This week from Center City Sips

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I finally managed to get myself out for Center City Sips last night (I don’t know how I’ve missed it so far this summer) and not only that, I went to not one, but two different bars. I met a couple of friends at Susanna Foo’s first, and while the bar was crowded, the hostess magically conjured a table in the corner for the three of us. I had both of their Sips cocktails, first the Firecracker (a spiced up caipirinha) and then a Mango Mandarin Martini. Both were good and left me slightly tipsy (which was the point). One of my friends ordered a glass of wine and it was a VERY generous pour and a bargain at $3 a glass. We also tried out their $1 appetizers (chicken satay, pork dumplings and shrimp spring roll) and all lived up to Susanna Foo’s reputation, despite the bargain price.

After an hour there, we headed out. We tried to go to Tavern 17, but they were at capacity and did not let us in. With fifteen minutes left in the happy hour special, we kept walking and found a spot at the bar at La Castagne with a few minutes to spare. We ordered one each of the appetizer specials (grilled flat bread pizza and a plate with three types of bruschetta). Both were tasty and nicely sized, although the service that accompanied them wasn’t great. There was one very harassed-looking woman working the bar who looked like she couldn’t wait until 7 pm when the special was over. She seemed annoyed that we showed up so late in the game, demanding that we pay as soon as we placed our order. In the drinks department, they had a mohito, which was nicely minty, as well as caipirinha special, this one with coconut milk. It sounded wonderful in concept, but I think the flavor balance in the one they served us was off, because it just wasn’t so good.

All in all, a successful night out at Center City Sips. The picture above is the line out the door of people trying to get into Alma de Cuba for their Sips specials. I don’t know about you, but it just doesn’t seem worth it to me.

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