Archive for the ‘Drink’ Category

Andrea’s 30th Birthday of Karaoke Awesome

Japas House Rules

I had no idea where I wanted to spend my 30th birthday—this accomplishment required an impressive night of partying, right? I went through many suggestions before a friend of mine mentioned a place I’d never heard of before: Yakitori Boy at 11th and Race in Chinatown.

I decided to spend the extra money and reserve a 20-person private room for my party, which was great because some people who’d normally never get up in front of a crowd of people and belt out “Eye of the Tiger” did so that night. The system (as illustrated in a photo on my flickr) is somewhat disorienting to search through, and all songs in English are listed under “Foreign”. All songs are under Men, Women, or Bands, listed alphabetically… except when they are not. For the life of me, I could not find Hall & Oates, and believe me, I tried.

We discovered that standing, jumping, or dancing on the couches was allowed, so long as we removed our shoes first. (It astounds me that this has happened enough that a rule was made about it!)

Besides that, YB is amazingly awesome. The servers were quick and polite, even when we made a mess with my birthday cake. Drinks and food were all wonderfully tasty, but I must admit, I spent most of my evening with a Pom Lychee in one hand and the mic in the other. Most everything was offered in small plates (hence the upstairs lounge name Japas) so we all got to sample a few different things. Sweet potato tempura! Oh my, that was good.

I had a bit of a mix up with my credit card near the end of the night when we went to settle the bill, but our server was graciously patient with me as we figured it out. I just hope my tip was enough, because I can’t imagine how frustrating my party must have been. Oh, not that we were obnoxious or nasty, there were just so many of us! I’m used to having small gatherings for my birthday, but because it was my 30th, about 25 people showed up.

On the way out of the place, so many people told me how much fun the evening was, and most of us plan to go back sometime. Perhaps a Metblog Happy Hour?

IgnitePhilly – Wednesday at Johnny Brenda’s

I’m going to this fun, free IgnitePhilly thing at Johnny Brenda’s on Wednesday. It seems kinda cool and interesting, and, well, I’ll be avoiding the gym in favor of a cold one at the bar. Ignite is holding these events around the world.

The pitch: If you had five minutes on stage what would you say? What if you only got 20 slides and they rotated automatically after 15 seconds? Around the world geeks have been putting together Ignite nights to show their answers. Ignite is a series of speakers talking about inspiring projects for 5 minutes. The presentations can be serious, funny, or somewhere in between. We just hope that it would help ignite something in someone.

Check the site for more details. Speakers start at 7!

25 (well, almost) Things to Do This Weekend!

This MUST be one of the top weekends for planning outdoor events in Philadelphia. I mean, there are tons of things I want to attend, and I hope I can get to half of them.

Friday is National Bike to Work Day. Dust it off! Nutter gives out free coffee and bagels: 7:30 – 9:30 a.m., while supplies last.

Saturday, I’m getting up early, because of the day’s lineup. First off, there’s a flea market at Gloria Dei Church (Old Swede’s, at Columbus & Christian), from 8-3. Behind the brick walls lies one of the area’s oldest churches and cemeteries. You can get a tour of the church, hear the Mummer’s Choir at noon, indulge in some chili, hot dogs, and, of course, soft pretzels. “The Best Fleas at the Oldest Church”

Another Flea Market: 10th & South, 9-5.

Next up – The Italian Market Festival. You should know where this is: south 9th Street. (Saturday & Sunday, 10-5). I went last year, and was surprised at the diverse performances of dancers, singers, etc. There are all types of arts & crafts, foods, and wares in general being sold on the street. Tasty!

I wish I could be 3 places at once. (more…)


Cheerio! I’m gonna be gone for about 9 days, but on the night I make my return to Philly, Thursday, April 17, I’m hoping to attend a nice event at Nexus, a gallery in the Crane Building (1400 N. American Street, Suite 102). Philadelphia Brewing Company will hold a beer tasting event. I’ve had 3 of their new beers, and believe you me, they are delicious and refreshing! Walt Wit (I’ve heard it has chamomile, and I certainly felt calm while I was drinking it). Rowhouse Red, a “ruddy French farmhouse ale.” Best of all – Kenzinger, a “golden session ale.”

Well, yes, I’ve tried 3 of PBA’s 4 beers, but I guess I’ve gotta go just to try the Newbold IPA. They’ve got a $10 donation fee, as well, but it’ll be worth it!

Philly Beer Week, March 7-16

In case you haven’t heard, the very first Philly Beer Week will be starting this Friday, March 7. Actually more than a week, this is a 10-day celebration of Philly Beers. Activities: dinners, beer-tasting events, festivals, tours, meet-and-greets! It even extends to the suburbs!

They (the organizers) are calling Philly “America’s Best Beer-Drinking City.” Does that mean we drink with the most skill (and is that something to be proud of)? Does it mean we have the best beers? Does it mean we have the best environment for drinking beer? I will have to do some research to find out. Join me!

Also, here’s a fun thing the citypaper is doing.

Please drink in moderation. I don’t want you making a spectacle of yourself in the street. Photos of you drunk are not very flattering, either.

South Philly Tap Room

I spent a big part of the day tagging along with a friend, her boyfriend and her realtor as they looked as houses in South Philly. After three hours of power walking up and down streets south of Washington Ave. and going through more rowhouses than I can count, we needed food and headed to the South Philadelphia Tap Room.

I realize that the Tap Room has been open for at least a couple of years, but this was my first visit down there. Hopefully it won’t be the last though, because the beer list is amazing (this was the first time in my life I’ve come across a bar with organic beer on tap) and the food. Oh, the food. I had a Wild Boar Burrito that was filled to bursting with tender, spicy meat and topped with smoky sauce that had more than a little kick. It came with a mixed green salad that had a cooling ranch-style dressing drizzled on top. The plantain nachos (I nabbed a bite from the house hunter’s plate) were a tasty reinterpretation of a stand plate of nachos and the towering burger was filled with beef that had to be ground in-house. I’m already trying to find a time for my next visit.

Maxim’s Best Dive Bars in America

Bob & Barbara’s Lounge at 1509 South Street was named one of America’s best dive bars.

Wanna feel some brotherly love? Drop by this worn South Street spot that welcomes all types, from day-time downers curling 40s to a night-time crowd of cool kids slumming it.

Bob & Barbara’s Lounge join 7 other bars across the country as one of the best. So when you are looking for a place to hang tonight, why not give Bob & Barbara’s a shot?

This week from Center City Sips


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.


The regular bathrooms at 30th Street Station are closed, as I discovered on a recent very-full-of-pee visit. The sign directed me to the restrooms “behind McDonald’s.” Behind, or in front of depending on where you start. I eventually found them, and boy are they HOT. Disgusting, humid, urine-reeking meltingly hot. I’d just walked about 25 blocks or so without breaking a sweat. Three minutes in that bathroom and I quickly began to soak through the back of my shirt.

This called for liquid refreshment. I had a few minutes before my train, so I hit up the vending machines in the regional rail hallway. I generally avoid Aquafina as it has salt in it. Salt, in bottled water. Ridiculous. This time I had no choice, though, so on a whim I punched the oversized button for the Aquafina FlavorSplash. Big mistake. It’s disgusting. Unless you adore the chemical taste of splenda, avoid this product at all costs.

Philly Drink of the Week

Nobody sent any suggestions to the drink of the week e-mail so I will choose again. If you have a favorite drink and you think others might like it, shoot me an email at and tell me what it is. Include the drinks name, what is in it and how to make it and it could be featured here every week.

This week’s drink of the week comes from our good friends over at Extratasty and it is the Vodka Sunrise.

2 parts vodka
4 parts orange juice
1.5 parts Grenadine
Orange Slice

Mix 2 oz. of vodka, 1.5 oz. of grenadine, 4 oz. of orange juice. Stir and serve on the rocks. Add a cherry for taste and garnish with an orange slice.

Hope you all enjoy and check back next week to see what will be Philly’s Drink of the Week.

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