Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Bucket List June 29 - July 4th: Philadelphia, The Greatest City Never Sold

With Independence Day weekend and the last six days of the 11-day Wawa Welcome America celebration, your hardest decision will be between choosing which events, free or otherwise, to do right up until July 4th. This week's Philly Hub bucket list for Philadelphia, the Greatest City Never Sold: 
Wednesday, June 29: Center City Sips kick off at 5 p.m., so expect $4 cocktails, $3 vino, $2 brews and 1/2 off appetizers at all participating restaurantsHint: The 20th birthday party held weekly provides two hours of giveaways and specials & an hour of complimentary bites is at Union Trust, 717 Chestnut. Take advantage of the last Waterfront Wednesday free concert at Penn Treaty Park at 6:30, so no need to miss out on Sips.

Thursday, June 30: Weekly events: Opa Restaurant's Thursday Block PartyOpa Glendi, continues with free global music. Old City Social provides a later happy hour from 6-8 p.m. with $3 Hoegarden, Don Q Rum and Sky Vodka cocktails along with 1/2-price appies.
Friday, July 1: It's finally First Friday (5 to 9 p.m.) again and after taking a hiatus during June for Philly Beer Week, the monthly free Drink Philly First Friday party is back. Show up at the Drink Philly HQ in Old City at 239 Chestnut, Unit 2B and indulge in free cocktail and cuisine samples. Afterwards, stroll 2nd for some great First Friday deals, galleries and other art-related sights. At 9 p.m., you can head to Love Park and sing along to Hairspray, but while the movie's free to watch the public disturbance citation for singing raucously won't be. If art isn't cutting it, celebrate Canada Day (July 1) by watching the Phillies beat the pants off the Toronto Bluejays, eh? The games at 1:05. 

Courtesy of
Saturday, July 2:  BYOD brunch means you can bring your pooch to brunch at Square 1682 and serve him some gourmet puppy chow. It's almost as good as bring your kid to work day, except your pup won't keep asking you questions. From 12-4 in the afternoon, check out the Chinatown Block Party complete with open-air market, entertainment and Asian cuisine. At night, grab a blanket, picnic and some buds and watch free fireworks at Penn's Landing, kicking off at 9:30 p.m.

Sunday, July 3: For $7, all-you-can-eat ice cream is basically stealing. From 12-5 p.m. at Penn's Landing,  this Super Scooper All-You-Can-Eat Ice Cream Festival is a can't-miss - not only is it in a tent, all proceeds go to the Joshua Kahen Fund for curing pediatric cancer. So you're eating ice cream for the kids, do you need another reason to go? (Also open July 2 and July 4).

(Photo by G. Widman for GPTMC)
Monday, June 4: Happy Independence Day! Obviously the place to be is Philly's 4th of July Jam, headlined by the Roots and with appearances by Earth, Wind, and Fire, Michael McDonald and Sara Bareilles. It starts at 7 p.m. and runs until about 11 p.m., and will be immediately followed by fireworks. Before night falls, you can hang out at the location of the concert, the 20th and Eakins Oval on Ben Franklin Parkway, for the Party on the Parkway. (Family-friendly fun) Oh, the parade starts at 11 a.m. if you want to watch that too. Me? I'm going to find a pool to hang by until the Jam.

For More Events this Weekend: For a breakdown of July 4th events in Philadelphia, visit  For free or cheap events, read this Page for Philadelphia Budget Events. Also,  follow me on twitter for constant updates. And most importantly, if you're headed to the New Jersey Shore for Independence Day, Drink Jersey Shore has got you covered for bar specials, events and restaurants to hit up while you're there.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Bucket List June 21-27: Philadelphia, The Greatest City Never Sold

Yet another rousing round of festivals, happy hours, and best-kept secrets in Philly on this week's bucket list for Philadelphia, the Greatest City Never Sold:

Tuesday, June 21: A June Fete at Liberté Lounge in Center City will be celebrating the Summer Solstice from 12 to 10 p.m. Go between 5-7 for comp tastings of wine & cuisine. They're butlered. It's a no-brainer. 
Wednesday, June 22: Center City Sips starts at 5 p.m. with $4 cocktails, $3 vino, $2 brews and half off appetizers at all the best restaurantsHint: Their weekly 20th birthday party with giveaways & an hour of complimentary bites is at Sampan on 124 S. 13th Street. Now, you can stay there and sip awhile or you can head out at 6 for Waterfront Wednesday's free concert at Penn Treaty Park, free, or the Opening Night of the 4th Annual Philadelphia Independent Film Festival (725 N. 4th Street), where it's $10 to get into the screening of Weed And Guns, self-described as featuring "mountains of marijuana, great interviews, comedy, fake news, animation, rock video and stunning outdoor footage of cute girls and guys shooting guns that are not legal in California."  

Thursday, June 23:  At night, try Opa Restaurant's Weekly Thursday Block PartyOpa Glendi. For happy hour, try Old City Social from 6-8 p.m. With $3 Hoegarden, Don Q and Sky Vodka bevys, the only thing that could make a night in Old City better is half-priced appetizers - this may sound familiar...Also, it's day two of the Philadelphia Indie Fest.

Friday, June 24: The three-day Taste of Philadelphia kicks off at 5 today, and the cheap cuisine tastings from the best chefs in Philly will distract you from happy hour for at least a couple of hours. Plus, enjoy jazz on the waterfront. Cheap date idea!  East Coast Derby Extravaganza at the Sportsplex in Feasterville, PA promises an exciting night of girl on girl action, plus skates, and they'll play as dirty as it gets and still be PG rated. It's only $15 to get in Friday during this weekend event. Games at 6 and 7:30. Or pick a flick at Philly Indie Film fest. (From The Head looks promising! It's about a restroom attendant at a strip club.)

Saturday, June 25: Try out for Visit Philly's photo shoot! Bring the family and get a chance to help make Philly famous, not infamous. If you're feeling artsy, or a bit yuppie, head to Manayunk Arts Festival, but not in your car if you're smart. Parking will be rough. Also going on: More Roller Derby from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. if you're into that. More Indie films, if you're into that. Gourmet tastings for a couple bucks continue and more entertainment is to be had at Penn's Landing - the first fireworks of the season start after a blues performance at eight in the mornin' - uh, evening. (in the AM, check out BYOD brunch)
Sunday, June 26: Last day of the Philadelphia Independent Film Festival, so jump on your chance to feel hipster and cultural with a film. The last roller derby concludes today at 8:30 so if you missed out on Friday and Saturday's competitions, you have a chance. $20 for a half day. Let the gospel choirs rejoice, however you'll only hear them at Penn's Landing during Taste of Philadelphia on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. For Sunday, God giveth free gourmet tastings. Or close to free. Plus, its free admittance to the Yunk on the second and final day of their Annual Manayunk Arts Festival.
Monday, June 27: Bring your own pup seems to be a theme this summer, with BYOD (Bring Your Own Dog) Brunch at Square 1682 on Saturdays (the real attraction is $10 bottomless Mimosas), so the Wawa Welcome America celebration is gettin gin on the doggie action. The Piazza at Schmidt's is hosting a screening of "Best in Show," so strap your animal in its car seat and head over at 9 p.m. Bring your own booze, picnic, and pooper scooper. Oh, and I don't know why they specify but parrots - they're not allowed. Guess everyone would have to hide their crackers and wine just isn't the same then. If you don't have a dog, cat or squirrel to bring, you may want to drown your sorrows at Brauhaus Schmitz. It's their 2nd Anniversary party tonight, and at 7 tonight they're offering $2 off craft beer and a free buffet. Walk, run or drive to 718 South Street.

For More Events this Weekend: As usual, scope out For events in Philadelphia, so udonthavetowishuknewbecauseuknow. If you're trying do Philly for free or cheap, read the Page for Philadelphia Budget Events. Also, you can follow me on twitter for constant updates about events! Wait - one more: if you're going to be at the shore this weekend... DrinkPhilly: Jersey Shore edition will tell you how to avoid (or find) some good clean fun in the dirty Jerz.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Bucket List June 15-20: Philadelphia, The Greatest CIty Never Sold

This week in Philly, enjoy free or close events, festivals, happy hours and restaurant specials. 

Wednesday, June 15:  Center City Sips will take over the city around 5 with $4 cocktails, $3 vino, $2 brews and half-price appys at participating restaurants in Philly, and I think we will all just be happy there's less beer and more of any other form of alcohol after last week. Hint: Their weekly 20th birthday party with giveaway is at Moriarty's Pub on 1119 Walnut. Bonus: Following Sips, the Philly Tweet Up is tonight at the Helium Comedy Club on 2031 Sansom St., and one drink means watching the 8 p.m. show for free - and it's Paul Mercurio of The Daily Show (with Jon Stewart) so it should be worth it. Also going on - free concert at Penn Treaty Park. It's a band I've never hear of, but Philebrity is putting on the show so Waterfront Wednesday will probably rock your world. Plus, did I mention its free? Wednesday is so obviously more Friday than Thursday ever was, even when Thursday was the new Friday. Definitely the weekday to miss your bedtime, so put your big kid panties on and get ready to rock.
Thursday, June 16:  If you're working in Philly and can afford to take a lunch break (or you can duck out of your office without the boss noticing), slip out to the PHS pop-up, open from 12-2. At night, try Opa Restaurant's Weekly Thursday Block Party, Opa Glendi - instead of a fashion show, it's a cultural band called Platypus. So if you missed Waterfront Wednesday, think about spending a thrilling Thursday with Opa's music act. Furthermore, for those who like Center City Sips or First Friday, you are going to like Old City Social, from 6-8 p.m. on Thursdays. With $3 Hoegarden, Don Q and Sky Vodka bevys, the only thing that could make a night in Old City better is half-priced appetizers - which is, coincidentally, at 20+ restaurants. Hm, so what could make it better now?
Friday, June 17: Conshohocken Restaurant Week started on June 13 and will continue rolling until Sunday. Best bang for buck in my opinion is at Isabella, Flannigan's Boathouse and Guppy's Good Times for $20, but some of the $35 prix-fix menus are well worht the price. This guide to Conshy Restaurant Week tells you where is worth going. Also, at 7:05 is kickoff for the Phialdelphia Soul, our city's arena football team. Usually, this doesn't warrant a mention, but tonight is Car-load Night, so if you can fit a clown car worth of bros in your car they all get in for $50 bucks. So like, 10 bros, $5 each? Puts the Philadelphia Soul on my list tonight...
Saturday, May 18: 618 Music & Arts Festival will blow up Penn's Landing with electronica music, truly making Festival Pier worthy of it's name (because we all know what happens at Burning Man, really). Get tickets ASAP unless you want to miss out on Shwayze, and everyone else. plus so many events going on for the Summer Solstice celebration I can hardly wrap my head around it. The Kimmel Center has organized them all nice and neat for you, so you can enjoy all 40 Summer Solstice events from noon until the solstice well over at 2:30 in the morning. Definitely do the Sa Va Fashion Show at 6 at the Perelman Theater, because in case you forgot what the last one was like here's a reminder. Tip: Check in to Kimmel on foursquare between 11:30 and 1 a.m. and score a free drink ticket.

Sunday, June 19: Happy Father's Day! On Thursday, I will post a Budget Events article for Father's Day. I can tell you that Awesome Fest will be showing Toronto Film Festival's top flick in the Piazza at Schmidt's. You should go, if only to make fun of Canadian's after (unless the Nooks beat the Bruins, in which case they deserve at least a week of less mocking.)

Monday, June 20: Taste of the Nation: Philadelphia Edition will be taking over the Loews Hotel (no hardware for sale here). It's a little pricey, but for same amount you may spend on an extremely expensive and totally unaffordable dinner, you can taste gourmet eats from a multitude of local restaurants instead of just one. Plus, the proceeds benefit a bunch of charities. Worth splurging on? Probably. So eat to end world hunger...

For More Events this Weekend: As usual, scope out For events in Philadelphia, so udonthavetowishuknewbecauseuknow. If you're trying do Philly for free or cheap, read the Page for Philadelphia Budget Events. Also, you can follow me on twitter for constant updates about events! Wait - one more: if you're going to be at the shore this weekend... DrinkPhilly: Jersey Shore edition will tell you how to avoid (or find) guidos and good fun.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Continuing Saga of Restaurant Week: Conshohocken Edition

(Conshohocken, PA - June 13, 2011) The continuing saga of restaurant week carries on with its new edition for 2011, this time set in Conshohocken. From June 13th to 19th, 17 "Conshy" restaurants will emerge from relative anonymity into the spotlight as they follow in the footsteps of the Center City and Main Line restaurant weeks earlier this year. The set menus at each eatery will have price tags of either $20, $35 or both for a full course meal, and at the right place there may even be a beer included.

At this point, here's hoping you know what a restaurant week is - as a recap, however, it is a seven-day event where a group of restaurants in a geographical area band together to offer a set price per person on a full-course meal, in order to seduce new customers and raise awareness for their (hopefully) fabulous and underrated food. While it may come as a surprise to most that there are actually 17 restaurants in Conshohocken, and that this is actually the 2nd Annual Conshohocken Restaurant Week, that's no reason not try a few out.

At some of the restaurants, the three courses are more than you'd normally buy and certainly more than you can eat. The best bang for buck is at a few select restaurants out of the surprising plethora that Conshy has to offer. For instance, at Isabella, pay $20 for the set menu of five tapas during happy hour (5-7 p.m.), grab a $4 glass of house wine and you have yourself a decent meal. Also, at Flannigan's Boathouse, watch a game, sip an American Craft Beer and get a Prime Rib (or other entree) with flatbread, salad or soup, for $20. The game watching is free and the beer's included in your set menu, because Flannigan knows what a real third course should be. The hipster option, and also a good deal, is Guppy's Good Times. In addition to fried pickles and an entree, the $20 menu includes two glasses of wine or two draft beers, plus a shot of Limoncello. I want to meet this Guppy character.

Other $20 Menu Choices:
The Great American Pub
Piatto Grille
Totaro's Restaurant

Not to be outdone, the high shelf price range may be worth it at the Fayette Street Grille. For $34 (not $35), the meal includes a starter, entree and dessert and there are a ton of options for each. Plus, it seems that you get an Amuse-Bouche as well, which according to Wiki is a small bite before the meal begins (maybe thats where the extra dollar went.)

$35 Menu:
The Gypsy Saloon
8 East
Blackfish (BYOB)
Piatto Grille
Shula's 347 Grill
Stella Blue
The Stone Rose Restaurant
Totaro's Restaurant
Trattoria Totaro

Conshohocken Restaurant Week will be both a culinary and cultural delight, plus a chance to scope out some new eateries without a high price tag. We may not know it when traveling, a.k.a. sitting in traffic, on the Schuykill Expressway, but this week is set to prove that Conshohocken is "more than just the curve." (It's also a ten block radius of restaurants).

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Bucket List, June 8-13: Events in Philadelphia, The Greatest City Never Sold

While Philadelphia is full of the usual events, festivals and stuff to do, it's also the closing days of Philly Beer Week. Therefore, here is a list of free or cheap PBW events in the area in case you'd rather drink some drafts at any point until Sunday.

Wednesday, June 8:  Center City Sips has quite the rival in Philly Beer Week, but $4 cocktails, $3 vino, $2 brews and half-price appys at participating restaurants in Philly will give PBW a run for its money. Film-film-film-adelphia (Refer to It's Always Sunny), better known as the Philadelphia Film Society, is running a free Terrance Malick marathon leading up to a premiere of his latest on Friday. 
Thursday, June 9: It's the Night Market in University City again, and it's completely legal despite the cover of darkness. Head to 39th and Market for the Blockley Beer Garden's local brews like Troeg's, Victory, Yards and Boxcar - then stay for the ethnic food, Philly vendors and food trucks -so for once, you won't have to chase them around the city. You can also stand still at Opa Restaurant's Thursday Block Party(During or After either, try $.99 Magic Hat #9 Drafts at the Draught Horse.
Additionally, debuting tonight are two things to stop by at the Walnut Street Pier along the dirty, I mean Schuylkill, River.  Though sadly you can't bring your open and obvious container from PBW without a brown bag, it'll be worth it to scope free art and movies. Art in the Open starts its 4-day occupancy along the Schuylkill Banks' at 8 a.m., then shuts down just in time for Outdoor Movie Night around 8:20 p.m. Tonight get your wicked superman on with a screening of Hancock. Early arrival will get you some free snacks and a raffle ticket, so bring a blanket and dinner for maximum enjoyment.

Friday, June 10: Today is last call for the With Love Beer Garden and for more information about the love-child of GPTMC and PBW, check last week's Monday. The Tree of Life by Terrence Malick premieres around Philly tonight, locations like Ritz East (The scene of Morgan Spurlock's Q&A). An open bar to be at? For $20, explore cavanuagh's River Deck and feel like royalty during the 3-hour premium open bar. Get on Philly2Night's guest list to receive the VIP treatment.

Saturday, May 11:
The Full Plate Chili Cook Off is three hours of chili and accessories starting at 12 p.m., followed by spending the rest of the day avoiding other attendees after they taste, judge and indulge. Well worth the $10 that gets you a tasting spoon and a ballot, you still have to bring your own bib. At the Full Plate in Northern Liberties on Wildey and 3rd, you won't be disturbed by the Fried Chicken Run put on by South Philly Tap Room at 4 p.m. However, if you want to join in, you can run to the Tap Room for three beers and a friend chicken dinner for $25. My pick? Skip the run and score one beer and friend chicken for $8, then watch as the over-ambitious struggle in one by one after running.
Sunday, June 12: The last day of PBW brings Philly Beer Week Music Fest and the Dock St. to Dock Street Run. Take a look at Sunday on this PBW Guide for more information. After sipping brews all week, you can get your cultural fill at the Piazza At Schmidt's. There, Awesome Fest offers the chance to regain your philosophical dignity with the Philadelphia premiere of The City Dark at 7:30 p.m., co-presented with Rooftop Films and followed by a Q & A with director Ian Cheney. Warning, it's an expose on our world without light, stars or baby sea turtles, so you may want to plan a PBW event afterwards accordingly. 

Monday, June 13: Conshohocken Restaurant Week opens to the public today. Isabella is on the list! I recommend their $20 tasting menu, and make sure you go between 5 and 7 p.m. to take advantage of their delicious happy hour bevys at the same time. The best guide to Conshy Restaurant Week tells you where is worth going.

For More Events this Weekend: For more events in Philadelphia, check out, or if you're trying do Philly for cheap (or free) read the Page for Philadelphia Budget Events. also, you can follow me on twitter for constant updates about events! Also, if you're going to be at the shore this weekend... DrinkPhilly: Jersey Shore edition can guide your travels.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Philadelphia, The Greatest City Never Sold: Bucket List, June 1 - 6

Wednesday, June 1: Tonight is definitely the night to do happy hour - Center City Sips begins for the summer tonight. Every Wednesday night from now until the end of the world (or the end of summer, whichever comes first), you have $4 cocktails, $3 vino, $2 brews, half off appetizers and a list of all participating restaurants in Philly to choose from. While drink specials only run from 5-7 p.m., some places are offering 15% off your meal after 7. Do it now! Also, starting with Thursday, Philly Beer Week events kick off. I recommend you factor going over the list of events into your Wednesday. Preferably after Happy Hour.
Thursday, June 2: Tonight is definitely the night to do happy hour - It may feel like deja vu from Wednesday, but I guarantee it isn't - it's better. Every first Thursday this summer - it's the Baltimore Dollar Stroll. Coming out of the broke-as-you-know-what college section of the city (where else?), University City is bringing ice cream, beer, samosas, espresso and other treats to the streets - for a buck! For a more upscale, cultural happy hora not populated by college kids, take a look at this: Caipy Hour Carnaval at Cuba Libre. If you're going to be outside of the city, mix with the rich and richer at the Devon Horse Show. It's Grand Prix night, and if you like death-defying acts check out these equestrians attempting to clear a course of fences taller than the national height average. Anthropologie's booth there has light fare and live music to offer (free.) Tickets are $10-ish. Too poor? try sneaking in. Wear boots. And a hat.
Friday, June 3: First Friday. AND The kick-off of Philly Beer Week. If you're not in Philly, well, I don't wanna say you're not cool but.... The best breakdown of Philly Beer Week is from Uwishunu or Drink Philly. Opening Tap Party is June 3, but its $41 for a ticket. If you want to get blasted, an excellent choice. If you're there to mingle and taste beer - see tomorrow's activities. As far as First Friday goes, celebrate in or out of the city (it's obviously better in, but Phoenixville may be a last-minute pinch-hitter). It'll be a nice complement to Beer Week if you'll be kicking off yours unofficially. Plus, if you can't afford the Roots Picnic Saturday - try the poor man's version: Pre-Picnic Party at Dobbs! (P.S. Happy National Donut Day. Free Krispy Kreme for everyone!) By the way, I won tickets to see the Script at the Mann Center Friday! Thanks Citypaper. 

Saturday, May 4:
The annual Roots Picnic and the official Fish & Grits After Party are going to dominate Philadelphia on Saturday. Tickets will run you $80 and the party $10 just for cover, but if you go to the International Beer Expo first, it won't hurt quite as much. After running through the 50+ international brews, you Now, if you can't afford either, and you couldn't drink enough to forget that since the beer expo is another $45, then try WXPN's "No Excuses Summer Series." Doors open at 8 p.m. If you get there before 9, then you won't turn into a pumpkin, or worse, lose a shoe - and you won't have to pay the $5 cover.
Sunday, June 5: Say really. At the Philly Food Experiment you will be talking, eating, making, slicing and anything else (appropriate) that you can do with cheese from - and loving it. There's a ton of cheesy prizes (pun totally intended) and every imaginable culinary concoction of fromage. It's at World Cafe Live from 12 to 4, and for $10 you can eat, drink and slice through a world of cheese. Tickets. (Shout out to Thrillist Philly for turning me on to this one)

Monday, June 6: Refer to Wednesday. You have from now until the 10th to kick every keg in Philly. Plan your debauchery. The monthly Brew & Chew at Cavanuagh Rittenhouse is surprisingly affordable this week: four courses of Troegs & Victory brews accompanied by tapas for $20 when you sign up here. Also, the With Love Beer Garden is open to the public today, so beginning at 4 p.m., you can drink Victory there too - admission is free, and there will be live music, entertainment and beer lovers abound. Since this Beer Garden is the love child of GPTMC and PBW, tonight is the re-release party for Summer Love, the seasonally loved stepchild of GPTMC and Victory Beer. Count on some Philly love (and promos) for this PBW event. Also today? An exclusive chance to raid Arrow Swim Club for a one-time public event. DJ's, Drinks, more: Swim Party till 8 p.m.

Tuesday,  June 7: Pay homage to the Philadelphia Beer Week gods and choose one of the a million beer-tastic events going on. For a list of cheap Philly Beer Week Events, check here. If you are going to be on the Main Line, hit up my favorite happy hour in Conshy, Isabella, because Urban Tango is offering free tango lessons at 8 p.m., followed by open dancing (depending on your interpretation). It will be perfect timing if you show up at 6:30, capitalize on $3.50 tapas and sip some liquid courage in the form of a $5 martini. Make sure you order one just before happy hour ends at 7 so you can nurse it all the way to your tango debut.

For More Weekend:
If you're heading to the shore, check out the DrinkPhilly: Jersey Shore edition: drinkjerseyshore.comGo to the Page for Philadelphia Budget Events - also, you can follow me on twitter for constant updates about events! 
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