Before we became parents, this used to be a real hot spot for us, and a look at what they are offering on draft quickly indicates why. With the space I have here, I could not do justice to the list so here are just some of the luminaries: Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale, Saison Dupont, Bear Republic Red Rocket, Victory Braumeister Pils, and Bell's Two Hearted Ale. The bottle list is just as stunning, with well over 100 different options. On this night, myself and the wife chose to go with three incredible beers.
Upon looking at the beer list, my eyes were quickly drawn to the word "Stone," which preceded two different beverages. Having just reacquainted myself with their IPA, I jumped at the opportunity to try their Levitation amber (I would have went with their Double Bastard, but I wasn't really in the mood for potentially running over a homeless person or other unsuspecting individual at the end of my night). The wife got her money's worth, going for something called Malheur 12, a Belgian QUADRUPLE (!!!!!). The 12 in the name? That's for the alcohol by volume. While it was delicious, I should have known that it had the potential to start arguments due to diminished inhibitions (more on that later). As I said, I was lucky enough to have a second beer, and for that I chose Firestone Union Jack IPA. They actually had Firestone Double Jack IPA on the list as well, but I chose to go with the beer with less hops. After tasting Single Jack, I can only imagine the hop flavor that would have emerged from the California brewery's double. The beer was so tasty, I decided to pick a bottle of it up as part of my to-go sixpack (these will all be reviewed in subsequent 50 word posts).
As for the food at TJ's, it never fails to satisfy. We skipped our usual wings (theirs are some of the plumpest in the area and their sauce is spicy, flavorful, and amply supplied) because we planned on trying their pumpkin cheesecake as a dessert. Therefore, skipping right to the heart of the matter, I ordered the chicken-andouille meatloaf sandwich while the lady got the TJ's Burger, which featured onion straws, horseradish mayo, and a cheese which she can't really recall because she is currently busy getting licked by our bulldog. While I did not taste her burger, she finished it, which leads me to believe that it probably tasted quite good. I also dispatched of the meatloaf sandwich very easily as it had the perfect amount of spice and was accompanied by a distinctive chipotle ketchup.
Unfortunately, we never made it to that pumpkin cheesecake. But more disappointingly we did not make it to a third and second beer respectively. The lady would have had an Ommegang Three Philosophers while I probably would have continued the hop kick with an Allagash Hugh Malone Belgian IPA. However, when you have a kid, you realize that your time at the bar is fleeting so we left with a smile on our face, happy for the 75 minutes or so we got to drink beer, eat food, and argue about Occupy Philly.
Oh right, the argument. Well, my lady thinks that these Occupy Philly characters are really onto something and that their camping out is shining a light on the very real matter of financial inequality in our society. I think they are just hanging out there at City Hall as a poor excuse to not get a job, smoke weed, not shower, and maybe get laid by a fellow shiftless ne'er-do-well. I also think that if they really want to protest something that they need to commence burning shizz down at first opportunity. Ask the Middle East! That is the only way to truly get things done in this day and age.
Well, while myself and Spicy may not agree about the righteousness of Occupy Philly, there is one thing that we definitely agree on: TJ's Restaurant and Drinkery is one hell of a place to drink a pint!
P.S. - Their eighth anniversary is coming up in December, and they will have three different versions of the much-in-demand Troegs Mad Elf (2009, 2010, and 2011 varietals). That's worth the price of admission alone!
TJ's Restaurant and Drinkery
35 Paoli Plaza
Paoli, PA 19301
35 Paoli Plaza
Paoli, PA 19301