Category Archives: Bars

Philadelphia: Manayunk Brewing Company

Manayunk Brewing Company
4120 Main St.
Philadelphia, PA 19127
(215) 482-8220
www.manayunkbrewery.com

 

Manayunk Beers

Another city, another brewery. That’s how I choose to live my life.

While in Philadelphia, I made my friend, Vanessa, embrace this lifestyle with me. (Well, at least for the evening.)

 

We took a little trip into the “hip” area of Philly called Manayunk. There they have a huge brewery/restaurant appropriately named Manayunk Brewing Company.

 

The building is multi-level with a dining area, sushi bar, private event room and multiple bars throughout the establishment. On the Saturday night we went, the place was filled with patrons in the mood to eat and drink.

We opted for the outside bar, which was a little more secluded and quiet. It had a riverfront view, although it was hard to see amidst the falling snow.

 

I perused their brew menu for a tasty new beer to try. This was a difficult task, as I’m not a big fan of decision-making.

Fortunately, the solution to my indecision was listed on the top of the menu – a beer flight featuring the nine brews Manayunk was currently offering.

Manayunk Beer Flight

 

This visit’s beer sampling included:

Light Bohemian Blonde – Light Blonde Ale made with German hops (3.4% ABV)

The Pilgrimage – Belgian-Style Coffee Stout made with cold-brewed coffee beans (6.5% ABV)

American Sardine Ale – Belgian-Style Blonde with notes of lemon zest and black pepper (4.5% ABV)

Brett Monk – Belgian-Style Trippel aged in wine barrels with Brettanomyces and made with pilsner malt and noble hops (9.0% ABV)

Simcoalition – Hazy Northeast IPA made with Simcoe, Citra and Mosaic hops (7.1% ABV)

Dr. Drei – Brett IPA made with the Drei strain of yeast, has notes of mango and pineapple (5.8% ABV)

Cuvée De Yunk – Belgian Style Sour made with apricots, has a hint of vanilla flavor (5.0% ABV)

Crunch – Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter with chocolate and coffee notes (6.0% ABV)

Brotherly Love – Pomegranate-Cranberry Cider (5.2% ABV)

 

My favorites were the Light Bohemian Blonde Ale and Cuvée De Yunk. (I’m a sucker for sours.) The beers paired well with Manayunk’s complementary house-made seasoned popcorn. So good.

 

As if the beer flight wasn’t enough, I also tried one of their canned brews – SRP #3. It was a Dry-Hopped Sour Ale (7.4% ABV).

Manayunk Sour AleIt was so delicious, I wanted to export some back to Florida. But then I realized it wasn’t allowed in my carry-on home.

 

Maybe next time.

– JK

 

 

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West Palm Beach: Avocado Grill

Avocado Grill
125 Datura Street
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
(561) 623-0822
www.avocadogrillwpb.com
(Other location in Palm Beach Gardens)

 

Avocado Grill

West Palm Beach is my home turf. I’ve been here most of my life. With that said, I’d like to think I’ve got the lowdown on the best food here.

Avocado Grill in Downtown West Palm Beach is some of the best food. It’s brunch time perfection. (But really anytime perfection.)

 

My first date with Avocado Grill was in August 2016. I went to celebrate my friend Marc’s birthday. The food was superb and so were the drinks. It was love at first bite…and sip.

 

My sister and I were impressed as soon as we got our first taste from Avocado Grill’s menu. We shared the stuffed Zucchini Blossoms.

Zucchini Blossoms

If you’ve never tried a stuffed Zucchini Blossom, I suggest you get adventurous. (We used to eat Squash Blossoms as a kid, so we already had the intel.) They are exquisite and I get them every time I go here.

These bad boys are stuffed with goat cheese, walnuts and mint. They are served with an out-of-this-world tomato jam, it’s the perfect compliment to the blossoms. If you retain anything from this post, it should be that Crispy Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms are a must!

 

Another must is their AG Benedict. Sure anyone can make Eggs Benedict but this one is far superior to most. It tastes fresh and doesn’t skimp on flavor.

The AG Benedict has smoked salmon, sautéed spinach, avocado, and truffle Hollandaise sauce. The truffle Hollandaise is everything. Get a little of it on the breakfast potatoes that come this dish – it’s scrumptious. Sip on a glass of Rosé with this and it’s the best kind of Sunday morning.

AG BenedictRose

 

Speaking of drinks, if you like tequila, the Avocado Margarita is highly recommended by my sister, Kerri, and her girlfriend, Anna. (I tried a sip of Kerri’s and I can vouch for its awesomeness.)

It may sound atypical but the Avocado Margarita is a genius libation – a little tang, a little tequila, a little Avocado. So yummy.

Avocado Margaritas

 

I know it may be difficult with all the amazing bites and drinks at Avocado Grill but I urge you to save room for dessert.

Last time I brunched there, I managed to save a little room for dessert and it was fantastic.

Avocado Grill Desserts

If you like Nutella (who doesn’t!?) go for the Nutella Avocado Mousse. The decadent mousse is served topped with caramelized hazelnuts and espresso whipped cream. Honestly, I could just eat that whipped cream and live my happiest life.

The Dulce De Leche Lava Cake is a fun spin on the traditional lava cake. It’s packed with caramel flavor and plated atop a tangy raspberry sauce. You can’t go wrong with either dessert.

 

If your crew is looking for the perfect spot for brunch (or dinner), Avocado Grill is where it’s at. It’s South Florida al fresco dining at its finest.

Whether you sit inside or outside, your dining experience will be bright, airy and full of top-notch cuisine and drinks.

– JK

 

 

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Chicago: Goose Island Beer Company

Goose Island Beer Company
1800 W. Fulton Street
Chicago, IL 60612
(800) 466-7363
www.gooseisland.com
(Multiple Brewpub Locations)

 

Goose Island

I’ve been to many breweries but Goose Island Beer Company now takes the reigns as my favorite.

Goose Island Beer Company makes some delicious brews. I’ve always been a fan of the 312 Urban Wheat Ale and the Goose IPA. They’re the best beers to drink while watching a ballgame at Marlins Park!

 

The deliciousness I’ve always known grew exponentially when I visited the brewery.

Goose Island Taproom

BeersThe Le Gardein, Juicy Double and Old Man Grumpy danced gleefully atop my taste buds in the tasting room. Check out what they’re all about below:

 

Old Man Grumpy – Dry Hopped American Pale Ale, light bodied pale ale with a tropical flavor, made with Huell Melon and Mosaic hops (5.8% ABV)

Juicy Double – West Coast Double IPA, fermented with with orange juice (8.3% ABV)

Le Gardein – Bière de Garde, French style farmhouse ale brewed with pears (5.9% ABV)

 

My sister, Kerri, her girlfriend, Anna, and I drank these fantastic libations in Goose Island’s Fulton Street Brewery & Taproom. It’s a hip urban watering hole.

The décor is very fascinating. There are maps and cityscapes featuring iconic areas in Chicago. I’m a sucker for cool bar art and Goose Island certainly delivers. Their duck logo on everything is so cute too.

The handcrafted wood art and dim lighting make you feel like you’re drinking in really cool Midwest-cabin. If I lived in Chicago, I’d probably happy hour there all the time.

Goose Island Decor

 

As hitting up breweries is kind of our thing, we had to reserve a spot for Goose Island’s brewery tour. It’s $12 and well worth it.

You get a cool souvenir pint glass, a pair of nerdy-cool goggles to wear on the tour, tasty samples along the way and a lesson in the beer-making process exclusive to Goose Island.

Beer Tour

 

If you’ve been on a beer tour before, you know the drill; you go learn about the ingredients, the production process, how they bottle their product and you try samples of the brewery’s staple and limited edition beers.

Sure, Goose Island did all of this but in my opinion, their tour went above and beyond.

Our tour guide, Nick, was so knowledgeable in all things Goose Island. He gave us background stories on some of the beers, went as far as to explain about the farm where the hops come from, showed us the barrel-aged vault and described the lengths people go through to get their hands on the special releases. (Think Black Friday-esque lines at the liquor store.)

Beer Vault

It’s always nice to go on a brew tour where the guides are passionate and, pardon my French, know their shit.

 

In case you were wondering, on the tour we sampled:

Sofie – Barrel Aged Saison, a Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale aged in wine barrels with orange peels (6.5% ABV) *Also great for Beer-mosas!

Green Line Pale Ale – American Pale Ale, has a bright hop aroma and citrus flavor, notes of biscuit and toasted malt (5.4% ABV)

Matilda – Belgian Style Pale Ale, fermented with wild yeast Brettanomyces giving it a spicy flavor, with fruit and clove aromatics (7.0% ABV)

 

After my experience at Goose Island, it’s going to take a lot of impressing to change my mind about my favorite American brewery.

Goose Island Sign

 

So if you know of something that tops beers like the Juicy Double and Matilda, city-themed woodwork decor, a sweet duck logo and bubbly staff – I’m all ears.

– JK

 

 

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Washington, D.C.: Founding Farmers

Founding Farmers
1924 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20006
(202) 822-8783
www.wearefoundingfarmers.com
(Multiple Locations)

 

Founding Farmers

If you have never been to Washington D.C., you’re missing out because it is one of the coolest cities. There’s so much history, iconic monuments, great restaurants, clean public transit and the Smithsonian museums.

Last February, my mom and I went on a little getaway to D.C. As always, I did some thorough investigating for our trip itinerary. In my search, I came across a cute restaurant called Founding Farmers.

We waited until the last day of our trip to check it out because we were a little directionally challenged. We underestimated how close to Founding Farmers we actually were. It was located on Pennsylvania Avenue, about a 10 minute walk from where we were staying.

 

We went there on a Monday during lunchtime and the place was popping. My Mom and I ended up snagging seats at the bar.

The bar itself was pretty cool, fully stocked with unique spirits and the bartenders were ready to make craft cocktails. There was hip vibe all around.

 

Speaking of drinks, I enjoyed a refreshing Farmers Fizz. It was an exquisite mix of Beefeaters Gin, St. Germain, Orange Bitters and Sparkling Cava. It made for a nice afternoon buzz.

Farmers Fizz

 

For lunch, I had one of the house favorites – Fried Chicken and Waffles served with Green Beans and Mac & Cheese. Pretty much all my favorite things. I must say, Founding Farmers’ Southern cuisine was on point.

Fried Chicken
I’d like to think that we saved the best for last, ending our D.C. trip at Founding Farmers. It was truly the perfect send off!

– JK

 

 

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