A Village and Farmers: Eating & Drinking in Philadelphia

December 2011

Tears. I nearly had them in my eyes when I read the menu for Village Whiskey in Philadelphia. Just try to read a few phrases like “maple bourbon glazed” or “whiskey BBQ,” feel a void in your own dining sector and not become at least a bit choked up.  I know I’m not the only one. Nicole practically renounced our friendship when I showed her the menu I planned to experience without her. “Quelcy,” she said, “that’s akin to me showing you a great pair of boots I plan to buy and expecting you to be happy for me.” We take our BBQs and bourbons very seriously, especially when their sources can be traced to the chef’s farm (sobbing by the time I learned that). After some time, I’m sure Nicole will be happy for me and the opportunity I had to partake in this Village Whiskey meal.

Village Whiskey
118 S 20th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Neighborhoods: Rittenhouse Square, Penn Center

Does a bite of slow pulled pork on a slightly sweet bun send you strolling on a memory lane to a really happy time and place?  If so, go to Village Whiskey.

BBQ Pork Sammy
PULLED PORK SHOULDER, WHISKEY BBQ, COLE SLAW, FRIED PICKLE

Do you know the joy of ordering a pink burger and having the juices prove the chef’s ability to fulfill your hopes and dreams?  If not, go to Village Whiskey.

Whiskey King
MAPLE BOURBON GLAZED CIPOLLINI, ROGUE BLEU CHEESE, APPLEWOOD BACON, FOIE GRAS

Does the presence of a slightly sweeter cheese variety in one half of the divine duo that is mac ‘n cheese drive you wild with curiosity?  If not, what’s wrong with you?  If so, go to Village Whiskey.

Jamie’s Lobster Mac
FONTINA, MASCARPONE, BREAD CRUMBS

This doesn’t even need to be a question.  I’m just going to offer four words:

Duck Fat French Fries.

Do you believe whiskey should be sipped, savored and stored in the memory alongside journeys and good friends?  Well sadly, I can’t say Village Whiskey is my top recommendation.  I defer to the Village’s neighbor and the delicious downer of the same trip.  Do you believe you can save a little room for a visit to a farmer?

Some might say the dessert course is about moderation or restraint.  Those people probably tend toward the sadder side of the spectrum.  I say the dessert course is about foresight.  Foregoing a smidgeon of that Sammy sandwich did not in anyway deny my enjoyment, but it did allow me to go around the corner to visit an old acquaintance.

The Farmers’ Cabinet
1113 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Neighborhood: Market East

The impetus for this visit to the Farmers’ Cabinet was twofold.  Village Whiskey’s dessert offerings come only in the form of milkshakes, which do have their time and place, but we were thinking something on the daintier side of decadence.  Secondly, our proximity to the oak barrels, vintage wood grains, obligatory obnoxious [said with endearment] mustaches, mason jars and candlelight of the Farmers’ Cabinet was analogous to being in the neighborhood of a friend of a styling feather and feeling compelled to at least pop in for a “how ya do?”  Fortunately, this friend was waiting for us with a table, dessert and a French press.

Due to the lingering happy haze of the Village, I did not have the wherewithal to snag the farmers’ dessert menu for a precise description.  However, my taste buds recall being dazzled by a bite of Heather’s s’mores dessert.  I ordered the Chocolate Stout Cake anticipating a rich chocolate dessert. The wash and foamy stout garnish went above and beyond my expectations.  As I’ve said, I’m a baby in the beer world, so the robustness of the beer flavor was a bit much, but when mixed evenly with a bite of the cake, the coffee crunch and the little mound of ice cream, I too was a beer person!  Even with the affects of the French press, the decadence of the night hit us.  With heavy eyelids and happy hearts, we hit the road.

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