No One Outside Of Pennsylvania Understands The PLCB

plcb_champagneAs a matter of fact, issues surrounding the PLCB (and efforts to curtail, privatize or simply abolish it) can get so weird and so confusing that the folks over at Lucky Peach recently brought in local food writer and man-about-town Drew Lazor to explain some things–including why Pennsylvanians were so excited when we were told that we could finally buy beer in 12-packs, which is something that most other Americans can do whenever and wherever they damn well please.

The Philadelphia Daily News described it as “stunning.” An attorney specializing in liquor law lauded it as “revolutionary.” “This is the biggest thing to happen to beer since 1933,” a Pittsburgh beer distributor told the Associated Press.

What are these Pennsylvanians describing with such exultant glee?

In March 2015, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB), the omnipotent governing body for booze in the Keystone State, decreed that beer distributors, for the first time since the repeal of the 18th Amendment, were allowed to sell twelve-packs.

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Because SPAM Is Awesome, That’s Why


As if there needs to be a reason to celebrate SPAM–the world’s favorite canned meat product–a team of chefs and troublemakers have determined that next Wednesday, August 27, should be a day devoted to the greater glories of Hormel’s wonder-meat.

And so, on that night, at American Sardine Bar, there’s going to be a SPAM party. Photographer Neal Santos, food writer and man-about-town Drew Lazor and chef Scott Schroeder will be “expressing [their] hermetically sealed love” with an a la carte spread of “original SPAM-centric snacks.” Oh, and if that’s not enough, these three somehow managed to convince the good people at SPAM headquarters to ship them out a bunch of rare, weird or locally unavailable varities of SPAM, like hot-and-spicy SPAM, teriyaki jalapeno SPAM and bacon-flavored SPAM.

So you’re already excited, right? I know you are. And you’re going to be even more into it when you see the menu that the guys are putting together.
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Drew Lazor on German Cuisine


Remember yesterday when we wrote about Matt Rodbard and his piece about Israeli food and Michael Solomonov over at Food Republic? Well those crazy cats are continuing their tour of world cuisines and today are focusing on Germany. And guess who showed up to write about Jeremy Nolen, Brauhaus Schmitz and how Europeans think that Americans eat nothing but giant cartoon hamburgers?

It’s Drew Lazor, who has a nice piece on the often overlooked variety in German cuisine. To wit:

Of course, just like some foreigners believe Americans subsist solely on a diet of cartoon hamburgers, the typical Yankee perception of Germanic grub tends to be shortsighted and inaccurate. How it became this way is a slightly convoluted issue, but the good news is chefs like Nolen are hellbent on righting the schnitzel ship, once and for all.

You can check out the whole piece over at Food Republic. Just click on the link below.

Achtung, Foodie! German Food Is Not Just Spaetzle, Pretzels, Schnitzel, Weisswurst [Food Republic]

High Street on Market’s Broccoli Rabe Cocktail Gets Attention


Photo by Drew Lazor

It’s not a cocktail for everyone. The Inquirer’s Craig LaBan said of High Street on Market’s broccoli rabe cocktail, it could “grow chest hair on a kale martini” but food writer Drew Lazor appears to be a fan. Lazor writes up the cocktail for Serious Eats’ drink blog.

So This Exists: A Broccoli Rabe Cocktail at High Street on Market, in Philadelphia [Serious Eats]
High Street on Market [Foobooz]

Cuba Libre Hosts Typhoon Haiyan Fundraiser


Old City’s Cuba Libre is putting together a special dinner this evening to benefit victims of Typhoon Haiyan. Chef Jasper Alivia, who was born in the Philippines along with food-writer Drew Lazor (also of Filipino descent) have put together the $35 four-course, prix fixe modern-Filipino meal. 100% of the proceeds are being donated to the Red Cross.

Chef Alivia says “this special evening will be a celebration of the resilient nature of our people and a powerful way to contribute to the ongoing relief efforts.”

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Filipino Food Pop-Up at American Sardine Bar

 tita-rosysPhiladelphia food writer Drew Lazor and photographer Neal Santos are both of Filipino descent and the both wish there were more opportunities to eat it in Philadelphia. So the two of teamed up with Scott Schroeder of American Sardine Bar to host Tita Rosy’s, a pop-up of Filipino food. Tita Rosy’s is going down on Thursday, September 26th and will feature a menu of Filipino classics with tweaks and twists.

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Locals Win Food Journalists Awards

Congrats are in order for Drew Lazor and Drexel’s Shelby Vittek who took home first place prizes in the Association of Food Journalists’ 2013 awards. Lazor won for his profile of Will’s Chris Kearse. Vittek actually took home two awards for food writing by a student.

Jason Wilson of and Drexel took home second place in Beer, Wine and/or Spirits writing and Laurie T. Conrad of the Philadelphia Daily News received third place in writing for a newspaper with more than 200,000 in circulation.

Congrats to all the local winners.

Association of Food Journalists Names Its Contest Winners [Jim Romensko]

Drew Lazor and Drexel’s TableMatters Nominated for Association of Food Journalists Awards


Drew Lazor’s (throw down the mic and walk off the City Paper stage) profile of Will’s Chris Kearse has been rightfully nominated for a Association of Food Journalists Award in the Best Newspaper Food Feature, below 125,000 circulation category. Lazor wasn’t the only local nominated. Philadelphia Daily News food editor, Laurie T. Conrad was nominated for Best Newspaper Food Coverage, above 200,000 circulation and Drexel’s Table Matters received three nominations. Jason Wilson received a nomination for Best Writing on Beer, Wine and/or Spirits for his article,When Wine Talk Gets Weird and Shelby Vittek received two nominations for her pieces, My Endangered Dinner and Old Nordic.

Photo by Neil Santos

Welcome to Sbragadome


Michael Rouleau and Greg Garbacz competing at Cook | Photo by Yoni Nimrod

At Sbraga, chefs compete for bragging rights and to keep their minds nimble. Drew Lazor has the story.

“When we do these battles, we’re not holding back. If somebody’s at one level,” explained [Greg] Garbacz, holding his hand high above his head, “everybody should be at that level. This shows everyone where that level is – where they need to be.”

Chefs compete for Sbraga-ing rights [Philadelphia Daily News]
Sbraga [Official Site]

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