Q&A: Jose Garces

Freshly minted as the Next Iron Chef, Jose Garces talks tattoos, garden parties and the most expensive mango he’s ever eaten. “I have to admit that it just plain feels great!”


Food Network

After recently participating in Philly Beer Week events and following it up with copious amounts of goose liver terrine during Philly’s Foie Gras Week, I’m looking forward to lightening up by running around to the events and specials on this spring’s food calendar.


Ale Call

With over 50 breweries and 400 events, there’s no excuse to be bored during Philly Beer Week. There are plenty of “meet the brewer” events and an abundance of opportunities to tear into tenderloin with your favorite brewmaster. But if your taste is a little funkier, here are some of the wackier events that you should be planning ahead for.

Philly Beer Week Opening Tap
Fri., March 6, 7-9:30pm. $40-$50. Comcast Center Winter Garden, 1701 John F. Kennedy Blvd. www.phillybeerweek.org/openingtap.cfm

The super-sized week officially kicks off with the first tap event. Standard Tap’s William Reed has commissioned metalman Warren Holzman to craft the mallet that will ceremoniously tap the first keg of Philly Beer Week at the Comcast Center Winter Garden. That first keg will be filled with Yards ESA and Mayor Nutter has been invited to partake.

Johnny Brenda’s Stout Breakfast
Sat., March 7, 11am.  Pay as you go. Johnny Brenda’s. 1201 Frankford Ave. 215.739.9684. www.johnnybrendas.com

By the time you’ve survived the first day of Philly Beer Week, you’ll be in need of some sustenance. Johnny Brenda’s hosts a stout brunch with some rarities they’ve been stashing. Wash your Irish breakfast down with some Weyerbacher Heresy.

New Holland’s Burlesque Show
Sat., March 7, 11pm. Pay as you go. P.O.P.E. 1501 E. Passyunk Ave. 215.755.5125. www.myspace.com/pubonpassyunkeast

The P.O.P.E. gets the props for “most artistic” in the proverbial yearbook of Philly Beer week for hosting a burlesque show with New Holland Brewing Company. Rumor has it an original song titled “Bad Girls Love Good Beer” has been written for the occasion. One-offs from New Holland will be pouring, like their Night Tripper Imperial Stout.

Bell’s Eccentric Jazz Brunch
Sun., March 8, 10:30am. Pay as you go. Sidecar Bar and Grille, 2201 Christian St. 215.732.3429. www.thesidecarbar.com

Sidecar has one of the best brunches in the city but I try not to talk about it too often to make sure I still have a seat. On Sunday, a seat will be reserved for Larry Bell , the man behind that delicious Two-Hearted ale that was over the city last year. He’ll do chorizo with the “Sidecar Allstars.” You’ll have to venture to 22nd and Christian streets to find out what that entails.

Run and Drink
Mon., March 9, 3pm. Bishop’s Collar, 2349 Fairmount Ave. 215.765.1616. thebishopscollar.ypguides.net

On Monday, the Bishop’s Collar encourages you to put down the beer for a 5K run. You’re running mates will be Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head, Adam Avery of Avery Brewing and Brian O’Reilly of Sly Fox. Space is limited to 100 runners, so sign up now!

Exteme Homebrewing Event II
Mon., March 9, 7pm. $50. Jose Pistola’s, 263 S. 15th St. 215.545.4101. www.josepistolas.com

That evening, all confident homebrewers should be at Jose Pistola’s to go hophead to hophead against professional brewers for the Second Annual Extreme Homebrew Competition.

Don’t Meet the Brewers: Stewart’s & Nodding Head
Tues., March 10, 6pm. Nodding Head Brewery, 1516 Sansom St. 215.569.9525. www.noddinghead.com

Nodding Head invites you to “Don’t Meet the Brewer.” In-house brewer Gordon Grubb and Ric Hoffman of Stewarts (Bear, Del.) will be at the brewpub hoping no one comes to meet them. But smart people who like good beer will.

Left Hand Lumberjack Night
Thurs., March 12, 8pm. Pay as you go. South Philadelphia Tap Room, 1509 Mifflin St. 215.271.7787. www.southphiladelphiataproom.com

Wear your favorite lumberjack attire in hopes of winning for “most burly lumberjack.” Specialty Left Hand brews will be just $3.

Throwdown in Franklintown: Kehoe vs. Kirk
Sat., March 14, 2:30pm. Pay as you go. Kite and Key Tavern, 1836 Callowhill St. 215.568.1818. www.thekiteandkey.com

Perhaps, the zaniest event of Philly Beer Week comes on Saturday with the “Throwdown in Franklintown.” Kite and Key co-owner Jim Kirk will sumo wrestle Yards’ Tom Kehoe. Love Stout will be on the hand pump. Kehoe’s confident of a pin. “I’m not saying my opponent is out classed but, they have weight classes in wrestling for a reason.”

That Totally Unnecessary Drink
Sun., March 15, 7:05pm. Free. Fergie’s Pub, 1214 Sansom St. 215.928.8118. www.fergies.com

Put the fermentable fork in you with your last pint at That Totally Unnecessary Drink at Fergie’s. Assorted local brewers will guest bartend and a few will pick up the mike for karaoke, because that’s what you do when Philly’s made you drink your weight in beer.

Editor’s Note: Philadelphia Weekly is a sponsor of Philly Beer Week 2009.


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