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The Earth Bread and Brewery: Great Thin Crust Pizza but Suspect Service

Earth Bread Brewery 196x300 The Earth Bread and Brewery: Great Thin Crust Pizza but Suspect ServiceBeer or Lack of Beer Just OK…

By Matt Goldstein & Carolynn Chapman

We’ve heard great things about the Mt. Airy Philadelphia’s Earth, Bread and Brewery and the brick oven thin crust pizza didn’t disappoint, but the service left us without drinks and kind of annoyed.  The couple of house brewed beers that we tried were ok, but not as good as we expected.  The other house beers might be great, but we have no idea how good they are because the waitress left us there without a drink for more than 10 minutes before the food was brought out, and then another 10 minutes after we were done eating.  For the record, it was a weeknight and the place was half empty.  This is just bad service!  It’s also bad business as they lost out on guaranteed beer sales.  Perhaps the waitress didn’t care, or maybe the two different food runners didn’t communicate the fact that we were without beers.  Whatever though, it’s not like we go to breweries for the beer.

When you first walk in, there’s a great aroma which is most likely from the hand built wood fired igloo shaped brick oven.  We were seated in the lower level dining area and the table was literally a tree trunk; all part of the pleasant atmosphere at The Earth, Bread and Brewery.    

The House Salad

The House Salad with goat cheese, dried cranberries, green apple slices, candied pecans and onions  with Apple Vinaigrette:  Fabulous!  The goat cheese is outstanding.  Rating: B+

earth bread brewery front 300x201 The Earth Bread and Brewery: Great Thin Crust Pizza but Suspect ServiceThe Gatherer Flatbread Pizza

The Gatherer with garlic oil, mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers, artichoke hearts, fresh mozzarella with a pesto finish.  This is a great pizza!  The thin crust is one of a kind and simply outstanding.  With the pepper slices so large, we would not have thought chunks of sweet peppers this big would have worked on a pizza but it seemed to compliment very well.  The crust did get a little soggy towards the end but might have gotten watery from tomato chunks.  It happens.  Rating:  B+

The Mediterranean Flatbread Pizza

The Mediterranean with tomato sauce, artichoke hearts, olives, spinach and feta cheese.  Again, this is a great pizza.  The thin crust at the Earth, Bread and Brewery is simply outstanding.  Its crust is very unique, flavorful and crunchy.  For olive lovers, the kalamata olives and feta cheese are perfect for the thin crust.   Rating: B+

The Winterfest Marzen Lager

A marzen style very similar to and Oktoberfest, they might even be the same exact thing.  This was a good lager.  The Winterfest Marzen had a hoppy, dry scent and was dry with a good bite.  This was pretty hoppy for a marzen.   6.2% ABV.   Rating: B 

Pret a Porter 

With a thin scent, this light porter had a light bite and tasty finish but was a bit watery and you could see through the beer, that’s a bit strange for a porter.  5.4% ABV.   Rating: C

Spiropoulos Meliasto 2008 Rose 

Terrible.  There was absolutely no flavor in this glass of wine but that’s what you get when you order a glass of rose.   Rating: D

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

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

cbgb bar front 300x236 The All Time Top 25 Rock N Roll Bars: CBGB, The Khyber Pass, Maxs Kansas CityBy Larry Kay

Live rock and roll didn’t make it into bars in the US until the mid-’60s as clubs evolved from discotheques to live music venues.  However, it wasn’t until the ’70s, and specifically the punk explosion that rock bars really came into their own.  With the exception of the first five entries on this list, the remainder are in no particular order. The only real “rule” adhered to is that these are real bars, not big-ass clubs. A lot of these places have since closed but their reputation/legend lives on.

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1. CBGB – NYC:

No question about it. The most important rock bar in America ever.  If you need an explanation, there are a few hundred thousand web pages and a bunch books justifying the argument.

2. Max’s Kansas City – NYC – Predated CB’s by a decade, and only a hair less important.

3. Mabuhay Gardens – SF, CA. One of the first punk rock bars on the West Coast, the Mab ran from 1976-1988.

ramones cbgb 300x201 The All Time Top 25 Rock N Roll Bars: CBGB, The Khyber Pass, Maxs Kansas City4. Emo’s – Austin, TX. The best live music venue in the US for almost two decades.

5. Raji’s – Los Angeles. As important to the LA scene of the ’80s and ’90s as CB’s was to New York in the ’70s and ’80s.

6. O’Kayz Corral – Madison, WI From the early ’80s until it burned down on New Year’s Day 2001, this dive was often referred to as “the CBGB’s of the Midwest.”

7. Brownie’s – Detroit. When Iggy played his return to Detroit in 1980, seven long years after the Stooges broke up, he did it at Brownie’s.

8. Continental – NYC. Like CB’s, but less bathroom graffiti and a better bar.

9. Maxwell’s – Hoboken, NJ. For over 20 years the only reason to willingly go to Hoboken.

10. Masquerade – Atlanta. Probably the best punk rock bar in the South for most of the ’80s and ’90s.

11. Double Down Saloon – Las Vegas. How can you question a bar whose most famous in-house concoction is called “Ass Juice.”?!

iggy pop the khyber 300x208 The All Time Top 25 Rock N Roll Bars: CBGB, The Khyber Pass, Maxs Kansas City12. Khyber Pass – Philadelphia

13. Al’s Bar – Los Angeles

14. The Garage -Los Angeles

15. Berkeley Square – Berkeley, CA

16. Bottom Of The Hill – SF, CA

17. Off Ramp – Seattle

18. Court Tavern – New Brunswick, NJ

19. Euclid Tavern- Cleveland OH

20. Local 506 – Chapel Hill, NC

21. Tiger Mask – San Diego

22. 7th Street Entry – Minneapolis

22. Magic Stick – Detroit

23. Lounge Ax – Chicago

24. Upstairs At Nick’s – Philadelphia

25. Stone Pony – Asbury Park, NJ

Honorable Mentions: Brass Rail – Ft. Wayne, IN; Crocodile – Seattle; Firenze Tavern – Philadelphia; JC Dobb’s – Philadelphia; Beerland, Austin, TX; 40 Watt – Athens, GA; Antenna Club – Memphis, TN; Hi-Dive – Columbus, OH; Alex’s Bar – Long Beach, CA; Double Door – Chicago

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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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Village Whiskey: A Downtown Philadelphia Takeover

 

village whiskey 300x212 Village Whiskey: A Downtown Philadelphia TakeoverWorld Class Burgers & Superior Whiskey with a Manhattan Atmosphere

By Pat Smith & Matt Goldstein

Village Whiskey in downtown Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse section brings some of the best food in the city amid a whiskey list that is flat out unheard of.  With undoubtedly the best burgers in Philadelphia and over 150 different Bourbons, Ryes, single malt Scotches, blended Scotch whisky’s, Irish and American whiskey’s, the Village Whiskey is a complete downtown takeover.  Not only does the energetic atmosphere work well with the New York City ambiance and decor, the music is unstoppable.  From “Right Down the Line” by Jerry Rafferty, to non radio play obscure songs from the Velvet Underground and Rolling Stones, not many joints in the city put the music list together so correctly.  The food is a creation of internationally renown chef Jose Garces and manager Paul Rodriguez runs the show.

 

whiskey village indoor 2 300x206 Village Whiskey: A Downtown Philadelphia TakeoverThe Food!

Village Burger (8oz):

 The Village Burger with Sesame roll, house-made thousand island dressing, tomato and Boston Bibb lettuce.  This is 100% without a doubt the best burger in all of Philly, maybe the best in the country.  Before you even bite the burger, the scent lets you know that there is something different here, something remarkable.  As soon as I bit into burger, I looked over at Pat Smith and said, “New Champion!”  (We’re in search of the ultimate burger.)  There is no need for cheese and no need for ketchup.  All the Village Burger needs is a California style sunny side up egg on top of the burger to make a medium rare cut of beef simply flawless.  The house-made thousand island is so perfectly subtle, you will barely know it’s there.  Have you ever dipped your toast into the sunny side up egg on a breakfast plate?  Just wait until you do it with a burger.  The Village Burger is game over.  

The Duck Fat French Fries are very good but the serving is a kind of small.

The Beers!

Boulder Brewing Mojo IPA:

The Mojo is pale in color and has a strong scent of flowery hops and bitter floral flavor.  It’s a hop heavy but refreshing ale, perfect with a burger.  The heavy floral flavor and subtle malts get sweet with a hint of citrus towards the finish and then sweeter as the beer flattens a bit.  The Boulder Brewing Mojo IPA is made with Pale, Caramel and Wheat Malts with Amarillo and Centennial Hops.  The Mojo is a classic IPA.  6.8% ABV

Stoudt’s Gold Lager:

Stoudt’s is a Munich style Helle session beer.  The Gold Lager has a scent of fruit with a dry bite and notes of fruit in the flavor.  It’s a very light bodied, refreshing drinkable beer as a session beer should be.  The Stoudt’s Gold Lager won five medals at the Great American Beer Festival and another medal at the world cup.  This lager is made with Perle, Hallertau and Saaz hops with Two Row, Munich and Vienna mats.  4.7% ABV      

whiskey tulip 217x300 Village Whiskey: A Downtown Philadelphia TakeoverThe Whiskey!

Macallan 18 Year Single Malt Scotch Whisky:

 The Macallan 18 is simply one of the best single malts in the world period.  This 18 year single malt from the highland region is aged in sherry casks and has a rich character that is complex, smoky, and smooth.  The finish is full, flavorful and easy.  The Macallan 18 year single malt scotch is simply outstanding. 

The Four Roses Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey:

Four Roses is smooth and light with a lot of flavor.  Having a good, sweet bourbon spirit and a strong bourbon finish, the Four Roses Bourbon is outstanding.  This hand crafted bourbon has notes of oak, fruit, with slight spiciness.  All Four Roses Bourbons are aged in new white oak barrels in one-of-a-kind single story rack warehouses.  45% ABV 

The Rye Whiskey Flight:

Village Whiskey in downtown Philadelphia offers multiple whiskey flights (restaurant review coming soon).  The Flights are available in whiskey, bourbon, scotch etc…  For those not familiar with a flight; many establishments serve beer, wine and spirit flights for those patrons interested in tasting multiple offerings.  A flight of wine usually consists of 5 different wines from a given style such as cabernet, with 5 glasses about 1/3 full of each different wine.  The whiskey flights at Village Whiskey consist of three different whiskeys in a given style with about 2/3’s of a full serving.  As we rarely get the chance to taste quality rye, we decided to go with the Rye Whiskey Flight.  Whiskey Village serves the flight of rye in 3 tulip whiskey glasses, a glass of water to mix or only use a few drops to open the whiskey, and a glass of ice if the neat finish is too much.               

The Rittenhouse 100:

 The Rittenhouse 100 proof is a brilliant rye whiskey.  Light in color and dry with a slow burn, the Rittenhouse 100 proof has a dry scent with a strong finish.  According to Heaven Hill distilleries, Rittenhouse 100 is produced in the tradition of the classic Pennsylvania or Monongahela rye whiskies, the classic ryes that were once the preeminent American whiskey style.  The Rittenhouse 100 is a throwback whiskey and very smooth for a 100 proof. 

The R1 Rye Whiskey:

 The R1 is very dry with a good bite but a smooth finish.  With a slightly sweet bourbon flavor, the light finish and subtle aftertaste is very good.  There is also a bit of spice which gives this rye a certain character, but the R1 is sweeter than most rye whiskies.  R1 is produced by the famous bourbon specialists, Jim Beam.  For those that associate Jim Beam with a cheap bottom shelf whiskey, think again.  Jim Beam also produces the critically acclaimed Knob Creek, and other premium bourbons such as Bookers, Basil Hayden’s and Bakers, all of which are excellent Kentucky Straight Bourbons.    

The Thomas Handy Uncut Sazerac:

The Uncut 126 proof Rye Whiskey has a beautiful light red color with a sweet but sour scent.  Although it’s a rye whiskey, you can almost taste the Tennessee style sour mash as you sniff the tulip glass.  The Thomas Handy Sazerac has a sweet flavor but the finish is very strong.  Did I say very strong!?!  WOW!  This drink is good, not for beginners…  Even after a little water is added; the finish of this 126 proof rye is just as strong.  However, as you continue to sip, the unforgiving finish settles down to a solid rye whiskey flavor. 

Check outSly Fox Brew Pub and Restaurant , Rock Bottom Brewery ,Earth Bread and Brewery

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The Top 10 Restaurants in South Florida: Rack’s, Prime 112, Mr. Chow, Meat Market, Mercadito

racks dining room 300x198 The Top 10 Restaurants in South Florida: Racks, Prime 112, Mr. Chow, Meat Market, MercaditoGary Rack Makes his Mark in Miami & Boca Raton

By Matt Goldstein & Norman Andrew Cay 

Welcome to the new South Florida where elegant and trendy has taken a step back to an absolutely magnificent cuisine.  From comfort food, to steakhouses, Italian and Asian fusion, to some of the best tacos in the country, South Florida has made a serious statement in influential eateries.  If you ask yourself why three Gary Rack restaurants have made the top 10, one needs not do much else other than try them… 

1.  RACKS Downtown Eatery + Tavern, Boca Raton

402 Plaza Real, Mizner Park
Boca Raton, FL 33432

crab at racks 300x189 The Top 10 Restaurants in South Florida: Racks, Prime 112, Mr. Chow, Meat Market, MercaditoOwned and operated by Restaurateur Gary Rack, featuring the delicious culinary expertise of celebrity chef Matthew Danaher, this all-American, comfort food hotspot will have you guessing whether you’re in New York or L.A. With a spectacular ambiance, award-winning cuisine, and attentive hospitality, this swank downtown eatery and tavern is undoubtedly our hottest new pick for South Florida’s #1 restaurant in 2010. This “must-see and taste” dining establishment is perfect for power lunches or dinners; and with its modern, high-energy Happy Hour bar, RACKS is definitely a dining experience you won’t want to miss.  

2.  Prime 112, South Beach

112 Ocean Drive
Miami Beach, FL 33139

With a reputation for its chic eateries, Myles Restaurant Group has blessed South Florida with its latest creation: Prime 112. Located in the heart of Miami’s celebrity-clad Ocean Drive, this establishment’s beautiful and sleek décor will intrigue your interests; but it’s chef Mike Sabin’s tasty recipes that will entice you to stay.  Along with Prime’s impeccable staff catering to your every need, Sabin’s diverse menu of appetizers, salads, prime steaks, lobster, raw seafood bar, and assortment of potato dishes are sure to leave you craving for more.  That being said, what are you waiting for?  Come to South Beach’s brand new hotspot for the food or the crowd—whichever you prefer—and we guarantee it won’t be a decision you regret. 

3.  Mr. Chow, South Beach

W Hotel
2201 Collins Avenue
South Beach
Miami, FL 33119

With its international acclaim and popular appeal, it’s no surprise to the modern jetsetter that Mr. Chow has decided to add a fifth location to sunny South Florida.  Elegantly located at the base of Miami’s luxurious W Hotel, Mr. Chow’s white-on-white dining room—complete with a 123-foot Gold-leaf and Swarovski crystal chandelier—will truly make you feel like one of South Beach’s most talked-about celebrities.  Whether it’s fish, chicken, beef, or lobster you’re craving, Executive Chef Shao Xiao Lei—regarded as one of the best in China—offers it all, and at an exceptional quality.  Located directly at the beach, Mr. Chow’s indoor and outdoor private rooms, spacious outside dining patio, and interior bar and lounge make it the perfect place to toast to any special occasion! 

4.  Meat Market, South Beach

915 Lincoln Road
Miami Beach, FL 33139

One of South Beach’s new, iconic steak houses, Meat Market offers you a dining experience like no other.  With unique brunch, dinner, cocktail, and dessert menus featuring everything from Smoked-Salmon Waffles to Pineapple Foie Gras and Wood-Roasted African Pheasant, Executive Chef Sean Brasel’s mouth-watering creations will leave you hungry for more.  Be sure to compliment one of these delectable dishes with one of Meat Market’s unique, handmade cocktails—and if you’re still craving something tasty, surely a Lobster Empanada from the Crudo Bar will do the trick. Complete with a sensual main dining room and elegant array of outdoor lounge and table service options, this new South Florida fine dining concept will certainly leave you coming back for more. 

5.  Mercadito, South Beach

3252 Northeast 1st Avenue
Miami, FL 33137

Arriba! This casual, laid-back Mexican taqueria—known for its savory tacos and thirst-quenching margaritas—brings the heart of Tijuana to South Florida.  With a “delicioso” menu of salads, guacamole, traditional Mexican fare, specialty sodas, and traditional and signature tacos, this contemporary addition to Midtown Miami is the perfect location for a quick lunch, late dinner, or even an informal snack. Capturing the essence of urban Miami, this authentic tacqueria—adorned in 3D graffiti and a containing an outdoor patio large enough for 45—will leave you begging for a cruise to Cancun. 

6. Michelle Bernsteins at the Omphoy, Palm Beach

2842 South Ocean Boulevard
Palm Beach, FL 33480

Situated at The Omphoy Ocean Resort on the luxurious Palm Beach coast, Michelle Bernstein’s pristine location is just one of many elements that make this sophisticated new dining concept a “must-go” for South Florida’s most influential socialites. The dishes—a perfect mixture of salads, crudo, appetizers, and entrees featuring a variety of seafood and meats—entice all five senses with delicious Mediterranean flavors, complimented by a selection of esteemed wines.  With an outstanding view of the Atlantic Ocean at your fingertips, come to Michelle Bernstein’s for a delicious combination of ambience, indulgence, and a taste of South Florida cuisine.  

7.  Table 42, Boca Raton

401 Southeast Mizner Boulevard 
Boca Raton, FL 33432

Pioneered by renowned Restaurateur Gary Rack and celebrity chef Matthew Danaher, this recent addition to Boca Raton’s Mizner Park gives you a dining experience with an Italian spin. This hip, sophisticated eatery boasts a “hopping” lunch and dinner scene—bringing to fruition its ever-popular “$5 Burger Nights,” which allow hungry patrons to design their own gourmet-quality burgers for an attractive price. Furthermore, feel the transformation of your senses as you enter Table 42; letting the aromas of fresh-baked, bubbling pizza lift your spirits and fortify your hunger.  If it’s not pizza you’re craving, Table 42’s succulent gourmet burgers and diverse wines and dining specialties will leave any true foodie wanting more. 

8.  Cut 432, Delray Beach

432 East Atlantic Avenue
Delray Beach, FL 33483

From bar managers, to visionary restaurateurs the dynamic mogul duo—Brandon Belluscio and Brian Albe—have revitalized Downtown Delray with this bold, high-energy steak house. After successfully launching their first dining concept, Vertical 114, these rising restaurateurs have successfully opened Cut 432. This isn’t your run of the mill steak house; the crowd mostly consists of hip, sexy, young fashonistas in their 20s-mid 30s. As for the food, each USDA prime grade steak is carefully hand-picked by the owners for exceptional tenderness, age and flavor.  Carefully placed in the heart of Atlantic Ave, this steak house is the total package of food and hospitality. The waiters are experienced with pairing the delectable foods on the menu with the assortment of excellent wine offered. Don’t miss out on the social hour Cut432 offers! 

9.  RACKS Italian Kitchen, Miami

3933 NE 163 rd Street
North Miami Beach, FL 33160

Move out of the way Little Italy, Racks Italian Kitchen is moving up. Offering one of the most spectacular views of the Intracoastal, RACKS is a perfect dining choice for anything from a casual boat stop to an executive lunch spot or dining out with the fam. Stop in and you just might catch a glimpse of Enrique Iglesias or another Miami celebrity that wants to dine incognito. The diverse menu, presented by Restaurateur Gary Rack and by Culinary Director Matthew Danaher, provides a new understanding for quality modern Italian dining, while the rustic theme is detailed with urban chic decor. Quality and freshness is apparent with every dish. Each wine is meticulously chosen to compliment each plate on the menu. Come one; come all to food that Mama raised you on. 

10.  Canyon, Fort Lauderdale

1818 East Sunrise Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33304

Co-owned by Mario Di Leo and Executive Chef Chris Wilber, here at this hotspot, the Southwest meets South Florida at Canyon. From their illustrious Tequila and Jalapeño Smoked Salmon Tostada to their celebrated prickly pear margarita these dishes cannot be replicated anywhere in the area. Sultry ambiance and diverse music mix fused with cuisine inspired by Asian, South and Central American flavors makes dining here an experience for your taste-buds they soon not forget. This restaurant is constantly flowing with customers who want a bite, you can’t make reservations at Canyon, and so, if you want to avoid the wait, you better get here early! 

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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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Barbuzzo Mediterranean Kitchen and Bar: Philadelphia’s Best New Restaurant

barbuzo 210x300 Barbuzzo Mediterranean Kitchen and Bar: Philadelphia’s Best New RestaurantPhenomenal Desserts and Drink Menu Compliments Brilliantly 

By Matt Goldstein  and Sommelier Tom Pittakas

Recommended by our sommelier, Barbuzzo Mediterranean Kitchen and Bar proved to be one of Philadelphia’s best new restaurants.  Priced fairly, the ambiance, style, and romantic atmosphere make for a perfect date night, but the cuisine makes for a downtown restaurant that can battle any of the best kitchens in the city.  Moreover, the drink menu and desserts are distinctively outstanding.        

The Cuisine

Sheep’s Milk Ricotta w/ Fresh Figs:  Excellent!  The fig and the ricotta are perfectly matched.   

Chicken Liver and Foie Gras Mousse:  Very Good

Magherita Pizza:  Good

egg pizza 207x300 Barbuzzo Mediterranean Kitchen and Bar: Philadelphia’s Best New RestaurantLardo White Pizza with Mushrooms and Egg:  Amazing!  It sounds crazy to put an egg on a pizza but it’s on of the best plates and best pizza’s we’ve ever had period.  Whoever created this pizza recipe is a freakin’ genius!  It’s a shame they already handed out this years Nobel Peace Prize.

Pan Seared Gnocchi:  Good

Caciocavallo Stuffed Meatballs:  Very Good!  These meatballs really grow on you.  Their very unique with a lot of flavor and the sauce compliments well.     

Wood Roasted Sardines Portuguesa:  Good. 

Grilled Mediterranean Octopus:  Very Good.  There’s perhaps a little too much flavor in the sauce, as we’d like the Octopus to make the statement, but it’s still very good nonetheless.   

Salted Caramel Budino w/ Dark Chocolate Crust:  Unreal!  This is one of the best desserts that can possibly be imaged.  We were using our fingers to scrape every ounce of this insanity out of the glass bowl.  We were seriously licking our fingers.  True story.     

budino 224x300 Barbuzzo Mediterranean Kitchen and Bar: Philadelphia’s Best New RestaurantThe Drinks 

Gin & Sin:  The Hendrick’s Gin cucumber martini w/ fresh oregano is exceptional, complex and refreshing.  We will most likely be ordering fresh oregano with every cucumber gin martini we order.   

Sanguinello:  Vodka, Blood Orange Puree, Chambord, Lime; very good w/o the simple syrup. 

Maredsous 10:  A very light and refreshing Belgian dubbel. 

Sangria Roja:  Very good, subtle for a sangria which is ideal.   

Monastrell-Tempranillo Red Wine, Spain 2007:  Interesting and unique body, a little dry but spicy fruit notes.  

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Barbuzzo Mediterranean Kitchen and Bar is located at 110 S. 13th St. in Philadephia.

Check out – Philly’s Top 10 Restaurants , The Bishop’s Collar , The Continental

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Sly Fox Brew Pub and Restaurant is Fresh Craft Beer at its Finest: Pikeland Pils, Route 113 IPA, Phoenix Pale Ale

SlyFox logo.jpg 300x300 Sly Fox Brew Pub and Restaurant is Fresh Craft Beer at its Finest: Pikeland Pils, Route 113 IPA, Phoenix Pale AlePikeland Pils & Route 113 IPA Making a Name for Themselves

By Tim Rodgers, Goat Race excerpt by Matt Goldstein

After living in center city Philadelphia and the New York City area for some time after college, I had reservations about moving to the outer suburbs of the greater Philadelphia area.  The anxiety didn’t stem from being deprived of the Brooklyn Pizza, the pastrami, or even the Philly cheese steak, but whether or not if I could get a decent craft beer.  To my delight, the Sly Fox Brew Pub and Restaurant was merely a mile from my house.  Several 100 growlers later, and having my first-born’s christening party there, I figured I’d let you all in on the Phoenixville/Collegeville’s dirty little secret.

Founded in 1995, the Sly Fox has become ingrained as a staple of dining and nightlife in the Phoenixville area.  Founded by Pete Giannopoulos and family, and now headed by brew-master Brian O’Reilly, the Sly Fox line of craft and seasonal brews have taken home several prestigious awards.  The Pikeland Pils German style pilsner has won the gold medal award at the Great American Beer Festival in 2000, 2007, and a bronze medal in 2003.

pils top 300x97 Sly Fox Brew Pub and Restaurant is Fresh Craft Beer at its Finest: Pikeland Pils, Route 113 IPA, Phoenix Pale AleWhat stood out immediately for me was the freshness of the ingredients used in crafting the brews.  The hops used in making the Phoenix Pale Ale and the Route 113 IPA are top notch.  I was blown away.  “A big, flavorful IPA for all the hopheads out there, brewed with imported Pale and Crystal malts, and hopped with Centennial, ascade, Columbus, German Northern Brewer, & UK East Kent Goldings. Bold and spicy.  16.4 OG | 113 IBUs | 7.0% ABV.”

I constantly come back to get my growler filled up with these two fine ales.  On Tuesday, you can get your growler filled for 1/2 price, and as a Sly fox growler card member, I get my eighth growler filled up for free. 

The fine folks at the Sly Fox have now expanded their operation to canning their fine ales and distributing them in the mid-atlantic markets.  I’ve seen their Pikeland Pils on tap in several downtown Philadelphia hot spots.  Therefore, you don’t even have make the trek past historic Valley Forge to get the Sly Fox Incubus a Tripel ale in the abbey style.  Publisher Matt Goldstein and myself have thrown back several of their Saison Vos in style many of times, and have stumbled out of there to tell about it!

 I am calling on all you hopheads, proud stout connoisseurs, Belgian fiends, and beer aficionados alike to check out the Sly Fox Brew Pub.  However, we here at the Whiskey Goldmine have our reputation to keep.  Therefore, I must be honest about the food situation.  It could use improvement to get the complete and ultimate experience.  I usually get the crab cake sandwich or burgers, which are really good, especially washed down by the fine brews.  The staff is super friendly, and very which you unfortunately do not find that often these days.

The Goat Races:  In order to come up with a name for their new beer every year, the Slyfox gets pretty creative.  Do they have fans write in with ideas or name the beer after a former king or philosopher like a normal brewery?  Of course not.  The Sly Fox has goat-herding beer drinkers from far and wide come to the brewery and race a goat across the parking lot.  The name of the goat that wins the race becomes the name of the beer.  And fear not Goldmine fans; the Whiskey Goldmine will be racing a goat across the parking lot for sure.  We already have a stable of goats to choose from.  Hopefully the goat we race is already named Goldmine Beer Whiskey Imperial Barley Wine Stout.

Check your local beer supplier to see if they carry the Sly Fox brew or visit them in the Phoenixville or Royersford locations.

Check outEarth Bread and Brewery , Rock Bottom Brewery , Village Whiskey

 


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PPL Park: A Diamond in the Rough

philadelphia union 1111 PPL Park: A Diamond in the RoughNew Philadelphia Soccer Stadium Features Craft Beers such as Victory Hop Devil, Golden Monkey, Prima Pils, Sierra Nevada, Hoegaarden, Stella Artois and many others…

By Tim Rodgers

Being an avid soccer fan here in the United States, I was excited when news broke that the Philadelphia Metropolitan area was getting an MLS franchise with a brand new state-of-the-art stadium.  Then, something immediately sucked the oxygen out of the room; the stadium was to be built in the depressed city of Chester just south of the Philadelphia International Airport.  Chester, Pennsylvania was the first city in the state founded in 1644 not to mention one of first in the United States.  However, it is now one of the poorest and crime ridden cities in America.  In 1996, the State approved $1.36 billion dollars to “re-develop” the city, and fortunately for soccer fans in the Philadelphia area, some of those funds were allocated to build a brand new stadium on the waterfront of the mighty Delaware River for the MLS franchise Philadelphia Union.  The only problem is that you have to drive through the heart of Chester to get there.  

Their motto “JUNGITE aut PERITE”, is a Latin phrase meaning “JOIN or DIE”, which was displayed by Franklin in his cartoons along with the rattlesnake.  So when season tickets went on sale, I did what any revolutionary would do, I got myself a pair.

ppl pic2 300x207 PPL Park: A Diamond in the RoughFinally, on June 27th 2010, right under the Commodore Barry Bridge on the Delaware waterfront, the Union launched the 18,500 seat venue to its local soccer fans.  The Union was now set to play its first game in its new stadium against the MLS Seattle franchise.  In true Philly style, I had every intention of bringing an Eagles-esque style tailgate drinking and eating motif to the Union pre-game festivities.  That was not a problem, since I took control.  The lot attendant wanted me to park in the middle of that yet to be paved stone lot, but I ignored his power trip and veered off right towards the river front.  While most tailgaters were sucking down Miller Lite’s in MLS licensed merchandized personalized “cozies” and eating soft pretzels, I was pouring Sierra Nevada Pale Ales into a cup.  It was over 100 degrees in the stone and gravel parking lot, but that didn’t stop me from eating a Sack-o-Subs roast pork I picked from the Jersey Shore where I was staying.  The river breeze provided relief in the brutal heat, and the Delaware was still somewhat majestic despite the river rats or the industrial run-off nearby.  It was close to game time, so now it was time to check out the amenities that PPL Park had to offer.

The view outside and inside the stadium is amazing.  You can see the bridge and various vessels floating by in the river in the background from multiple angles.  The pitch is perfect green and in great condition.   First things are first, I worked up a thirst walking from the VIP parking Lot B to our gate in section 114.  The inaugural game was a sell-out so I had to fight my way through the crowds to get a beer.  The question is will I have to fight my way through the Budweiser/Coors Light vendors to search for any kind of craft beer stand that they hide in some obscure corner?  To the contrary, right behind my section alone was a “Beers from Around the World” vendor.  Stella Artois, Hoegaarden, Victory Hopdevil, among others were readily, steadily, and easily available from every vendor.  Since my Sons of Ben shirt was completely soaked in sweat from the 100 degree and 100 percent humidity, I went with the Belgium white ale.  Although the best value there was the Foster’s Oil can which provides an extra eight ounces of brew for the same price, eight bones.

ppl pic3 300x224 PPL Park: A Diamond in the RoughOne beer down and it’s already been 45 minutes since I wolfed down my roast pork; I was starving!  Time to check out the grub.  Being a native Philadelphian, hitting up 1 out of the 2 Chickie&Pete’s would be cliché.  Although, crab fries, chicken tenders, roast pork, amongst its other items are always tempting, I’m still perusing.  There’s a small nameless vendor in the corner who is grilling up sausages and brats, and not the kind that look puny, nor frozen, they look legit.  And the peppers and onions being fried besides them provide an appetizing aroma.  They have hot dogs, pizza, pretzels, popcorn, but since this is the first game, I need to go for the gusto!  The “Black Angus” vendor will be my choice.  What more appropriate than to go with the “Philadelphia Union” Burger.  One half pound of ground Angus beef, served with a fried onion ring, bacon, cheese and BBQ sauce.  The burger came with fries and I got to choose from an array of condiments including honey mustard, ranch dressing, ketchup, mustard, BBQ sauce, among many others.  Of course I dipped my fries in all of them!

ppl pic4 300x107 PPL Park: A Diamond in the RoughI’m not sure if MLS soccer will be as successful as the other major sports in the United States.  However, as our culture becomes more diverse and global, soccer is the dominant sport worldwide.  Furthermore, the Philadelphia Union have a great new stadium with a top of the line amenities.  You can also text message your order and a friendly PPL park attendant will bring your order to your seat.  (Eat your heart out Joe Banner and Jeffrey Lurie!)  Since I am a founding season ticket holder, I also get access to the VIP club, restaurant, and bar in the club box area.  I need to consult with Haroon to see what cigar goes with Chester City soccer as I sip Louis Tre on owner Jay Sugarman’s dime.  I have taken some casual fans and novices to this soccer venue since that first game, and everyone has had a great time so far.  Being right on top of the action helps keep the excitement at a high level.  I highly recommend that you see a game for an average of $25 per ticket.  Even if you are disappointed, you can check out the Harrah’s Casino two miles up the road afterwards.  But based on my experience; I think many people will be surprised about this upstart league and sport that will be here to stay in Philadelphia as well as the United States.

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A Neighborhood Goldmine: The Bishop’s Collar featuring La Trappe, La Chouffe, St. Bernardis, Fatty Boombalaty, Boom Shakalager, Russian River Consecration

bishopscollar 01 A Neighborhood Goldmine: The Bishops Collar featuring La Trappe, La Chouffe, St. Bernardis, Fatty Boombalaty, Boom Shakalager, Russian River ConsecrationThe Philadelphia Art Museum Area’s Best Spot for Craft Beer & Pub Eats! 

By Tim Rodgers

It was 2003, winter in Philadelphia.  There was 2 feet of snow on the ground in the Fairmount/Art Museum section of the city.  I think the liberal media called it the President’s Day Storm II if I am not mistaken.  My car was immersed in the snow, not to mention plowed in by a futile attempt the night before.  Bottom line, the city was paralyzed.  I figured I needed supplies, “the French toast syndrome” I referred to it as. The essential Milk, eggs, bread, and butter were imperative.  It seems like that is what you are supposed to get when snowed in.  And most importantly of course, I can’t be sitting in my third story apartment without an ample supply of beer.

It was only 9 in the morning at that point but the neighborhood bar, “The Bishop’s Collar” seemed to have its lights on.  Maybe, the bartender is cleaning up from the night before, and perhaps he’ll sell me a six pack or two.  I opened the door to the Belgian Beer House and it was packed with twice the amount of people that the Philly fire department would probably have been comfortable with inside the establishment.  At that point, it dawned on me that this was a special place for the residents of this Fairmount neighborhood.  Students, young professionals, and artist alike found solace in this watering hole on that cold snowy February morning.

Needless to say, I spent the whole day there drinking the array of Belgian beers on tap.  La Trappe, La Chouffe, St. Benardus, among many more.  Today it’s a great variety as well, Lost Abbey avant-garde, Fatty boombalaty, Boom Shakalager, and for those sour beer lambic types, they got Russian River Consecration.  (Mighty strong my friends.) 

Fast forward seven years later.  I found myself downtown last night.  As I was making my way home from my appointment to hop on I-76 back to the suburbs, I drove by the Fairmount section.  “I need to stop at the Bishop’s Collar,” I told myself. To my slight surprise It hadn’t changed since the days when I resided there.  Great Belgian selection on tap, great bar food items “chalked up” on the board daily, and an eclectic mix of neighborhood types frequenting the establishment for that post-work beer and sandwich.  After I downed two La Trappes, I decided it was time for the “spicy meatloaf sandwich” with old bay fries.  I washed down the tasty, tangy, spicy sandwich with a Lost Abbey avant-garde.  I must say, both the La Trappe (darker) and avant-garde (lighter) really brought the flavor. 

As the Belgian’s made me feel nicer and nicer, as my headache subsided, and the pains in my back and shoulders disappeared, I was taken back to my days living in the neighborhood in my early twenties.  I remembered how great the burgers are here, but most importantly I remembered that the crab cake sandwich was my go-to meal whenever I went there. I continued to watch the Phillies game at the bar, talking to a young couple who relocated to Philly from upstate New York.  They were drawn to the place as well when they moved here and love it.  “Screw-it,” I told myself.  By this point I was inebriated by the finest beers.  After my spicy meatloaf sandwich, I went for it, and had my crabcake sandwich.  No regrets!

If you are ever by the Art Museum or Fairmount and want an easy bite to eat with some solid beer selection, the Bishop’s Collar is the place for that warm, neighborhood feel.  They are located at:

2349 Fairmount Ave

Philadelphia PA

(215) 765-1616

.Check out –  Sly Fox Brew Pub and Restaurant , Rock Bottom Brewery ,Village Whiskey






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Stephen Starr’s The Continental Restaurant & Bar: Crushing the Competition

continental philadelphia ext night 587 300x199 Stephen Starrs The Continental Restaurant & Bar: Crushing the CompetitionClassic Martini Bar Still Running the Show in Philly After All these Years

By Matt Goldstein 

When my cousin asked me to meet her and some friends at the Continental in mid town last year, I was completely apprehensive.  Immediately I just thought it was a trendy yuppie tourist trap and was always too crowded.  After all, something that draws a crowd can’t be good right?  I’m a genius, what can I say.  I’ve been walking past the Continental in Old City for more than 15 years but never did more than just walk through it once very quickly.  I might have had one drink there about 5 years ago but I cannot be sure.  Anyway, as soon as we began eating the food I was immediately a fan and it was literally after the first few bites of an appetizer.  First, their French fries are absolutely amazing, and literally a thing of beauty.  These are probably the thinnest French Fries I have ever seen and the spicy mustard for the French fries is outstanding.  Then it was onto the grilled baby octopus with spinach, Greek herb vinaigrette and pita.  I only had grilled octopus once before but will order it every time I’m at the Continental, no question.  The meat was soft, tender and the sauce was subtle, not overbearing.  It was perfectly prepared. 

A little more than a year later, my cousin decided to have her rehearsal dinner at the Old City location.  This past Friday night we had the entire back room to ourselves, with lots of room and an open bar.  Have you ever tried a cheesesteak egg roll?  I would make reservations at the Continental for that alone.  Seriously!  Let’s break down the entire menu: 

 

Shoe String Fries with Spicy Mustard: excellent

Grilled Baby Octopus:  excellent

Cheesesteak Egg Rolls:  excellent

Hummus & Pita:  excellent

Our Israeli native cousins claim it was the best hummus they’ve had outside of Israel. 

Wasabi Mashed Potatoes:  very good

Meat Kofta Sticks:  good

It’s kind of like an Indian style meatloaf but we didn’t try the dipping sauce

Spinach Ravioli:  good

Teriyaki Filet Mignon:  good

If I were to order a filet, it would be without any sauce because I want to taste the steak, not the sauce, however, this filet was still very tender and had good flavor. 

Chilean Sea Bass with Peanut Sauce:  excellent

Radna Thai Chicken Salad:  good

Flying Fish Abbey Dubbel on tap:  excellent choice by the sommelier 

Chocolate Martini:  good

I know, you think it’s a girl’s drink.  Just try one.

Ultimat Vodka Martini:  terrible! 

Ultimat Vodka is totally overrated and over priced.  It tasted like paper and had no bite. 

Chopin Vodka Martini:  excellent

Chopin was recommended by the bartender… 

Gin Martini with a Cucumber:  excellent

Someone told us this is a signature drink of the Continental but I can’t be sure. 

The Astronaut: Sari’s favorite drink

For the rehearsal dinner, the staff was great and very easy going.  The bartenders recommended great drinks, joked around with us all night and even let us invent some drinks of our own.  The General Tso is coming soon to Whiskey Goldmine.  It was a great atmosphere with great food, great drinks, great friends and family.  The exclamation point on the night of the rehearsal dinner was what is now being described as “the incident.”  It is being hailed as “so amazing that it might have overshadowed the entire wedding.”  “The incident” is also coming soon to Whiskey Goldmine.  Congrats to Sari & Kevin for a beautiful wedding on Saturday.  And yes, the bride and groom took some friends and family back to the Continental on Sunday night for one last party.  Thanks for the invite ya jerks!

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Check out – Philly’s Top 10 Restaurants , Village Whiskey, Barbuzzo Mediterranean Kitchen and Bar 

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Morton’s Steakhouse Power Hour: The Best Happy Hour in Atlantic City!

mortons 300x68 Morton’s Steakhouse Power Hour: The Best Happy Hour in Atlantic City!

Morton’s Steakhouse Happy Hour

By Matt Goldstein

If you’re a regular in Atlantic City, sometimes the obnoxious noises from the slot machines and cheap cigarette smoke in the casino just become extremely tired.  If you want a club, fine, Mir Mir and the Pool Bar seem to be the spot.  If you want an Irish Pub, fine, they’re all over the place.  But if you want to get away from all the noise, casino degenerates, bad food and atrocious looking carpet, Morton’s is the place to be.  It’s quiet, relaxing, stylish, comfortable, and has some of the best food and drinks in town for half price.  The Morton’s Power hour menu crushes the competition with $7 Filet Sliders, Crab Cake BLT’s, Smoked Salmon Pizza, Three Small Prime Cheese Burgers, $6 Iceberg Wedge Bites, Blue Cheese Steak Fries, and Chicken Fingers.  The drink menu is just as good with $5 Sam Adams, $6 for four different wines by the glass, and $7 dollar cocktails.  The Power Hour is not just a happy hour it’s actually anytime but dinner time; Sunday through Friday from Open to 6:30pm and then from 9pm to Close.  Morton’s is located in dowtown Atlantic City at the front entrance of Caesars. 

Check out -Village Whiskey, Barbuzzo Mediterranean Kitchen and Bar , The Continental

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