Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Gritty McDuff's Brew Pub

187 Lower Main Street
Freeport, ME 04032
(207) 865-4321
Website

Freeport Maine is known for their reasonably priced active outdoor-wear, and Gritty McDuff's (probably). This place is pretty well known in Maine, and so I generally make it a point to visit when I am in the Pine Tree State for some beers and decent bar food. Check out the bowl of Iggy Azalea below. Just kidding, it is actually lobster bisque, not clam chowder.


It was certainly creamy. And had lobster chunks. I would have loved some sherry swirled in, or some heat to it, but overall it was solid comfort food.


One of the more interesting things I tried was the barley battered fried chicken sandwich. The chicken was great, a nice hearty crunch, and the portion was huge. I would have liked the Swiss to be melted, however.



Honey mustard, bacon, lettuce, tomato. Good bar food.


A pair of lobster rolls (it IS Maine after all) were again pretty tasty, though obviously nothing gourmet about them. For about $14, it was a nice deal, and made for a tasty bar bite.


The lobster was fresh and well cooked, nothing rubbery here.


A bit of bib lettuce made this basically a salad.



I would certainly order all of the above again, but would love if they stepped it up JUST A BIT. Either way, when you have bought all of the plaid shirts and rubber boots you can carry, this place is the next stop for a pint and bite.


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Whip Tavern

1383 N Chatham Road
Coatesville, PA 19320
(610) 383-0600
Website

Looking for a weekend getaway from the city without spending three hours in the car and another three hundred dollars for dinner? The Whip has you covered. I can't believe it took this long to get here, but I sure am glad I made it. The drive to The Whip Tavern takes you close to Longwood Gardens, and then cuts into stunning horse country, where it is as though time moves more slowly. Winding roads spotted with grazing equines and green rolling hills, its the Delaware Valley we all too often forget about (likely to locals delight). One of the only places around for dining is also the best, with a beautiful old structure producing English style fare.


The first appetizer was a special, and is one of my all time favorites. Pig wings. Braised, fried pork shanks. These had a sticky, sweet, and spicy glazed that punctuated the fall off the bone tenderness of the swine underneath.



Another one of my favorites, the Scotch Egg, a hardboiled egg wrapped in sausage, breaded, and fried. I can find no fault with this. The creamy egg, crunchy exterior, and salty pork are a match made in heaven.


Look at the color on that yolk.


What is British cuisine, without some bangers and mash? Two roasted pork banger sausages served with garlic whipped potatoes and onion sage gravy, simple perfection. The snap on the casing was outstanding, and the savory gravy sopped up with mash was both comforting and ethereal, I am salivating thinking about it.



The finely ground sausage wrapped in snappy casing was all I need in this world.


Not to be outdone, an order of the fish and chips featured Atlantic cod hand dipped house-made batter, fried golden brown and crispy and served with thick cut fries.


A side of coleslaw made me feel like I was eating a "salad" with it, so it basically was calorie neutral.


The fish was flaky, delicate and addictive, especially with some tarter sauce and malt vinegar fries. A tremendous rendition.


The winner of the entrees, however, had to be the weekly special, Chef Anne's Luxury pie. New England lobster, Gulf shrimp and bay scallops in a lobster-infused shellfish sauce with lemongrass and ginger, under garlic whipped potatoes. Are you kidding me? It was a flavor explosion, punctuated by rich shellfish and creamy mashed that were JUST slightly blistered from a trip to the broiler. If you are there on the week they serve this delicacy, you would be remiss to abstain.


Last but certainly not least, sticky toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream, paired with a Wells Sticky Toffee Pudding Ale.


Everything was just right, and the atmosphere made you want to stay and drink English style ales and stoudts all night while watching some footy. I am a new fanatic, and am already planning my next trip.



Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Stockyard Sandwich Co.

1541 Spring Garden Street
Philadelphia, PA 19130
(215) 977-9273
Website

Stockyard has been on my list for a while, ever since my friend over at Better Home Chef told me about it. I finally got a chance to partake, and I was not disappointed. Don't mind the Long River photo bomb back there.


The first two sandwiches were the whole pig banh mi, and the white fish po' boy.


The po' boy had cornmeal crusted whitefish, cabbage, carrot, onion, and remoulade on a baguette. This was a delicious riff on the original NOLA po' boys with a nod to the venerable Philly fish cake.


The cornmeal crusted fish was fried perfectly, and the batter made for a nice textural contrast.



As much as I liked the po' boy, the suckling pig banh mi was even better. The pork was rich and sweet, with carrot, cabbage, cucumber, cilantro, onion, jalapeno and XO mayo served on another delicious baguette. 


Look at the juice, and the sprigs of cilantro to freshen it up. Cabbage brought the crunch.



At this point, I was feeling over stuffed, but I persevered. There was still a braised beef to try. A farm-to-table cheesesteak of sorts. Tender beef, house-made Whiz, onion, mushroom, and yet again, all packed nicely into the same crusty baguette. The beef was tender, flavor packed, and well rendered. 


The cheese made for a perfect suspension to keep all of the ingredients firmly in place.


This place reminded me of a farm style Paesano's. It is in an area that is underserved for a truly great sandwich, and I think it fits the bill quite nicely.


Thursday, April 6, 2017

Philly Farm & Food Fest

Saturday, April 8, 11-4 at the PA Convention Center
BUY TICKETS!


Still got nothing to do this weekend? The weather will be nice on Saturday, but not really thaaat warm, so why not spend some of your afternoon inside? I know where I'll be, eating and drinking my way through the Philly Farm & Food Fest (PF3). You should definitely check it out too. I found that awesome graphic from the 2014 PF3 but thought it was too great to pass up.

Check out the list of exhibitors!
Maybe we'll get to meet this little dude:


Anyway, this is a great opportunity to authentically connect with and learn from the standout farmers, exceptional makers​, and righteous food and farming organizations of the Mid Atlantic’s food and drink community. I won't bore you with the details, but you can read all about the fest's mission and history HERE. I can't wait to get down on some local food and bev. and meet the people who make it all possible. Hope to see you there.

I CAN GET YOU DISCOUNTED TICKETSSSSSSSSSS!!!
EMAIL ME phillyphoodie.com(at)gmail.com for the code!

DRIVING? CLICK HERE for discounted parking.

Monday, April 3, 2017

World of Beer

Main Street at Exton
102 Main St #100
Exton, PA 19341
(610) 991-2863
Website

World of Beer is a smallish chain that has been in Exton since 2016. They offer 50 beers on tap with all kinds of variety, including many limited releases. The venue itself is large with plenty of seating, and a large wrap around bar. The outdoor area has fires going with cornhole, jumbo Jenga and inviting couches for extended lounging.

Photo by Pete Bannan / DailyLocal.com
Most importantly, they have tater tots. Specifically, tater tots topped with homemade beer cheese, jalapeños, crispy bacon, scallions & sour cream. The tots were perfectly fried, and the beer cheese was incredibly addictive.


It was an unusually refreshing pile of fried potatoes.


The wings were next up. I got a mix of Garlic Parmesan and Korean Spicy, which is basically a thick and slightly sweet gochujang sauce. The garlic parm were rendered out and left a crispy skin. The sauce itself was nicely flavored without being a garlic bomb. My personal favorites (as usual) were the gochujang version. Sticky, sweet, and packing heat, the scallion greens were a nice contrast and added some cooling crunch.


Are those garlic or parm flecks? Who knows. Just eat them.



The Chimay burger ($5 on Monday nights) comes with a fresh Angus beef burger piled high with Chimay Classique cheese, sautéed mushrooms, & caramelized onions. Served on a brioche bun with house-made Chimay sauce.


Although my medium rare was over cooked, the flavor the was still there. The sauce was rich and the brioche held everything together.


The apple and kale coleslaw was a nice variation on the fries, tater tots, wings, and burger I had already consumed. Crunchy, fresh, and just enough dressing.


I was not finished yet, however. The crispy chicken sliders came with beer-brined chicken breast, fried crisp, southern style with dill pickles & local IPA sauce served on two toasted brioche buns. Yet another winner. These were perfect if you didn't want to overdo it on food (but still wanted to overdo the beer).


The IPA sauce helped keep this from being dry, and the pickle cut the fried breading and bread itself with some acidity.


The street tacos were also pretty good (there was definitely no beer-fueled favoritism going on at this point). Below is the beef barbacoa, beer battered shrimp, and beer brined fried chicken from the left. They are offered with either the house made ranch (fried chicken) or the Sriracha lime aioli (the rest). All did the trick, and it was a fair deal at $11. Plus they were not stingy with the queso fresco.


As if there were not enough food at this outing, the Guinness-infused Bratwurst with sauerkraut, sautéed onions & peppers and  house mustard in a toasted hoagie roll was the grand finale. This, like the burgers, is $5 on Monday nights. The sausage was hearty, juicy, and had a nice snap to the casing. Nothing to complain about.


Basically, this place is great if you are looking for an alternative to Victory in Downingtown, who has consistently fallen off with their food execution. Plus you can drink most of the special Victory brews here for cheaper. What's not to like?