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.
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.
As part of this year’s Franklin Square Holiday Festival, events like Franklin Square Fridays, the Holiday Light Show and Ben’s Bites & Brews Beer Garden have all returned for the seasonal celebration.
The free Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show has more than 50,000 lights set to a soundtrack of holiday classics performed by the Philly Pops orchestra. The show begins every night at 4:30 p.m. and one guest gets the honor of flipping the switch to illuminate Franklin Square – which continues every half-hour until 8 p.m.
Today, Wednesday, October 21, Brauhaus Schmitz rolls out its new fall menu. The menu features new dishes created by Brauhaus Schmitz’s creative and always entertaining chef de cuisine, Henrik Ringbom.
The menu showcases flavors of the season in stick-to-the-rib German preparations.
Among the new dishes »
The 700 block of South Street could barely contain the crowd of revelers who packed in to celebrate Brauhaus Schmitz’s 7th annual Oktoberfest on Saturday. “This year’s Festival was certainly the largest we have had yet,” says owner Doug Hager. “All day long we had a constant stream of people coming and going. We estimate upwards of 8,000 people stopped by the festival during the course of the day.”
That’s great for business all up and down South Street, but maybe too much to handle on one block (plus a small “bonus area”) alone. Hager suggests they may have to make some changes in years to come to accommodate the crowd. “We would like to see it continue to grow … I think we may have maximized what can be done on our block alone. We will have to look at all options for ways to either expand the size of or limit attendance to this festival in the years to come.”
On Saturday, September 19 from 12 noon until 8 p.m., Brauhaus Schmitz, will host its 7th annual Oktoberfest Block Party, shutting down the 700 block of South Street, and 8th Street between Kater and Rodman, for a raucous good time.
Admission is free and all food and drink is pay as you go. You can expect ten German beers to be pouring throughout the event, including the signature Brauhaus Oktoberfest from Traunstein Hofbrauhaus. The block party will also include live Oompah music, face painting, and the finals to the now famous Liter Lift Competition (winner earns free beer for a year), German dancers, Schnapski, and more.
If you can’t wait to get the party started, head to Brauhaus Schmitz tonight for that last chance to qualify for the Liter Lift finals (pre-register here) and there’s also The Race to Kick the Keg. If you order the beer that kicks the keg, you win a prize pack.
If you want to try a new drink, now’s the time. Your first beer is free if you’re one of the first 100 guests at Brauhaus Schmitz, or at least while supplies last today, Wednesday, August 5th. Moral: Wednesday is not the day for fashionable lateness.
At 5 p.m., Brauhaus Schmitz will be the only bar in the United States to tap Frankenheim Alt. The beer is a German top-fermented lager that fine folk at Brauhaus describe as “copper in color, malty and sweet with subtle fruit notes.” The Dusseldorf brew hasn’t been available in Philadelphia since 2002. Brauhaus owner Doug Hager has been working for over two years to bring the rare beer back to Philadelphia.
Going forward, Frankenheim Alt will be available in 14-oz mugs for $5.50, and in growlers if you want to take it home.
Brauhaus Schmitz [Foobooz]
Hey, did you guys know that its National Sandwich Month? Well it is, and we’re celebrating by bringing you the best sandwich news we can find.
Yesterday, it was an up-close-and-personal look at the Gizmo from Paesano’s. Today, it’s the new Local Deals promotion from Caviar that’s going on right now. In keeping with our theme, we thought we’d do a round-up of all the best sandwiches you could have delivered to you until Friday with no delivery charge.
So get out your stretchy pants, folks. It’s going to be that kind of week.
Usually when we talk about food news here, we tell you what’s new and cool, and then we tell you where to go to eat it. This post, however, requires little more than a trip to Barnes & Noble, or (for the remarkably lazy, like myself) an Amazon account.
Philadelphia and the nearby areas have some pretty amazing food and drink, and now many of the recipes are down on paper for your cooking pleasure. We’ve talked cookbooks in the past, but it’s time for a round up of all the delicious (local) stuff that’s been printed since January.
So order a book, even order your groceries, open a bottle of wine. With these books, all the awesomeness of the city’s food scene can now happen right in your own kitchen. And you know what’s better? Even if you burn it all, you’re never too far from the recipe’s source, allowing you to give up at any point and make nothing more than a reservation.
Jessica Nolen, the pastry chef for Brauhaus Schmitz and Whetstone is striking out on her own. Nolen is opening The Little Bird Bakery and Cafe at 517 S 5th Street, the former home of Cookie Confidential. The Little Bird will make all the bread and pastries for the two restaurants as well as offer breakfast pastries, desserts, soups, salads and lunchtime sandwiches to the public.
Nolen, who is the wife of Brauhaus Schmitz chef and Whetstone owner Jeremy Nolen, has most of her funding in place but has launched a GoFundMe campaign for a couple of high price pieces of equipment. Nolen is looking to raise money for her coffee setup and an industrial mixer.
If all goes well, the Little Bird Bakery and Cafe will open in October.
The Little Bird Bakery and Cafe [Foobooz]