Beer baroness Suzanne Woods has been a steady fixture in Philly’s thriving craft beer scene for the last five years. As Sly Fox Brewing Company’s regional representative, she spends her days, nights, weekends and most other waking moments visiting, eating and drinking in bars and restaurants throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Most of her off time is spent the exact same way. She moonlights as a bartender at Bridgids, blogs and pens articles about beer for a variety of publications, and is the founder of the women’s beer club In Pursuit of Ale. Somehow she also finds time to experiment with making ice cream at home and by her own admission participates in as many cooking contests as possible. In this installment of the Philadelphia Diet, Woods details a busy week of work, beer events and stalking former Phillies catcher Darren Daulton with her sister.
Friday, July 9
I ate a leftover roast pork sandwich with house made coleslaw and smoked gouda on a Le Bus Poppyseed brioche bun from Green Eggs Café in South Philly. It’s one of my favorite breakfast places. The sandwich was awesome (as all things are at Green Eggs) I could barely finish it yesterday. I usually don’t get food wrapped, but I went against my to-go beliefs and had it boxed. I was starving, and psyched when I remembered that I had the sandwich in the fridge, but I had a dilemma. I couldn’t heat it up because of the slaw. I decided to eat the whole thing cold. It was like a pork salad sandwich (hold the mayo and celery). Then I made a milkshake, with ice cream I made for my neighbor’s birthday earlier in the week. He’s a huge fan of Red Hook Coffee & Tea at 4th and Catherine, so I made it with their coffee and crushed espresso beans from Anthony’s in the Italian Market blended in. After sitting for a couple days in the freezer, the ice cream was a bit icy so I added some cream and made a milkshake out of it.
I was on deadline, so I had to nibble on some stuff for brainpower. I chose some ingredients from former ice creams that were still lying around. Almonds with toasted coconut and dark milk chocolate covered raisins that I purchased in the Marshall’s pantry. My friends make fun of me for my Marshall’s addiction. But that weird department store aisle has served for much culinary inspiration over the last 6 months or so. Some chicks go for shoes, I got for $30 extra virgin olive oil that I can get for $12.99.
Me and my fella, Chris, decided it would be dinner and a movie that night. So we headed to the new HeadHouse on Lombard St. We ordered shrimp balls and carnitas. I could eat pork tacos almost every day of my life. We tried the Summer of Love beer from Victory. Chris was a big fan. It was very clean with a nice hop aroma. We were sated, so we didn’t get any snacks during “Cyrus.” We did however drink a few cans of Sly Fox at the theater; I always smuggle a few into the theater with me.
Saturday, July 10
Ah the blessing and the curse that is Royal Stumble. If you’ve never been it’s the opposite of every other beer festival that preaches pacing and plenty of water. This is a cutthroat competition amongst mostly local breweries to see who can kick a half keg first. Nodding Head, who hosts it, puts out a buffet. I figured I should eat something before the drinking started. So I had five wings and pulled pork. My strategy included not eating the bun, so I wasn’t too full. I had something like nine Helles Lagers - calm down they were sampling glasses - a Dogfish Head Festina Peche, Troegs Sunshine Pils and a Stewarts Coffee Stout.
After the Stumble and before the crumble, I went to Tequilas for tequila-based mojitos and bacon guacamole, and then to Good Dog. You’ll have to check in with Nodding Head brewer Gordon Grubb on what I drank there. My money’s on a can of Sly Fox Pale Ale.
Sunday, July 11
I manage to leave my house at 4:30 p.m. and meet fellow beer rep Megan Maguire at the South Philly Tap Room. I was confident that Scott Shroeder’s food would set me on the road to recovery. A Bloody Mary also helped. We shared a bunch of stuff, like avocado gazpacho with cucumbers, and fried pickles. I had a bite of Meg’s potato flautas. We shared oysters with avocado and cilantro. Mmm, I could eat them all day. Then I really went glutton and got the Ribeye Sliders. Shroeder is a native of Detroit, home of the slider, so you know he knows what’s up.
I then met Chris and we went to see our friend Tom Baker at Earth Bread Brewery. For the first time I was more excited about his housemade sodas then his beer. I tried the ginger ale and the sarsaparilla. Both winners. I had a sip of his Brown vs. Bored beer. It was a blend of his altbier and a Belgian dubbel. I loved it. We shared a flatbread that was topped with blueberries, chocolate chips, walnuts and powdered sugar. I was almost feeling human again.
But that wasn’t good enough for Chris. He’s a brewer by trade and if he’s not brewing, he’s trying to find ice cream somewhere. At the Trolley Car Diner, just two minutes up the street from Earth Bread, I had two bites of pistachio ice cream and then threw it out. Something was off about it. As most girlfriends do, I then stole a bite of cookie batter ice cream with chocolate jimmies from Chris.
Monday, July 12
I made a goats milk ice cream scented with rosemary and a blackberry jam swirl. I had to be the guinea pig. My friend Wendy yelled up from my courtyard and asked me if I wanted a Latte. Of course I did. I usually opt for soymilk but she wanted to make it easy on the barista so she just got me her usual, a Latte with skim milk.
I headed to Sly Fox brewery for our weekly Monday meeting. There I thought I would be somewhat healthy and get a salad. It had steak and portabella with feta and roasted peppers. Not so healthy after all.
Later that night I had some mussels at Bridgids, where I pull taps on Monday nights. I had a sip of Saxo Blonde, because I hadn’t tried it in years. With one sip, I remembered the beer well. It’s a blast of honey but in a good way.
Tuesday, July 13
I had a coffee with two Splendas and soy milk and a pork roll, egg and cheese on an everything bagel at Rybread. I only eat everything bagels.
I skipped lunch because I had a special dinner planned with my sister. She was infatuated with Darren “Dutch” Dalton in 1993, and I noticed that he was doing a celebrity dinner at Nabrasa, a Brazliian Steak house in Horsham. I had Albondigas calamari salad, grilled zucchini, and smoked salmon from Nabrasa’s not so average salad bar. After that I had rack of lamb, filet mignon, filet mignon wrapped in bacon, Parmesan crusted pork, and some molten chocolate cake that was straight out of a suburban country club, circa 1988.
Read More: The Philadelphia Diet Archive