Center City Sips

I know I know, pretty much anyone living in Philly already knows about this, but just in case your apartment is in a hole, make sure you get out and try Center City Sips.

Sips is a summer-long event at multiple restaurants which feature various cocktails, wine, and beer and 1/2 price appetizers on Wednesdays from 5-7pm.  Like restaurant week, this would be a cost-efficient and non-intimidating way to try out a new place, and maybe rediscover an old favorite.

I would personally suggest checking out Square Peg; you all know we’ve been there a couple of times already, and they are the new kids on the block so show them some love!  Their ruben quesadilla sounds pretty great, too.

Here is a full list of the participating restaurants
Follow @CCDSips for updates.

Now get out and get your drank on!

Flights and Bites at Square Peg (Philly Beer Week)

Our mini foray into Philly Beer Week this year was a tasting event at our new foodie crush, Square Peg.  We tested them out on brunch a while back, and it was delicious, so when they decided to team up with Dogfish Head to do a tasting menu for $25, we were all over it.

Dinner Course

Three beers, three bites, triple tasty! First, the menu paired Dogfish Head’s Namaste with Fluke Ceviche.  The ceviche wasn’t as acidic as they are many times as it was cut with orange juice and basil for a light summery taste.  Namaste was a perfect choice for this–a witbeer brewed with orange and lemongrass that could easily become a session beer for me.  This whole combo was super delicious, and I even went for the “Tiger’s Milk” and drank the ceviche juice because it was so irresistibly fresh.

Next, one of our favorites, Midas Touch, was paired with roasted beets.  Midas Touch is one of the Ancient Ales from Dogfish head, and is brewed with ingredients that archeologists found in 2700 year old vessels from the Tomb of King Midas!  It’s rich, dark, and somewhat sweet, which paired perfectly with earthy beets (both in color and flavor).

The last part of dinner was Carne Asada, paired with Raison d’Etre, which isn’t one of my favorite beers, but it went really well with the steak.  The Steak was the BOMB, however.  I could eat spoonfulls of the accompanying paprika aioli all day.  Yum!

Dessert Course

It’s pretty rare, I would say, for the dessert course on a beer tasting menu to be the best part of the meal.  This accomplished that feat.  Dogfish Head’s Black and Blue was served with a super simple ice cream sundae, topped with pickled blueberries and Minus 8 vinegar.  The beer was one of the only fruit beers I have ever enjoyed, but it was far out-shined by this simplest of sundaes.  The blueberries in vinegar sauce perfectly coordinated with super sweet vanilla to produce a flavor that could be compared to a shrub cocktail, if a shrub were a milkshake.

In conclusion, pretty much everything was perfect.  We even got to schmooze with one of the reps from Dogfish head , who gave us a sweet trucker hat! (shhhh–Wendy said it was a secret!).  We also scored some Pint Glasses with the Dogfish Head logo out of the whole deal.  Pretty much every experience at Square Peg has been super enjoyable, and their Beer Week event only brings us closer to what is sure to be the pièce de résistance: DINNER!  Look back soon for that!  It’s sure to happen soon.

Philly Brunch Round Up

Sunday is the only day that Josh and I both have off.  This means that we go out to brunch after church pretty often.  This is often a way that we will try out a place before going there for dinner (because really, if you can’t do breakfast we probably don’t want your dinner).  Below are some Highlight meals and cocktails from different brunches around the city.

Kraftwork

Kraftwork, as I’m sure our regular readers (aka: Holly’s Mom) are aware, is one of our favorite spots in Philly.  We raved about them in our dinner review and their brunch is equally delicious. Highlights include Biscuits n’ Gravy (perfect comfort food with country sausage gravy and flaky biscuits), massive bloody marys (maries?), and daily house-made pastries.  As an added bonus, it’s even an acceptable place to take your parents/siblings/grandmother because there’s a large selection of well-made recognizable food (we tested this theory with Holly’s dad, brother, and brother’s friend, who all enjoyed their meals).  Kraftwork just can’t fail us.

Kraftwork Brunch Menu

Square Peg

Two Words: Breakfast. POUTINE! (more to come on that in a bit)

This center city spot is the new kid on the block.  Square Peg (thankfully) replaced one of the played-out locations of the Marathon Grill with a creative menu fitting of the large interesting space and trendy center city location.  We chose to test this place out for bunch based on the unique whiskey-centric cocktail menu, which delivers the best Bloody Mary concept ever presented: bacon infused SCOTCH replaces tasteless vodka to create a tangy, complex, and thoroughly enjoyable cocktail to accompany equally exciting brunch menu items. Like breakfast poutine.  Our waitress assured us that it would change our lives, and oh hell yes it does.  Poutine is a Canadian specialty composed of fries, gravy, and cheese curds. Add to this already delicious combo two fried eggs and replace the regular gravy with country sausage gravy and you’ve got Square peg’s answer to the game changer.  it’s huge, delicious, and absolutely perfect (especially with their bacon mary).

Square Peg Brunch Menu (they also get a shout-out for really attractive website design)

The Abbaye

The Abbaye is a neighborhood joint in Northern Liberties with friendly staff and a decent bar menu.  I like to give them my business because they used to let me church have events there, which is pretty cool for a bar that generally has no connection with religion.  Unfortunately, their dinner menu isn’t so exciting, so it’s hard to encourage Josh to try them out.  Luckily their brunch is pretty irresistible, namely the brunch cocktail menu and the variety of “hangover cures.”  I ordered the Texas Benedict, which garnered a high-five from our waiter, apparently because it’s a shiz-ton of food.  Fried chicken, bacon, eggs, and gravy atop fluffy biscuits is awesome – and completely impossible to finish in one sitting.  I also received my coffee in a shark-week mug.  Pretty unbeatable, I’d say.

The Abbaye Brunch Menu

Conclusion

This is only a small sampling of places we love.  Other honorable mentions (that may be featured later) include: Sidecar bar, Ida Mae’s Buncherie, and Rocket Cat.  We also have a few places that we have yet to hit up. Anyone up for another brunch roundup soon?  I know we are.