Monday, November 10, 2008

Weekend in Philly

Saturday morning at the General Lafayette Inn was the 1st Annual Stoney Creek Homebrewers competition. I definitely have to tip my cap to the competition organizers. For a first time competition to start on time and end on time (if not early) is most impressive. The judges were definitely well looked after at this one.

I judged Porters and American Brown Ale in the first round and IPA's in the second. Turns out that the first place IPA from our flight went on to win Best Of Show. As for me, I was pleasantly surprised by how well my entries were received. A first place for my Munich Dunkel, second for Oktoberfest and Amber Ale, and third for my Dubbel. Honestly, I really thought the amber was the only one that had a chance going in. Boy, they really have some great taste in beer in those Philly suburbs...

After the competition, R and I went into center city for the night. Here are some of the stops that we hit with some brief details on each:

The Nodding Head: Definitely one of my favorite brewpubs around. Had some nice apps (the white bean and sage thing is awesome) and a few half pints so that we could sample most of what was on tap. Not the best beer experience we've had there (no Berliner Weiss and a couple of the beers tasted like they may have been a tad long in the tooth), but still a must for us when we're in Philly. Love that all of the beers were 5% ABV of less, including a Scottish 60/- and a Mild.

The Standard Tap: I've read all about this place being at the forefront of the "gastropub" movement (don't get me started on what an annoying term "gastropub" is), but had never actually been. We got some small plates - butternut squash soup, tuna tartare (that was out of this world), fried oysters (eh), and a stone crab claw (had no idea how thick the shell is on one of those things). We were kind of beer-ed out by late Saturday night, so we each had a Yards Pale Ale and called it quits. I was floored that they had Climax Nut Brown on tap. Don't see that every day and I have to give huge props to a place that does.

Beau Monde: Another Philly "must". Best crepes around. R had spinach and swiss, I had gumbo and andouille. And as usual, it was awesome. This might be our favorite brunch place in the whole entire universe.

Pat's: Best cheesesteak ever. I choose Pat's over Geno's now, rather than doing the taste test (i.e. eating two cheesesteaks back to back, one from each), mostly for political reasons. I only ingest cheese wiz inside the Philadelphia border. Couldn't live with myself otherwise.

Tria: Whoa. Talk about love at first sight. Or is it bite? Or sip? Right before leaving we hit this spot for their Sunday School thing. Great beer list, great wine list, insane cheese. Turns out they get it all from Murray's, which is good to know. I can stop there at some point this week to get some of that queso gallego that knocked our socks off. If this place was in Manhattan, I'd be there twice a week (and it would also be twice as expensive, but that's neither here nor there).

It should also be noted that we went to the Rodin museum. Lest you get the impression that we go away somewhere and just eat and drink ourselves into a stupor. We're cultured people.

And... we got out of town just in time to fight the traffic and get home to see the Giants defeat the Eagles - in Philly. I come to your town, I eat your cheesesteak, and then I laugh at your team in defeat! Ha!

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