Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Time for a Random List: Ten Exceptional TV Theme Songs

The Freezer Case: EVOL Italian Sausage & Caramelized Onion Flatbread

Okay, not exactly a frozen pizza, but definitely in the same family. We've gotten burritos from the all-natural EVOL line before and they are quite tasty. Unfortunately, the flatbread was a bit of a letdown.

The ingredients (thinly sliced mild Italian sausage, mozzarella cheese, caramelized onions, roasted garlic) and the stone-fired artisan flatbread crust were all very good. And the portion size was reasonable too - while it looked a bit small when I first popped it in the oven, both the nibble and I finished lunch with some to spare. The problem? It just need more of something to give it that extra oomph. Perhaps some extra roasted garlic spread or additional mozzarella. As it is, it's just okay. However, I wouldn't rule out trying the other varieties. Perhaps the BBQ Chicken & Mozzarella has a bit more going on.

Deal Alert: Labor Day at Audubon Chick-fil-A

When we're not eating pizza, but looking for a quick bite, we do enjoy a tasty Chick-fil-A nibble. Plus, the actual nibble loves the indoor play area (which is surprisingly clean). We happened to be there yesterday and noticed a Labor Day promotion we'd like to share. Show up this Monday at the Audubon location between 10:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. in your favorite sports team apparel and receive a free Chick-fil-A sandwich.

I've got my Phillies shirt all ready ...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

New to the Collection: The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

Every time Saucy adds a new DVD to his increasingly mammoth film collection, he will take the time to provide five indelible scenes that convinced him to spend his hard-earned sheckles on something he could have gotten for free with a DVD burner and a Netflix subscription. This installment discusses The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, the 1948 film starring a deliciously crazed Humphrey Bogart and directed by that manliest of men's directors, John Huston.

1) "Can you stake a fellow American to a meal?"
Three times, Bogart's Fred C. Dobbs hits up the same unfortunate fellow (Huston, in a memorable cameo) for money to get himself something to eat. However, despite the fact that the benefactor agrees to give Dobbs not only three donations, but a fourth to simply leave him alone, Bogart's character never manages to buy that promised meal. Either he's hitting a bar or luxuriating for a nice shave and haircut. In the first ten minutes, the scene not only entertains, but shows Dobbs' hunger, his greed, and his basic immorality, all of which will lead him toward madness as he hunts for gold flakes later in the picture.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Booze in 50 Words or Less - Ovila Abbey Saison

I taste a peppery light dried apricot balanced with just a twinge much of earthiness. Medium bodied. Refreshing enough to make your lips tingle and then smack an “Ahh!” after every sip. Hard to believe this is from the hop crazed folks at Sierra Nevada. Pair with a burger.


Hurricane Irene
(In this handout image provided by NOAA, Hurricane Irene churns of the coast of the Carolinas on August 26, 2011. NOAA via Getty Images)

Where do I begin? I'm sure many of you spent the latter part of your Saturday evenings in your basements or laundry/panic rooms anxiously awaiting a tornado caused by the passing through Hurricane Irene. 

A Slightly Aimless Rant about...Phillies Management

The people who run the Phillies have done an incredible job turning this team into probably the most respected team in the sport. They won a championship in 2008, and instead of taking the accomplishment as a chance to fall back into obscurity (figuring they had a decent grace period owed to them), they went ahead and made the moves that would assure them long-term dominance. The moves probably don’t need to be retraced since they have been talked about ad nauseum in the year’s since, but let’s do a quick version anyway: they went out to get Cliff Lee to try and repeat in 2009; they got rid of Lee, but went out and got a superior ace in Roy Halladay; they traded for Roy Oswalt when they realized how stupid it was to get rid of Lee; realizing that Oswalt was not quite enough to replace Lee, they simply said “F*ck it,” and went out and reacquired the lefty; satisfied with having the best rotation in baseball, but realizing that their team would struggle to score runs in the postseason without a competent right-handed bat, they went out and recalled Hunter Pence from their quadruple-A minor league affiliate, the Houston Astros. Bottom line is the Phillies have done what it has taken to build a franchise that is second to none.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Ten Quick Thoughts on...Hereafter

1) We got this from Netflix something like two months ago and it has been sitting on the shelf down in the basement for all that time. I know I pretty much need to watch anything by Clint Eastwood at this point (hell, man, the guy could keel over any minute now), but this one wasn't calling out to us. And now I know why. The film was just OK.

2) There's a three-proinged story going on here. You have the story of a French journalist (Francophile actress Cecile De France) who has a near-death experience while vacationing in Indonesia around the time of the epic tsunami. There's a lapsed psychic toiling away at a factory job in San Francisco (Matt Damon). Then you have a young boy (played by both Frankie and George McLaren) from a shattered home who falls into despair when his twin brother is killed in a horrible car accident. The stories progress as threads of a whole that come together in the final act. These sorts of movies rarely work for me because I am always becoming more involved with one aspect of the story over the others and then I keep just wanting them to return to the one I am enjoying. In this case, the one I became engrossed in was the Damon story. The French one I didn't enjoy, probably because the actors were all so...French, and the one with the kid was just really dull.

Tale of the Pie: Pepperoncini Restaurant & Bar

The hubby and I celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary yesterday. To mark the occasion, we went out to dinner on Friday (anticipating that Saturday would not offer the ideal conditions for a night out) to Pepperoncini Restaurant & Bar in Conshohocken. Why did we choose Pepperoncini? For one, I had received a $25 coupon courtesy of BirthdayPak (any ladies who are not registered for this free offer should definitely check it out at And secondly, we found some pretty positive reviews for their thin crust pizzas online.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Props Out: My Wife

Six years ago today, I married my wife, which is something I am starting to worry about. You see, six years ago today was also the first day that Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. When you consider that we are currently getting inundated by Hurricane Irene and that I just got a text from a buddy that there could be a TORNADO heading my way, you sort of have to worry that this day could be a little cursed.

But you know, I think it is wholly appropriate that I would have married my wife on this day, because she is a bit of a force of nature herself. She works a job while taking care of a kid every day and is always the first person a friend would call if they needed someone to talk to. And she would never skip the call. Meanwhile, she has to deal with a husband who knows nothing about finances, makes her talk to the waiter if his order gets screwed up, writes crazy posts about wanting to proposition ladies at his work during an earthquake, gripes every time she asks him to clean the house, and whines every time she tries to make him eat a meal that he knows is healthier for him then the first option he would have chosen (which would probably be a salt-filled burrito every time). There are many more aspects of his odd personality that there simply isn't time or space here to recount (esppecially since the power is going to go out any minute). 50 Words or Less: Yards Poor Richard's Tavern Spruce Ale

Yard's Poor Richard's Tavern Spruce Ale
Incredibly distinctive beer. Tastes like no other. Literally tastes like a spruce tree flew in your window and landed in your beer. That was before Hurricane Irene caused an actual spruce tree to fly in my window and land in my beer. They brewed it that way, in other words.

Booze ... in 50 Words or Less: Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale

Major head, hubby says it looks like a whipped cream-topped beer. Smells very much like pumpkin, tastes not so much. Overall flavor is more spicy than it is sweet. Hoppier than most pumpkin ales.  Probably a good fall choice for the IPA lover.

Time for a Random List: Ten 2011 Movies that Haven't Come Out Yet That Probably Won't Suck

So far this year, I count two movies that actually grabbed my attention and made me want to go see them - Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life and Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris. Otherwise, the stuff that has been coming out of Hollywood has been pretty awful. Then again, I don't get to the movies much anymore. So for all I know, The Smurfs could have been the shizznit. Anyway, here is a list (in chronological order) of ten flicks that will come out between September and the end of December that certainly seem like they have the potential for "decent status."

1) Contagion (Sept. 9)
It is directed by Steven Soderbergh (Traffic, Out of Sight) and stars luminaries Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, and Laurence Fishburne. Soderbergh's recent output has been the definition of uneven (The Informant!) if not WTF (The Girlfriend Experience), but with a cast like this it is hard to believe that the medical outbreak thriller does not satisfy.

2) The Ides of March (Oct. 7)
This film about an idealistic political newbie who gets involved in a perspective-shattering Presidential election has another virtual sh*tload of great actors in it (Ryan Gosling, George Clooney, Paul Giamatti. Philip Seymour Hoffman, Marisa Tomei, et al), and it's directed by Clooney, who may not hit a home run every time (Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Leatherheads), but has come up with at least one sublime creation (the unfortunately punctuated Good Night, and Good Luck.).

Friday, August 26, 2011

And now for something completely different - CHINNAR Indian Cuisine - GROUPON

The fiancee found a great Groupon deal for our local Indian restaurant Chinnar in Berwyn, PA this week. We haven't been back since the spring only because as much as I love to get my Tikka Massala on, the idea of hot sticky summer heat on top of already insane in the membrane overwhelming heat and spice makes me woozy.

With the weather at a comfortable 80 degress, Indian summer and delights were in harmony. We ordered the Lasooni Gobi (deep fried cauliflower in special sauce), Chilly Chicken and the Chicken Jafreza. Tasty hot treats. All good and super delicious! It's the best Indian in the area!

The Freezer Case: California Pizza Kitchen Roasted Peppers with Fontina Cheese

California Pizza Kitchen Roasted Peppers with Fontina Cheese
So the Mr. and me tried this late night after the O-ffical bachelor joint party. There was plenty of tequila and vodka. As you can tell, we needed PIZZA late night.

Luckily my loving mother filled my freezer out of guilt with some business. We fired up this seemingly tasty pie in the oven late night to satiate our cravings. It did the job BUT I'll tell you as a breakfast treat cold on Monday morning it didn't fulfill satiety. You probably need to add at least another layer of Trader Joe's pepper spread and some parmesan and fresh dried herbs including garlic powder to make this frozen pie palatable.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Growler Wars: Sixpoint vs. Weyerbacher

Two growlers. Two beers. Two frosted glasses. One winner.

Sixpoint Bengali Tiger IPA
A very hoppy IPA with a floral - almost citrusy - scent. A crystal-clear, golden appearance leads to an easy finish with no hint of an aftertaste. The rare beer that would be just as suitable either with the leaves falling or the sun shining brightly. Simply a sterling selection by the "other brewery" from Brooklyn.

Booze ... in 50 Words or Less: Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale

Now this is what a pumpkin beer should taste like. Strong golden brown ale with a spicy pumpkin flavor that's not too sweet and not too overwhelming. Cinnamon, nutmeg and a few other spices, but luckily no sweet 'n low.

HomeAID for Africa 5K

Looking for a way to lose a few extra pizza pounds? On Sunday, October 2, HomeAID for Africa is hosting its annual 5K run and 1 mile fun walk/run at Westtown School (West Chester, PA) at 3 p.m.

Unlike every other 5K advertisement, I won't tell you that this course is flat and fast ... because it's neither. But it's for a good cause. And unlike the Victory Run, there won't be beer at the finish line. But if you are in the mood for a brew, the race is a mere 20 minutes away from the brewery, so you could always head over there afterwards to toast your finish.

Download the race flyer>>

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Your Way, Right Away? At Hot Tamales, It's Their Way or...Get the Hell Out!

As we have said several times before, we, the people behind the proverbial curtain of The Pizza Project, cannot survive on sauce, cheese, and crust alone. Every once in a while, we have to try something else. And, for myself, I have probably tried one place more than any other when it comes to eating lunch in Center City Philadelphia, where I have toiled for over 10 years. That place is Hot Tamales, a maker of burritos, tacos, quesadillas, and other fare. In all the time I have been going there, I never really stopped to take a critical view of why it is that I frequent the place in such loyal fashion. That is, until now.

For my lunch, I ordered two items: an "original" beef burrito and a black bean and fiesta rice burrito. First up was the beef burrito, which is a very simple item consisting of beef, tomato, lettuce, sour cream, and shredded cheese. While I, of course, enjoy the item (I have ordered both many a time), the beef did seem to be a little bit salty and the sour cream (a condiment that I have only recently begun to develop a palette for) sometimes seemed like the No. 1 ingredient. The hot sauce that I applied to add flavor was of great assistance, but I must say I wouldn't really describe it as being particularly "hot." Spicy? Sure. But it is not something that is going to add any sort of great kick or get you sweating a bit in the eyebrow area. The most intriguing thing I found about the dish on this occasion is that it wasn't even particularly hot temperature-wise. It was almost as if the tortilla had been taken out of a refrigerator directly before it was wrapped around the internal goods.

Deal Alert: Slice and Apollo’s Family Pizzeria

Two pizza deals to report today:

Slice on Groupon
$10 gets you $20 worth of gourmet pizza and authentic Italian fare at Slice's Rittenhouse Square location, 1740 Sansom St. Never been myself, but I've read some pretty good reviews, so it might be worth a try. Also a BYOB if you're looking to get your wine or beer on.

Get the groupon >>

Visit their website >>

Apollo’s Family Pizzeria on BuyWithMe
Pretty much the same deal here - buy the $10 voucher, get $20 worth of gourmet pizza and Italian cuisine. I love how all of the restaurants call their pizza gourmet, when in reality, there are very few pizzas I would consider "gourmet." Anyway, Apollo’s Family Pizzeria is located at 2255 Bristol Pike  in Bensalem.

Get the voucher>>

Visit their website>>

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Emotional Stages of Earthquake Survival

Today, Philadelphia felt the tremors of a 5.8 earthquake that took place in Northern Virginia. The emotions I felt were swift and varied, and I have listed them here in stark detail.

"Wow, I feel faint. Why am I so out of balance? Are my co-workers' constant conversations about their latest pedicure or the most recent developments on their favorite reality show making me want to fall prostrate to the carpet...AGAIN?"

"Oh no, I think it is a minor earthquake. I know because I felt a similar sensation one night while I was lying in bed. It struck me as odd immediately because since we have a kid it was the first time the bed had been rocking in weeks."

Booze ... in 50 Words or Less: Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale

Pumpkin beers are always hit or miss. This one's a miss. Too light for a fall beer. Not much flavor to report at all ... other than a strange aftertaste combo of sweet 'n low and nutmeg.

Monday, August 22, 2011


Photo by Martin Parr - SPAIN 1997

With a dear friend of ours leaving to live in Spain tomorrow, it seemed more than appropriate for this week's photo of the week to be from there. This is one in a series by Martin Parr dated 1997 hosted on Magnum Photos. 

¡Buen viaje, Esparanza!

More at

Top Fourteen Thoughts I Had While Out at Sapphire in Manayunk

1) Goodness gracious. F*ck am I doing in Manayunk?

2) "You know, I think I had a little too much Cosco beer at our friends' bridal shower before coming here. Maybe I'll just start off with a nice, refreshing wat...whoa, they have Stone IPA on the menu!?!?!?! I'll take six in a wine tub."

3) "I don't think I am in the mood for dancing tonight. Plus, I have a cold. Think I'm just going to go ahead and keep it a little chil...whoa, is this that "Friday" song by Katy Perry. Did I just do the Cabbage Patch?"

4) "I'm literally jumping up and down uncontrollably like a maniac right now. I don't even think I would know how to stop if I wanted to. There's some sort of brain/nervous system disconnect going on here. And this is to the Black Eyed Peas. Fergie,, the little black guy, and the long-haired dude of indeterminate origin. Even I want to punch myself in the face right now."

The Blue Route Taco Truck at Whole Foods: Eat the Tacos, but Hold the Chicken

There was a time when I probably would not have been caught dead in a Whole Foods. They quite simply did not have enough unhealthy options for my fat-and-sugar-loving palette. But now that the wife has me eating healthy (fruits and vegetables can taste good; how about that), I find myself going there a little more often. Plus, the fact that they serve beer not only in six-packs, but incredibly cheap growlers helps.

Well, add one more line to that list of reasons not to dread going to Whole Foods: they have tacos!

This past Thursday, the wife, myself, and Saucy Jr. checked out the Blue Route Taco Truck, a charmingly underadvertised haven for the taco lover on the roof of the market chain's Plymouth Meeting store. They had a Happy Hour deal (one that I believe will still be going on every Thursday for a few more weeks) from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. where you could get three tacos for five dollars as well as one of their selection of canned beers for $1.99, and we figured, "Heck, why not? It's fun for three people to eat for less than $14. Let's give it a try."

Friday, August 19, 2011

Tale of the Pie: Olce Pizza Grille

Sometimes, you just don't feel like going out to eat. Maybe you had a particularly bad day. Maybe you just don't feel like driving. In my case, I am feeling under the weather. My head is cloudy. My throat is scratchy. My body feels generally weak. If I were to put money on it, I would say it is probably time for my yearly sinus infection. In any event, when Spicy Hawaiian started talking about going out to grab a pie, I just wanted to say "No." I would take anything as long as it did not require my departing from the house. However, I could tell that she really wanted to try something off of the Philadelphia Magazine Pizza Best Of list, and I certainly didn't want to let her down. So I dragged my tired carcass off the couch, and we headed out for a little pizza.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Growler Wars: Dogfish Head vs. Manayunk Brewing Company

Two growlers. Two beers. Two frosted glasses. One winner.

Dogfish Head Raison D'etre
Very strong taste upon first sip. Has a bit of a Belgian feel to it, but not exactly as clear as a Chimay or an Ommegang. Has a little bit of a stale scent to it. Doesn't go down as easy as I would like. Almost seems a bit bitter. All in all, not my favorite Dogfish Head beer.

This Just In: Bertucci's Launches Online Ordering System

Online ordering is now available at all Bertucci's locations. And for a limited time, you can get $10 off your first order of $20 or more with the coupon code TENOFF.

For a chain, Bertucci's makes a pretty solid brick oven pizza. My personal favorite is the Ultimate Bertucci. Each quarter of this pepperoni pie features a different topping — sweet Italian sausage, meatballs, rosemary ham and chicken.

Read Saucy's review of Bertucci's>>

Order Bertucci's online >>

The Inside Scoop from Hunter Pence Batting Practice

If you have watched any Phillies action whatsoever since the home team picked up Hunter Pence, you know one thing: Tom McCarthy and Chris Wheeler are two of the sh*ttiest announcers in all of sports. But you would also know that they are practically orgasmic over the shows Pence puts on at batting practice. They can't shut up about it actually. Luckily, The Pizza Project was on the scene earlier today when Pence stepped into the cage today before facing the Arizona Diamondbacks. And we just happened to be in earshot of Wheels and T-Mac when the bombs started going off. Here's what we heard.

Pizza with Extra Literature: Some Pointed Observations on the ESPN Book

And now, a series of kneejerk reactions on ESPN personalities based on insights gleamed from the oral history book, Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN.

Jesus! The guy calls football highlights for a living, but to listen to the arrogant fiend go on and on about his own influence, you would think you were listening to Walter F*cking Cronkite.

The fool who gave this idiotic buffoon a platform for his nonsensical rantings should have been tarred and feathered in the public square. Although at least it got him out of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Rare Night Out: My Little Sister's Bachelorette

Do I need to stop referring to her as my "little sister," now that she's all grown up and getting married? I suppose I should graduate to calling her my younger sister, or even just my sister. After all, no reason to remind myself (or anyone else) that I'm older.

Anyway, last weekend, we hit the town for her bachelorette. It's been quite a while since I was out and about in the Philly club scene. So long that I tried on at least 12 outfits, some new and some old, for both my hubby and my sister.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Freezer Case: The Nardone Bros. Pizza

It has been a while since there was a review from the freezer case. Here's one to avoid if possible. When first opening the box my first words were "It looks like Ellio's." Could that have been further from the truth. What I wasn't aware of was that the cheese was not mozzarella but instead american. No where on the box did it say it was american other than on the nutritional facts label. What a disaster. As you bit into a slice the cheese would clump and stick to the top of your mouth and teeth. The cheese was so distracting that I can't even comment on the sauce. Even loading my slices with hot sauce did not make it any more enjoyable. Oh how I wish it was Ellio's. 50 Words or Less: Breckenridge Brewery Vanilla Porter

A sweet vanilla flavor, not to overpowering, and a low carbonation really make this porter go down smoothly. It really hit the spot after my soon to be wife tried to burn my mouth with some Trader Joe's Habanero Hot Sauce on my pizza.

Better Late Than Never Reviews: Watch the Throne - Kanye West and Jay-Z

The first fully collaborative album by two of hip-hop's giants, Watch the Throne, the new full-length by Kanye West and Jay-Z, is always enjoyable, often thrilling, yet sometimes head-scratching.

After starting off with "No Church in the Wild," an ominous slow-tempo joint with guest vocals by Frank Ocean of the suddenly omnipresent Odd Future crew, Watch the Throne quickly gets into party mode with "Lift Off," an operatic, big-scale banger with an incredible strings-and-horns based opening, hectic percussion, and an insanely huge chorus by Jay-Z's wife, who quickly emerges as the star of the song despite very decent verses by the featured attractions. Another great track, wisely released as the first single off of the album, is "Otis," a soulful, bluesy burner with help from a deftly sampled Otis Redding track (hence the name). While the lyrics are quickly disposable boast rap, the beat is anything but, and the production is raw and intense, high on bass and long on guitar-and-piano fury.

Deal Alert: Pat's Pizza & Family Restaurant in West Chester and Wilmington

Valid at either location, this BuyWithMe deal gets you $20 worth of dine-in food and drinks for only $10.

Visit BuyWithMe to get the deal >>

Visit Pat's Pizza & Family Restaurant website >>

Monday, August 15, 2011

Booze ... in 50 Words or Less: Sauza Margarita Cocktail Cube

Not usually one for pre-mixed cocktails, but this was pretty tasty. Not too sweet, not too sour, with just enough kick, this tiny box is the perfect size for the gal on the go. Pick one up for your next tailgate, bachelorette or Thursday night jam.

Philly's Ciao Pizza Makes Pretty Good Slice for Hefty Price

Being that I was pretty busy at work on this day, I did not have time for a long lunch. I couldn't stand in line for a half-hour for an $8 salad nor could I risk a lengthy line at the one-cashier Americanized Mejicano staple Hot Tamales (review coming soon). No, I just needed it fast, cheap dirty, and served on a paper plate (OK, I would rather it wasn't dirty). So I went for a quick slice.
The destination I chose was Ciao Pizza, a storefront on Chestnut St. in the area of Liberty Place. First, I must compliment the staff. This is because the dude who inserted my slice into the oven for reheating did not mock me when I stated my order as a "plain, pepperoni slice." He simply waited for my clarification and went about his business with aplomb and grace. The next thing I had to do before eating my slice was pay. When I stepped to the cashier and told him what I had ordered, he said something that I found to be somewhat ridiculous: "$3." Two things: 1) I thought right away that it would be very difficult for the slice to live up to this payment and 2) it was made doubly annoying because the price was not listed on a board above the oven nor was it even on the printed takeaway menu; it made me feel as if they probably looked at me, decided how stupid and gullible I looked, and pulled a price out of their arse that they thought I was crazy enough to pay.


From haute couture to your granny's instagrams, I searched near and far for the first photo of the week. We've been pretty wet out here in PA and I've been dreaming of sunny days at the beach. Luckily we don't get any of these friends down the shore...
RImage SIHEUNG-RI, SOUTH KOREA - OCTOBER 13: Hyeon Eun Yeol, a 55-year-old Haenyeo, resurfaces after a dive not far from a giant stinging jellyfish October 13, 2009 in the waters off Siheung-ri on the island of Jeju, South Korea. Hyeon Eun Yeol has been diving for Sora, or conch in English using a metal hook in her hand to ply the conch of the rocks on the seabed. She then surfaces, puts the Sora collected in the net attached to her personal homemade buoy and after a very short break dives again. This goes on until the net is full or she has exhausted her diving spot Ð the she will wave at the groupÕs boat which will come to pich her up to empty her net and perhaps take her to a different fishing spot. Being in her 50s makes Hyeon Eun Yeol one of the younger Haenyeos in her group. (Photo by David Hogsholt/Reportage by Getty Images)

Learn more - David Hogsholt | Reportage by Getty Images

Sunday, August 14, 2011 50 Words or Less: Hell or High Watermelon Wheat

After a summer BBQ, the fiancee and I popped by Capones in East Norriton for a sixer or two. Perhaps I still had watermelon on my palette or I loved the branding. These little cans provide a crisp flow of soft wheat with a mellow melon lingering. 

Saturday, August 13, 2011 50 Words or Less: Brooklyn Oktoberfest

Brooklyn Oktoberfest
Some suds experts would say that it's too early for an Oktoberfest beverage. I protest. My palate knows no calendar. Especially when the beer is by Brooklyn Brewery, makers of my favorite specialty beer of all time, the incredible Smoked Weissbock. This amber boasts an impressively potent, almost Porterish wallop.

Booze ... in 50 Words or Less: Rebel Hill Off the Mark Stout

Strong coffee stout with just a tiny bit of sweetness. Hubby said he could taste whiskey, but me ... not so much. Great as a dessert beer. And even greater when you realize this is made by some guy brewing in his basement/garage/bathroom. 50 Words or Less: Victory Summer Love Ale

Victory Summer Love Ale
Had this after running a 5K sponsored by Victory Brewing Company earlier this summer. Wasn't that excited about it. Must've been too exhausted. Spurred by its being named Philly Mag's Best Beer, I gave it another shot. It's distinctive and refreshing with a crisp, hoppy bite. Excellent session beverage.

Friday, August 12, 2011 50 Words or Less: Brewery Ommegang Rare Vos

Brewery Ommegang Rare Vos
Because every once in a while you need a beer that requires the popping of a cork. This Belgian-style amber packs a serious punch via its pleasing scent and robust, spicy (almost smoky) flavor. Best reason to go to Cooperstown since the Baseball Hall of Fame.

New to the Collection: Gran Torino

Every time Saucy adds a new DVD to his increasingly mammoth film collection, he will take the time to provide five indelible scenes that convinced him to spend his hard-earned sheckles on something he could have gotten for free with a DVD burner and a Netflix subscription. Unless he doesn't feel like writing about five scenes, at which point he will write about something else. This installment discusses Gran Torino, the 2008 film by very old yet very accomplished director and actor Clint Eastwood.

When I first saw Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino in the theater, I knew that I liked it. However, I don't think I knew that I liked it as much as I do. It got to the point where every time it was on HBO, I was sticking with it. Sometimes five minutes. Sometimes ten. If it was anywhere remotely near that scene where Eastwood gets out of the truck and has a showdown with three black street toughs, only to gain their respect by mocking a white guy trying be "down" by chatting urban slang, I would wait as much as a half-hour. That's just a totally inexplicable yet completely enjoyable scene.

Thursday, August 11, 2011 50 Words or Less: Red Hook Long Hammer IPA

Picked up this one based on the bottle alone. Definitely missed the mark. For an IPA it is very light on hop flavor and has a pretty bland aroma. It is a drinkable beer that could be used as a gateway IPA for the beer novice.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Introducing Photo of the Week

My pals of the Pizza Project have asked that the budding photographer offer a weekly best of photo from my own musings or from my countless hours scouring the Web for inspiration. Emmental is more than happy to comply and up for the challenge.

And I think it fitting that we give you some time in the limelight and share your pictures with us, too. Stay tuned for upcoming photo contests.

The Photo of the Week will be featured on Mondays starting next week.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Time for a Random List: Twenty Great Album Openers

1) "Everything In Its Right Place" - Radiohead (Kid A)

Tale of the Pie: Perrotto's Pizza

We took a break from the Philly Mag Best Pizza list this week and decided to test a pie recommended by one of The Pizza Project's many Facebook friends. Okay, the "many" part of that statement is a lie, we totally need more Facebook fans, so if you're reading this, please like us! After making that request, why do I suddenly feel like I'm in sixth grade again?

While Perrotto's pie has always been on our local "to-try" list, we haven't exactly been in a rush to order one up because the Valley Forge Beef & Ale, the establishment where Perrotto's is housed, is ... well, in a nutshell, gross. Don't get me wrong, we've certainly spent a few enjoyable nights there, especially a few years ago when we would get our Saturday night dance on to the sweet sounds of DJ McNabb (not really his name, but he was usually wearing a McNabb jersey). But the place is DIRTY (as in windowsills lined with dust and tiny bugs) and they still allow smoking at the bar, so you basically smell like an ashtray within 10 seconds of walking in the place.

Putting those thoughts aside, we ordered a large pepperoni with a side of chicken fingers (which I remembered being quite good during a few late-night nibbles). Upon picking it up, we were glad to learn that Perrotto's operates in a small area separated from the rest of the Beef & Ale, so our pie was safe from the smoky confines of the bar.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Props Out: Mark, the Chap's Bartender

What makes a good bartender?

To answer this, let me relay a scenario that I experienced when I recently visited our local beer go-to, Chap's Taproom:

I needed some beer for a family get-together. So I grabbed a growler and headed to Chap's. I figured I'd grab one of the $10 specials that they run on a regular basis. Upon perusing the list, I saw that Sly Fox Pikeland Pils was on the menu so I decided to settle upon that sure-fire winner. The bar was a little crowded for a Sunday, so it was taking the gal behind the bar a minute to get to me. A guy asked me how much beer one of the growler holds. I said "64 ounces, about five beers." And then I got scared because I don't like to get into conversations with strangers at bars. I immediately envision them trying to get close to me so they can jack me flash-mob style in the parking lot. It was right at that moment that I heard a voice from behind me: It was Mark, the Chap's bartender. He was evidently working the front desk on this day, but he took the time to greet me and save me from the random who was all in my business. Seeing that the bartendress was busy, he took the initiative to ask me what I was having and then he went ahead and began the lengthy pour. While the growler was filling, he pointed me to an interesting promotion. They are calling it the Battle of the Imperial IPAs, and the standoff is between Dogfish Head 90 Minute and Bear Republic Apex. Seeing that they were selling them for $2 per flight glass, I said that they should run something where they sell you both flights for three bucks so you can drink and compare simultaneously. He said that sounded like a lovely idea and that he was going to run it by the management. I felt very proud of this suggestion. Then I noticed that they were selling a Lagunitas beverage on draft. Being a major fan of Lagunitas right now (Little Sumpin Sumpin is epic), I asked him how this beer - Lucky 13, was its name - tasted. Wouldn't you know he let me come behind the bar and put my head under the tap for some quick consumption? Just kidding! That would be stealing, but it makes for a funny image, doesn't it? In any event, during our pleasant conversation, the growler concluded its fill-up. Get this: He checks it out, sees that it isn't quite up to the top, and makes sure that I get a completely filled container. After this, he gives me my check, I give him a very decent tip for his efforts, we said our goodbyes, and we both went about the rest of our day.

Deal Alert: Tony & Joe's Pizzeria in Conshohocken

Today's LivingSocial deal is $7 for $15 at Tony & Joe's Pizzeria in Conshohocken. I've never been, so I can't personally recommend, but it may be worth a try for any of you local pizza lovers looking to save a few bucks on pizza night. It can be used for dine-in/take-out/delivery - definitely a plus.

Get the deal >>

Sunday, August 7, 2011 50 Words or Less: Uinta Brewing Co. Punk'n Harvest Pumpkin Ale

Uinta Brewing Company Punk'n Harvest Pumpkin Ale
Pumpkin beers can be a risky proposition. For every great one (Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale), you get one that is too spicy (the Dogfish misstep Punkin Ale). When I got this one by Salt Lake brewery Uinta, I didn't have high hopes. It was quite good. Subtle. Understated. Very tasty.

Saturday, August 6, 2011 50 Words or Less: Widmer Brothers Brewing Drifter Pale Ale

Widmer Brothers Brewing Drifter Pale Ale
Wasn't eager to pick this one up. The label's boring. Saw the brewery was in Portland, Oregon. I know there have been many raves about Northwestern beers. Glad I gave it a shot. It's a crisp, aromatic beer with more hoppy flavor than you would expect from a pale.

Top Ten Thoughts I Had While Sitting in a Hair Cuttery Getting My Hair Cut

1) Jeez, I totally wish I would have remembered the picture of Jake Gyllenhaal I use to show people how I want my haircut. They're never going to be able to get it right without a picture of the dude from Brokeback Mountain to show them the way!

2) Maybe I should request someone? There are like five people in here who have cut my hair before. When you go to a hairdresser and then don't request them the next time, I wonder if they go in the back in cry or if they throw darts at your picture or maybe a picture of Jake Gyllenhaal for being so unfortunate to be your hair role model?

3) Nah, I'm just going to take the first person available (pause). Oh wait, this is the first person available? Man, I totally should have requested that other one. She's way more attrative. It would have made the whole uncomfortable "Wow, her breast is accidentally brushing against my shoulder as she trims my cowlick" moment a lot more enjoyable.

You got the gabagool? Because the Jersey Shore girls sure didn't eat it ...

I don't think I truly knew the meaning of "guilty pleasure" until I saw my first episode of Jersey Shore. I had heard how absurd it was and mentioned it to the hubby, so we checked out an episode one day to see what it was all about.

Yikes. I was entertained. I laughed. And for some reason, I found myself unable to turn away and even wanting more once the episode was over. I was hooked.

When I admit my fondness of the show to anyone who knows me, they are shocked. I can't blame them - I'm shocked myself. After all, I can count the number of "shows" I've had (for which I knew the channel and time they came on) in my entire life on one hand. I don't really like TV all that much. And I HATE reality shows. I even formed a friendship at my last corporate job with a fellow reality hater as we laughed and emailed with mutual disdain for our colleagues huddling around the coffeemaker to discuss what happened last night on Survivor or who might be kicked off The Apprentice.