Where We’re Eating : City Tap House

City Tap HouseCity Tap House has been on a bit of a tear lately. For the past year or so — ever since chef Chad Vetter took over the kitchen — the beer bar has been showing new culinary aspirations. Sure, there are still nachos on the menu, and chicken wings and other snacks friendly to the 60-plus beers on tap. But those wings are rubbed with a house blend of 10 spices, and the nachos are crowned with pulled pork and topped with a Walt Wit white cheddar sauce. What’s more, Vetter does shrimp-topped fried green tomatoes, and chicken and waffles with honey-thyme butter. And as if all that isn’t enough to convince people this is a perfectly respectable place to settle in for dinner and drinks, he recently added a spread of new gourmet pizzas topped with everything from Cantimpalo chorizo to Benton’s ham, peaches and arugula.

Oh, and you know. There’s still beer, too.

City Tap House [Foobooz]

Morning Headlines: 40th Street Trolley Station Redesign Plan Gets More Funding

Photo credit: University City District website.

Rendering of the planned renovation.
Photo credit: University City District website.

According to the Daily Pennsylvanian’s Sophia White, the University City District, which has been fundraising for the 40th Street trolley station redesign project since 2012, has “raised $1.4 million of its $2 million goal.” Added to this sum is a recent $6,500 award to the project, courtesy of PECO and Natural Lands Trust.

White reports that Lori Brennan, UCD’s spokesperson, sees the renovation as ideal given its location as a “crossroads of economy-shaping institutions and job-creating commercial corridors” and “key access point that allows residents of the region to efficiently commute to Philadelphia’s central business district.” UCD hopes to see the station’s potential through. From DP:

UCD wants the space to better reflect the dynamic neighborhood that the station introduces. Traveling from Center City into West Philadelphia, SEPTA trolley riders currently emerge from a dark tunnel to face a bleak acre of underused space. But after the renovations, this unattractive first impression will become a “vibrant and social space, featuring trees, movable tables and chairs, native horticulture, artful lighting and boulders for creative play,” Brennan said.

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The Fat Ham Launches Burger, Beer and Bourbon Deal

fat-ham-late-nightStarting this Friday, August 22nd, The Fat Ham is offering a late evening burger, beer and bourbon special. For $18 you can get a pimento cheeseburger with fries and a side of “Comeback sauce”; a can of Neshaminy Creek beer and a shot of Four Roses Yellow Label bourbon. The deal runs from 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.

The Fat Ham [Foobooz]

All-You-Can-Eat Crabs and Lots of Beer at City Tap House

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Chef Chad Vetter and beer steward Andy Farrell are teaming up for the 5th Annual CrabFest at City Tap House in University City. On Sunday the 17th, from noon to 4 p.m., indulge yourself with all-you-can-eat blue crabs, corn on the cob, potatoes, and beer from Carton Brewing Company. Specific taps include The Wit Whale, a wheat beer-pilsner hybrid brewed with lemon-y Sorachi Ace hops; Panzanella, a salted ale with bread-y malt, garlic-y Summit hops, tomatoes, and cucumbers; and more.

In addition to all the food and brews, enjoy music from Delaware’s Cassidy & Barely Rarely as they play a mix of Top 40 covers and classic rock.

Tickets are $35, including tax and gratuity, and reservations are strongly recommended. Call 215-662-0105 to reserve your spot.

Crabfest [Official]
City Tap House [Foobooz]

Meet New Faces at This Week’s Night Market

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Come one, come all, because Night Market is back Thursday, August 14th and you better bring your appetite. The Food Trust will be hosting the street food festival from 6 to 10 p.m. on Lancaster Avenue between 35th and 39th Streets. Over 80 of Philly’s finest food vendors on four wheels will occupy the five blocks. Some new faces will be among the crowds such as, SeoulFull Philly, serving up a taste of South Korea in Philadelphia, Luscious Bakery, cooking all kinds of brunch favorites from the sweet to the savory, The Flying Deutschman, to meet all of your schnitzel needs, The Grilled Cheese Truck, serving… well you know and finally Siddiq’s Real Fruit Water Ice, whom you can count on for an authentic Philadelphia treat. While you’re trying and testing food trucks galore, sip on some brew provided by Yards Brewery and catch a listen to the West Philadelphia Orchestra. Follow the food trust on twitter for updates on the event or check out their website.

Lancaster Avenue Night Market Program (PDF)

Night Market [The Food Trust]

Time-Lapse Video: Does It Seem Like Construction Moves Slowly?

A screen shot from the time-lapse video of Lancaster Square's construction. Actual video below.

A screen shot from the time-lapse video of Lancaster Square’s construction. Actual video below.

With the exception of Evo, a building that’s going up so fast, it’s apparently an emergency — or maybe it just looks that way from my office window — watching construction projects take shape can be like watching paint dry, or grass grow, or people at IKEA walk toward the Marketplace. And in the case of some notable projects, there can be chasms of years when absolutely nothing happens even after construction has begun, leaving literal chasms in the ground. One of the best examples? The Rittenhouse Hotel, which paused mid-construction due to some very serious developer shenanigans, and left a big hole (not quite a DisneyHole, though) where kids used to play when I was growing up. It was basically an adjunct playground to Rittenhouse Square, though not technically condoned by the Fairmount Park system.

Anyway.

This aerial time-lapse video of the construction of Drexel’s Lancaster Square, submitted by user filadelfea to reddit philadelphia, is, in concept, very exciting. Everyone loves time-lapse videos! But the reality is that even when construction is sped up, it’s still very slow. And some folks just don’t cotton to it. As reddit user gtlgdp writes:

Could somebody please speed this up? I got too bored too fast.

I understand that reaction. Especially at the beginning. But it is worth watching the video from start to finish to see, from that all-encompassing aerial view, exactly what’s involved in a large-scale building project like this. It’s staggering to see all the moving parts and when in the process they’re deployed. Not only that, but the weather! You can really understand the way the snow necessarily interrupts these kinds of projects, or any construction for that matter. And like any time-lapse video, the changes in the weather and the landscape are just, well, pretty. And if you want to see more, go to Drexel’s official site for the time-lapse, here. It’s updated every day. Obviously.

You know what they say: Rome wasn’t built in a day. And neither was Drexel. (But this project is moving along quite nicely, incidentally. John Fry makes things happen.)

University City District: Crime Is Down

The latest crime-update email from the University City District reports that for the month of June there was a decrease in crime, which is always what UCity landlords like to hear, especially as students begin to look for housing in July and August. Crime in the area is monitored and controlled not only by the Philadelphia Police Department, but by UCD, the Penn Police Department, the Drexel Police Department, and a host of other security details and town watches and public safety units from all the other institutions in the area. If you think about it, it should be the safest place in the city. Below, more stats.

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City Tap House Adds Seasonal Pizzas

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Sweet Corn Pizza from City Tap House

City Tap House is rolling out a new seasonal pizza menu and they’re making a big deal about it. In fact, they sent over three pizzas today and we thought, seems like an odd time to be trumpeting what looked like ordinary pizza. But hey, pizza is pizza and we dug in. That’s when we realized there was more going on than we imagined. The salumi pizza was topped with pepperoni made with Cantimpaolo chorizo. The second pizza appeared to be the standard ham and arugula but instead it was Benton’s Farm ham with fresh peaches. Peaches on a pizza? It worked. The third pizza featured Jersey corn, roasted and pureed with a little cream and then topped with raclette, cilantro pesto and spicy pickled fresnos.

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Detox Retox: Do Yoga and Drink Beer

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What do you get when you combine yoga and beer? Detox Retox and some very happy Philadelphians. On August 3rd, Core Fitness and City Tap House are teaming up for the first time to put on an event that will be as rigorous as it is refreshing.

Starting at 10 a.m., join yoga instructors Cindy Brown and Sandy Aurelia for a 50-minute class on the outdoor patio of City Tap House, followed by a cold draft beer inside.

Group fitness instructor Lauren Rybas spoke to event saying, “[Core Fitness] has a social group of people that already go out after a workout, and we thought we would combine the two.” So whether you’re a yoga lover, beer drinker, or someone who just needs to spice up their Sundays, the first-ever Detox Retox has something for you. Tickets are $20, and include the class and a beer. Purchase them at the door or by emailing lauren@core-fit.com.

And for those of you looking to brunch afterwards (it is Sunday after all), stick around and check out the City Tap House’s brunch menu. Reservations are encouraged, but walk-ins will be accepted as well.

Detox Retox [Official]
City Tap House [Foobooz]

 

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