Super Sweet! Max Brenner Opens in Center City

It’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory come to life. Willy Won … — um, Max Brenner — has brought his vision of chocolate heaven to 1500 Walnut Street (his 16th location worldwide). With 4,200 square feet of space that seats 115 (half the size of his New York flagship in Union Square, but just as sweet) and a liquor license, Brenner turns chocolate into theater. There will be a full menu of sandwiches, entrées, and salads (plus cocoa-powder-dusted fries) on offer.

The restaurant is scheduled to open July 1st, but Max gave us a one-on-one tour this morning — click over for our walkthrough. — Allison Stadd

Photo by Elizabeth Malleus

City Paper Choice Awards

City Paper handed out their annual Choice Awards today and there’s plenty of food fodder to pour over. We especially enjoyed “Best Way to Ruin our Late-Night Burger/Beer Sessions.”

Grace Tavern (2229 Grays Ferry Ave., 215-893-9580, was a little bar with a great beer list, a kitchen open until 2 a.m. and plenty of open tables — until Philadelphia Weekly ruined everything. Last spring, they rated Grace the city’s best bar. Now, the best kegs are kicked, you can’t hear yourself talk and the seats that always awaited you are filled with noobs who don’t realize they should replace the fries with the green beans.

Choice Awards ’08 (Food & Drink) [City Paper]

Eat It, You Might Like It

In the Metro today, The Bite takes a look at some foods that get people skeeved and where to give them another shot.

  • Peas at Pub & Kitchen
  • Mushrooms at Marigold Kitchen
  • Mayonnaise at Grace Tavern
  • Broccoli Rabe at DiNic’s

Picky eater? Dare to revisit iffy dishes [metro philadelphia]

PW’s Top 50 Bars

Grace TavernPhiladelphia Weekly names the top 50 bars in Philadelphia and all in all we like the list. Might have something to do with PW actually asking for our opinion on the matter.

The Top 10:

  1. Grace Tavern
  2. N. 3rd
  3. Good Dog
  4. Sugar Mom’s
  5. McMenamin’s Tavern
  6. Standard Tap
  7. Royal Tavern
  8. For Pete’s Sake
  9. Oscar’s Tavern
  10. Raven Lounge

Philly’s Top 50 Bars [Philadelphia Weekly]

Don’t Forget To Vote

And where does Michael Nutter dine on the night before the election? You might guess he’s rubbing elbows with big wigs at a Broad Street steakhouse like the Palm or Capital Grille but we spotted him having a couple of sausages at Grace Tavern!

Looking For Answers At Grace

Grace Tavern
Philadelphia Weekly’s Lush Life asks if there is a problem that alcohol can’t fix. Then reads Cocktail Therapy: The Perfect Prescription for Life’s Many Crises and heads over to Grace Tavern to see if daytime bartender Lulu has any extra wisdom to doll out.

A Shot in the Dark [Philadelphia Weekly]
Grace Tavern [My Space]

Looking For A Tasty Beer

Grace Tavern has a couple new beers on tap that are certainly worth a trip. The Nodding Head 3Cs Extreme is a hoppy American gold ale that weighs in with 8% alcohol by volume. If hoppy isn’t your thing then try the Troegs Naked Elf, a stripped down version of Troegs oh so popular Mad Elf.

Blackened Cajun Green Beans

Jillian Ashley Blair Ivey of Phillyist recently left her routine of L2 and the Ten Stone and headed to Grace Tavern at 23rd and South Streets where she tried Grace’s blackened Cajun green beans.

At the suggestion of the L2 bartender, we got burgers. And instead of fries: the blackened cajun green beans. With a spicy remoulade sauce. They were amazing—especially considering that, by the time our food arrived, I was well on my way past tipsy, and food always tastes better with alcohol. Even if it’s crap. These green beans, however? Decidedly not crap. I highly recommend them, even if you’re sober.

There you have it, blackened Cajun green beans, decidedly not crap!

Foodsday Tuesday: Amazing Grace [Phillyist]

More Top Bar Honors For Philadelphia

Philadelphia bars and restaurants continue to get kudos from national publications.

First it was The Grey Lodge and Southwark being named by Esquire as two of Best Bars in America.

Vetri and Striped Bass cracked Gourmet’s top 50 restaurants. Gayle’s veal stew was named one of the nation’s top ten restaurant dishes of the year by Food & Wine.

Then the Standard Tap and Grace Tavern were featured in Bon Appetit’s January issue on “new American pub food.”

Now McGillin’s Olde Ale House and the Walnut Room have been named in Nightclub & Bar magazine’s top 100 Nightclubs and Bars in the U.S.

Top 100 Nightclubs and Bars for 2007 [Nightclub & Bar Magazine]
McGillin’s Olde Ale House [Official Site]
Walnut Room [Official Site]

Grace Tavern Open For Christmas Eve

Grace Tavern, the “lovingly restored neighborhood bar” now can quench your dessert hankerings with fresh cake. Hot on the heels of being named one of the top gastro-pubs in America by Bon Appetit they have added cake to the menu. Additionally there is now soup available, seafood soup each day we’ve checked.

And Grace Tavern will be opening at noon on Christmas Eve with their second annual Rock and Roll Christmas Eve Bash. Expect cool treats, egg nog, and music from “xmas garage rock” to punk and everywhere in between.

Grace Tavern [MySpace]

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