Fork and Barrel, East Falls, Philadelphia, PA
Another great evening at Fork and Barrel in Philly's East Falls. There is no other place like it!!!! Rare draft and gravity European craft beer(not an oxymoron) downstairs. Entirely candle lit. No TVs just great music, mostly Blue Note and other quality jazz and lots of conversation Feels like you have gone back in time and across a pond.
Upstairs is an "American Cask Saloon". Two gravity pour firkins on the bar at 50°, great bottle selection and they do 'flights' of beer from their bottle collection. Even a small salon type space screened off with comfy chairs. Food upstairs is currently just hot dogs done 1000 diff ways. They had a beer from Florida dry hopped with lemon leaves :)
Has anyone else been?? They have two other places, one in Emmaus, Tap and Table, and one in Bethlehem, the Bookstore....
Located on Ridge Avenue, just north of Midvale, across from the fire house.: 4213 Ridge Ave
dinner Tues- Sun at 4. Serve food till 11, drinks until 2am
Here is an interesting beer dinner that they are having Tuesday this coming week.
We are definitely going to be there:
Haandbryggeriet [Hand Brewery]
The 'Hand' Brewery -- basically four guys brewing in their spare time, on an absurdly small scale -- is among the new crop of brewers beginning to appear in Norway. Haand is by far the smallest of the new brewers, but this means that they can take chances in the brewhouse - a 200-year-old small wooden building with a curious past. Originally built as horse stables, the brewer’s grandfather then used it as his car workshop, after which it was transformed into a small hosiery factory, and finally into the Haand micro brewery. These former homebrewers are making some very unusual beers here, and are also responsible for resurrecting an ancient Norwegian tradition of brewing a smoked beer spiced with juniper berries.
If you haven't sampled any of their beers, you are doing your palette injustice. This is one of our favorite breweries in the world.
1ST gravlox, potato crisp, dill soured creme, pickled red onion
2ND hay smoked sweet breads, celery root purée, apple jus
3RD slow roasted pork belly, seared prawns, cauliflower stomp, smoked beer glacé
4TH spiced duck breast, melted leek, roasted beet croquet, pickled cherry
5TH sticky dark chocolate cake, poached fig preserve
5-course meal (Scandinavian-inspired fare)
6-beers (primarily draft and 1 or 2 bottle - 10oz pours)
Just made it over last night finally to Fork and Barrel. They are doing great things here. I am especially pumped (pun intended) they have cask ales which we do not see enough of in Philly. Also, they are getting in some of the new off the wall beers from Italy which you cannot find easily in this areas as well.
Food - I just had their pate sandwich. Very good though a bit heavy on the mustard for my taste. Hope these guys succeed. Such potential here.
re: Bob Loblaw
yes.. and to be frank I believe that certain styles do better when they are at a warmer temperature and a lower carbonation level. But you are right to each his or her own.
I find the balance of the malt and the hops to be better. Yards ESA, Uncle Teddys from Victory and Yards Brawler are all great beers on a beer engine. I dont like IPAs on a beer engine or even some stouts. Just personal perference.
I used to love Yard ESA when it was on down draught at Brigids. Not sure what they are selling there now.
That aside, the variety of beers that Fork and Barrel has is just phenomenal. The italian beers are wild. That chocolate and carob beer was great. I really wish more places in Philly carried Italian micros. I know Osteria has a few, but places like Zavino have the opportunity to be featuring rare beers that beer geeks will go wild for and pair it with food. Hopefully someone will pick up that mantle.
The food is good, too. I had an appetizer of grilled endive with ham and melted cheese that was delicious; not heavy or greasy, great ham, juicy endive. I had a short rib and homemade noodles entree there that was delicious.
Sun Ra ordered the poisson and waffles and that was excellent. I ate half of his dish.
The beer was really good and very different, even in this town with so much really good and interesting beer to be had.
I really love the candle lit atmosphere downstairs with classic jazz playing.