Is it a bartender's duty to make sure drinks possess mass appeal? Guy Smith, bar manager of Philadelphia's High Street on Market, doesn't think so. Combining the juice of an already-divisive brassica with smoky-mouthed mezcal and dry seasonings more often found on ribs than in rocks glasses, he's created a vegetable-based cocktail so green it could double as a Kermit the Frog-inspired paint swatch.
'Philadelphia' on Serious Eats
At Emmanuelle in Philadelphia, a cocktail mimicking the beef-based noodle soup.
We hit the pavement (and 90-degree heat) to see if the City of Brotherly Love does beer as well as they do cheesesteaks and parking tickets. The answer: most definitely.
Philadelphia possesses one of the richest and most dynamic beer-drinking cultures in America. Here are the 10 must-visits in the Philly beer-bar scene.
Philadelphia's rightly proud of its collection of beer bars, but even our most social drinkers need reliable retail to ensure their
booze receptacles refrigerators stay full and happy. Here are our picks for the best craft beer stores and bottle shops in the city. If you're planning to come through for Philly Beer Week, visit these spots to stock up on beers you can't find in your home town.
A coffee chain opening their first cafe outside of their hometown isn't always a game-changer. But looking at the likes of Intelligentsia and Stumptown: sometimes it is. Enter New York's City's Joe, then—who last week opened their first-ever out-of-state cafe in the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood of Philadelphia. Their entry into this growing coffee-literate city isn't shocking at first. But throw into the mix that it's part of Joe's gradual transition to roasting their own coffees exclusively and the Northeast will soon have another major roasting force on its hands.
With head bartender Al Sotack acting as helmsmen, Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co. completely overhauls its lineup four times a year. The Franklin's newest menu, featuring a 28-drink collection of originals and classics alike, went live last week.
Philadelphia's Old City, home to the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and colonial re-enactors rocking their frilly waistcoats, is extremely navigable sans vehicle, making it ideal for a walking cocktail crawl. Here are five great places to slake your thirst, no powdered wig required.
When you think of great soup dumplings, Philadelphia doesn't immediately spring to mind. But this grimy looking spot (at least on the outside) under a parking garage and next to the recently closed Chinatown Bus Station is one of the best hangover dining options in the city.
The wonderful (and slightly dangerous) thing about Philly Beer Week is that there are beers being poured all over the city that you may never see again. We attended a few of the 717 events going on—here are a few highlights
I'm pretty blessed to live in a Philly neighborhood where a new taqueria or Mexican grocery store with couple of tables in the back seems to appear out of thin air every few days, all well suited to treating hangovers: dirt cheap, unpretentious, and close enough to my house that I can walk there still smelling like whiskey and beer.
When you get me started on places to eat in Philadelphia, I get excited pretty quickly. When you ask me about brunch in Philadelphia, you'll be hard-pressed to shut me up. Going to college in this fine culinary city meant I was an expert on brunch; specifically, the places with brunches that could really cure a hangover. There were plenty of solid greasy spoon options (Bui's food truck, I'm looking at you), but White Dog was a little more classy—and right near campus.
Alla Spina, the latest venture from Philadelphia's Marc Vetri, is an Italian gastropub serving all sorts of thrilling takes on bar food. They've got twenty taps, two casks, a list of fifty plus bottles as well as a reserve list featuring large format and vintage selections. With a beer program like that and a menu items like Poutine with Guinea Hen Leg Bolognese and Mozzarella Curd and "Involtini del Muratore," Fried Mortadella with Fontina, we'd be plenty happy but Alla Spina also has a fantastic Italian accented cocktail program with a heavy focus on beer cocktails and Italian classics.
Instead of recreating some Disneyfied version of the speakeasy, the folks behind Franklin Mortgage aim to bring cocktails back to their past glory, not necessarily by making old drinks, but by making good drinks. They were recently included among the semifinalists for the James Beard award for Outstanding Bar Program. Here are 8 bartender-selected cocktails from their epic list.
It's hard to imagine specialty coffee getting any more masculine, but where better than in the city of brotherly love? Enter Philadelphia's Rival Bros, a new roaster about town—and we do mean about—they're on the move in their mobile cafe-truck, no bricks-and-mortar for these guys.
The second project of Spruce Street Espresso founders Betty and Faith Ortiz (and conveniently located down the street from their first cafe), Odd Fellows comes nipping at the heels of a Philadelphia coffee revolution—which Spruce Street was at the forefront of, not so incidentally—and does one better by adding service, spaciousness...and a plate of fish tacos. In a city where they're neither the truly old guard (iconoclastic yet traditional roasters La Colombe reserve that seat at the bar) or the flavor of the month, the Ortizes hope to keep their hold on local coffee cups by focusing most on quality—something combined cafes and restaurants seem to rarely excel at.
At Capogiro Gelato in Philadelphia you can pick any two gelato flavors for them to spin into supple milkshake. Do you go with the classics—flavors like espresso, vanilla, and chocolate? Or do you go with the kooky ones? I asked the fellow behind the counter to whip me up his favorite, and it was stellar—a balanced blend of cactus pear and black fig.
I'm a Johnny-come-lately to soda fountain drinks, but I'm gonna go ahead and say that The Franklin Fountain in Philadelphia's Old City neighborhood makes the best root beer float anywhere.
Having just concluded my first official Philly Beer Week as a resident of the city, I'd like to propose that next year Beer Week should be considered a city-wide holiday. With a festival of this caliber, it seems silly to have to go to work when you can (and should) honor America's best beer drinking city by, well, drinking beer. (After all, this isn't just any beer, it's once-a-year and sometimes once-in-a-lifetime beer.)
Philly Beer Week takes over Philadelphia for a full ten days—some week, huh? There are tastings all over town, meet-and-greets with brewers, beer pairing dinners, panel discussions, tap takeovers, and much more, all adding up to the country's largest beer festival.