I love this DIY craze that’s been hitting the American food scene! With all the attention that consumers are placing on where things come from and how they’re made, it seems as if many individuals have resorted to the notion that the best way to know the exact what, where, and how of a product is to make it yourself. In addition to controlling such things as the quality and sustainability of the food, making it yourself gives you full reign over the flavor and appearance of a finished product, as well as enabling you to add your own unique flourishes. The DIY revolution doesn’t seem to be merely confined to the home, however, as many chefs are finding more and more items that they can make from scratch, attempting everything from jams, pickles, condiments, and even cured meats...and they don’t seem to be turning back. I am so glad to see that, along with sourcing local products, the trend of making things in house is on the rise in South Florida and can be found a lot closer than I had previously thought. Big City Tavern, on the bustling Las Olas Boulevard, has always been a popular spot for good, informal meals and a convivial vibe, but I have often overlooked this restaurant as a mere purveyor of standard pub fare until a recent meal led me to discover otherwise. Local meat and produce coupled with excellently cured house-made charcuterie, along with a delicious array of homey desserts make Big City Tavern perhaps one of Fort Lauderdale’s best “right-under-our-noses” culinary secrets.
This Valentine's Day, ditch the grocery store bouquet, calorie-laden chocolates and get your girls together for a Singles Awareness Outing. Here are a few spots in the Metroplex to check out for a laid-back girls night out that’s bound to be more fun than a ‘romantic’ evening of slaving over the stove for Mr. Right Now.
The Old Monk is an Irish pub with no shortage of recognition. It is praised by the foremost authorities in Dallas drinking for its wide variety of beers on tap and fun atmosphere. This pub is primarily a hit with beer lovers, so if you’re looking for a night of cosmos and appletinis – look elsewhere. This is the perfect place to try something bubbly and new. The Old Monk features a ‘Rotator Tap’ with seasonal brews and new arrivals. Not sure what to try? The pub’s expert bartenders can help you pick your new favorite beer based on your preferences. Recommendation: a cold pint of Smithwick’s and one of the best Reuben Sandwiches the Metroplex has to offer.
The Sidecar Bar & Grille
22nd and Christian Street
Philadelphia has incredible neighborhood pub food and The Sidecar Bar & Grille is no exception. The bar builds itself on having "cozy fare and American craft beer", and indeed it has both. It also boasts excellent, not-to-be-overlooked daily specials on both the beer and food.
On the night we visited, all drafts were on special for $3.50 and a table was available immediately in the dark, intimate pub. We did have to wait a while for our delicious IPAs and wheat brews, which arrived ice-cold and potent after what seemed like eternity. (I remember thinking, "I'm going to lay down and DIE if I don't get drink soon.") But, I'm here to tell you about it, so perhaps the beers arrived more speedily than my impatient thirst originally indicated.
B Bar and Grill
Cuisine: American, Pub Food
Price Range: Moderate
40 E. 4th St.
New York, NY 10003
Even after ten years in the business, B Bar, formerly Bowery Bar, is still a downtown mainstay. In the summer, the patio is the place to drink martinis and ogle the gorgeous waiters. In the cooler months, the interior of the restaurant, complete with diner-chic booths, an indoor bar and hanging paper lamps, is packed with a fashionable crowd.