Illustration by Kagan McLeod
First things first, I have to thank you for being so good to Philadelphia since the last time I wrote you. I asked for a lot of things on behalf of the city last year — outdoor drinking and BYOs and soup and more delivery options — and you came through in spades.
This year, my requests for Philly are a little bit darker. Rather than asking for things we need, I’m asking for things to go away. This is mostly because we’ve had such a good year already, and because our neighborhoods are so full of amazing restaurants and chefs doing the best work of their careers. Hard as it might be to say, what Philly is due for is a cull. To keep the scene healthy. And Santa, sometimes hard choices need to be made.
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The Rye Old Fashioned is $6 during happy hour.
Philadelphia is getting a handle on destination cocktail bars. But neighborhood spots that can shake up a tight cocktail as well as pour a local craft beer are still a bit hard to come by. Lloyd does both quite well, especially during the 5 p.m.-to-8 p.m. happy hour, when a cocktail is always on special for $6 and the drafts are $4. Lloyd’s signature cocktails and its classics will have you nodding appreciatively at the skill of the bartender and the quality and price of the spirits. But happy-hour snacking? That was a miss. The ramp butter popcorn was way out of season in September — not to mention overly oniony and stale. And the impossible-to-resist (on paper) candied kielbasa was also a complete letdown — just disks of sausage sitting sadly in a pool of maple syrup. Lucky for Lloyd, the bartenders remained attentive, and the drinks were worth sticking around for even after happy hour ended.
Originally published in the November, 2014 issue of Philadelphia magazine
I’ve had a flyer for Fette Sau’s happy hour on my desk for at least a month. I’ve been waiting for just the right time to post about their half-price beer,$5 Manhattans and $4 burnt end sandwiches that the Fishtown barbecue joint offers from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
And with today’s cold and rainy weather, hot barbecue and warming whiskey seems like the only reason to venture out.
Fette Sau Happy Hour Menu »
Lima Mist Cocktail at V Street
V Street’s first Instagram photo announces that the vegan bar from Vedge’s Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby is now open. The bar is located at 126 S 19th Street, just off of Rittenhouse Square. The attractive spot serves a menu of small plates, influenced by street food from around the world.
UPDATE: V Street will not be open tonight, Friday, October 17th but will have its grand opening tomorrow.
V Street [Foobooz]
Ranstead Room, behind El Rey on the 2000 block of Ranstead Street, recently released their new fall and winter cocktail menu. Of the more interesting choices on the menu is the Ichabod Flip, made with scotch, port, egg yolk and pumpkin beer and the Monkey Gland, for those of you who want a real nice kick delivered by gin and absinthe.
Check out the full menu below; but even if you can’t decide, there’s the always in season, Bartender’s Choice.
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This Sunday at the High Steaks! Philadelphia Cheesesteak and Cocktail Competition, in addition to the cheesesteak competition outside of Square 1682 on Sansom Street, there will also be a cocktail competition.
The bar talent includes Mariko Honda of a.kitchen + bar, Bess Gulliver and Nicholas Brozek of Crow and the Pitcher, Colin O’Neill of Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co., Lindsey Krueger of Oyster House, Dan Lan Hamm of 1 Tippling Place, and Kyle Darrow of Red Owl Tavern. The six cocktail competitors are battling for the title anointed by the cocktail judges, as well as the People’s Choice title.
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Rich Landau is in the final stretch for his about to open V Street, just off of Rittenhouse Square. Landau is promising V Street will be a vegan street food bar because “you just can’t get a good Langos or Jallab in Philly.”
The menu is broken down into “Street Snacks (papdums with whipped dal), “Market” plates (langos with sauerkraut puree and smoked chioggia beets) and “Hot Pots,” (funky kimchee stew) sections. Inspiration comes from street food from around the world. Landau promises bold flavors and lots of spice.
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Bob & Barbara’s | Photo by Trevor Dixon
We asked 25 of the city’s best chefs, bartenders, beer geeks, cork dorks and professional drinkers to weigh in on the best bars in Philly. Here, in order, are the 50 best places to drink in a city made for drinking. Philadelphia, meet the 50 Best Bars Class of 2014.
Foobooz 50 Best Bars by the Numbers
13 bars are new to the list from last year.
18 bars have been on the list for all six years we’ve compiled it.
Another 4 bars have been on the Best Bars list at least 5 years.
A.bar was the biggest mover, jumping 38 spots on the list.
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Guest bartender Sacha Durham, of Amada, will be joining Stephen Seibert behind the bar at Society Hill Society tonight in whipping up some weird but must-try cocktails. Enjoy the creations from 7 p.m. until close.
Industry folks get a 20% discount tonight at Society Hill, as well as every other Tuesday night, with proof of employment.
Check out the cocktail list and its unusual ingredients »
BKON Craft Brewer at Philadelphia’s Counter Culture Training Center
Two local brothers are looking to shake up the craft beverage market. Lou and Dean Vastardis have co-founded BKON (pronounced beacon), a company looking to utilize negative pressure to infuse teas, coffee and made-to-order, infused cocktails.
When I met up with Lou Vastardis upstairs from Ultimo Coffee in Philadelphia’s Counter Culture Coffee Training Center, he had samples of tea leaves, coffee, dried fruit, herbs, spices and chilies lined up on a workbench. Also present, the Vastardis’s BKON Craft Brewer, a touchscreen controlled brewing apparatus that promises an easier way to make tea, more flavorful coffee and unique cocktail combinations. The Craft Brewer controls the extraction of flavor using temperature, pressure and time to create a replicable drink quickly. The device, which was awarded the “Best New Product” at the World Tea Expo in 2013 can in 60-seconds pull the flavor out of a loose-leaf tea that might ordinarily take multiple brews and ten-plus minute wait times, not to mention the possibility of human error.
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