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Friday, October 30, 2009

Two new visits for me

I'm crushed by the number of new beer-strong bars in Philly that I haven't been to yet: Resurrection, Devil's Alley, Beneluxx -- hell, I haven't even made it to Zōt yet. But Tuesday night Cathy and I crossed two off the list: Lucky 13 and P.O.P.E. (Yeah, really, three years and this is the first's a busy life, what can I tell you?). We wanted to go out for the Bosteels night at P.O.P.E., and since Lucky 13 is so close, well, you know, two birds, one Jetta...

It was a rainy night, but that didn't stop me from jockeying into a very tight parking spot on Mifflin, and we walked around the corner to Lucky 13. I got a bit irked when the bartender decided to finish her texting before greeting us -- there were only three other people in the place, but I got over it quickly; she was real nice, friendly, and happy to give us a sample of the SixPoint Otis (nice body, beautifully black, just sweet enough; Cathy got one, and I got a Southampton IPA). We made some easy conversation with the other folks at the smallish bar in the front of the place, and had to exercise restraint on the menu; it looked really good (Craig LaBan liked it, too). Not a ton of taps, but the craft that was there was nicely chosen and not The Usual Suspects. I suspect if we'd eaten, Lucky 13 might have made it onto the "Why Isn't This Near Us?" list.

I was planning to walk to P.O.P.E., but it was raining harder now, so I took my chances with finding another parking space. Took a bit, but we did, and I finally got to the pub I'd heard so much about. P.O.P.E. (Pub On Passyunk East) has a long bar off its corner entrance, leading back to two dining areas divided by brick archways. It kind of put me in mind of the basement bar at The Brewer's Art in Baltimore, which I love. We sat in the back, and quickly ordered a flight of all three beers -- DeuS, Tripel Karmeliet, and Kwak -- an order of crab fries (wit' real crab; take note, Chickie and Pete's), and gingerbread.

I jumped on the Karmeliet and enjoyed its sweet, spicy goodness. Cathy is a Kwak fan and yummed over how it went with the gingerbread. Me, I was somewhat dismayed to find how well the DeuS -- which I still say is much better than when it first came out, but I realize that's just me -- went with the crab fries; just what I need, a really expensive beer that's frickin' great with bar food...

About that time Cameron Saunders, beer ace from Shangy's, spotted me (lucky, because I was looking for importer Lanny Hoff, who was up in Emmaus for an event that apparently didn't happen...) and brought Bosteels export director Jack Van Antwerpen over to meet us. Jack was quite the affable guy -- no surprise from a Belgian in beer exporting! -- and we were quickly swapping stories about brewery patriarch Ivo Bosteels and my visit to the brewery last year. He bought us another round -- thanks, Jack! -- of Karmeliet and Kwak, and left to continue his low-key promotion of simply talking to people about the beer. Nice guy.

We were just getting ready to leave, finishing up the beers, getting the check, 'when entered in to that hall of sin, into that harlots' hell, A lusty maid who was unafraid--and her name was...' Suzanne Woods. (JK on the reference, Suz, it was just too much fun to pass up!) Well, we couldn't leave then, not when the girl was so jazzed that I'd finally visited her favorite neighborhood bar. So we chatted, got caught up...and then we went home. Nice night out.


Ed H. said...

Ahhh yes...the musings of Robert Service!

My father spent a good amount of his time in the Army constructing runways in the Yukon Territory and could recite at least 50 pieces of his work.

His favorite?

The Bread Knife Ballad

A little child was sitting upon her mother's knee
And down down her cheeks the bitter tears did flow.
And as I sadly listened I heard this tender plea,
'Twas uttered in a voice so soft and low.

"Not guilty" said the Jury and the Judge said "Set her free,
But remember it must not occur again.
And next time you must listen to you little daughter's plea,"
Then all the Court did join in this refrain.

"Please Mother don't stab Father with the bread knife,
Remember, 'twas a gift when you were wed.
But if you must stab Father with the bread knife,
Please Mother use another for the bread."

Lew Bryson said...

Heh. Service only served as stylistic inspiration for 'Eskimo Nell,' it's not actually his work. The most common attribution is to Noel Coward, believe it or not. But I too am a Service fan, particularly "The Men Who Don't Fit In."