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Category Archives: Local

Welcome to the Neigh-BEER-hood, 2nd Story Brewing Company!

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(2nd Story Brewing Company (from left):  General Manager Ken Merriman,
Owner Debbie Grady, Executive Chef Rebecca Krebs and Head Brewer John Wible)

Today Eater posted a story about Brooklyn Brewery brewmaster Garrett Oliver’s response to ramen messiah David Chang’s recent GQ story detailing Chang’s preference for shitty beer (Bud Light?!? Come on, dude!). And despite my love for Miller High Life (sorry but it’s true!) I thought I’d give our city’s growing and beautiful craft beer scene a shout out.

On Tuesday, October 21Brewer John Wible will debut a new collection of classically inspired and approachable ales and lagers at 2nd Story Brewing Co. (117 Chestnut Street), a craft brewery and restaurant serving farm-to-table pub cuisine in a casually rustic environment.  Owner Debbie Grady, along with General Manager Ken Merriman and Executive Chef Rebecca Krebs, will work closely with local producers and purveyors to bring in regional, seasonal ingredients.  Together, the 2nd Story team will operate a new craft-centric brewpub where residents and visitors alike can relax, grab a delicious bite and sip a fresh-hopped beer in the city’s historic Old City neighborhood.

The 2nd Story team is comprised of an eclectic mix of personalities with varying backgrounds, all sharing a tremendous enthusiasm for great craft beer and locally-sourced food:  Grady, a working farmer who grew up in Pasadena, California and owns Tilted Barn Farm in Pottstown, PA, will lead the project;  Merriman, a skilled manager and restaurateur who owns District Riverton Bistro in Riverton, NJ – and previously served as general manager and partner at Center City’s enduring Irish bar Tir na Nog — will oversee the overall operations of the restaurant and brewery, while adding his worldly insight having grown up in Dublin, Ireland;  Krebs, former Executive Chef at Salt Air in Rehoboth Beach, DE, will bring 10 years of culinary experience, specifically focusing on local ingredients and seasonal flavors;  and Wible, a former IT professional turned award-winning home brewer, will turn 2nd Story into his personal beer laboratory, exploring both classic and contemporary styles with a strong focus on simple, fresh beers that are interesting yet easy to drink.

Sitting in the space once occupied by Triumph Brewing Company, the restaurant and brewery has been re-imagined by the 2nd Story team, peeling back the building’s original, historic roots with beautiful exposed brick walls, wood floors and steel beams.  The space will feature two floors of seating, each with a bar area and five different dining areas with ample room for more than 200 guests.  The brewpub will offer a tempting menu of ingredient-driven American fare, a full bar with cocktails, wine and bottled beers as well as the selection of fine beers produced on site.  Both the kitchen and the brewery will use only the freshest ingredients, sourcing custom-grown hops from Grady’s Tilted Barn Farm.

The heartbeat of 2nd Story will pulse loudly on the second floor, where guests can rest comfortably at the copper-topped bar while watching Wible brew a fresh batch of lager from the brewery’s 15-bbl brewing system.  His extensive draft list will feature four distinctive house beers and five rotating taps, with one cask engine, and seasonal favorites such as Great Harvest Pumpkin Ale andColonial Porter on draught, as well as a thoughtful cocktail menu and dedicated list of favorite domestic bottles and even ciders for the non-craft beer lovers.  In addition, there will be an upstairs fireplace and beer garden, accented with salvaged oak and nostalgic photos of iconic Philadelphia breweries.

“Our region is so rich in history and resources, and we can’t wait to put them to use at 2nd Story,” says Grady.  Adds Wible, “This will be the kind of place guests can visit again and again, for a quick pint and engaging conversation among friends.”

For more information, please visit their website at 2nd Story Brewing, follow the brewery on Twitter (@2ndStoryBrewing) and Brewer John Wible (@BrewerWible), Instagram (2ndstorybrewing) and “like” them on Facebook.

Cheers, 2nd Story! Welcome to the neigh-BEER-hood!

 

 

 

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Gourd Yourself – It’s Squash Season!

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It’s pumpkin spice latte freak-out season and we at COOK have a bit of the ol’ seasonal squash bug too. In fact, this time of year gets us so squashy that we scheduled a class this month dedicated entirely to winter squash and there are still a few seats left.

This month’s edition of “Meatless Monday” with Beth Kaufman of A Mindful Me will take place on October 20 and features a 4-course vegetarian feast featuring winter squash in all its glory.  Don’t let the name fool you – winter squash are sneaking their way into grocery stores and farmers markets now as part of the fall harvest. Butternut, Spaghetti, Kabocha, Sweet Dumpling, Buttercup and the very popular Sweet Pumpkin are in season and many will be highlighted on the menu. During class, Beth will share the health-supportive elements of winter squash and how to prepare them so you’re left feeling full and satisfied.

To get you more in the winter squash zone, Bon Appetit just published a piece about cooking squash titled “5 Common Squash Mistakes, and How to Avoid Them”.  May the gourds be with you!

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Philly’s Puentes de Salud Featured In The New York Times

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The team at COOK was incredibly excited to see this excellent feature about Philadelphia’s Puentes de Salud in the January 20 edition of The New York TimesSupported by the Philly chef community, Dr. Steve Larson‘s non-profit organization provides high-quality medical care to our city’s undocumented and uninsured Latino immigrants, many of whom work within the restaurant industry.

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Where To Buy Your Thanksgiving Bird

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With Thanksgiving right around the corner, we at COOK thought we’d share with you the best places around town for buying that big ol’ bird. You can get a turkey at just about any supermarket these days but we have some suggestions if you’re looking for a better bird this year. Below are a few of our top turkey purveyors – but you better place your orders early so you don’t miss out!

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Cheese-101 at Home

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Missed Saturday’s Cheese-101 class at COOK? Well, here are the “deets” on how you can recreate the 10-cheese tasting in your own home.

This past Saturday, Di Bruno Bros.’ Emilio Mignucci was joined by cheese blogger and now author, Tenaya Darlington (AKA Madame Fromage), for an exceptional tutorial in cheese tasting and pairing. Emilio and Tenaya, who wrote the new Di Bruno’s textbook on cheese, “Di Bruno Bros. House of Cheese: A Guide to Wedges, Recipes, and Pairings“, have been out promoting the amazing cheese tome and doing special tastings across the region.

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Ball On The Square

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If you had a chance to walk around Rittenhouse Square at any time last week, you probably noticed a giant white tent in the middle of it. Your first thought was probably “Wow! I wonder what that tent is for.” And your second thought was probably, “Wait! Why cant I walk through the park!?!?” Well, the answer to both these questions is the annual Ball On The Square.

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Bonkers for Bongo

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Have you ever tried to brew your own beer at home? Well, I’ve dabbled in home brewing a few times in the past, and what I’ve definitely learned from the experience is that it is not an easy craft to perfect! It takes more then a few attempts before you are able to control the beer that comes out in the end. And in my case it ended with beer or what ever smelled like beer, all over my ceiling…

Recently at COOK, I meet Dan Berlin, a local home brewer who literally brews out of his home kitchen. Dan’s “Bongo Zeptobrewery” beers were showcased in a few beer pairing dinners with Carmen Cappello of the Moshulu.

Dan has been making beer in his home kitchen for more than four years. He makes everything, from Kolsch to Stout, and brews by a seasonal rotation. Although you still can’t buy his beer at the local stores, they are definitely something worth waiting for or you might be lucky enough to score a seat at his next COOK class.

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COOK MASTERS PROGRAM: Butchery with Chef Andrew Wood of Russet

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This little piggy went to COOK… and so did a bunch of his chicken friends.

Yesterday, Andrew Wood, Chef-Owner of Center City’s Russet, brought his butchery A-game to COOK for a Masters Program tutorial in butchery.

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Farm Fresh with Anne Coll of Meritage

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Last night COOK had the pleasure of hosting Meritage chef Anne Coll for a truly delicious dinner celebrating local produce. For her “Farm Fresh” class, she brought along a bunch of just-harvested veggies to create a simple yet original meal that showcased the best quality area produce. Anne lives just outside Lancaster on a farm — she has a pet pig named Jenny! — and all of us were able to take advantage of her green thumb, as she even brought in some stuff she grew herself!

Check after the jump for photos and recipes from this amazing evening!

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Warning: Smoking Is Addictive

This year I was given the mission and responsibility of providing Thanksgiving dinner with its main attraction – the turkey. It was a great honor indeed that my friends believed in my cooking skills enough to trust me with such a task. But then I realized that I’ve cooked many birds in my life of many shapes and sizes, but I have never handled anything like a turkey before, and I have no idea how to cook something of its proportion in my oven…? What to do, what to do? How do I make sure I don’t screw it up? What happens if it comes out dry or, God forbid, undercooked? Thanksgiving will be ruined!

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