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The Capital Grille Steaks & Wines: A Review

Capital Grille 2 300x139 The Capital Grille Steaks & Wines: A ReviewUpscale Steak Chain with a Wine List Unmatched

By Matt Goldstein & Carolynn Chapman

Considered to be the dry aged steak specialists with a wine list of over 350 wines and over 40 locations, the Capital Grille has a unique take on the upscale steak chain.  With handcrafted mahogany, leather chairs and metal dimples, walls lined by artwork, wine bottles and wine lockers, the Capital Grille sets the stage for a pricey menu with a high society like atmosphere.  We’ve reviewed everything from the wines, salads, steaks to desserts, and the Capital Grille has done some things perfectly and some others not so perfect.  It was main line restaurant week so we enjoyed a price fixed menu and the available wines by the glass.      

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Capital Grille ouside patio 272x300 The Capital Grille Steaks & Wines: A ReviewThe Flatbread: Excellent!  A

The butter for the Flatbread and other breads:  A

Seeded Bread and Onion Bread:  Just OK.  B-

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Rudi Weist Reisling, California:  A 

Very light, smooth, refreshing, balanced and perfect.   

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Russian River Chardonnay 2009, California:  C

When we were first brought over this $14 glass of wine it was spoiled.  This happens from time to time when ordering wines by the glass but if the Capital Grille wants to lead the pack in wines when compared to other upscale steak chains then it must take better care of their wines.  A simple rubber stopper / vacuum can easily solve this problem.  The spoiled wine was flat dead with an old scent.  We asked the waitress for a new glass and she obliged without hesitation.  The new glass?  Ahh!   Much crisper, light, dry, and refreshing.

capital grille food wine pics 300x43 The Capital Grille Steaks & Wines: A Review.

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Caesar salad:  B

The salad was good but the croutons were a bit soggy, although that could have been intentional, but probably not.  The Caesar was good, not great. 

banfi rosa regale sparkling wine 126x300 The Capital Grille Steaks & Wines: A ReviewBanfi Rosa Regale Sparkling Wine, Italy:  A

This sparkling wine is a perfect sweet, light and bubbly with a thick mouth feel.

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Juan Gil Monastrell, Spain:  A

The Scent is strong, crisp, and dry with a great bite.  We love this red! 

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Bone-In Kona Crusted Dry Aged Sirloin with Caramelized Shallot Butter:  A+

First, we always recommend going bone in when selecting steak.  The bone in cut is always one of the best and most flavorful.  It’s never a bad move.  The Bone In Kona was a perfect medium rare with just hints of the grilled flavor and the Shallot butter compliments perfectly.  The Bone-In Kona is tender, juicy, flavorful and a perfect steak.   

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capital grille food and wine pics 2 300x43 The Capital Grille Steaks & Wines: A Review

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Creamed Spinach:  A+

The creamed spinach is absolutely out of control!

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Mushroom Crusted Tournedos:  A

A heavenly cut of steak, and extremely tender beef, even when medium well.  The mushrooms are absolutely perfect with a wonderful texture.  The mushrooms taste like steak on the grill with a perfect snap.  An excellent steak plate.    

capital grille bar menu img2 300x51 The Capital Grille Steaks & Wines: A Review

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Chocolate Espresso Flourless Cake:  A+

Phenomenal, dry and perfect, we will be ordering more flourless everywhere after this experience. 

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Crème Brule:  Just Average, C+ / B-

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Bodegas Nietos Malbec Senetier Reserve, Argentina:  A- 

Light, dry, easy drinking and fruity with a dry finish.  A solid Malbec. 

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Overall, we’d recommend the Capital Grille for anyone looking for an excellent steak with a great atmosphere, not to mention the excellent.  The wait staff went above and beyond the expected call of duty.  Just know that the Capital Grille will come with a steep price tag.  We got out of there for about $200 with tip for everything listed above.  Keep in mind however, it was restaurant week with a price fixed menu so if you’re planning to order this amount of food and drink, expect about $250 with tip included.  Aside from the spoiled wine, soggy croutons and average Crème Brule, the overall food, wine and steak experience at the Capital Grille was excellent.  Our only regret is not getting to try the lobster mac & cheese.  Everyone raves about it. 

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The Whole Foods Blue Route Taco Truck!

wholes foods blue route taco truck post card 300x208 The Whole Foods Blue Route Taco Truck!Exceptional Taco’s and Craft Beer at an Excellent Price

By Matt Goldstein & Carolynn Chapman

What the truck is this?  There’s a taco truck on the roof of the Whole Foods in Plymouth Meeting.  Apparently it was hoisted on the roof in the middle of the night.  Hopefully it doesn’t drive off the roof because it would probably crash to the ground about 3 stories below and we wouldn’t be able to eat the tacos.  These tacos are slammin!  There’s no other way to put it.  The fish taco has to be one of the best tacos in the area while the steak and pork tacos are also exceptional.  The chicken taco was just ok but not bad either.  There is also a vegetable taco that we’re hearing great things about but have not tried yet.  Prices are one taco for $2.50 or 3 for $6.00 which is just a great deal.  Sodas are 99 cents and craft beer cans just $3.00.   Oh yeah, the tacos are all organic of course.

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whole foods blue route taco truck 300x225 The Whole Foods Blue Route Taco Truck!The menu is as follows:

Tecate Fish Taco with Chipotle Mayo:  A+

Spiced Chicken Taco with Pico de Gallo:  B / B-

Carne Asada with Queso Fresca:  A

Pork Carnitas with Tomatillo Sauce:  A

Grilled Vegetables with Black Beans & Jicama:  Yet to be reviewed.

 

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The Craft Beer!

The craft beer cans will most likely be rotated but the beers available now are the Avery White Rascal Belgian Wheat, Lancaster Rumspringa Golden Bock, Sly Fox Phoenix Phoenix Pale Ale, a Breckenridge and the Caldera IPA.  That’s a pretty solid line up of craft beer studs to go with a slammin taco. 

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Cantina Feliz: Outstanding Margarita’s, Taco’s, Saviche’s & Tequila’s

Cantina Feliz 300x166 Cantina Feliz: Outstanding Margarita’s, Taco’s, Saviche’s & Tequila’sFt. Washington’s Cantina Feliz: Exceptional Service, Enjoyable Relaxed Atmosphere, Average Entrée’s  

By Team Goldmine

Team Goldmine stormed into Ft. Washington’s Cantina Feliz to drink a lot of tequila, then we went back again for more tequila, and more tacos!  The tacos are simply outstanding and the flights of tequila can keep any agave lover occupied all night.  At the WG, we like to taste everything possible, especially liquor and drinks.  This is why we will continue to go back to Cantina Feliz to try every every of tequila they have, and then we’ll do it again.  With over 50 different tequila’s, the appetizers and tacos that rival any restaurant.  The laid back atmosphere, excellent service and fair prices at Cantina Feliz will keep you coming back.       

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cantina feliz artichoke app pic 208x300 Cantina Feliz: Outstanding Margarita’s, Taco’s, Saviche’s & Tequila’sCantina Feliz:  The Appetizers

Artichoke Huarache:  A+

With san simon crema, poblanos, truffles, cotija is an absolute must try. 

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Ceviche Verde:  A

With hiramasa, honeydew vinaigrette, jalapeno, and lime sorbet, the Ceviche Verde is excellent.

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Cubano Huarache:   A

With jamon, swiss cheese, pickles, radish, dijon crema is very solid.

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cantina feliz seviche 217x300 Cantina Feliz: Outstanding Margarita’s, Taco’s, Saviche’s & Tequila’sNachos de la Casa:  A-

With black beans, queso, arbol chile, pickled jalapenos. 

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Sprimp Saviche:  A- /B+

The shrimps saviche with a red salsa/sauce base was sweet, tangy, and perfectly balanced. 

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Guacamole:  A+

With avocado, tomato, jalapeno, onion, is this be the best guacamole in the city?  “Might could be.”

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Catina Feliz Black Logo 300x138 Cantina Feliz: Outstanding Margarita’s, Taco’s, Saviche’s & Tequila’sCantina Wedge Salad:  B

With baby iceberg, cabrales, confit tomatos, black pepper cotija dressing the Cantina Wedge is pretty good. 

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cantina feliz tacos 222x300 Cantina Feliz: Outstanding Margarita’s, Taco’s, Saviche’s & Tequila’sSweet Plantains:  B

With crema, queso fresco.

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Cantina Feliz:  The Taco’s!

Chorizo Taco:  B / B-

With jalapeno, tomato, oaxaca cheese, avocado, the Chorizo Taco was loved by one of us, not by some of us.  Solid, but not great. 

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Mushroom Taco:  A+

With wild mushrooms, green asparagus, lemon vinaigrette the Mushroom Taco is one of the best taco’s we ever had. 

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Saveche Taco Special:  A

Excellent! 

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Catina Feliz Black Logo 300x138 Cantina Feliz: Outstanding Margarita’s, Taco’s, Saviche’s & Tequila’sVeal Tongue Taco:  A+

Another champion taco right here; this is simply one of the best taco’s we’ve ever had. 

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Cantina Feliz:  The Entrada’s

Black Bass:  B- / C+

With crab & poblano rice, green asparagus, corn, the Black Bass was just ok. 

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Baby Lobster Special:  B-

The Baby Lobster was not too bad, but it was a little bland and overcooked.   

cantina feliz the drinks 233x300 Cantina Feliz: Outstanding Margarita’s, Taco’s, Saviche’s & Tequila’sCantina Feliz:  The Drinks !

Red Sangria:  A- / B+

With red wine, brandy, orange liquor, seasonal fruit

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The Santana Margarita:  A+

With espolon reposado, fresh lime juice, orange liqeuor, the Santana Margarita is one of the best margarita’s we ever head.

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Cantina Feliz:  The Tequila!

 Pedro Feliz Tequila Flight: A-

 A flight of tequila with Don Julio blanco, Cazadores Reposado, Corralejo Anejo

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casa noble tequila  300x153 Cantina Feliz: Outstanding Margarita’s, Taco’s, Saviche’s & Tequila’sThe Neftali Feliz Flight:  A-

A Flight of tequila with Cabo Wabo blanco, Partida Reposado, Casa Noble

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FROM A PREVIOUS ARTICLE BELOW:

The Reposado Flight:  A

A Tequila Flight with Corralejo, Hornitos, Casa Noble

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Corralejo reposado tequila 240x300 Cantina Feliz: Outstanding Margarita’s, Taco’s, Saviche’s & Tequila’sCorrelejo Reposado Tequila

Aged for 4 months in three different types of cask barrel; French Oak, American Oak and White Oak, this unique three cask reposado tequila has won double gold medals twice and three separate gold medals in international spirit competitions.  The Correlejo Reposado has a scent of sweet caramel with a thick mellow sweet flavor.  This tequila has a great mouth feel, and dry complexity and aftertaste.   Correlejo is a solid reposado tequila.

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Hornitos Reposado Tequila

The Hornitos Reposado is unique in that it is aged in large barrels and rarely touches the wood for a reposado tequila leaving it light in color.  Mostly, the flavor of the oak and wood that liquors are aged in provide much of the character.  Surprisingly, the Hornitos Reposado has a good oak flavor.  With sweet notes and hints of oak the Hornitos has good mouth feel with a salty finish.   

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Casa Noble Reposado Tequila

The Casa Noble Reposado is aged for 364 days in new but lightly charred French White Oak Barrels.  364 days is the maximum time a tequila can be aged to be labeled a reposado.  It’s also much more expensive to age as there are investment and storing costs, along with the angels’ share, the amount of liquor that evaporates from the barrel overtime.  The longer it ages, the less you have.   The Casa Noble Reposado Tequila is smooth, sweet with a thick mouth feel and great vanilla flavor.  This is an excellent reposado with a great smooth finish. 

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The Anejo Tequila Flight:  A / A+

An Anejo Tequila Flight with Don Julio, El Tesoro, Tres Generaciones

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donjulioanejo 242x300 Cantina Feliz: Outstanding Margarita’s, Taco’s, Saviche’s & Tequila’sDon Julio Anejo Tequila

Established in 1942 by Don Julio, this tequila is made with 100% blue agave.  Matured in American White Oak Barrels for 18 months, the Don Julio Anejo Tequila is light and golden in color.  With a vanilla scent and sweet flavor, well rounded and tangy, this Anejo has a great bite.  There is a complex and charming finish with a sweet aftertaste.  This is an excellent Anejo. 

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El Tesoro Anejo Tequila

Made with 100% agave and the winner of 9 gold medals in international spirit competitions, the El Tesoro Anejo Tequila is handmade and aged two to three years in oak barrels.  Founded by Don Felipe, the El Tesoro Tequila is a family recipe dating back to the early 1800’s and the current La Atena distillery was founded in 1937.  The El Teroso scent is complex and the flavor is spicy, dry and tasty.  Also having sweet and buttery notes with hints of nuts, oak and wood, the El Tesoro Anejo is a unique and flavorful tequila.    

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Tres Generaciones Anejo Tequila

Made with 100% blue agave and aged in toasted American Oak Barrels for 12 months, Tres Generaciones Anejo Tequila is triple distilled.  Tres Generaciones has also partnered with the Golden Boy Oscar De La Hoya.  This anejo is sweet, spicy and full flavored with a solid bite.  Having good notes of oak and a lot character in the finish, the Tres Generacions Anejo Tequila is smooth and well balanced; very solid. 

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Philly Restaurant Review Quick Hits: Alma De Cuba, Kraftwork, the Couch Tomato & Isabella

alma de cuba Philly Restaurant Review Quick Hits: Alma De Cuba, Kraftwork, the Couch Tomato & IsabellaIntroducing Our Quick Hits Restaurant Review Series

By Matt Goldstein

The Whiskey Goldmine would like to introduce our Quick Hits restaurant review series where we discuss a few restaurants and highlight some must haves around the city.  We open our series with an old school veteran of Rittenhouse Square, Alma De Cuba, but we also highlight a new kid on the block, Kraftworks, on Girard Ave in Fishtown.     

Alma De Cuba:  A Romantic Cocktail Lounge

This Steven Starr restaurant downstairs lounge area is perfect for a date night.  The romantic candle lit setting with relaxing white chairs and couches on a Friday night make a simple romantic statement complimenting the casual light fare on the menu.  From chorizo sliders to Kobe beef tacos and shrimp ceviche, to maybe the best guacamole in the city, the light fare at the Alma De Cuba cocktail lounge makes a perfect date night and brilliant setting to try some Cuban style cocktails.  From sangria’s to mojitos, this oldie but goody is a must for cocktail hour.  Also, make sure you try the chocolate cigar almond cake mousse, trust us.  1623 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA

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Isabella conshohocken 300x188 Philly Restaurant Review Quick Hits: Alma De Cuba, Kraftwork, the Couch Tomato & IsabellaIsabella

Perhaps the best new restaurant in Conshohocken, the tapas at Isabella make you want to keep coming back.  While the bar area can get a little tight, the restaurant decor is light, refreshing and slightly romantic.  From the drunken figs, tartufo pizza, and an excellent cheese plate, the ahi tuna, spinach ricotta ravioli, and Spanish style octopus, there is no other restaurant in Conshohocken we’d prefer right now.  382 East Elm St., Conshohocken, PA

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kraftwork 300x292 Philly Restaurant Review Quick Hits: Alma De Cuba, Kraftwork, the Couch Tomato & IsabellaKraftwork

The new Kraftwork bar on Girard Ave isn’t just a must try for the craft beer.  Kraftwork has one of the best burgers in the city period.  It’s a top 5 Philadelphia burger, no question about it.  Adam Ritter’s critically acclaimed Side Car Bar has stepped it up a notch with the pub food at Kraftwork.  The pretzel bite fondue and the Sicilian arincini rosotto balls are absolutely ridiculous.  You’ll go to Kraftworks for a beer, you’ll comeback for the food.  Kraftwork is also one of the most stylish and original bars you will ever see.  Also, you can get craft beer almost anywhere, but Kraftwork specializes in craft beer flights so you can try samples of 5 beers at a time.  There’s nothing better.  541 East Girard Avenue, Philadelphia, PA

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The Couch Tomato

OK, so the Couch Tomato forgot our order, forcing us to wait an extra half hour for our take out.  Oh yeah, we got a parking ticket too as we were not expecting to wait at all.  It’s a tough break when your staff forgets the food order of someone planning a restaurant review.  Fear not Couch Tomato, it might have been a tough day for service but you still make the best wraps in the city.  Yup, I said it.  The best wraps in the city!  I challenge anyone to find better wraps in the entire Philadelphia area because it’s not happening.  From the Holy Chipotle Wrap, Paco’s Taco Salad Wrap, Buffalo Chicken Wrap and Oriental Crunch Wrap, the Couch Tomato makes a wrap for you.  102 Rector St., Philadelphia, PA

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Craig Laban’s Philadelphia Inquirer & Philly.com Review of the Khyber Pass Pub

khyber pass pub1 300x62 Craig Laban’s Philadelphia Inquirer & Philly.com Review of the Khyber Pass Pub“Former gritty rock-and-roll bar’s top-notch craft-beer lineup is joined by a new, inspired Southern menu.”

An Article By Craig Laban, Restaurant Critic for the Philadelphia Inquirer, Forward by Matt Goldstein

The remaking of the Khyber Pass Pub started with Whiskey Goldmines’ own beeritual advisor, Jeremy Thomson.  Jeremy is now the manager of the Khyber Pass Pub and turned it from the king of Philadelphia’s music and punk rock scene into one of the finest craft beer pubs in the Philadelphia area.  Jeremy took his lifelong passion and craft education and created a beer list from the gods, bottle and draft alike.  Now, the legendary Craig Laban of the Philadelphia Inquirer has reviewed the Khyber Pass Pub for its food and drink alike.  Described as one of the best southern cuisine restaurants and maybe the best New Orleans / Creole style restaurant in Philadelphia in more than a decade, Craig Laban’s review was a pleasure to read.  Congrats to Jeremy, Chef Mark McKinney, and the rest of the crew at the Khyber.

Click Here to read Craig Laban’s review of the Khyber Pass Pub

.philadelphia inquirer logo 300x39 Craig Laban’s Philadelphia Inquirer & Philly.com Review of the Khyber Pass Pub

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French Cuisine No Longer Elite: Overwhelming Majority of Bistros in France Using Preprocessed Sauces & Ingredients

french dinner painting henri matisse 300x227 French Cuisine No Longer Elite: Overwhelming Majority of Bistros in France Using Preprocessed Sauces & IngredientsFrench Fare: Culinary Excellence and Creativity Sacrificed for Profit! 

By Matt Goldstein

Throughout modern times, French cuisine has been a standard for excellence and Paris a destination for food lovers throughout the world.  Recently however, French cuisine has suffered in the never ending search for a profitable restaurant.  Profit in business is of course understandable but the seemingly snobby French can no longer snub their noses at inferior culinary cultures.  Remember that guy with the mustache in Apocalypse Now who wanted to be a “Saucier,” Paris would now be one of the last places to employ that kind of profession.  According to the BBC, the overwhelming majority of French restaurants are now using pre-manufactured sauces and even pre-packed, pre-cooked processed industrial hard boiled eggs in a pre-sliced roll.  Instant white cream sauces, instant pepper sauces, instant steak sauces, even truffle flavoring without any truffle in it. 

These new industrial ingredients and instant economy style aren’t just exclusive to cheap establishments, but are actually endemic in more expensive eateries as well.  The French government is trying to combat the demise of French cuisine by rewarding those restaurants and chefs who create everything from scratch and use fresh ingredients, herbs and spices to create their sauces.  These chefs and restaurants are now being called, “master restaurateurs.”  Perhaps, French chefs and restaurants will clamor to acquire this title, but for now, the majority of French bistros will have to live with the consequences of their industrial ingredients and economic cutbacks.  French restaurants are now the standard for culinary mediocrity.     

 Source:  BBC

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The Top 10 Pizzas in Philly: Santucci’s, Tacconelli’s, Osteria, Franzone’s and more…

santuccis pizza 300x200 The Top 10 Pizzas in Philly: Santuccis, Tacconelli’s, Osteria, Franzone’s and more…The Sweet Sauce and the Square Pie Revolutionize the Best Pizza in Philadelphia!

By Michelle Reynolds, Jeremy Thomson, Pat Smith, Paul Reiter, Tim Rodgers, Andy Marcus, Dianne D’aulerio, Carolynn Chapman and Matt Goldstein

Featured Photo by Drew Lazor of the City Paper

Santucci’s Square Pizza is expanding all over the area and for good reason, it’s the best pizza in Philadelphia. The square pie with the sauce on top is being mimicked all over the city, but others just can’t touch the style that has been perfected by Santucci’s Square Pizza.

Yup, you’re probably shocked not to see Lorenzo’s on the list, let alone the top 5. You probably think Lorenzo’s got the shaft. The truth of the matter is that Lorenzo’s hasn’t been good in a long time. For far too long and far too many times, Lorenzo’s has undercooked the pizza in order to sell more pies. That strategy is slowly killing what used to be great pizza.

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santuccis pizza logo The Top 10 Pizzas in Philly: Santuccis, Tacconelli’s, Osteria, Franzone’s and more…1. Santucci’s Square Pizza

Since 1959, Santucci’s has been revolutionizing the square pizza. With the sauce on top, and a perfect crust, getting the corner slice of the pie cannot be defined in words. Order a Santucci’s pie with extra cheese. Trust us… We’ve been eating Santucci’s for about 30 years now. There are now six locations throughout the Philadelphia area.

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2. The Original Tacconelli’s Pizzeria

Internationally known, nationally recognized and considered the best of Philly by most people in the know. Tacconelli’s is so popular that sometimes you have to order a pizza three days in advance. Tacconelli’s has been baking bread out of the same brick oven since 1918 and has been making pizzas since 1946. 2604 E. Somerset St., Philadelphia, PA 19134.

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osteria pizza 300x200 The Top 10 Pizzas in Philly: Santuccis, Tacconelli’s, Osteria, Franzone’s and more…3.  Osteria

More of an artisan gourmet style pizza, but it’s so damn good that it would have been criminal not to be included on the list. Osteria takes a thin crust Naples style pie and creates a literal masterpiece. 640 N. Broad St., Philadelphia PA 19130

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4. Franzone’s Pizzeria

Kings of the sweet sauce, Franzone’s has a beautiful flaky style crust that is completely unmatched.  The sauce and crust combined stand far apart from the competition and the scent alone will drive you crazy. One Franzone’s customer was so obsessed that when he moved to the Midwest for a new job, this guy paid Franzone’s to freeze the pizza and ship it out. Ya gotta respect that type of dedication.  Franzone’s has two locations, one in Conshohocken and one in Bridgeport.

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5.  Vince’s Pizzeria

Vince’s Pizza is probably the most underrated pizza in the entire Philadelphia area. Vince’s is easily one of the best slices of pizza you will ever have period. It’s absolutely insane that we haven’t seen Vince’s on a top 10 list yet considering it makes a case to be #1. Vince’s pizza is top 5, no question. 1900 Grant Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19115

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picas pizza 300x225 The Top 10 Pizzas in Philly: Santuccis, Tacconelli’s, Osteria, Franzone’s and more…

6. Pica’s Restaurant

Brick oven style square pizza with cheese on the bottom, Pica’s has been at the same location since 1956. 7803 West Chester Pike, Upper Darby, PA 19082 .

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7.  Rustica

A brick oven style with pizza with slightly sweet sauce, Rustica has some of the best slices in the city. With lots of unique toppings, their all worth a try. 903 North 2nd Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania .

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slice pizza pic whole pizza pie 300x199 The Top 10 Pizzas in Philly: Santuccis, Tacconelli’s, Osteria, Franzone’s and more…8.  Stogie Joe’s

Here’s another square pie that crushes the average triangle style pizza slice. Philadelphia is making a culinary statement to the world with unbelievable square pizza pies. 1801 East Passyunk Avenue, Philadelphia, PA

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9.  Mama Palma’s

Mama Palma’s maybe the best brick oven style pizza around. Try the Polena, it’s pretty crazy. 2229 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA

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10.  Marra’s Cucina Italiana

Since 1927, Marra’s has graced Passyunk Ave with great Italian food and has been making some of the best pizza in Philadelphia for 40 years. When crispy, Mara’s might be the best dough in the city. 1734 E. Passyunk Ave. Philadelphia, PA.

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11.  Lazaro’s Pizza House

Here’s another pizzeria making a masterful pie with the sweet sauce. The sweet sauce is not for everybody, but god-like to many. 1743 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19146

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12.  From the Boot

From the Boot in Lafayette Hill is mostly known for being a very inexpensive BYOB with good family style Italian cuisine. It’s basically a 1-2 hour wait every single Friday and Saturday night. But the best food about this BYOB is their gourmet pizza. Forget waiting in line for 2 hours; just order a large Pomodoro pie for take out. The Pomodoro adds pesto, prosciutto, fresh basil and plum tomatoes, and is completely out of control. One of the most underrated pizza houses in the area. 517 Germantown Pike, Philadelphia, PA.

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13.  Fame’s Famous Pizza

The Fame’s Famous Pizza gets a lot of Temple students through some rough times when the only meal they can afford is a $2 slice. And what a slice it is. It’s shocking that Fame’s doesn’t more respect throughout the city so we’re putting it out there. It’s a must try! We love Fame’s so much we even made a movie about it. Seriously. 1835 N 12th St, Philadelphia, PA.

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14.  Alex’s Pizzeria

Alex’s doesn’t sell anything else but pizza and it’s almost impossible to get a pie on a Friday night.  Alex’s certainly made a name as the best pizza in Roxborough and Manayunk.  Wait a minute, Santucci’s has a new location in Manayunk. This sounds like the latest neighborhood pizza challenge. Somebody call Food Wars. 400 Leverington Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19128

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15.  Slice

Slice is just a flat out murderous slice of pizza and an authentic Italian style. There are two Slice locations, one in Rittenhouse and one in the Italian market.

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Top 10 Hot Wing Spots in Philly: Union Jack’s, Moriarty’s & The Memphis Taproom

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The Top 10 Pizzas in New York City: Sal & Carmine’s, Lombardi’s Pizza, John’s Pizzeria, Carmine’s Pizza, Totonno’s & More…

lombardis brick oven pizza nyc pic 300x225 The Top 10 Pizzas in New York City: Sal & Carmines, Lombardis Pizza, Johns Pizzeria, Carmines Pizza, Totonnos & More...The Best Pizza Slices in all of NYC and the Five Boroughs

By Justine Seligman, Ryan Carpenter, Eric Duncan, Sahir Saiyad, Kevin Hussey, Moses Vered, Francisco Guzman, Scott Shaffer, Matt Goldstein & G. Leon

If New York City is the king of anything, it’s the king of big fat banging pizza slices.  The Whiskey Goldmine has assembled our NYC crew to bring you the best pizza served in any hood in any borough.  Did your borough get the shaft?  Go ahead, ask us if we care…

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1.  Sal and Carmine’s Pizza on 101st and Broadway, Manhattan. 

Just get a plain slice.  We guarantee you haven’t ever had a better slice of pizza in NYC, maybe even your life.  Once you eat one, you want another.  The sauce is a fairly traditional marinara but these slices come with the perfect combination olive oil and oregano.  Sal & Carmine’s is an absolute must! 

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lombardies first pizza nyc pizza pic 300x200 The Top 10 Pizzas in New York City: Sal & Carmines, Lombardis Pizza, Johns Pizzeria, Carmines Pizza, Totonnos & More...2.  Lombardi’s Pizza on Spring St., Manhattan.    

Lombardi’s was the first licensed pizza spot in the United States in 1905.  Their fresh clam pizza with basil, lemon juice and parmesan brick oven style is ridiculous!

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3.  John’s Pizzeria on Bleecker St., Manhattan, NY.   

John’s Pizza has been around since 1929 and still may be the best brick oven pie in NYC.   

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brooklyn bridge The Top 10 Pizzas in New York City: Sal & Carmines, Lombardis Pizza, Johns Pizzeria, Carmines Pizza, Totonnos & More...4.  Carmine’s Pizza, Graham Ave., Brooklyn. 

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5.  Totonno’s Pizza 27th St. & 2nd Ave, Coney Island, Brooklyn, NY.

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6.  Louie and Ernies on Crosby Ave. in the Bronx. 

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7.  Vezzo Thin Crust pizza on 31st and Lexington Ave., Manhattan. 

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8.  Rocky’s Pizza on 32nd St. and 2nd. Ave., Manhattan.

Rocky’s Pizza has been a staple in the Kips Bay area for a reason, it’s just damn good.

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9.  A&J Pizza on Austin St., Forest Hills, Queens.  

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10.  Koronet Pizza on 110th St. and Broadway, Manhattan.   

Koronet Pizza slices are huge!  One slice of Koronet Pizza is 2 slices anywhere else and it’s one of the best late night food spots in the city. 

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11.  Franny’s Pizza on Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn, NY.

12.  Difara’s Pizza, Coney Island, Brooklyn, NY.

13.  Rizzo’s Pizza in Astoria, Queens, NY.

14.  Denino’s Pizza, Staten Island, NY.

15.  Patsy’s Pizza, Manhattan  

16.  Roberta’s Pizza in Brooklyn

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Honorable Mention: Any pizza spot on Arthur Ave. in the Bronx

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A Four Loko Review: Fruit Punch, Grape, Raspberry, & Lemonade

The Top 10 Best Energy Drinks: Nos, Rockstar, Amp and more…

The Top 10 Bars & Clubs in Vegas: Club XS, The Moon Bar, Pure, Rum Jungle, Drai’s, Hard Rock, Ghost Bar

The All Time Top 25 Rock N’ Roll Bars: CBGB, The Khyber Pass, Max’s Kansas City

The Top 10 Gangsters of Prohibition: A Boardwalk Empire Edition

The Top 10 Bar Scenes on Film: Casablanca, Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark & Goodfellas

The Top 10 Haunted Bars & Taverns: Broad Axe Tavern, One if By Land, Two if by Sea, Pirate’s House, Cafe Lefite in Exile

Top 25 Best Drinking Songs: Whiskey in the Jar, Salt of the Earth, Alabama Song, Don’t Come Home a Drinkin, Margaritaville

The Top 15 Best Macro Brews: Sierra Nevada, Yuengling, Heineken, Corona, Stella Artois and more…

10 Great Drunken TV Moments: James Brown, Joe Namath, Orson Wells, Danny Devito and more…

A Four Loko Review: Fruit Punch, Grape, Raspberry, & Lemonade

The New Year’s Eve Top 15 Champagnes: Castellar Cava, Domaine St Michelle, Piper Heidsieck, Chandon, Veuve Clicquot, Mumm, Thorn Clarke, Taittinger, Moet and more…

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Philly’s Top 10 Restaurants by Philadelphia Magazine: Blackfish, Vetri, Bibou, Bistrot La Minette, Lacroix and more…

philadelphia philly magazine january 2011 pic 228x300 Philly’s Top 10 Restaurants by Philadelphia Magazine: Blackfish, Vetri, Bibou, Bistrot La Minette, Lacroix and more...Compiled by Matt Goldstein

Philadelphia magazine’s famed “Best of Philly” awards are a symbol of pride for the city and all of the award recipients.  Posting Best of Philly stickers next to Zagat rated signs on the doors of the awarded eateries, Philadelphia Magazine has now come out with their most recent list of the Top 50 Restaurants in the city and we’ve compiled their top 10 list right here for our readers.

1. Blackfish

Conshohocken’s famed BYOB with Chip Roman, former chef at Le Bec Fin, blackfish is one of the best and most creative seafood restaurants in all of Philadelphia while their lunchtime burgers are simply out of control.  119 Fayette St, Conshohocken, PA.  

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2. Vetri

Perhaps a little pricey, Vetri is one of the most critically acclaimed Italian restaurants in the area, if not the entire east coast.  Taking the original spot of the Le Bec Fin and running with it, Marc Vetri and Jeff Benjamin bring an elite restaurant with countless awards over the 13 years since it opened.  1312 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA.

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3. Bibou byob photo  261x300 Philly’s Top 10 Restaurants by Philadelphia Magazine: Blackfish, Vetri, Bibou, Bistrot La Minette, Lacroix and more...Bibou

A very rare Gallic style BYOB, apparently these restaurateurs have their own take on “wild partridge.”  Really?  Wild Partridge?  You know the old saying; don’t knock it until you try it.  1009 South 8th St, Philadelphia, PA.

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4. Bistrot La Minette

An authentic Parisian restaurant in one of our favorite neighborhoods, Queen Village, Bistrot La Minette of course serves snails, duck and foie gras.  This might be the best French restaurant in the city.  623 South 6th St, Philadelphia, PA.

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bar 210 at lacroix philadelphia  300x141 Philly’s Top 10 Restaurants by Philadelphia Magazine: Blackfish, Vetri, Bibou, Bistrot La Minette, Lacroix and more...5. Lacroix

Sitting at the bar one night in the old Brasserrie Perrier, I once asked a gay interior designer what the best designed restaurant in the city was and his response was immediately “Lacroix.”  With a stunning design and maybe the best food in Rittenhouse Square, Lacroix has half priced bottles of wine on Sundays and Mondays.  210 W. Rittenhouse, Philadelphia, PA.

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6. Osteria

An extraordinary Italian restaurant on North Broad, Osteria serves a renowned mortadella with Sicilian pistachio pesto with mozzarella and some of the best artisan pizzas in the city.

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7. Fish

Pairing Tuna with Veal and Monkfish with Lambshank, Philadelphia magazine is raving about Fish restaurants red wine selection.  1708 Lombard St, Philadelphia PA.

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8. Oyster House, 1516 Sansom St, Philadelphia PA.

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9.  barbuzo 210x300 Philly’s Top 10 Restaurants by Philadelphia Magazine: Blackfish, Vetri, Bibou, Bistrot La Minette, Lacroix and more...Fountain Restaurant, Four Seasons Hotel, 1 Logan Sq, Philadelphia, PA.

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10.  Barbuzzo, 110 South 13th St, Philadelphia, PA.

To see our recent write up of Barbuzzo, just search at the top of the page.

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Check outBarbuzzo Mediterranean Kitchen and Bar , The Bishop’s Collar , The Continental

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The Top 10 Best Energy Drinks: Nos, Rockstar, Amp and more…

The Top 10 Bars & Clubs in Vegas: Club XS, The Moon Bar, Pure, Rum Jungle, Drai’s, Hard Rock, Ghost Bar

The All Time Top 25 Rock N’ Roll Bars: CBGB, The Khyber Pass, Max’s Kansas City

The Top 10 Gangsters of Prohibition: A Boardwalk Empire Edition

The Top 10 Bar Scenes on Film: Casablanca, Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark & Goodfellas

The Top 10 Haunted Bars & Taverns: Broad Axe Tavern, One if By Land, Two if by Sea, Pirate’s House, Cafe Lefite in Exile

Top 25 Best Drinking Songs: Whiskey in the Jar, Salt of the Earth, Alabama Song, Don’t Come Home a Drinkin, Margaritaville

The Top 15 Best Macro Brews: Sierra Nevada, Yuengling, Heineken, Corona, Stella Artois and more…

10 Great Drunken TV Moments: James Brown, Joe Namath, Orson Wells, Danny Devito and more…

A Four Loko Review: Fruit Punch, Grape, Raspberry, & Lemonade

The New Year’s Eve Top 15 Champagnes: Castellar Cava, Domaine St Michelle, Piper Heidsieck, Chandon, Veuve Clicquot, Mumm, Thorn Clarke, Taittinger, Moet and more…

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The Rock Bottom Brewery: Craft Beer Watered Down by a Chain Restaurant

 

RockBottomLogoColor 300x96 The Rock Bottom Brewery: Craft Beer Watered Down by a Chain RestaurantGreat Food in Spots but the Service is Suspect…

By Tim Rodgers & Matt Goldstein

When Whiskey Goldmine has in my job description to drink beer, eat food, and watch football, I always make the “huge sacrifice” to depart from my family-time on Sunday.  By the time I pried myself away from my weekend “to-do” list and trekked out to the Rock Bottom Brewery, Whiskey Goldmine founder Matt Goldstein was already seated in the bar area of the restaurant at the King of Prussia Mall in Pennsylvania.  All of the 1 o’clock football games were wrapping up as we anticipated the Michael Vick experience and the high powered Philadelphia Eagles offense traveling to Chicago for a late afternoon NFC stint.  

As soon as I sat down we noticed that the table was dirty and was not even wiped clean before they sat us down.  A good start we thought.  Fortunately, Matt had already ordered the craft beer sampler.  Let’s get down to business I thought to myself.   Our surly waitress began placing the beers on a pre-fabricated place-mat that had all of the beer descriptions under the spots where the glasses of beer would be placed.  It only took her five times to get all of the names and styles of the beers correct not to mention they were out of order as we drank them.  Nobody’s perfect, and if the beer is good enough, these previous sins could be forgiven. 

rock bottom beers The Rock Bottom Brewery: Craft Beer Watered Down by a Chain RestaurantAs I took the first sip of the Barley Wine brew and looked up at our TV expecting  Jay Cutler to throw an interception, we were immediately annoyed that  the wrong NFL game was on.  We politely asked the waitress to put on the FOX NFC “game of the week” on the TV in a Philadelphia restaurant to the Philadelphia team playing to what ended up being after 15 minutes to no avail.  The server never came back to say she was trying to get the channel changed or to apologize that she couldn’t.  We were just left wondering.  We had to move to another table on our own with no help or mention by the staff.  We had to move across the bar along with our 12 small glasses of beer, each in order, or not in order, to watch the Eagles get demolished.  Great service.  Enough with the dirty table and the poor service, let’s get down to what matters.  The Beer:

rock bottom taps The Rock Bottom Brewery: Craft Beer Watered Down by a Chain RestaurantThe Barley Wine: 

Light and sweet for a barley wine.  Great malt flavors though.  It was somewhat flat and I thought the tap line tasted dirty to me.

The Pumpkin Ale: 

It had the spice notes of a solid pumpkin ale but lacked any sort of neither “bite” nor an aftertaste.  The spice notes were not enough to make up for the weak character and overall weak flavor.

Cask Condition IPA: 

This was served at room temperature which was appropriate.  It lacked the right amount of carbonation that we thought was needed, although the mouth feel was good and had solid citrus notes balanced with quality hop notes.

Brew Master IPA: 

Perhaps the better of all the beers brewed here.  A nice dry, well balanced with fruit, and selection of hoppiness. 

Oatmeal Stout: 

Along with the Brew Master the Oatmeal Stout was up there with being the better of the bunch.  Great mouth feel for a stout.  Great rich flavors and malts.  Get this with the lettuce wraps, an awesome pair!

Seasonal Wheat: 

For a Belgian style wheat, it had the appropriate balance of citrus and coriander spice notes.  Spot on.

Rotating IPA: 

More like hop flavored beer than beer flavored with hops.

Hop Bomb IPA: Solid IPA.  What you would expect from a strong pale ale.

The Lager:  Well crafted lager.  Good if you prefer the light American styles.

CodFishChips The Rock Bottom Brewery: Craft Beer Watered Down by a Chain RestaurantThe Rock Bottom Brewery was awarded the “Best Large Brewpub of the year in 2008” at the Great American Beer Festival.  I suppose it’s all relative because I believe Coors and Miller Lite win some of those awards for light beers some years too.  I was expecting a little more out of their beers overall though.  The food on the other hand was definitely better, especially for a chain restaurant.  We started out with a small sampler of their main appetizers.  The fried Mac & cheese was a solid selection that was served with a relish of chili peppers that gave a nice amount of heat and spice that went well with the hoppiness of the Hop Bomb IPA.  The chicken lettuce wraps seemed to be a fusion of Asian and South American influence.  But I think they nailed the chicken with a nice amount of cilantro.  Pair these bad boys with the oatmeal stout.  The flavor of the cilantro while washing it down with the stout was an awesome explosion of flavors.  Very nice!  Finally, we sampled the pan seared Ahi-Tuna which was served over the same bed of the chicken filling that we just had on the wraps.  Perhaps they could have changed it up a bit, but for a chain restaurant the tuna was fresh enough and well executed on the searing. 

Now for dinner…  By this time it was clear that the absence of Asante Samuel turned the Eagles secondary into a heaping wedge of Swiss cheese, it was evident that the reincarnation of Joe Montana possessed the mind and body of Jay Cutler.  But as I ordered another tall glass of the Brew Master  IPA, the pain and misery of an Eagles loss began to fade fast.  But even better and more importantly, I was about to eat the Bourbonzola  Burger.  1/3 pound of ground beef smothered in a Jim Beam® Bourbon glaze, packed with the savory goodness of Gorgonzola cheese.  The sweet and the savory was an excellent combo.  Perfect and delicious hand made hamburger patties.  It wouldn’t be watching football and drinking pints without eating fish & chips.  The tempura battered cod was filleted nicely and the remoulade sauce was more of an enhanced tartar sauce, but good nonetheless.  My only complaint would be the french-fries.  I can get better shoestrings from Ore-Ida in the frozen food aisle then these tasteless things that accompanied the burger and the cod.

Overall, the Rock Bottom Brewery suffers from a corporate dislocated management structure that ails most chain restaurants.  You had the “B-” wait staff on a Sunday afternoon that looked overtired from a busy Saturday night.  The place didn’t have the cleanest appearance and also had an inattentive wait staff.  As far as the crafting of the beers go…my assessment is that they try to be the “jack of all trades” yet master of none.  If given a choice, of course I’d rather sample some freshly made beer than drinking Budweiser at TGIF Friday’s, but unfortunately for the Rock Bottom Brewery, the difference is minimal.    Look, it could have been an off day for them like the Eagles secondary, but again, champions rise to the occasion like our March Madness tournament.  Fortunately for Whiskey Goldmine, none of these beers will be making the cut.  Cheers!  

Check outBarbuzzo Mediterranean Kitchen and Bar , The Bishop’s Collar , The Continental

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