Mike Schmidt Says Phillies Can’t Build a Team Around a Spanish-Speaking Player

Photo by AP/Derik Hamilton.

As arguably the greatest Phillie of all time, Mike Schmidt’s opinion on the current state of the franchise is so valued that the team allows him to sit in on weekend broadcasts to provide insights into today’s game.

Schmitty’s takes are usually welcome, but on Tuesday the former slugger showed his age and put his foot in his mouth during an appearance on WIP’s morning show, dropping quotes that can’t help but remind us of Joey Vento, the controversial late founder and former owner of Geno’s Steaks. Read more »

Kings Corner Public House Opens In Jenkintown

KC - Outside Sign

“Ye cometh hungry, ye cometh thirsty, ye cometh primed for soccer, ye will have a great time.”

That’s what they promise, and they’re sticking to it. There’s a new English soccer pub in Jenkintown called the Kings Corner Public House, and they’ve created quite the atmosphere for the avid soccer fan, the avid foodie, and the avid beer snob. They’ve created a menu that boasts pub classics like fish and chips (their house specialty), bangers, shepherd’s pie, lamb stew, rabbit stew, and even venison. All of that, a full bar, 12 drafts, 80 bottled beers from around the world, and a Happy Hour between 4 p.m. – 6 p.m., there’s nothing not to like.

Unless you don’t like soccer. And if that’s the case, there’s beer for that.

Kings Corner Public House [Official Site]

Review: Forest & Main Isn’t Perfect But It’s Just Right

Trey Popp’s second review in the December issue of Philadelphia magazine is of Forest & Main. Popp finds that the Ambler brew pub might not be perfect but it’s just right. And the beers sound worth the trip as well.

Endicott learned brewing at the University of Sunderland, near Newcastle, and it shows in ales that derive their personality more from bacteria and wild yeasts than high alcohol. My favorites were the Lunaire, a pitch-perfect Belgian sour fermented partly in old chardonnay barrels, and the Zaftig, a dark farmhouse ale with a buxom malt bill and slight barnyard funk. At four and five percent alcohol by volume, respectively, each was a refreshing departure from our high-gravity craft-brewing zeitgeist.


Two Stars – Good

Restaurant Review: Forest & Main [Philadelphia magazine]
Forest & Main [Official Site]

Old Swanky Bubbles Goes British With The Victoria Freehouse

When it opens next spring in the club formerly known as Swanky Bubbles, The Victoria Freehouse will add an old-school European vibe to Old City with classic British cocktails (shaken, not stirred, we presume) and a beer lineup consisting exclusively of English and English-style draughts–which, coincidentally, are not traditionally very bubbly.

The UK-themed restaurant is being opened by the Brit and the Yankee step-son who operate The British Chip Shop in Haddonfield. The menu’s not posted yet but the pair is billing the Freehouse as an authentic restaurant and bar, and their nascent website shows pics of fried green beans and curried coconut mussels. We take this as an indication that owners are allowing some colonial influences to seep into their offerings–happy news for those diners who prefer options beyond break-your-teeth scones and mushy toad-in-the-hole.

Entrees will range from $10-$30, dress is casual, and if any of the servers act snooty, go ahead and make fun of their teeth.

The Victoria Freehouse [Official]

Inside Drew Becher’s Chestnut Hill Home

Becher at the home he shares with his partner Eric Lochner in Chestnut Hill (photo by Trevor Dixon)

Drew Becher is walking around his sun-dappled two-acre Chestnut Hill property. He’s wearing a crisp blue shirt with epaulets, a colorful striped belt, khakis, and laceless white Converse All-Stars. Two small fountains—one on either side of two adjacent back patios—gurgle in a babbling-brook sort of way, masking the hum of traffic on nearby Germantown Avenue and making the scene feel more English countryside than middle-of-the-city.

“I love boxwoods,” Becher says, pointing to an impeccably groomed hedge in the backyard. Then he notices the maple. “Oh, Japanese maple, with a dash of red. One of my favorite plants.” A few steps later: “Lavender, that’s my favorite. I love the way it smells, the way it looks.” But then he sees the hydrangea: “White hydrangea. That’s my total favorite.”

When you’re Drew Becher, president of the renowned Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and a self-proclaimed “nursery shopaholic,” it’s difficult to choose just one favorite plant—especially when there are so many to choose from. The same can be said of the houses he’s lived in. There was the converted funeral home, the suburban cottage, the glass-walled Chicago penthouse, the Victorian rowhome in D.C., and now the stately 1926 English Tudor where he lives with his partner, Eric Lochner, CEO of a Wayne-based human capital management firm.

Click here for the whole story about the couple’s home and a slideshow of photos.

What We Love: Naked Poets

A new calender featuring arty shots of naked poets got our attention recently. Naturally. Not only does it feature tastefully shot men and women in the black-and-white buff, but Victoria Bennett’s “The Naked Muse” calendar raises money for Type 1 diabetes awareness.

There really is something for everyone. The poets range in age from their early 20s to late 60s – and it includes everyone from Eric Gregory and Antony Dunn to Alan Buckley, Graham Eccles and Max Wallis – a young writer who was shot on an opium bed in Coleridge’s study. Leave it to the Brits to bring both brainy and sexy.

Check it out:

The British Are Coming to Lansdowne

Celebrate chef Sam Jacobson’s homeland with him at Sycamore tonight. The English chef is preparing a special dinner of British classics. The five-course dinner costs $49 and features smoked trout, braised Guinea hen and Lancaster Hot Pot.

Jacobson prepares a different tasting menu each Tuesday. Next week will be an all-seafood dinner and the 31st will feature unique vinegars from around the world.

Read more »

What Makes the Perfect Fry-Up

Drew Lazor goes out in search of the proper English/Irish breakfast of as much fried food as he can muster. He manages to visit eight different spots as he learns what makes a perfect fry-up.

Among the restaurants and bars tried:

  • Bards
  • British Chip Shop (Haddonfield)
  • The Dandelion
  • Fado
  • Hibernia Deli & Coffee Shop (Drexel Hill)
  • Ida Mae’s
  • Irish Coffee Shop (Upper Darby)
  • Pub & Kitchen

Full Loaded [City Paper]

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