brewer’s plate 2014

Two Sundays ago, Fair Food celebrated it’s 10th annual Brewer’s Plate! For its 10th anniversary, the event was held at the Kimmel Center, a change from its previous venue of the National Constitution Center for the past two years.

Cherry Grove Farm from Lawrenceville, NJ

Cherry Grove Farm from Lawrenceville, NJ

In typical Brewer’s Plate fashion, local restaurants/farms were paired up with local breweries throughout. The VIP section this year included a sausage contest, being judged by some Philly famous celebrities, such as Marc Summers (Nickelodeon’s Double Dare), Sheena Parveen (NBC 10 Weather), and Brent Celek (Philadelphia Eagles).

Some of the tastiest dishes served included the English banger terrine with curried egg by Chef Sam Jacobson of Southwark, whom was being paired with Nodding Head Brewery. Nodding Head also served this interesting beer named, Lava. Named for it’s strong lavender and vanilla flavors.

El Camino Real made a “drunken” maple bacon shake infused with Weyerbacher Old Heathen. That was delicious. I wanted them to fill my taster glass with it!

Ari Miller from 1732 Meats had his black peppercorn bacon in a BLT at the DiBruno Bros. table paired with a beer & cheese soup.

Samuel Adams offered some great beers, including Rebel IPA poured through a Citra & Amarillo filled Randall and their tasty Flemish red, Stony Brook Red.

It was exciting to see some new local breweries such as Evil Genius Beer Company and Conshohocken Brewing Company, who will be opening a space soon!

The Guerilla Ultima Food Truck served unforgettable lechon (roasted Berkshire pig) with sauces made from Evil Genius & Conshohocken Brewing’s beers.

Brewers Plate was and is always a blast. The change in venue, I thought, was a much better fit for the volume of people at the event. If you’ve been always thinking about going, pull the trigger next year!

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2013 philadelphia vendy awards

This year’s Philly Vendy Awards was held at Penn Treaty Park in Fishtown. Compared to the previous two years, West Philly and The Piazza, I think this was the perfect venue. The weather was perfect and Penn Treaty Park offered lots of space to lay on the grass, a more spread out truck setup, and beautiful views of the Delaware River and Ben Franklin Bridge.

Defending Vendy Cup champion Blake Feldman of The Smoke Truck.

Defending Vendy Cup champion Blake Feldman of The Smoke Truck.

Trucks this year were competing for four different awards: The Vendy Cup, People’s Choice, Best Dessert, and Tide sponsored Messy Yet Tasty. The judging panel consisted of Chef Andrew Gerson (Brooklyn Brewery), Emilio Mignucci (DiBruno Bros.), Chef Paul Kimport (Johnny Brenda’s/Standard Tap), and Lauren Purcell (Every Day with Rachael Ray) and the emcee was Beth Beverly (Diamond Tooth Taxidermy). There were a bunch of repeat Vendy attendees from years past, though there were a good amount of newcomers as well. Poi Dog, Christis’s Falafel Truck, KAMI, and The Cow and the Curd were just some of the newcomers.

All the trucks served great food though Poi Dog and Sugar Philly offered some of my favorites. They were serving three items: Pork Belly Adobo Taco, Spam Musubi, and Tofu Poke. I am finding myself craving spam musubi on a daily basis now. Sugar Philly offered special macarons which were inspired by cocktails found at 4 Philly establishments: Moriarty’s, Distrito, Zahav, and Lemon Hill.

The winner of Tide’s Messy Yet Tasty Award went to The Cow and the Curd. For the second year in a row, Lil’ Pop Shop won Best Dessert. The Cow and the Curd also ran home with the People’s Choice award! Last but not least, the King of Falafel took home the Vendy Cup.

I think this year’s Philly Vendy Awards have been the best yet! Can’t wait till next year.

Check out a few other photos from the event:





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burger brawl 2013

Burger Brawl has been going on for the past two years and it killed me to realize that it was on the same day as the Broad Street Run in both 2011 and 2012. My decision to not run this year has allowed me to make it out to the third annual Burger Brawl!

If you’re not aware, Burger Brawl is an annual charity competition where several chefs in the city compete for the Judges’ and People’s Choice awards. It’s held at the Fleisher Art Memorial and proceeds go to Philly area public schools. In 2011, Jen Carroll of 10 Arts and Michael McNally of London Grill took home the gold. Last year, David Wiederholt of The Capital Grille and Bobby Flay of Bobby’s Burger Palace won.

It was a beautiful day for this year’s burger brawl. The sun was out and the weather was perfect. Tables and grills lined the perimeter of the Fleisher Art Memorial’s parking lot and the smell of grilled beef filled the air.

There were a lot of signature restaurant burgers, such as The Industry’s Industry Burger, London Grill’s London Burger, and Alla Spina’s Burgamo. In addition, some restaurants served other creations. South Philly Tap Room served the Ham-Hamburger, a burger topped with a ham salad, and Chef George Sabatino gave us a taste of what he’s serving over at Morgan’s Pier, sous-vide burgers finished on the grill topped with homemade American cheese (which will actually be finished in the deep fryer at Morgan’s Pier).

The Judges’ Choice went to Fat Jack’s BBQ, who made their Ultimate Memphis Mauler Burger which was made up of angus chuck brisket & ribeye, topped with homemade BBQ sauce, cheddar jack cheese, brisket, pulled pork, sauteed onions, slaw, and a dill pickle.

The People’s Choice went to Lucky’s Last Chance, who served up their PB & Bacon Burger. That, as simply stated by the name, was made up of peanut butter, bacon, and homemade jelly.

Burger Brawl was a lot of fun. Aside from the fact that I ate myself into an almost painful burger coma, this event was the perfect celebration of one of my favorite foods. So many delicious burgers were made and there were also a lot of familiar faces hanging out, whether to cook or eat. Can’t wait until next year!

For a full list of the brawl’s burgers, check out Michael Klein’s roundup on

Here are a few other shots from the event:






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brewer’s plate 2013

A few Sundays ago was Fair Food‘s 9th annual Brewer’s Plate! Brewer’s Plate was held for the second time at the National Constitution Center. This celebration of all things local was a great time. Several restaurants and farms were paired up with breweries to offer food and drink pairings. Here are some photos from the event (Tria’s Dunbarton Bleu Cheese and Consider Bardwell Rupert cheeses shown above):

Table for Fair Food Farmstand, located in Reading Terminal Market.

Table for Fair Food Farmstand, located in Reading Terminal Market.

VIPs were able to experience a guided tasting with Talula's Table's Aimee Olexy.

VIPs were able to experience a guided tasting with Talula’s Table’s Aimee Olexy.

Southwark's Pork Pate was paired w/ Nodding Head's BPA (not pictured).

Southwark’s Pork Pate was paired w/ Nodding Head’s BPA (not pictured).

The crew from Alla Spina, Steve Wildy & Chef Mike DeGanis, having some fun.

The crew from Alla Spina, Steve Wildy & Chef Mike DeGanis, having some fun.

Local brewers Forest & Main had some brews for tasting.

Local brewers Forest & Main had some brews for tasting.

Marcos Espinoza (Side Project Jerky) and Hahri Shin.

Marcos Espinoza (Side Project Jerky) and Hahri Shin.

London Grill's Duck Confit Banh Mi which was paired w/ Desaito Hard Cider

London Grill’s Duck Confit Banh Mi which was paired w/ Desaito Hard Cider

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burgerpalooza 2012

It all started one day on Twitter. I saw Josh from Spot Burgers tweet Charlie from Chewy’s using the hashtag #burgerpalooza. I immediately responded. I needed to know what it was and when it was! Unfortunately, Josh couldn’t tell me much about it yet. In due time though, everything was revealed and it sounded incredible.

It truly was incredible. Enter Burgerpalooza 2012. $30 admission. Four local food trucks serving all you can eat burgers. Two drink tickets for beers at Yards Brewery (where it was held). Fries & cupcakes from two other local food trucks.

First off, I have to clarify. This was not a contest. It was a burger celebration! The four food trucks which served up burgers was Street Food Philly, Spot Burgers, MOO, and Chewy’s.

There were 12 different burgers at the event, but you couldn’t just walk up and get whatever you wanted. Each truck had three rounds and weren’t allowed to serve the following round until ALL the burgers of the previous round were consumed. Unfortunately, I rolled up to Burgerpalooza a little late and was just past the halfway point of Round 2 for most of the trucks. Fortunately, there was still a whole lot of burgers to be eaten!

Here are some of the burgers I got to try:

Patagonia from Spot Burgers – topped w/ avocado, tomato-chimichurri salsa, house made ranch

Sweet Tooth from Chewy’s – topped w/ bacon and cheddar and served on a toasted Krispy Kreme doughnut

Moo Burger from MOO – topped w/ American cheese, lettuce, onion, pickle, and Moo Goo

Yards Burger from Street Food Philly – topped w/ Yards root beer cured bacon, Cooper American cheese, garlic herb aioli, and tomato

Check out the rest of the burger offerings on the burger ballot. Excuse the condition of the ballot, I found it in my jacket pocket!

I had a really great time. Pretty sure I was burger drunk in a food coma. I’m really hoping they do this again!

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