February 28, 2014
Heads up, fans of french fries.
Joining its University City and King of Prussia brothers, Shake Shack Center City now serves hand-cut french fries instead of crinkle cut.
With the hand-cut fry, Shake Shack departs from its classic crinkle cut to bring its patrons a fresh, made-in-house version of the fundamental side dish.
The crispy fries are cut in-house from Idaho russet potatoes, twice fried with the skin on, and served up fresh throughout the day. Though nostalgic, the crinkle cut version has to take a back seat to these fresh fries.
To celebrate the fresh fry launch in Center City, today, Friday, February 28, Shake Shack is handing out one free order of hand-cut fries with the purchase of Shake Shack’s signature brew, Brooklyn Brewery ShackMeister ale, $5.25.
The free fries will continue to be handed out until the ShackMeister keg is tapped, which could be today or sometime this weekend.
Lunch starts at 11 a.m., so we recommend heading over to the Center City location today to score a freebie.
Free Fries at Shake Shack Center City
When: Today, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. while beer supplies last
Where: Shake Shack Center City, 2000 Sansom Street
Cost: Free fries with purchase of Brooklyn Brewery ShackMeister Ale, $5.25
More info: www.shakeshack.com
February 28, 2014
Old Man Winter may not have departed from Philadelphia quite yet, but this weekend is the last chance to take a lap around Philadelphia’s only open-air public ice skating rink, the Blue Cross RiverRink at Penn’s Landing.
Penn’s Landing’s Blue Cross RiverRink celebrated 20 years on the Delaware River waterfront this winter with a veritable winter wonderland — not only ice skating, but also fire pits, hot food, warming libations and live entertainment.
The RiverRink closes for the season on Sunday, March 2, but not before offering the chance to take advantage of the final week of outdoor ice skating and good times at The Lodge, a 500-person warming tent and American-style beer garden with food from chef George Sabatino.
The Lodge will be open with grab-and-go snacks (drinks, hot dogs, cookies, chips), craft brews, hot food and — yup! — fire pits with s’mores on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (weather permitting).
Plus, to help close out the season on a high note, Visitphilly.com presents free admission presented by Visitphilly.com to the RiverRink during its last weekend through March 2.
Just enter the code “VISITPHILLY” at the online checkout anytime now through closing day to save the $3 admission fee on skate sessions from February 24 through March 2. Note that the $10 fee still apply for skate rentals, or bring your own skates.
See you on the ice!
Blue Cross RiverRink
When: Through Sunday, March 2
Where: Penn’s Landing, 101 S. Columbus Boulevard
Cost: Free admission with code VISITPHILLY; $10 skate rental
More info: www.delawareriverwaterfront.com
February 28, 2014
This free program, held on the first Monday of the month, gives attendees a glimpse into the artistic process.
During the event, selected performers share their experimental ideas, all in various stages of theatrical development.
On Monday, March 3 — weather permitting — the evening’s program will include seven-minute performances from local artists including Scott Shepherd, Jennifer Kidwell, New Paradise Laboratories and Megan Bridge.
After the show, attendees are invited to share their thoughts and opinions with the artists over free beer and snacks.
Admission to this exciting evening is free, but space is limited. Reserve your ticket online today.
FringeArts Scratch Night
When: Monday, March 3, 7 p.m.
Where: 140 N. Columbus Boulevard
More info: www.livearts-fringe.org
February 27, 2014
East Passyunk Avenue Restaurant Week continues to feed the masses thanks to discounted dinner deals at 24 participating restaurants. Whether you’re craving margaritas and Mexican fare or French wine and delicate plates, one of the eateries is sure to satisfy your cravings.
The Philadelphia Orchestra debuts a new kind of concert, TuneIN, a casual, early-evening performance ideal for working professionals and families. Folks are encouraged to dress comfortably and enjoy happy hour pricing at the lobby bars.
Brauhaus Schmitz kicks off its multi-day Karneval celebration with a traditional Altweiberfastnacht party, or ladies night. Gals, enjoy half-priced Kölsch beer and the opportunity to smooch any guy at the party you choose — after cutting his red tie which will be given out by Brauhaus.
Our top picks for tonight, below.
• East Passyunk Avenue Restaurant Week: We’re in the thick of East Passyunk Avenue Restaurant Week. Score major deals at some of the avenue’s most popular restaurants through Saturday, March 1. Dinners ring in at $15, $25 and $35 for a three-course meal, depending on the restaurant. Click here for our guide to the foodie frenzy.
When: Thursday, February 27
Where: Participating Restaurants
Cost: $15, $25 or $35; Plus tax, beverages and gratuity
• TuneIN Concert Presented by The Philadelphia Orchestra: Tonight, the Philadelphia Orchestra offers up the opportunity to catch beautiful music in relaxed come one, come all atmosphere via its TuneIN concert. The early-evening concert, which is slated for 6:30 p.m, promises guests an informal atmosphere to enjoy the music of the Orchestra — including happy hour pricing before and after the show at the lobby bars and a casual dress code. Tickets, $45, are all general admission and are available online or by calling 215-893-1999.
When: Thursday, February 27, 6:30 p.m.
Where: Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Broad and Spruce streets
• Altweiberfastnacht Party at Brauhaus Schmitz: Tonight, Brauhaus Schmitz kicks off its Karneval celebrations with a traditional Altweiberfastnacht Party, or ladies night. At the party, ladies are invited to kiss any man they choose — after cutting his red tie. Brauhaus will have plenty of red ties on-hand for interested guys. Gals, sip half-priced Kölsch beer, a specialty German brew, all night long.
When: Thursday, February 27
Where: Brauhaus Schmitz, 718 South Street
Cost: Pay as you go
• Glamsino Royale at the Hotel Palomar: Dress in your most glamorous attire for Glamsino Royale, an ActionAIDS fundraiser at the Hotel Palomar tonight from 7 to 9 p.m. For $50 per person, drink, dine and play at a stylish party themed around James Bond 007. Look forward to a variety of casino games, tunes from an on-site DJ, food, drinks and awesome prizes for the casino game winners. Bonus: Use the promotional code “Uwishunu” to save 20 percent, taking the $50 ticket down to $40. Click here to enter the promotional code and purchase your ticket. The discount will be applied before checkout.
When: Thursday, February 27, 7-9 p.m.
Where: Hotel Palomar, 117 S. 17th Street
Cost: $50, $40 with promo code “Uwishunu”
• Dinner, Beer & Braveheart at Old Eagle Tavern: Old Eagle Tavern in Manayunk dishes out dinner, beer and a movie tonight at 7 p.m. Catch Braveheart on the big screen while enjoying a three-course $20 prix-fixe menu or items à la carte. Tonight’s featured beer is Barren Hill Brewery’s Scotch Wallace which will be available for $4.50 a pop.
When: Thursday, February 27, 7 p.m.
Where: Old Eagle Tavern, 177 Markle Street
Cost: Pay as you go
• Bar Ferdinand’s Chef Collaboration Dinner Series Featuring Carla Gonçalves and David Gilberg of Koo Zee Doo: Tonight, the husband-wife team behind the late Koo Zee Doo, a Northern Liberties’ Portuguese cookery, teams up with the folks at Bar Ferdinand for an evening of super tasty fare. The duo will be reviving some of their most famous dishes — think braised chicken gizzards, octopus gravy and sardines — alongside Bar Ferdinand’s Spanish-inspired fare for a wondrous Iberian feast. Indulge in the seven-course meal which rings in at $45 a person after 6 p.m.
When: Thursday, February 27
Where: Bar Ferdinand, 1030 N. 2nd Street
Cost: $45 per person
• The Suit at The Prince Music Theater: The Prince Music Theater welcomes The Suit, a story about a cheating wife and the punishment her husband forces upon her when he finds out. Set in South Africa, the play focuses on love, revenge and redemption. Tickets start an affordable $35.
When: Thursday, February 27, 8 p.m.
Where: The Prince Music Theater, 1412 Chestnut Street
• A Taste for Good at Le Chéri: Tonight, the new socially minded venture SitiCare, which aims to help families by raising funds through dining out ventures, hosts its first event at Le Chéri inside of the Philadelphia Art Alliance. Tonight’s event will raise funds for the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House, a local haven for families with ill children who are being treated at local medical facilities. To participate, just purchase a dining gift certificate to Le Chéri for $50, $75 or $100 from SitiCare online, then make a reservation for tonight, and redeem the certificate this evening.
When: Thursday, February 27, 5-10 p.m.
Where: Le Chéri, 251 S. 18th Street
Cost: Pay as you go
• “Girls Night Out” in Chestnut Hill: Get shopping at the Girls Night Out shopping event in Chestnut Hill. From 6 to 9 p.m., visit participating shops for sales, raffles, food and drinks all while benefiting a good cause — Meals on Wheels. A certain amount of each shop’s sales will be donated to the organization.Plus, take advantage of free parking along Germantown Avenue after 6 p.m. The full list of participating businesses is available right here.
When: Thursday, February 27, 6-9 p.m.
Where: Participating shops
Cost: Pay as you go
February 27, 2014
The day before the 86th annual Academy Awards, Saturday, March 1, the PFS Theater at the Roxy presents screenings of the five films nominated for Best Documentary Feature in an all day back-to-back film event.
Beginning at 10 a.m., head to the Roxy for screenings of Cutie and the Boxer, Dirty Wars, The Square, 20 Feet from Stardom and The Act of Killing — five documentaries regarding varied subjects including the lives and struggle of backup singers and a story about Egyptian revolutionaries.
For short descriptions of each documentary, click here.
Catch the five screenings for $30 for a general admission pass and $25 for Philadelphia Film Society members.
Guests that purchase passes are welcome to come and go as they please or stay for all five films.
Individual movie tickets are $11 for for general admission and $13 for PFS members.
To watch the Academy Award results unfold on March 2, be sure to check out our guide to Academy Awards viewing parties at restaurants and bars in the area.
2014 Oscar Documentary Showcase at the PFS Theater at the Roxy
When: Saturday, March 1, 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
Where: PFS Theater at the Roxy, 2023 Sansom Street
Cost: $30 for general admission, $25 for PFS members
More info: www.filmadelphia.org
February 27, 2014
Whether you’re an avid museum-goer or a cultural novice, there’s no better time to visit one of Philly’s top arts attractions than this Sunday, March 2.
Throughout the day, the Foundation will offer an eclectic program of events themed around fiber arts, including:
• 1:15-2 p.m.: A discussion of The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers (as part of One Book, One Philadelphia)
• 2-3 p.m.: A performance from the String Theory Performance Art School
• 3:45-5 p.m.: A reinterpretation and discussion of The Yellow Birds from Philly theater group The Renegade Company
Advance reservations are not available for Free First Sundays, but participants can get their tickets beginning at 9 a.m. on March 2. Admission is available on a first come, first served basis, and each patron can receive a maximum of two adult and two children’s tickets.
Free First Sunday at the Barnes Foundation
When: Sunday, March 2, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Where: 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
More info: www.barnesfoundation.org
February 27, 2014
Known around the world as one of the most raucous party seasons of the year, Mardi Gras traditionally celebrates a bit of debauchery before the fasting days of Lent, the six weeks leading up to the Easter Sunday holiday.
The Carnival season, beginning on or after the Epiphany or Kings day and wrapping up on the day before Ash Wednesday, brings parades, jazz, parties, beads and rowdy celebrations.
Of course, New Orleans is the epicenter of Mardi Gras celebrations in the U.S., but that doesn’t mean Philadelphia doesn’t party down for Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday with the best of ’em!
So break out that stash of beads and tap into your inner reveler! Our picks for Mardi Gras celebrations, below.
• Brauhaus Schmitz Karneval: Every year, Germany celebrates Karneval — a German version of Mardi Gras — with parties and events and this year, Brauhaus Schmitz, Philadelphia’s own German beer hall and restaurant, is getting in on the action. Beginning this Thursday, February 27 and continuing through March 4, celebrate Karneval at Brauhaus Schmitz and its sister restaurant at Reading Terminal Market, Wursthaus Schmitz, with tons of drinks, German food and festivities.
• Rex 1516: Head to Southern-style South Street spot Rex 1516 to celebrate Mardi Gras on Fat Tuesday, March 4 with discounted classic New Orleans cocktails like the Sazerac and The Hurricane. Plus, the kitchen will cook up some savory chicken and Andouille gumbo and traditional house-made King’s Cakes, a traditional Mardi Gras treat, a braided yeast cake decorated with purple, green and gold icing (the traditional Mardi Gras colors), filled with cinnamon and nuts. Each cake contains a small plastic baby, bean or other trinket.
• Pub & Kitchen: Spend Fat Tuesday, March 4 at the ever-appealing Pub & Kitchen. The Rittenhouse Square-area “restaubar” excels at providing a laid-back yet sophisticated experience, and its Mardi Gras special falls right in line. For $45, sup on a three-course meal of New Orleans-style fare like lobster and shrimp etouffee, gumbo and beignets, which includes the requisite hurricane cocktail. Reservations are available, but not required.
• Headhouse Crab & Oyster House: Get down Big Easy style at Headhouse Crab & Oyster House this Carnival season with a special menu from Friday, February 28 through Tuesday, March 4. Dig in to chef Mike Stollenwerk’s shrimp gumbo or po’ boy sampler paired with mixologist Katie Loeb’s Hurricane cocktail. In addition to the menu, Philadelphia band The Nines are set to jam on Fat Tuesday from 8 p.m. to midnight.
• The Twisted Tail: For bourbon and blues on Fat Tuesday, March 4, report to The Twisted Tail on South Street. Look for Louisiana craft beer Abita to be served by the bucket alongside po’ boy sandwiches, crawfish etouffee and more. Dine to the sounds of Reverend Chris, who will be playing traditional Zydeco jazz piano from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. on Fat Tuesday.
• Catahoula: Cajun fare — crawfish bisque, barbecue shrimp, jambalaya and that mighty red gumbo — in a barroom atmosphere make this Queen Village spot feel like a neighborhood joint in N’awlins. So in Mardi Gras season, Catahoula celebrates in a big way with food and drink specials all week long, March 3 to 6 from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.
• Chris’ Jazz Cafe: Groove your way through Fat Tuesday at Chris’ Jazz Cafe on March 4. From 7 to 10 p.m., local New Orleans-style band Hoppin John Orchestra will belt out brass band tributes to Mardi Gras. Of course, there will be drink specials, too, with Hurricanes, Sazeracs and Abita beer, as well as steamed crawfish, crawdad cheesesteaks, jambalaya and King Cakes. Tickets, $12, are available for seatings at 7 and 9 p.m.
• Pennsylvania 6: A Midtown Village spot know for its deft touch with seafood, Pennsylvania 6 takes on a Southern accent on Tuesday, March 4 with special menu items like oysters Rockefeller and a muffaletta sandwich with duck fat fries, as well as classic cocktails like the Sazerac and Hurricane, and original cocktails named for New Orleans characters. Tunes from Josh Fialkoff and the Philadelphia Stride begin at 6 p.m. and will play through the night.
• City Tap House: In University City, City Tap House raises a pint to N’awlins with The Great Abita Donut Tasting. A handful of varieties from the Louisiana craft brewery will be paired with four kinds of doughnuts — from The Elvis (peanut butter with Neuski bacon and banana cream) to the Cake (a cayenne powdered sugar doughnut with and beer caramel). Plus, Johnny Goodtimes leads Fat Tuesday-themed quizzo at 10 p.m. and Uber will be on location with swag and prizes (read: a ride home).
• The Sidecar Bar & Grille and Kraftwork Bar: Both of Chef Brian Lofink’s kitchens get in on the Fat Tuesday action with special offerings at The Sidecar Bar & Grille in Graduate Hospital and Kraftwork Bar in Fishtown. At either restaurant on Tuesday, March 4, order up Southern-style fare like chicken gumbo, hushpuppies and a one-pound crawfish boil complete with Andouille sausage, potatoes and crispy boudin.
• World Cafe Live: This is the 30th annual Mardi Gras celebration for local band, The Wild Bohemians, at World Cafe Live on Tuesday, March 4. The band’s repertoire consists of any and all music from Louisiana, including Cajun, Zydeco, Dixieland, Mardi Gras Street Music, Jazz, R&B, and a specialty the Bohemians called Swamp Stomp. Sure to be a good time, tickets are $12 and available online at Wold Cafe Live. Doors open at 8 p.m.
• Beck’s Cajun Cafe: In honor of the festive holiday, Beck’s Cajun Café in Reading Terminal Market is serving delicious King Cakes. In case you haven’t gotten the memo, Beck’s is the spot for authentic N’Awlins cuisine, and Chef Bill Beck’s King Cakes are the real deal. You can order small individual cakes throughout this week; the more traditional ring cakes which serve 15-20 can be ordered on a day’s notice.
• Mummers Mardi Gras: In the spirit of the iconic Mummers Parade every New Year’s Day, The Piazza at Schmidt’s hosts a blowout bash, complete with tons of Mummers, to get folks in the celebrating spirit for Mardi Gras. On Saturday, March 1, head to the Piazza for Mummers Mardi Gras. Look forward to performances by the Mummers Fancy Brigades, string bands, magicians, jugglers, stilt walkers, DJs and much more.Tickets are $15 for general admission and $75 for VIP. VIP tickets include a heated tent, open bar, access to the area closest to the stage and photo opportunities with the Mummers. Tickets are available online.
• Cedar Point Bar & Kitchen: Raise a glass to Mardi Gras and say “Happy Birthday” to Cedar Point Bar & Kitchen as the Fishtown pub celebrates its first birthday and Mardi Gras on Saturday, March 1 with a Mardi Gras Block Party. Look forward to a menu of Southern-inspired eats including alligator on a stick, okra hush puppies, catfish po’ boys, mac and cheese, gumbo and beignets.
February 27, 2014
Sip for a good cause as The Trestle Inn hosts its second annual Bourbon Battle, a fundraiser for the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS).
On Wednesday, March 26, enjoy four bourbon cocktails made by four of the best bartenders in the city.
Sample beverages prepared by Michelle Curtis of Lemon Hill, George Reilly of The Twisted Tail and Katie Loeb of The Trestle Inn and last year’s reigning champion, Johnny Sherlock of The Industry.
Watch (and drink!) as each bartender creates an original cocktail using Woodford Reserve Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey, and then, drink one of each cocktail and vote for your favorite.
In addition to plenty of dark liquor, look forward to a raffle, complimentary light bites, an opportunity to adopt dogs and information regarding PAWS support efforts throughout the year.
Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door. Tickets are available online, and $15 of each ticket goes to PAWS and its efforts.
Snag tickets early for this great event for a great cause.
Bourbon Battle at The Trestle Inn
When: Wednesday, March 26, 6-9 p.m.
Where: The Trestle Inn, 339 N. 11th Street
Cost: $30 in advance, $35 at the door
More info: www.thetrestleinn.com
February 27, 2014
For 185 years, the PHS Philadelphia Flower Show has captivated visitors from around the globe with stunning displays celebrating the beauty of plants and the art of gardening.
An annual Philadelphia marquee event, the Flower Show draws thousands to Center City Philadelphia to take in spectacular horticultural exhibits and take advantage of all the floral action in our fair city, which is considerable.
This year, the show centers around the theme of ARTiculture, a beautiful union of art and horticulture drawing inspiration from works of art from art museums around the world and right here in Philadelphia, including the Barnes Foundation, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Los Angeles’ Getty Museum, and New York City’s Guggenheim Museum.
With the annual show comes a slew of related programs, parties, exhibitions and specials, and this year is no exception. We’ve compiled a guide of the can’t miss events, key show highlights and top deals.
Our guide to the 2014 PHS Philadelphia Flower Show, below.
For the 2014 Flower Show, PHS is collaborating with 18 of the world’s greatest art museums for an incredible experience at the Convention Center.
Using the Convention Center as a 10-acre canvas, exhibitors from across the globe are slated to display floral arrangements, landscape design and educational displays inspired by world-class museums and interpreting great works of art.
Look for the centerpiece entrance garden, conceptualized by Flower Show designer Sam Lemheney, to play off of the works of Alexander Calder, a contemporary American sculptor known for popularizing the mobile and a member of the family of artists whose historic works are found throughout Philadelphia.
The flowers, grasses and accessories of the entrance garden will not only be a draw, but the garden will also feature the vertical dance troupe BANDALOOP, who will perform above and within the multi-dimensional display.
Beyond the centerpiece, the always-dramatic showcase exhibitors are set to draw from major shows and collections, including the upcoming Philadelphia Museum of Art exhibit Treasures from Korea: Arts and Culture of the Joseon Dynasty, the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery’s display Dancing the Dream, and the Brandywine River Museum of Art’s renowned Wyeth family collection.
With each Flower Show exhibitor incorporating the art-filled theme, this year’s flower show ought to delight both horticulture and fine art lovers alike.
In addition to the fresh flowers, look forward to new attractions, including rarely-seen works by Andy Warhol and an interactive butterfly garden.
• The Butterfly Experience: In a brand-new Flower Show feature, visitors will be able to walk through an interactive and educational butterfly-filled exhibit. An array of 20 species and more than 1,000 butterflies will fill a heated simulated habitat room in the Convention Center’s Grand Concourse. Note that admission to The Butterfly Experience costs $3 per person, and hours differ from general show hours.
• A Q&A with Rachael Ray: On Friday, March 7 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., none other than cheerful Food Network television personality Rachael Ray will make an appearance for a live Q&A at the PHS Philadelphia Flower Show.
• Andy Warhol Flowers Series from the Bank of America Collection: In conjunction with the fine art theme, this year’s Flower Show debuts a collaboration with art museums and handful of special fine art exhibitions. In addition to work by Bucks County sculptor Steve Tobin and selections from the West Collection, guests will be able to take in rarely seen prints from the Andy Warhol Flowers series from the Bank of America Collection, one of the largest art collections in the world.
• The Green Room: For the first time, the Flower Show will be equipped with a social media station, dubbed The Green Room. Located right on the Flower Show floor in the center of the action, check out the real-time social media stream, interactive photo booth and more.
For Flower Show events, ticket information and more, see below. (more…)
February 26, 2014
We’re huge proponents of the whole concept of eating and drinking outdoors, and know alfresco options are a key element to Philadelphia’s food and drink scene during the spring, summer and fall.
So we were beyond thrilled to hear about a new beer garden planned for Independence Mall, one of the most popular areas of the city come summertime.
That’s right, folks. This summer, the 30,000 square-foot outdoor area of One South Independence Mall West will be home to a spot dubbed Independence Beer Garden, reports Philly.com.
Spearheaded by celebrated chef Michael Schulson — also of Sampan in Midtown Village, The Saint James at Suburban Square and Izakaya in Atlantic City — the new beer garden is slated to open, appropriately, on the Fourth of July and is sure to become an Old City destination, situated on the ground floor of the building just across the street from the Liberty Bell Center at Sixth and Market streets, which is currently home to Dow Chemical.
With layouts from Groundswell Design Group, the folks responsible for such awesome alfresco spots as the PHS Pop-Up Gardens and Waterfront Winterfest at the Blue Cross RiverRink, expect the space to be well-planned, lushly landscaped and very cool.
As for the eats, Top Chef alum chef Travis Masar will be handling the food, and outlines plans for American fare that will prepared and served outside.
The upcoming restaurant will add to the handful of alfresco eating and drinking options already on the mall, including the Independence Visitor Center’s seasonal outdoor cafe and the Red Owl Tavern at the Hotel Monaco’s sidewalk patio seating.
Stay tuned for more details on what’s sure to be an excellent new Old City destination.
Beer garden for Independence Mall [Philly.com]