Last year, we honored Beastie Boys’ Adam “MCA” Yauch’s August 5th birthday with an inaugural, memorable (and filling!), one-day food and drink tour, which you can read about here.
This year, a few of us again got together over a few days this past weekend to celebrate Yauch’s music and message over Beastie Boys-inspired food and drink — at almost all entirely new places — 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. For the second year in a row, we eat and drink in your honor. Happy Birthday, MCA!
The Second 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 started off our food tour with a cup of coffee and donut from Potitio’s in Center City — instead of Dunkin’ Donuts.
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
As we detailed last year, many people think a Brass Monkey is a malt liquor bottle with some orange juice added after the first few sips of brew. Well, according to Mike D, their famous song is based on a premixed cocktail of rum, vodka and orange juice. We started our first afternoon off with Brass Monkey cocktails. Varga Bar‘s manager Rich expertly mixed up equal parts dark rum, vodka & orange juice over some rocks.
Appetizer #1: Sliders
“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
Last year, we microwaved up some White Castle sliders. (Of note, there are no White Castles nearby Philly anymore.) This year, to mix it up, we enjoyed Varga Bar’s outstanding Kobe beef sliders with onion rings.
Appetizers #2 & #3: Sardines
“MCA, where have you been? / Packed like sardines in the tin“ — Body Movin’
Of course, we had to swing by American Sardine Bar in the Point Breeze area, just like we did last year. 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 a couple sardine sandwiches, some fried sardines and some American Sardine Ale (brewed by Manayunk Brewing Co.) …
Entree #1: Fried Chicken & Pickled Eggs
“Which came first, the chicken or the egg / I egged the chicken, then I ate his leg” — Egg Man
“Sittin’ around the house gettin’ high and watchin’ tube / Eating Colonel’s chicken drinkin’ Heineken brew“ — Slow Ride
“Gonna fight, gonna fight, gonna egg raid tonight!” — Egg Raid on Mojo!
Luckily fried chicken was on the menu at American Sardine Bar this year, so we got a fried chicken leg ASB-style with a couple pickled eggs in honor of “Egg Man.” We elected to drink craft beer, once again, instead of Heinekens though.
Entree #2: Mac & Cheese
“Because she’s The Cheese and I’m The Macaroni” — Get It Together
This year, we made our way to Good Dog Bar and enjoyed executive chef Jessica O’Donnell’s awesome mac & cheese in honor of Q-Tip (who guests on “Get It Together”).
Entree #3 & Desserts #1, #2, #3 & #4: Burger, Gelato, Cake, Biscuit Pudding & 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
We didn’t need an excuse to eat the famous Good Dog burger, stuffed with Roquefort cheese and topped with caramelized onions, but we sure thanked the Beastie Boys for “inspiring” us to eat one of our favorite Philly bites on this year’s Beastie Boys tour.
Regarding the Beastie Boys’ cherry, apple, peach and plum, we decided to visit this throughout the weekend …
For the “cherry,” we went to Gran Caffe L’Aquila and got a “desire” (cherry) gelato, which was outstanding.
For the “apple,” we got a slice of Jewish apple cake at Schlesinger’s, which we think the Beastie Boys would have definitely enjoyed.
For the “peach,” we snagged some delicious peach biscuit pudding at Scratch Biscuits‘ stand at the 2nd Street Festival over the weekend. So good!
And for the “plum,” well, we had some fresh plums at home.
Entree #4: Cucumber in Hot Sauce
“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?
We revisited Jose Pistola’s in Center City to focus on a cucumber in hot sauce. Luckily for us, cucumbers are part of their outstanding pork belly bahn mi tacos — easily one of our favorite bites in Philly — and their homemade hot sauce definitely brought the heat.
Entrees #5 & #6: Franks & Pork & Beans
“I got franks and pork and beans / Always bust the new routines“ — The New Style
“Sardines … and pork and beans.” — The Maestro (live version from the Root Down EP)
Hot Sauce Committee Part Two (album)
It turns out that one round of dogs and beans wasn’t enough for us, so we snagged a shoyu hot dog (with Sriracha mayo, pickled green cabbage & furikake) from Poi Dog Snack Shop at the 2nd Street Festival and “belatedly-paired” it with rice and beans at Jose Pistola’s, which we had enjoyed earlier during the tour.
Entree #7: Sha Cha Beef
“If you try to knock me, you’ll get mocked / I’ll stir fry you in my wok” — Intergalatic
We went to Ken’s Seafood Restaurant in Chinatown this year, where we ordered (among many other dishes) sha cha beef. While it wasn’t served in a wok, it was presented in a sizzling skillet, and the sauce on the side was so intense (and tasty), that we practically felt like we were getting pinched on the neck from Mr. Spock.
Entrees #8 & #9: Pasta Primavera & Pasta with Pesto
“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
As mentioned above (see our “cherry” course), we dined at Gran Caffe L’Aquila, where we ordered some off-the-menu, Beastie Boys-inspired pasta dishes — pasta with pesto and pasta primavera.
Entree #10: Pancakes
“When I’m in Holland, I eat the pannenkoeken” — Super Disco Disco Breakin’
We desperately tried to find pannenkoeken (Dutch pancakes) in Philly. While we still have yet to find them, we went to Reading Terminal Market to eat some blueberry pancakes at the Dutch Eating Place.
Desserts #5 & #6: Bon Bons & French Macarons
“Flame on, I’m gone / I’m so sweet like a nice bon bon” — Body Movin’
“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
Of course, we ended our tour by indulging in sweets. This year, we enjoyed some “nice” bon bons in the form of truffles from Teuscher and our dessert version of “a lemon to a lime, a lime to a lemon” in the form of French macarons from Miel Patisserie.
And yes, last year we drove 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.)
And there you have it, many (many!) bites/sips later, we’ve completed our second annual Beastie Boys-inspired food/drink tour in honor of Adam “MCA” Yauch. We look forward to doing this again next year and every year on the weekend 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!
In addition to being the founder/editor of this Chocolate Covered Memories blog, Lee Porter is the writer/producer of the award-winning comedy Web series My Ruined Life, the Philadelphia beer reporter for Ale Street News, the editor of the comic book ADAM 12, the Eastern Pennsylvania/South Jersey sales manager for Two Roads Brewing Co. and a member of the Board of Director of Azuka Theatre. Lee lives in Philadelphia and is still on a mission to find pannenkoeken in Philly, drink 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 weekend before MCA’s BDay …
Did we miss anything else (that’s not in this year or last year’s food/drink tours)? Do you know where to find pannenkoeken in Philly? Let us know in the comments section below. Cheers!