Blog Post #12,008


Illustration by Hawk Krall

After 10 years of Foobooz (six while an employee of Philadelphia magazine), I’ve decided to move on from my creation. But rather than feeling any fear or trepidation about leaving my baby behind, I’m excited for the future. I’ve been extremely lucky to work with the journalists at Philadelphia magazine and especially my co-conspirator, Jason Sheehan. Sorry we never did that podcast, that would have been legendary.

Foobooz started as a hobby. I began the site because I couldn’t find anywhere to send my hockey playing friends for a summer full of craft beer events. So I decided to create the site myself. The experiment became a passion and then an obsession. By the time my full-time employer figured out they were paying me for a full time job, just not the one in my job description, Foobooz was four years old.

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Pssst: We’ve Got Another Secret Pop-Up Workout Coming Up!


It’s about that time, friends: Time for another Be Well Philly Underground event!

If you aren’t familiar with Underground, here’s the gist: Every month, we host secret pop-up fitness events around Philly. So far, we’ve done a boot camp in Rittenhouse Square followed by an all-you-can eat ice cream social; a glow-in-the-dark run to Yards Brewing Company where every participant got a free pint and a brewery tour; a candlelight hot yoga class with Philly Yoga Factory, taught to live music (it was just as dreamy as it sounds); and more. You can read all about our past Underground events here.

If you’re kicking yourself for missing all of those free workouts (and the free beer), just know: Our next event is coming up soon, and it’s going to be a blast. We’re teaming up with the guys over at Foobooz to show you guys a seriously good (and sweaty) time. We can’t say too much — these Underground pop-ups are top-secret, after all! — but what we will say is this: If you’re a runner, you’ll love this event, and if you like to drink, you’ll love it even more. Sign up to be a member of Be Well Philly Underground — it’s free to join! — so you don’t miss out.  Read more »

Philly Cooks: The Ultimate Philly Eating Experience

From left: Sandy Mullen, Open Table, Nick Elmi, Laurel, Stacey Lyons, GM at  Ela, author/chef Jeremy Nolen, executive chef of Brauhaus Schmitz, Jason Cichonski, Ela and Gaslight.

From left: Sandy Mullen, Open Table, Nick Elmi, Laurel, Stacey Lyons, GM at Ela, author/chef Jeremy Nolen, executive chef of Brauhaus Schmitz, Jason Cichonski, Ela and Gaslight.

Philadelphia magazine and Foobooz hosted another successful Philly Cooks (more photos from the event here) on Wednesday, February 18th. Guests at the annual event enjoyed delicious bites and spirits throughout the night with more than 40 participating restaurants, live music by East Coast Entertainment, beer, wine and a VIP Infiniti Lounge where Luke Palladino served saba-glazed braised beef shanks. As for spirits, imbibing took place at the Crown Royal Corral, where guests enjoyed banjo music by Greg Wright and specialty drinks from the whiskey company, and the Foobooz Speakeasy, which was located in the center of the ballroom at the Marriott Downtown Hotel, where guests enjoyed drinks from Franky Bradley’s, The Olde Bar and The Franklin Mortgage and Investment Co.

More photos from Philly Cooks after the jump »

DO THIS: Battle Of The Burger 2014


Diehard carnivores, rejoice: Philadelphia magazine’s second annual Battle of the Burger is almost here.

Battle of the Burger began with an online voting competition where the public cast votes for their favorite burger from over 50 restaurants. Now, the top 20 finalists will move on to battle it out at the main event, where one restaurant’s masterpiece will be crowned the best in Philly.

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Help Wanted: Picking The Region’s Best Craft Beer

Photo |

Photo |

Okay, so we have this project that we’re starting here at Foobooz World HQ. We’re trying to find all the best local craft beers in order to face them off, head-to-head, and determine (through drinking) which one is the greatest of them all.

We have our experts, of course. Our brewers and bartenders, drunkies and hop-heads, and all the various other professional drinkers we turn to whenever there’s a question involving alcohol and its consumption. And there’s our own not-insubstantial drinking experience to fall back on, as well. But you see, we’re worried…

We’re worried that, somehow, we’re going to miss a beer. Or two. Or twenty. We’re concerned that, with the overwhelming numbers of great beers out there, that we might somehow forget one that could’ve been a contender to the throne. And that’s why we’re turning to you, the Foobooz community. All day today and throughout the weekend we’ll be collecting and cataloging your suggestions for the best beers in the area, so if you’ve got one (or two or twenty) that you really, truly love and think might be the best, let us know.

Yes, beer nerds, this is your moment to shine. So please, help us make sure that our starting list of beers is as full and comprehensive as it can be. All suggestions go in the comments. Feel free to vote the suggestions made by others up or down. And while I know how passionately some of you out there feel about your lagers and your stouts, let’s try to keep it civil, huh?


The Great Foobooz Whiskey Fest Makeover

Foobooz Makeover

Late last week, with Foobooz editor Art Etchells sheepishly in tow, Philly Mag’s food editor Jason Sheehan came to me with a half-serious request:

“Can you get Art and me suits to wear to Whiskey Fest?”

This is a man who will gladly fork over any amount of money for a good glass of whiskey or a meal by INSERT FAMOUS CHEF NAME HERE. [Editor’s note: That’s not a typo. I just really don’t know the names of any famous chefs. I am that out of the food loop.] But when it comes to investing any sort of money into his wardrobe, he’s out. Which is how I knew we were in trouble. He didn’t want to buy a suit. He somehow wanted me to find him a suit. Probably for free. And even if he was half-joking in his request, there was an underlying note of desperation there: Please help us with our outfits. 

Help is on the way!

Beau Monde Gets Tavern on the Green

Tavern on the Green (courtesy of Google)

Partners Jim Caiola and David Salama – the guys behind Beau Monde and L’Etage in Philadelphia – are now the proud owners of New York City’s legendary Tavern on the Green. The duo submitted a bid to win a 20-year lease on the Central Park landmark back in April and it was, as it turns out, the highest rated request for proposal received by New York’s Parks & Recreation department.

For those not in the know, Tavern was among the most famous dining spots for decades in New York’s Central Park – and a haven for the who’s who of Manhattan. But in recent years, the eatery – set along the bucolic West Side – turned into more of a tourist trap and went bankrupt.

But word is Ciola and Salama will renovate and reopen the fabled restaurant by the summer of 2013.

Click here to read more about who’ll run the kitchen and what happens next at Foobooz.

This Week: Philly Cooks

Some of our favorite chefs are participating in Philly Cooks this week (Feb. 22 starting at 6:30 p.m.) at the 33rd Street Armory on Drexel’s campus in University City. For the foodies among us, it’s a great chance to taste test delicacies from some of the freshest culinary talents from restaurants throughout the region. Plus, a portion of proceeds goes to the Ronald McDonald House.

Courtesy of Evan Turney

Some of the chefs participating on Wednesday include our favorites like Evan Turney from Mercato (yep, he’s brother to Marcie – and the ladies love that pinup ceiling at Varga Bar, right?); Michael Schulson from Sampan (a very popular Midtown Village/Gayborhood outpost); Reinaldo Alfanso from Alma de Cuba; Brad Spence from Amis; Robert Aikens from The Dandelion; Steven Forte from The Farmer’s Cabinet (a brilliant new addition to 12th and Walnut); Adriana King from Jones (one of our all-time favorite brunch spots); Andrew Brown from Opa; and John Strain from Valanni (it may not technically be a gay restaurant, but most nights it sure seems like it).

In addition to all the good eats, the event will also showcase wines from Clos Du Bois, Estancia, Franciscan Estate and the Robert Mondavi Private Collection.

Not into wine? Don’t worry. Stella Artois will be at the event to do a beer tasting, too. Even non-drinkers can have a little fun thanks to espresso courtesy of ABCD Coffee (these guys have been around since 1946 – and for good reason).

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