When Beastie Boys’ Adam “MCA” Yauch passed away on May 4, 2012, Beastie Boys fans were devastated and expressed their loss in many ways. (Click here to read my favorite piece written about MCA’s life.) I distinctly remember jukeboxes in Philly bars echoing Beastie Boys songs for days on end. Since his passing, friends, family and fans have celebrated Yauch’s life in many different ways — Buddhist monks breakdanced, musicians covered Beastie songs and Brooklyn even named a park after their native son. This blog focuses on food/drink memories and stories. So it seemed appropriate for us to honor MCA’s August 5th birthday with food and drink.
A few of us got together this past Sunday to celebrate Yauch’s music and message over Beastie Boys-inspired food and drink throughout Philadelphia, playing Beastie Boys on the jukebox wherever we dined and sipped, and we encourage all Beastie Boys fans (and bars/restaurants) everywhere to celebrate similarly today and every year on August 5th.
Thank you, Adam Yauch, for everything. We eat and drink in your honor. Happy Birthday, MCA!
The Inaugural Beastie Boys-inspired Food/Drink Tour, Honoring MCA
Coffee & Donut Breakfast
“Well it’s 50 cups of coffee and you know it’s on / I move the crowd to the break of break of dawn” — Super Disco Breakin’
“When it comes to beats well I’m a fiend / I like my sugar with coffee and cream” — Intergalatic
“Hot cup of coffee and the donuts are Dunkin” — Stop That Train (B-Boy Bouillabaisse)
We knew this was going to be a LONG day of eating and drinking. So whether we were all coffee drinkers or not, it was a prerequisite that all friends got a jolt of caffeine with a cup of coffee (and maybe a Dunkin’ Donut) first that morning.
Aperitif: Brass Monkey cocktails
“I drink Brass Monkey and I rock well / I got a Castle in Brooklyn that’s where I dwell” — Brass Monkey
Many people think a Brass Monkey is a malt liquor bottle with some orange juice added after the first few sips of brew. Well, Mike D set the record straight in a recent interview that their famous song is based on a premixed cocktail of rum, vodka and orange juice. Since it does not appear as if The Club Cocktails (owned by Diageo) still make premixed Brass Monkeys, we started our special day off in the early-afternoon with homemade Brass Monkey cocktails, mixing equal parts: dark rum (Gosling’s), vodka (Tito’s) & orange juice (with pulp). Some up, and some over rocks.
Appetizer: White Castle burgers
“Got the ladies of the eighties from here to White Castle” — Hold It Now – Hit It
“I chill at White Castle ‘cause it’s the best / But I’m fly at Fat Burger when I’m way out west” — The New Style
While waiting for our friends to arrive, we microwaved up some White Castle sliders. (Of note, there are no White Castles nearby Philly anymore.)
First Course: Sardines
“MCA, where have you been? / Packed like sardines in the tin“ — Body Movin’
Our first stop was American Sardine Bar in the Point Breeze area. ASB’s owner is a huge Beastie Boys fan, and rumor has it that he used the Beastie Boys as inspiration when selecting the bar’s name, theme and menu. Indeed, sardines are always on the menu, and an opened, sardine can sculpture, high above the front door, greets customers as they enter. We first ordered up sardines four ways — sauteed, grilled, plancha and fried …
Second Course: More Sardines with “Def Ale”
“Like a lemon to a lime, a lime to a lemon / I sip the def ale with all the fly women” — No Sleep Till Brooklyn
Next at American Sardine Bar, we ordered a bunch of sardine sandwiches and reminisced on that awesome Beastie Boys image with the guys packed in a sardine tin. We toasted MCA with some American Sardine Ale (brewed by Manayunk Brewing Co.) and lemons and limes.
Third Course: Pickled Eggs
“Which came first, the chicken or the egg / I egged the chicken, then I ate his leg” — Egg Man
“Gonna fight, gonna fight, gonna egg raid tonight!” — Egg Raid on Mojo!
We knew we’d be eating fried chicken later, so we got a couple pickled eggs at ASB in honor of “Egg Man.”
Fourth Course: Pork & Beans … with Hot Sauce
“Sardines … and pork and beans.” — The Maestro (live version from the Root Down EP)
Hot Sauce Committee Part Two (album)
“Well I’m as cool as a cucumber in a bowl of hot sauce / You’ve got the rhyme and reason but no cause” — So What’cha Want?
After all of those sardines, of course we were on a mission for pork and beans, in honor of the live version of The Maestro, recorded live on the Beastie’s 1995 European tour. In place of traditional pork and beans, we walked over to Jose Pistola’s in Center City to order some pork belly bahn mi tacos with rice and beans on the side … and hot sauce, of course. The tacos were outstanding, and we doused everything with a ton of homemade hot sauce.
Fifth Course: Franks & Beans
“I got franks and pork and beans / Always bust the new routines” — The New Style
We then made our way to Hot Diggity on South Street and ordered up The Desert Dog, which is loaded with “all the fixins from a goucho’s saddle bag” — tomatoes, onions, spicy green chili, tortilla strips and, in honor of the Beastie Boys … pinto beans.
Sixth Course: Dry Pot Style Beef & Chicken
“If you try to knock me, you’ll get mocked / I’ll stir fry you in my wok” — Intergalatic
We then walked to Old City and dined at Han Dynasty, where we ordered beef and pork “dry pot style,’ served in sizzling mini-woks. The Szechuan spice was so intense (and tasty), that we practically felt like we were getting pinched on the neck from Mr. Spock.
Seventh Course: Fried Chicken & Heinekens
“Sittin’ around the house gettin’ high and watchin’ tube / Eating Colonel’s chicken drinkin’ Heineken brew” — Slow Ride
We next strolled to Silk City Diner where we ordered up a ton of grub. While the Beastie Boys reference KFC’s Colonel, this was a food tour, so we started with some buttermilk fried chicken in honey-chili butter with mashed potatoes, bacon-braised collard greens and jalapeño corn muffins. (We may or may not have substituted the Heinekens for some local craft beers instead. Cheers!)
Eighth Course: Mac & Cheese
“Because she’s The Cheese and I’m The Macaroni” — Get It Together
We next indulged in a couple orders of Silk City’s mac & cheese and wondered what Q-Tip (who guests on “Get It Together”) would think of our food tour.
Ninth Course: Burgers & Fruit
“Like the bun to the burger, like the burger to the bun / Like the cherry to the apple, to the peach to the plum” — The New Style
And yes, when we ordered a burger to share at Silk City, this just had to be done …
Tenth Course: Pasta Primavera & Pasta with Pesto with Chateauneuf Du Pape
“You’re all mixed up like pasta primavera / Why’d you throw that chair at Geraldo Rivera?” — What Comes Around
“I’ll be in the paper the news with Ernie Ernesto / They’ll even print my recipe for pasta with pesto / Now here’s another special of the day / See I’ve got more spice than the Frugal Gourmet” — Finger Licking Good
“Like a bottle of Chateauneuf du Pap / I’m fine like wine when I start to rap” — Body Movin’
We then enjoyed some live music for a few hours and made our way back home, where our BBoys-loving Gang mixed up some Beastie Boys-inspired pasta dishes and sipped on a “fine” bottle of Chateauneuf du Pape (2007).
Eleventh Course: Bon Bons, Cookie Puss cake & Lemonade Jell-O shots
“Flame on, I’m gone / I’m so sweet like a nice bon bon” — Body Movin’
“Cooky Puss, I said I want to speak to Cooky Puss” — Cooky Puss
“‘Cause I’m mellow like Jell-O, cool like lemonade / Made my getaway and I thought that I had it made” — High Plains Drifter
Finally, it was time to indulge in sweets. We had driven long and far to find a Carvel that makes the infamous Cookie Puss ice cream cake. (Note, the Beasties had to change the spelling of the album and song for legal reasons.) When serving Cookie Puss up, slices of cake that had some cookie from the ice cream cake eyes were in high demand. We threw some strawberry lemonade (and Tito’s vodka) Jell-O shots back and ended the evening with some “nice” bon bons. (We may have made one more Brass Monkey cocktail to finish off the evening, while singing Beastie Boys songs, as well.)
And there you have it, one wild Beastie Boys-inspired Sunday Funday in honor of Adam “MCA” Yauch. We look forward to doing this again next year and every year on the Sunday before August 5th.
Happy Birthday, MCA! We miss you now and forever. Thank you for everything, Good Sir. “Gratitude.” Cheers to MCA, the Beastie Boys and hungry/thirsty Beastie fans everywhere!
Lee Porter is the writer/producer of the award-winning comedy Web series My Ruined Life. In addition to this Chocolate Covered Memories blog, Lee writes for Ale Street News and CityEats-Philly, edits the comic book ADAM 12 and is a member of the Board of Director of Azuka Theatre. Lee lives in Philadelphia and is on a mission to find pannenkoeken in Philly (“When I’m in Holland, I eat the pannenkoeken” — Super Disco Disco Breakin’) so he can eat them while drinking a Ballentine quart (“Ballantine quarts with the puzzle on the cap” — High Plain Drifter) and black and tans (“Concoct a black and tan in my brandy snifter” — High Plain Drifter) next year on the Sunday before MCA’s BDay …
Did we miss anything else? Let us know in the comments section below. Cheers!