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Try This: The Works at Mac’s

1 Mar

There is nothing better to me on a sunny day then settling in at a bar in Philadelphia, having a few beers, and watching a game on tv. Alex and I did that the other day at Mac’s Tavern in Philadelphia (yes, the same Mac’s Tavern that is owned by “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s” Rob and Kait McElhenney).

After two or three (or four…or five… who’s counting?) beers Alex and I were feeling a bit starving. This is the reason I love Philadelphia. You can walk into any ordinary bar on any ordinary street and find out-of-this-world food. Unbelievably amazing, ridiculously delicious options that you never thought you would find. Mac’s is no exception. This is the second time I’ve eaten here, but people rave about certain dishes on their menu, like their meatball hoagie and lobster mac and cheese. Alex and I were feeling the buzz and needed something big, greasy and terrible for you, so we opted for The Works.

Ohhhh The Works. The Works. I’m getting emotional just thinking about it. A huge plate of chunky fries smothered in the best gravy you’ve ever had, ginormous slices of steak, thick-cut bacon, onions and mushrooms, then topped with ridiculously gooey mozzarella cheese. It’s like the ultimate drunk food, but classier and better than anything you could ever make drunk.

Life doesn’t get any better than good game, a beer, some food and a bar. Wait… I take that back. It only gets better when you have the french fries of the gods. The servers and bartenders at Mac’s better prepared for me to invade their bar when baseball season starts….

*Note* I did not take a photo of these beauties while I was there, but if someone reads this and decides to share one with me I would love it!

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Drinking Like a Lady: Dogfish Head’s Noble Rot

28 Feb

My sweet tooth is bigger than any bone in my body. I love a nice, fruity beer and even ciders, which always leads to slack from my male beer-drinking friends. So imagine my surprise when everyone reacted so enthusiastically to Dogfish Head‘s new Noble Rot.

The first line in the description online is “Hmmm. We wonder if anyone will buy a beer with the word ‘rot’ in the name?” I honestly almost didn’t buy it because of that reason. When I hear “rot” I instantly think of weird smells and colors that I shouldn’t be drinking. Luckily, my boyfriend trusts Sam and the rest of the crew at Dogfish whole-heartily, and picked up a bottle for dinner after its Jan. 2012 release, because I did not want to miss out on this beer.

Listed as a “saison-esque project,” Noble Rot is a unique combination of two different kinds of wine grapes combined with pilsner and wheat malts. Mashed together, you get a really unique, beyond interesting beer… no wait, wine… no wait…?

I kind of wish I had payed more attention to the description of Noble Rot before I went through the process of drinking it, because I would have appreciated it much more. The beer drinks more like a wine, with a sweet, champagne-esque bite that overpowers the hops and malt. Were I to have sipped this drink a bit more slowly, I don’t think I would have been so overpowered by the taste, which was so delicious. Through all these new flavors, I can’t help but appreciate that distinct Dogfish taste that you get at the end of a sip. There’s a familiarity amid this strange, wacky brew, a taste that inspires me to buy Dogfish beer in the first place.

If you are just starting out in the craft beer world, it takes some refining. I wouldn’t expect someone who’s lived on Natty Light and Franzia to dive head first into a Double IPA anytime soon, but Noble Rot might be a good start. There’s a balance of flavors that doesn’t make it overly-hoppy or bitter, which can be kind of abrasive when adjusting to the craft beer scene.

One of the great things about craft beers is that each brewery has their own little signature, a taste or flavor that always ends up hitting home and making you say, “Hey, I know where this is from!” I’ve got to love Dogfish’s absolutely off-the-wall approach to beer, it’s what keeps me coming back.

Are you a fan of craft beer? Follow me on UnTappd and share your favorites!

30 Rock Funky Juice

23 Feb

Ice, Sprite and white wine… You’ve got yourself a Liz Lemon night.
Happy Thursday night!

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The Caribou Cafe: France in Philadelphia

22 Feb

This weekend Alex and I spent a lovely two nights in Philadelphia. Some may see that as bonkers, since you can literally see the Philly skyline from Alex’s backyard. The thing is, Philadelphia is packed with some of -in my opinion- the most amazing bars and restaurants in the country, a lot of places we have always wanted to go to but never indulged in. So this weekend we threw our seemingly endless saving spree out the window and tried a few of our favorite restaurants, and bars in full, gluttonous, heavenly style.

By our hotel on Walnut Street there was this little cafe that I had never seen before but grabbed my attention right away called the Caribou Cafe. It had adorable outdoor seating, fenced off with a wall of plants. The windows were painted with gold lettering of French foods with lace curtains between each of the light brown wood window sills, and I could see the warm orange paint and people sipping coffees inside.

I was instantly taken to my first morning in Paris during my time studying abroad in London. We had no idea where we were or what we were doing, but we were starving. We got off the metro and turned into the first cafe we could find, a quintessentially French little eatery. There couldn’t have been a more perfect place to have enjoyed my first French meal. Tucked along the Seine, with the Eifel Tower placed perfectly in the background, we enjoyed wine and Croque Monsieurs. It will always serve as my perfectly ideal image of Paris.

The Caribou Cafe instantly took me back to that morning and fed my French obsession. I knew I would love it before I even walked in the door. On our last morning in Philly Alex and I walked over for brunch. Walking through their velvet yellow curtains into the cafe I fell in love all over again. This place is beautiful. The bright orange walls compliment rows of dark tables and chairs and their bar, one of the most gorgeous bars in Philadelphia. On top of the counter sits a champagne bucket with three of their finest bottles sitting on ice and two massive silver lamps, shaped like elegant women, with a wall of more champagne, obscure liquors and beers lining the counters behind. I couldn’t stop gushing the entire time.

The menu is exquisitely French, of course. Escargots, quiche du jour, croque madame and monsieur, crepes, moules frites… oh gosh I shouldn’t keep going. Alex chose eggs benedict on a bed of spinach that he went nuts for, but cooked spinach and I do not get along so I avoided a taste of that. I chose their French Philly cheesesteak, sliced ribeye on brioche, with brie cheese, sauteed mushrooms, honey dijon mustard and a pile of frites. Unbelievable. The ribeye was cooked perfectly, the bread was fresh and toasted and the brie. Oh my gosh, the brie. This was without a doubt one of the best meals I have had this year, and I’m already dying to go back and try more.

I spent so much time planning this weekend and the thing I fell into was one of my favorite and most memorable stops. If you’re a francophile stop by the Caribou Cafe. You will be stunned. Also, they have a free beer deal on FourSquare, so stop by and enjoy a free Kronenburg!