BEHIND THE PLATE
Filipino Cuisine Served Straight Up with a Moderno Twist
Some of the most frequently used ingredients in Filipino dishes would be patis (a fish sauce), calamansi, which is a citrus, kind of a cross between a mandarin and lime, rice, and garlic. The national Filipino dish is adobo and adobo is anything that can be cooked with these five ingredients - peppercorns, bay leaf, garlic, salt, and vinegar. So we do an adobo chicken, we switch it up during the week sometimes we do a squid adobo! And most of those five ingredients are used in everyday cooking.
DELICIOUS DEBUTS
Our Sneak Preview of The Bedford's New Menu

The Bedford (110 Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg) held a special sneak preview of their newly appointed Executive Chef Jason Michael Giordano’s forthcoming Tavern Menu last night in their I-Beam barroom. Jason’s new contemporary American pub snack menu was inspired by the dinner served at the White House during President Lincoln’s inaugural dinner. With such an original concept a lot of research had to be done to recreate these dishes that time had forgotten. The Tavern Menu uses old world techniques with classic American ingredients to create dishes such as arancini (risotto balls), fried duck rillette (similar to pâté), devils on horseback (bacon-wrapped dates filled with cheese), and others. Diners also enjoyed a basket of delicately fried kale chips while snacking on the Tavern Menu sampler.

BEST OF
Want a Beer and a Warm, Homemade Pretzel?

San Francisco has long been known as a culinary mecca. The city always has its fingers on the pulse of the next big culinary breakthrough. One thing it's not known for is its pretzels. You could scour the city neighborhood-by-neighborhood and be lucky to find one. Thankfully, Joonbug's here to help!

Sure, there is the obvious choice of Auntie Anne’s or Wetzel’s Pretzels. There are also the random food carts around Union Square for the tourists to indulge in. However, If you are looking for a homemade twist and an easygoing bar experience, try your hand in the Elephant and Castle. It’s a casual chain restaurant and pub that offers Pub Pretzels. They come in a set of three served with a Bass Ale mustard sauce for a whopping $7.00. These pretzels aren’t the best out there, but they are nice to enjoy with a cold beer.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT
A Meal in a Cocktail?

The next time your country side is craving beef jerky and a beer, try a drink concocted with jerky-infused vodka. That's right, I said meat- flavored vodka. If that doesn't intrigue you enough, what about Slim Jim-infused bourbon?

Even though they don't sound so delicious to think about, you can't help but wonder what they actually taste like. Bridge Bar, on top of Fulton's on the River, is the spot that serves them. Even though you almost feel like you're eating a meal with every sip of your cocktail, the bar is also introducing a new era of bar food, not for the faint-hearted. Among the menu items are the Chicago Lobster Dog, Steak Tartare (with quail egg, shallots, capers, garlic, and parsley), the Nanatella (brie, Nutella, and bananas), and bacon-truffle popcorn. Welcome to the Midwest!

315 N LaSalle Street (above Fulton’s on the River), Chicago, IL, 312.822.0100

RESTAURANT 101
A Taste of London at this Philly Pub

The Dandelion, Stephen Starr’s latest contribution to the Philadelphia food scene, has officially set the bar for all British Pubs to come. From the décor to the creative play on traditional cuisine, this gastropub nails it. Securing a dinner reservation is a feat in itself.

Located on the corner of 18th and Sansom Streets, The Dandelion’s interior is warm and cozy thanks to artwork, furniture and decorative pieces imported from England. The first floor has two levels with both areas dedicated to drinks. The upstairs is used for sit-down dining with another small bar area located in a side room.

STAFF FAVORITES
DC's British Isle Bistro Pub

Againn, pronounced “ah-gwenn,” loosely translated from Gaelic to “with us,” or “are we going” is a bit of London on the corner of 11th Street and New York Avenue Northwest in DC.

Againn not only looks like what you would expect at a typical British Isle Bistro, it has the menu to match. You’ll find everything from fish and chips and bangers and mash to shepherd’s pie, all made with organic, sustainable, locally grown ingredients.

FOOD + DRINK
Sticks and Stones Won't Break Your Bones Or Your Bank

Nearly three years after it was first announced, Sticks and Stones finally made its debut over Thanksgiving Weekend, and has proven well worth the wait. Chef/Owner Nick Miglino (previously of Felicia's) brings his talents to Passyunk Ave's latest dining/late night spot, which features 12 rotating craft beers on tap, rare 22 oz. bottles, a fully stocked bar, extensive wine list and a selection of wildly eclectic food offerings. Menu items range from sushi rolls to a "pizza-style" cheesesteak to chimichangas, with everything imaginable in between. Rounding out the menu are specialty desserts baked in-house by Miglino's wife.

CHEAP EATS
Great Food and Drinks? I'm in!

The Spotted Pig doesn’t need a review. Executive Chef April Bloomfield and company have already made this West Village gastropub a place to be visited, but nevertheless, here we go.

I went a couple weeks ago and here are my must-try dishes:

For starters, the Chicken Liver Toast (if that’s your kinda thing) is well seasoned and has just the right ratio between pate and toast. Another great starter is the Buffalo Mozzarella with House Made Pancetta and Fennel which is perfect when you assemble all the components into one crafted bite.

And lastly, the Pumpkin Salad with Aged Pecorino and Pine nuts is my favorite thing on the menu. It tastes like Thanksgiving comfort food but with the lightness of a salad (amazing!).

STAFF FAVORITES
The Coffee Table Lounge in Eagle Rock