beer: sierra nevada hoptimum

Sierra Nevada’s Hoptimum is a 10.4% ABV, full cone IPA. Hoptimum was released earlier this year and I grabbed a bottle from the local store since they only had a case of it. I thought it was alright. It’s one of the hoppier beers I’ve had in a while.

Unrelated to the taste…the label was pretty cool. It’s literally a portrait of a hop head.

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Last night was the March Foodspotting eat-up! Tommy Up, owner of PYT was awesome enough to set up a special menu for the eat-up featuring mini versions of the burgers he serves. This gave us a chance to try a couple of different ones.

Since I’m vegetarian for Lent, I luckily sat with two others eating vegetarian friendly burgers so we got to share the three veg burgers offered! We had the Calibunga burger – white bean, basil, garlic, tomato & breadcrumb patty and topped with avocado, lettuce, tomato, and caramelized onion; Portabella goat cheese burger – portabella topped with red peppers, caramelized onions, goat cheese, and a balsamic reduction; black bean burger – topped avocado & lettuce.

mini portabella burgers

It was quite an awesome time. There may have been some pickleback shots taken as well as some “adult milkshakes”…

cereal killer shake – vanilla ice cream, frosted flakes, vodka

Some thoughts at the end of the night…Is that black bean burger gunna stay on the menu? That was effing good. Also, when did PYT start serving tots? Did I just never notice that?!

Thanks to Tommy Up and Dan for setting this up!

Stay tuned for April’s Foodspotting eat-up!

The Piazza at Schmidt’s
1050 N. Hancock Street
Philadelphia, PA 19123

Some other photos taken last night:

mini calibunga burgers

special menu

mini black bean burgers


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brewer’s plate 2011

Last Sunday was the 7th annual Brewer’s Plate. Brewer’s Plate is Fair Food‘s annual fundraiser featuring independently owned restaurants, craft breweries, and farms all located within 150 miles of Philadelphia. Proceeds went towards Fair Food, a non-profit supporting local food and sustainable agriculture in the Philadelphia region.

assortment of pâtés from the abbaye

This year’s Brewer’s Plate was held at the Penn Museum in University City. There were two main areas where everyone set up as well as a “speakeasy” lounge in the bottom floor. For VIPs, there was access to two tents set up in the garden outside which featured additional offerings.

speakeasy area

It was extremely difficult to resist trying some of the food, but I had to since I went vegetarian for Lent. So there were a couple things that I could only eat with my eyes. J.G. Domestic had a foie gras mousse topped with an orange gelee. The South Philadelphia Tap Room had steak tartare.

bindi’s meatball over chickpea curry

Some places served meatless dishes or even had a meatless version of what they were serving. Royal Tavern served up a roast pork sandwich which I tried with just the broccoli rabe and aioli(?). That sandwich tasted great just like that; I can only imagine with the pork in it! Bindi served a meatball in a chickpea curry. I really enjoyed that sans meatball.

I unfortunately missed Barbuzzo/Lolita/Bindi Chef Marcie Turney’s and Fork Chef Terence Feury’s demos in the tent. Got caught up elsewhere and didn’t know what time that stuff was going on!

victory hop wallop infused truffles from éclat chocolate

There were some delicious sweets at Brewer’s Plate too! Éclat Chocolate from West Chester had truffles infused with Victory‘s Hop Wallop beer. John & Kira’s had several chocolates out, including their ladybug ganache ones.

the bent spoon’s ice creams

The Bent Spoon, an artisanal ice creamery from Princeton, NJ, was showcasing three flavors: Dark Philosophy – 61% fair trade chocolate, and Brewery Ommegang’s Three Philosophers; Golden Honey Monkey – local NJ honey and Victory’s Golden Monkey; Peachy Nugget Nectar Sorbet – local NJ peaches and Tröegs Nugget Nectar. All three flavors were delicious.

boxcar brewing company

Beer was everywhere. There were several breweries in attendance from local Philly ones, Philadelphia Brewing Company and Yards to Dogfish Head – Milton, DE, Flying Fish – Cherry Hill, NJ, Sly Fox – Phoenixville, PA, Boxcar – West Chester, PA, and Fegley’s Brew Works – Allentown/Bethlehem, PA just to name a couple!

This event was a total blast and I definitely recommend attending next year. It’s a great way to enjoy local food and drink while supporting the local scene.

Here are more photos I took:

vip tents

dogfish head

j.g. domestic

foie gras mousse from j.g. domestic

flying fish head brewer casey hughes with the newest exit beer, exit 9

khyber pass pub

khyber pass pub’s bacon grease popcorn

royal tavern

royal tavern’s pork sandwiches

happy attendees


victory brewing company

chef scott schroeder of south philadelphia tap room

steak tartare from south philadelphia tap room

more happy attendees!

chef jeremy nolen of brauhaus schmitz

root cocktails

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trendy sweets

Formerly in Haddon Heights, NJ, this cupcakery recently moved and set up shop at the Moorestown Mall. I’ve had their cupcakes every once in a while now and the red velvet has been my favorite of theirs.

This past weekend though, I tried a turtle cupcake. I’m not crazy about chocolate cakes or cupcakes but holy crap was this good. They’ve got your typical turtle ingredients/flavors of chocolate, pecans, and caramel but there was something there that really elevated the flavor. That was salt. The caramel is salted! Ever since I had the budino at Barbuzzo I’ve been in love with the flavor of salted caramel.

I never thought I’d like another cupcake variety over red velvet. Looks like I’m getting turtle cupcakes when I come here now.

Trendy Sweets
Moorestown Mall
(located close to the Piercing Pagoda stall near the center)
400 Route 38
Moorestown, NJ 08057

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beer: flying fish exit 9 – hoppy scarlet ale

Flying Fish has just released their seventh beer from their Exit Series, Exit 9: Hoppy Scarlet Ale. Exit 9 holds a special place in my heart. It’s located in East Brunswick, close to my stomping grounds. More importantly, in regards to the beer, Exit 9 is close to Rutgers University, which is the main inspiration for the beer. The Rutgers mascot is the Scarlet Knight, so a scarlet ale is fitting. I’m a fan of Exit 9, it’s hoppy like an IPA and has a nice citrus sweetness.

If you’re in the Philly/South Jersey area come stop by The Pour House in Westmont tonight to celebrate the release. Head brewer Casey Hughes should be around too.

For you central Jersey folks, you can celebrate the release tomorrow at the George Street Ale House in New Brunswick.

You can find more info on Flying Fish’s Exit Series here.

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