t have to be “an obscure bottle found in some hidden ruin from the other side of the world,” the list so far is fairly impressive. Drink one for me.
Boy, Midtown Village sure has changed in the eight years since it started throwing its annual Fall Fest. First of all, are we all really calling it Midtown Village now? Second, it had East Passyunk’s dining scene before East Passyunk did. Third, are we really calling it Midtown Village?
Anyway, the neighborhood’s fall fest has always been a fully legit event, regardless of the name, and this year may be even better. For one, Chestnut Street will be closed for the first time from 12th Street to Broad, and it’s being held on a Sunday – Oct. 6 – from noon to 7 p.m. Trivia tidbit: last year, 40,000 people showed up.
We don’t know about you but we think Sukkot might just be the coolest Jewish holiday on the calendar (besides Passover, of course … because what beats a holiday that requires you to drink four glasses of wine to get through family dinner?).
Sukkot is bad-ass because it’s a holiday partially devoted to nature (which sounds a little Pagan if you ask us), and because celebrants get to hang out for a week in a decorated hut made of all natural materials and open to the elements save for a covering of branches, leaves or loose fabrics. We used to have a rabbi friend who was such a Deadhead that his sukkah walls were fashioned from tie-dye wall hangings. But we digress…
It’s not that you can’t drink Dogfish Head, Firestone Walker or Oskar Blues at other beer festivals. You can–or at least at the really good ones. But you can’t drink these top brands at other beer fests on battleships – in the Mid-Atlantic, anyway – and that’s the difference between tomorrow’s third-annual MGK Brew Blast and other events: awesome beer in an awesome location.
Yes, I know I just spent the previous post bitching about the legions of homebrewers who can’t seem to stay in the kitchen and out of the potentially overcrowding field of microscopic-scale commercial breweries. But I’m going to talk about two more. Why? Because the people running them are in my homebrew club and I’ve watched their progress and trust their dedication.
The two breweries-in-planning are Village Idiot, taking over an old bar on Mt. Holly’s main street, and Spellbound Brewing, which is firming up a location nearby. The guys behind both projects are friends and are looking forward to working together to turn Mt. Holly–already home to High Street Grill, one of South Jersey’s most respected craft-beer bars–into a beer-tourism destination.
Not five minutes before writing this, I got another one: a Facebook message from an eager homebrewer announcing his intent to open a commercial brewery. Instead of being happy for this gentleman (whose beers I admit are quite good), I couldn’t help but feel a twinge of annoyance. With all due admiration for ambition, entrepreneurial spirit and the desire to advance the cause of craft beer, I’m getting a little sick of hearing from everyone who’s ever unstuck a mash that he’s trying to be the next Ken Grossman.
Andechser Doppelbock: Germany’s Most Perfect Beer, Available in Philly For The First Time Ever At Brauhaus Schmitz
When a bar as highly respected as Brauhaus Schmitz emails an announcement prefaced with, “This is a pretty huge release for us,” even we jaded food journos tend to stop midway to our delete buttons to take a closer look.
In this case, the press release – which elicited, from me at least, a cry of, “Holy fuck!” — was more than worth the read. That’s because for the next year, Brauhaus will be the only Philadelphia location to carry on draft what some consider to be Germany’s most perfect and sought-after doppelbock.
Not to sound hokey but it’s nice to see a good plan come together. When the crew from The Food Trust partnered with Mt. Airy USA this winter to host its second Night Market in the neighborhood, they did so with the intent of turning future Mt. Airy Night Markets over to the folks at the community development corp. Now, that plan is coming to fruition as Mt. Airy USA announces its first installment of “Street Fare: Sip, Savor, Stroll.”