Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Philadelphia, The Greatest City Never Sold: Bucket List May 23-30

Monday, May 23: Cuba Libre, 50% off the new menu and $5 "Caipy Hour" (in case you haven't been reading Philly Hub religiously or following Lindsay_L_Lewis on twitter, Monday was obviously the day to be Cuban).
Tuesday, May 24: The extremely luxe, posh, and everything else trendy Arrow Swim Club is hosting a Grand Opening VIP Event (how many grand openings can they have?) from 6 to 8 p.m. It may be the only way that you'll see the inside, unless you're willing to pony up a hot grand to be one of the cool kids. On that note, if you aren't on the guest list for tonight but still want to spend a chunk of cash, spend $75 for the 4th Annual Women Empowering Women Event: A Night of Fashion and Compassion, which benefits Project H.O.M.E - you'll be in for a Macy's fashion show, local celebs, live music and refreshments. Also going on, Beer and Bacon Dinner, 4 courses of bacon & beer for $40. If none of those are a good (a.k.a. affordable) option for you, try Cuba Libre at 50% off (call ahead) or Isabella Happy Hour.

Wednesday, May 25:  On Thursday, I mean Wednesday, I have my own personal gig to attend. Aspiring musician (and boyfriend) Quin Turner is playing at The Grape Room in Manayunk. I'd love to meet you if you came out, but seeing as he only has 15 followers on twitter I understand if he's unknown to you. (Q if you're reading this, Love ya, babe) Information here. I realize that I'm shamelessly promoting the event,  so know that you have other options like the usual happy horas from DrinkPhilly and the 2011 Summer Grand Slam and BBQ.(No, it's not at Denny's) For $15, fulfill your hipster quota for the week by attending the competition for "Best StoryTeller in Philadelphia." Because this isn't your typical slam poetry sesh where performers creep you out like Todd in Wedding Crashers, go to the pre-party before the slam for an extra $15. While you nosh on Sweet Lucy's Smokehouse barbecue and sip some Summer Love  to live music by The Yes Team, you'll be happy you did. If you don't want to pay $30 to drink, try PW's happy hour club - drink specials, free bites and raffles. It's at sapphire this week - RSVP here.

Thursday, May 26:
 In the 'yunk, Bourbon Blue debuting their outdoor patio for the season with a bang. Their VIP Outdoor Deck Launch Party (where VIP basically means, RSVP ASAP) boasts an open bar from 6 pm. to 8 p.m. with Miller Lite, Sweet Caroline Vodka bevys and house sangria, the last of which gets my vote. Also, you'll feel very British with the butlered, yes butlered, samples of Bourbon Blue's menu (I can only condone this if you call the "butler" Alfred.) If you're not going to be in the city, head over to Kildare's in West Chester for their very exclusive 8th Anniversary Party, where exclusive is defined by having a printer: if you print this invite, you're in for a complimentary two hour bar starting at 6 p.m., drafts, house wine and well liquor included.
Friday, May 27: Three words: Three. Day. Weekend! Tonight's the night to go all out, so plan for a party and recover tomorrow. Cheap Date Philadelphia recommends the Piazza at Schmidt's for some Phillies action: Watch for free, grab a slice, bring a date. (and I concur.) Go Phils! You can actually take advantage of this all three days this weekend.

Saturday May 28:  
If you're looking for cheap or free this weekend, read this article on Examiner.com- it has some budget Memorial Day-related events and tips. Otherwise, think about spending some quality time catching up with spring. Farmers Markets in Philly (from Philly Homegrown) and ones in Chester County (via West Chester Dish) have been kicking off throughout the past month, so take the extra day this weekend as a sign you're late to the party and need to catch up. As added incentive to get up early, Guitar Center's free GarageBand recording class is still running, so kick off your three days of relaxation by indulging in your wannabe rock star fantasy.

Sunday May 29: Try out the new brunch at Xochityl Philly, which was one of the Cinco de Mayo picks as well. The menu looks awesome, but it's sure to be packed to stake your claim with a reservation now. Now, if only it were more affordable...

Monday May 30: Happy Memorial Day! Remember what it means? Memorial Day means no work, so get all of your friends together to come out and play at a picnic. Cheapest option if you go to an event or park is BYO everything (bevys included), and your best bet is either a $10 wine tasting if you're outside the city or Hang Free at Fairmont Park if you're in Philly for the day (or if you live there). Also, there are a plethora of parks in the area with grills, as well as the jungle in your own backyard if you're in suburbia.

For More Weekend: If you're heading to the shore, word on the block is that DrinkPhilly is starting a jersey Shore edition: drinkjerseyshore.com - so check there for your memorial day weekend celebrations. Go to Uwishunu Memorial Day Weekend Picks or check out my Examiner.com Page for Philadelphia Budget Events - also, follow me on twitter for constant updates about events! www.twitter.com/Lindsay_L_Lewis 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Little Cuba for a Lot Less: 50% Cuba Libre May 23-26

***Update About Caipy Hour Below!***
(May 22, 2011 - Philadelphia) What's the next best alternative to closing when a restaurant is doing a complete overhaul of their menu? Offering the new menu at a discount of course. (Of course, for us that is really the best case scenario considering I don't want to blow my entire paycheck on one, very good, meal.) From May 23-26 hit up Cuba Libre for 50% off retail price on lunch/dinner and from May 27-31 enjoy 25% off the a la carte menu for lunch, dinner and their new brunch. If you need a refresher on why this is amazing for us non-financially-endowed people who still want some quality cultural cuisine, read about their gourmet food on $1 National Empanada Day.

Considering that it's technically legal for most U.S. Citizens to travel to Cuba, yet logistically impossible since you can't spend any money there - ah, loopholes - Chef Pernot of Cuba Libre has traveled there and back to bring some Cuban flavor to our doorstep (aka, Cuba Libre in Old City). While the menu is in the process of changing over, we get to sample it at half what people will be paying a week later. Suckas!

I'm going tomorrow, so look for a review on what to get tomorrow night and plan to go Tuesday. If you're too eager to wait, the $5 Caipirihna "Caipy Hour" and $4 bar bites are still going to be cheaper than the half price menu, so go between 5 and 7 p.m.  Put in your name for a table under the palm trees and grab your appetizer and $5 Cuban bevy (not the mojito!). The drink price will shoot up once you reach your seat.

Preview the menu on the Cuba Libre website or to the right. Another reason why Philadelphia is the Greatest City Never Sold? You can only get this 50% off deal at the Brotherly Love location of Cuba Libre - Sorry Atlantic City and D.C. That's why you need to visit.

REVIEW AFTER MONDAY: While there definitely were some snafus in the bar and kitchen (hence the 50% off), the ambiance and taste of Cuba Libre remains the same. However, I found the same thing to be true with new menu as with the old. Skip the sugary drink special, in this case Caprihianas. Instead vote for $4 sangria or wine - you'll get a full glass with the same kick and a lot more satisfying flavor. The $4 bar bites are what you'd except exceptionally small plates of exceptionally good Cuban food. I'd tell you about how awesome the new menu is, especially at half price, but it would have been four hours before we could get a table. Call ahead and make a reservation!

(Philadelphia - May 30, 2011) Thursday, June 2, Cuba Libre will be enhancing the standard Caipy Hour with Caipirihna tastings, Samba dancers, bongo drummers and Leblon giveaways - because who doesn't want a natural cane sugar beverage while twirling with latinos and listening to island music? If only they could bring the beach to us, in a classier way than the Bamboo Bar...

Friday, May 20, 2011

Free-For-Alls On What Could Be Philly's Last Day

There are tons of free festivals on what could be Philly's last day (not to be confused with free-for-alls). Just in case the world ends tomorrow at 6 p.m., here's some ways to make the most of life in Philly for free before you expire - uh, rapture. Also, check out the two beerfests going on (after all, beer is proof that God loves mankind; why else would he give us the nectar of the gods?) I guess if we are all here come Sunday, then they'll just be some quality memories, Y2K style.

RittenHouse Row Spring Festival, 12 pm. to 5 p.m.
From 19th to Broad on Walnut Street
Highlights? Some complimentary tastings of Peroni, fashion stage on the 1500 block, and if the fashion show isn't enough to bring you then you need to read how much fun the free Sa Va Fashion Show was. Oh, and there will be some live music so you don't get to bored. All for free. 

Philadelphia On Parade, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Mann Center, Previously on Bucket List For This Weekend

Delaware River Day, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Penn's Landing Marina
In case you missed the epic Navy commercials, "the future is here" and this is your last chance to sail for free before the rapture. If that doesn't make you want to jump on a boat, during Delaware River Day, just remember that Noah's Ark probably did not have free music by the Navy band "Cruisers" (original) or more importantly, face-painting - but they did survive the flood...and the day ends at 6 p.m., when the rapture is reported to start. Coincidence? I think not.

Trenton Avenue Arts Festival, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Trenton Ave, between E. Norris Street & Frankford Avenue
Enjoy some local craft: artists, musicians, food places offering up their wares for your viewing and buying pleasure. Free to go, listen to some music and buy should you feel so inclined. There's apparently even a mud-pit. So pack your PBR and your hipster outfit, 'cuz it's pretty much like First Friday on crack.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Philadelphia, The Greatest City Never Sold: Bucket List May 17-22

Philadelphia, The Greatest City Never Sold: Bucket List May 17-23

Tuesday, May 17: VOTE! Take a crash course on the candidates first. It's also American Craft Beer Week, and DrinkPhilly.com has once again finagled an affordable epic drinking event. This one is lasting all week, but since it's Philly Election Day and it's going to be a busy week, go today: Vote, then satiate your patriotic pride with a $3 American Craft Beer.

Wednesday, May 18:  In case you didn't know, Wednesdays are the new Thursday (which used to be the new Friday). There are a plethora of events to choose from: a $20 brew & chew at Cavanaugh Rittenhouse, free museum admission to the Philadelphia Museum of Art (Happy International Museum Day), and the usual happy horas. If you didn't get your fill of the 100-ft stuffed sausage at last week's Italian Street Festival, try Di Bruno Bro's in the Italian Market - free beer and cheese tasting every week from 5 to 8 p.m.
Thursday, May 19: If you're in the city, stop by the Philadelphia Business Networking Club's Launch Party (this week not last week) - free open bar 5:30-6:30, then specials! Who knows, you may get to know someone, and not in the biblical way. There's also the Philadelphia Interactive Marketing Association's Networking Happy Hour - registration required but networking and free drinks are worth 30 seconds, right? Also, consider trying to go to the 611 Lifestyle Spring/Summer Launch Party if you can still get in. Say hi to Nigel, the founder, for me and shop the new LUXE collection. Also, all Philly lovers stop by the #WhyILove Philly happy hour at Tatooed Momma in Society Hill. (They are helping Philadelphia take over the world one hashtag at a time.)

Friday, May 20: National Bike to Work Day kicks off the 2011 Commuter Challenge. While the last time I was on a bike I learnt they don't mix with alcohol - long story short, our group took a wine tour in Argentina that ended with a police escort - obviously your biking pilgrimmage to work and back, you're going to be thirsty. Pick a place and get your $3 American Craft Beer. (See Tuesday) If you're going to be in the suburbs,  attend the all-you-can-eat buffet and all-you-can-drink bar at Barnaby's for $25 at from 6 to 9 p.m. Not only is a ridiculous freakin' deal, the proceeds support the Wounded Warrior Project. America!

Saturday May 21:
Guitar Center's free GarageBand recording class goes on another week or two, so educate yourself there then continue your musical endeavors by attending Philadelphia on Parade, a free day-long festival with acts by diverse artists and circusy fun like face-painting, juggling and of course midget-tossing (oops, not the Maury show). That kicks off at 11 a.m. with a jazz parade worthy of 'Nawlins. If you want some adult fun, stop by the Wheat Beer Festival at the South Philly Taproom. Free to attend, not so free to drink but definitely more affordable than the Radnor Hunt Races going on outside of Philly Saturday. While it is well worth the $50 to attend if you're tailgating, (see the Winterthur Races Edition), the price will deter most.

*At 1 p.m., the Greater Philadelphia Beer Festival will be offering up a day of samples from some of the best breweries out there. Locals Victory, Yards and Troegs are joined by other favorites like Magic Hat, Dogfishhead and Blue Moon. Sign up online for $26 but it's $30 at the door - either way you don't have to steal your samples glass this brewfest (it's included). Thanks to Thrillist Philly for this one.

Sunday May 22: Last day to take advantage of DrinkPhilly.com's $3 American Craft Beer week. Grab a brew and relax. Then since you have nothing better to do, hit up the Chester County Hospital May Festival in West Chester. Free admission, the pay as you go for the necessary rides, games and carnival fare (fried oreos!) - it's everything a day in the Philly burbs should be.

For More Weekend: Go to http://www.uwishunu.com/category/Weekend/ on Friday morning or check out my Examiner.com Page for Philadelphia Budget Events - also, follow me on twitter for constant updates about events! www.twitter.com/Lindsay_L_Lewis 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Tapping Into the Honey...Keg?

(May 14, 2011 - Philadelphia) The mugs were out, the keg was ready and the bee was in attendance for the tapping of Iron Hill's seasonal brew Honey Maibock last Thursday night. Among cheering and whistling worthy of the Derby crowd, Iron Hill Brewer Mike Rutkowski (otherwise known as the bee) and honey-daddy Gary Moore did the official tap at about 6:40 p.m. I was lucky enough to nab a glass during the commotion to see if it was worthy of the 60 pounds of honey that went into the batch. 

The perfect summer brew, Honey Maibock is light and sweet with a tinge of honey flavor - and there's nothing artificial about it. A collaboration of Iron Hill brewers and White Clay Honey Apiary, the local brew draws its inspirational flavor from bee-master Moore's honey-collecting business located near the Delaware-Maryland state line. It's not the first time that Moore has worked with Iron Hill brewers - he teamed up with them to make a mead as well, resulting in a first place in its category during a recent competition.

The 60 lbs. of honey in the batch brought the alcohol level up to 7.5%, but according to Moore, the original plan was to use twice that; however, 120 lbs. of honey would have taken the Honey Maibock from the beer into wine territory in terms of potency. While the Honey Maibock is guaranteed to give you a healthy buzz, it's not the only way to enjoy White Clay Apiary honey - you can buy it by the bottle.

Head Brewer Larry Horwitz
If you're looking for more information, their website will be up soon, so until then you have an excuse (not that you need one) to stop Iron Hill and try out the Honey Maibock - it's for the bees. And afterward, Iron Hill will defend your new obsession with the brew, because as they say it, "Our beer snobs can beat up your wine snobs."

Also on Examiner.com.

Friday, May 13, 2011

SA VA Free Fashion Show - In Review

The fun little free event from this week's bucket list was in fact, worth going to. Between 17th and 18th, the street was shut down, and the runway was in place. While the models obviously weren't professionals, but they carried themselves well for the giant step up and down at the start of the runway that would have grounded me if I took it in sneakers. Among some generic techno/folk beats, the DJ played a fan favorite from Foster the People, "Pumped Up Kicks," and had the crowd bobbing their heads. Bonus? Free gourmet pizza and vitamin water/ciroc bevys

The part you're waiting for must be the clothing rundown - it was, after all, a fashion show. Preface: Not my style of clothing. On that note, they were free flowing, nature-esque pieces that except for a couple, I wouldn't be caught dead in. But then, I just never appreciated a good one-piece-combo-skirt-wrap-with-bell-bottom-wide-leg pants underneath. The good news is, I can't afford anything from Sa Va anyway, and if I could, I would probably be telling you how lovely every piece of her collection was (It was). I will say, the orange faux-wrap dress in the closing shot is my favorite, and I think it converted me to a Sa Va follower.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Philadelphia, The Greatest City Never Sold: Bucket List May 11-15

Wednesday, May 11: It's going to be a fun night in Old City, where it's Design & Fashion Night Out. After the kickoff at 5:30, designer Sarah Van Aken is showing off her SA VA handiwork in an outdoor fashion show from 6 to 8 p.m in between 17th & 18 on Sansom. It's free, and there will also be special sales & events all over Old City. While some are private, most are public - example? JKarma invites attendees in for shopping and cocktails. If you can't stomach fashion, then swallow some free beer and cheese tastings at DiBruno's in the Italian Market - a taste (pun absolutely intended) of what's to come Saturday.

Thursday, May 12:
 If you are going to be in the suburbia for the night, check out Iron Hill Brewery in West Chester. They're throwing a tapping party for Honey Maibock and White Clay Creek Honey from 5 to 8 in the evening and happy hour is 5-7 with $4 wine, $4 craft beer, etc. For Philly, the real open bar tonight is Philly2night.com weekly social hour at Con Murphy's Irish Pub. From 8-10 tonight, enjoy some free drinks and "light fare" (is that the high class way to say finger food?) at 17th & Ben Franklin Parkway. The one catch? You gotta be a fake VIP Details 

Friday, May 13: Sadly not first friday...Let the Regatta days begin! Hit up Kelly Drive to enjoy Fairmount Park and some very quality rowing. Imagine you're royal, or relish the fact that you're not and the royal wedding is finally over. If you want a more active and fun Friday, start your weekend by heading over to the Grand soft opening of Market at Greenable - a seasonable weekend marketplace for locals, by locals. For scrubs (or moms) with no job to be at, the market at 820 N. 4th is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For us hardworking people, the party takes over after the market closes to ply us with music, local beer and food so that we think fondly upon buying local (by locals). 

Saturday May 14: If you're an early riser and musically inclined, scope this limited time course by Guitar Center before starting off your day. It'll make you GarageBand literate and ready to plunge into a Philli-rific day. Outside the city, head to Brandywine Valley Craft Brewfest at Iron Hill Brewery Media (click for the deets from West Chester Dish). However, it's a day to head into the city with the Old City Sidewalk Sale & Stroll, Regatta Days on Kelly Drive (also Friday), Clemente Fest from 2-6 pm, and best of all - The Street Italian Market Festival. With music, food, live entertainment, street wares and any classier than Jersey Shore but still Italian thing you can imagine will take over the Italian Market district from 10am to 5 pm - and don't forget the after party!
Italian Market fest
Sunday May 15: Yoga on the Steps! Due to the $50 donation to participate, I won't be there, but it's for breast cancer so if you can swing it, go do some Rocky-style yoga. The Street Italian Market Festival continues, so if you chose the burbs for Saturday or were just too Bruno Mars lazy to go, you get a second chance to experience the wonderful flavors that the Italian Stallion takes for granted. However, if you already were Italian for the day Saturday, then hit up the Art Star Craft Bazaar at Penn's Landing. Hand-crafted, organic and local wares sold abound, so satisfy all your hipster trend cravings from 11 to 6 p.m. on the 14th or 15th. More info at knowitallphilly.blogspot.com 

For More Weekend: Go to http://www.uwishunu.com/category/Weekend/ on Friday morning around 10 a.m., the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation blog knows all... also, follow me on twitter for constant updates about events! : www.twitter.com/Lindsay_L_Lewis 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Spotted at Winterthur, "The Budget Derby" : A Hat Straight Out of the Royal Wedding

Spotted at Winterthur Point-to-Point, this epically British helmet. No doubt inspired by the Royal Wedding and the Kentucky Derby, there was an explosion of overly ridiculous and fun hats at this local event. Without other photos of the variety of over-priced once-worn caps, all I can tell you is that feathers, hula-hoops and bouquets were not out of the question as headwear accessories.

While you can go very high-class and high-expense tailgating for this event (Mercedes-Benz was wining and dining customers at their catered tailgate), it's definitely a less costly way to capture a Derby-esque experience without a four-digit price tag. A tailgate spot is $250 and includes four wristbands, and general admission without a spot is reasonable at $30-50 - so go ahead and arm yourself with a flask.

With pony races, face-painting and shopping, there's something for the whole family. Also, since it's entirely focused around drinking, it's a perfect way to spend Mother's Day (bring the in-laws and start early with Mimosas.) It's just 30 minutes from Philly so it's the perfect getaway.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Do First Friday (Free!) in The Greatest City Never Sold

If you're ever on a search for Sailor Moon selling cookies or possibly a bar-wench mermaid at a tattoo parlour, there is another time you can find these crazies outside of Halloween or the full moon: First Friday. Apparitions such as these are a common occurrence as artists, hipsters and musicians of Philadelphia take over the streets of Old City once a month, and local shops shamelessly use free booze, food and wacky promotions to reel unsuspecting (or perfectly aware) passerby in.

In case you're not in the know, First Friday is a phenomenon that has taken over Old City in Philadelphia monthly. Art galleries are open and free to the public, and wandering in and out will often score you a free bevy or some finger-food. Parties, openings and demonstrations are prevalent in the neighborhood - keep an eye on Old City District, uwishunu.com, or Philadelphia Daily News for a rundown of events (or just ask me).

One sure thing is the Drinkphilly.com party hosted at 239 Chestnut St. every First Friday. They always have a sweet craft brew company, local winery or the like, plus a Philly eatery in addition to their featured art by aspiring local talent - you're guaranteed free drinks, cuisine samples and quality company so stopping by is a necessity. For the August First Friday event, expect Lemon Moonshine Margaritas with Philadelphia Distilling's new Shine Whiskey and samples from Khyber Pass Pub.  Plus, it's the one-year anniversary for the First Friday bash, so Drink Philly is going all out - for charity. All proceeds to benefit the Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer.

In addition to the art galleries and random exhibitions (like when Philly Science Festival "Jesus-ed" some ice cream out of liquid nitrogen and milk in April), 2nd Street is transformed into a bazar - not to be confused with bizarre, though you can find it there too. Jewelry, homemade treats and all forms of artwork imaginable are for sale, not just at the local shops but also by the table, tablecloth or armful. Music resonates through the streets as jazz musicians, classical trios and acoustic folk singers strut their stuff alongside the independent artists selling their wares.

If only I knew about Books,
I would have bought this for Cinco!
My favorite stop this month? A simple, thrifty looking shop called "BOOKS." (above) Vintage everything from sombreros to records. My Mother's Day present revealed itself to me here: a vinyl recording of The Eagle's Hotel California, circa 1967.

Check out First Friday for yourself: 
From 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. the first Friday of every month, between Front and 3rd, Market and Vine

*** Addition: First Friday at Frankford Ave - Try this Craft Bazaar on for size! An alternative to First Friday in Old City or outside the city (Lancaster, Phoenixville), you're sure to find some of the same delights you see on 2nd street tables in Old City. Up and down Frankford Ave you will find vintage, vino and artwork. Stop by Johnny Brenda's to participate in Philly Beer Week, or by Bookspace for a Circus Freak Show - uh, Side Show. However, as a lover of Argentina, I have to recommend that after enjoying the arts and crafts you head to the Philadelphia Argentine Tango School - free beginner lesson at 8:30 and drinks after!
If you went to last month's Frankford Ave First Friday please email me and let me know how it was!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Philadelphia, The Greatest City Never Sold: Bucket List May 2-9

Monday, May 2: The Flyers Game, obviously. I was too busy watching it last night to write this post.

Tuesday, May 3: "Shaken Not Stirred" Cocktail Party at the National Constitution Center. Accompanied by only spy-tinis and your wits, attend "A Covert Cocktail Party" where you get to play with spy stuff, see old Bond film clips and quite possibly save the world (or win some prizes for being the "ill"-est spy). Admission to the party is a little steep, $35, but it includes entry into the Spies, Traitors & Saboteurs: Fear and Freedom in America exhibition

Wednesday, May 4: Krispy Kreme, Center City Edition: At 6 a.m., the first customer gets a dozen glazed weekly for a year, or until he/she dies of a heart attack. Other giveaways, details below. One glazed = 190 calories. Hooray, Grand Opening. http://www.krispykremephilly.com/grandopening/ Night-time plans? If you're a lady on the Main Line, hit up Wednesday Night Whinos' Spring Shopping Night in Wayne. I've been itching to give this networking, wine-drinking event a try...

Thursday, May 5: It's Cinco de Mayo - go out, get a marg and have some enchiladas. If you're in the burbs attend Tequila University at Verdad then stay for complimentary tequila tastings and $5 margs - or just come at 10 p.m. for the margaritas and $2 tacos. If you are celebratin' philly-style, try Distrito and get there early. From 3.p.m. on, the first floor will be serving up up $5 margarita and some discounted cheap Mexican bites. Runner-up pick for Cinco in Philly: Xochityl: Mexican Street Food under $10. If restaurant fare isn't for you, skip the foreplay and just get slammed at this Cinco de Mayo bar crawl (click for half off admission and details!)

Friday, May 6: First Friday everyone! In addition to the usual amazing wine-beer-food-art-music of Old City's First Friday, Longwood Gardens is offering free entry today. My plan for the night? Roam Old City, devouring free art, food and beverages until I get to Drink Philly's First Friday event, which always makes my FF list every month - last month it was Magic Hat, this month they are doling out free Yards beer & Continental nibbles. And don't worry, if the keg gets kicked, there will be another one waiting...

Weekend: Go to http://www.uwishunu.com/category/Weekend/ on Friday morning around 10 a.m., because frankly I don't have the time - there's just too much that goes on in our wonderful city of Philly for anyone other than the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation to keep track of... also, follow me on twitter for constant updates: www.twitter.com/Lindsay_L_Lewis 

(I can tell you this Sunday, May 8, you'll find me at Winterthur's Point-to-Point - ponies, dachshunds and children pitted against each other in a race to the finish while adults eat, drink, and be merry - It's worth the trip to DE.)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Conshohocken's Best Kept Secret: Isabella's Happy Hour

(left to right) Shrimp Croquettes, Dirty Martini, Dirty Martini
Extra, Truffle Frites, Calamari, 1/2 price draft beer
(May 2, 2011 - Philadelphia) On the back-way through Conshohocken to Philadelphia, known as the river route, a little gem called Isabella occupies the block of Elm Street under a red banner spelling out "ISABELLA." Stopping by after work, I found this charming little lounge to be a nice surprise in an otherwise sleepy happy hour town.
From 5-7 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays, a delicious tapas menu worthy of Spain awaits you for only $3.50 for one of the five most popular tapas entrees: Shrimp Croquettes, Mussels, Truffle Frites, Drunken Figs or Calamari. While I have no idea what a drunken fig could be other than a pirate name/slur, the four other happy hora tapas were simplemente perfecto, not to mention the fresh bread and Spanish olive oil that accompanied them.

No happy hour is complete without some stirring drink deals and Isabella shakes a mean martini for only $5. Whether you like it dirty or you're just a cosmo girl, bartender Deirdre will hook you up with a delicious twist on the favorite - and if you stick around she may use you as a guinea pig for a new cocktail.* If Smirnoff isn't your thing, sip a half-priced draft or $4 house wine along with your discounted tapas - anyway you go, you can't help but feel a little more Mediterranean.

 Between the discounted tapas menu, 1/2 off drafts, $5 Martinis and $4 house wine, Isabella is the Main Line's best-kept secret - but not for long. On my second visit to Isabella (needed to make sure it was amazing any day of the week), I had the pleasure of meeting the owners, a father-daughter team, Tom and Elizabeth. Their story is nothing short of spectacular - Tom has been around the world and back again, and he helped produce a little film called "The Deer Hunter" - and they will stop at nothing to make Conshy and Isabella a must-go destination for Main-Liners. Tonight at 7 p.m., support them at the Conshohocken town meeting to zone the upstairs as a jazz club - your reward? The upstairs of Isabella, once welfare housing, will become a mecca for arts and music with open mics, jazz night and tango lessons.

View this slideshow for shots of the food drink, and me & my favorite bartender Deirdre!
*The bar staff at Isabella is constantly trying fresh, new recipes. Deirdre let me sample her most recent concoction, a very calorie conscious martini that I dubbed the Orange Flamingo. Made with fresh oranges and Splenda, it was definitely a guilt free happy hour for me - until the truffle frites. See if you can pick the Orange Flamingo out of my slideshow - first one to comment and cite the right picture gets a prize!
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