This year, a few of us again got together over a few days this past week to celebrate Yauch’s music and message over Beastie Boys-inspired food and drink — with many new stops — throughout Philadelphia and the Greater Delaware Valley, 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 third year in a row, we eat and drink in your honor. Happy Birthday, MCA!
The Third 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)
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 our first 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. Bartender Richard at The Industry (Good Dog Bar‘s sister bar) 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
The first year, we microwaved up some White Castle sliders. (Of note, there are no White Castles nearby Philly anymore.) Last year, to mix it up, we enjoyed Varga Bar‘s outstanding Kobe beef sliders with onion rings. This year, we went a step further and chowed down on some awesome meatball sliders at London Grill.
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’ve done every year. ASB’s owner, John Longacre, 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 grilled and sautéed 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 the fried chicken sandwich was on the menu at American Sardine Bar this year, so we paired that 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 Glenmorgan Bar & Grill in the Radnor Hotel (Radnor, PA) and enjoyed their awesome BBQ pork mac & cheese in honor of Q-Tip (who guests on “Get It Together”).
Entree #3 & Desserts #1, #2, #3 & #4: Burger, Gelato, Apple Empanada & Muffin
“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
Regarding the Beastie Boys’ cherry, apple, peach and plum, we decided to visit this throughout the week …
For the “cherry” and the “peach,” we went to Gran Caffe L’Aquila and ordered “desire” (cherry) and peach gelato (the best in the world!) with a peach bellini.
For the “apple,” we enjoyed an awesome caramel apple empanada with vanilla ice cream at Taproom On 19th (after our burger), which we think the Beastie Boys would have definitely enjoyed.
And for the “plum,” we enjoyed a Brown Sugar Red Plum muffin from Metropolitan Bakery.
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?
Once again, we visited Jose Pistola’s in Center City to focus on a cucumber in hot sauce. Luckily for us, cucumbers are part of their new lamb shoulder tacos — with a cucumber and mint salsa — 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)
For “pork & beans” (& rice), we did some carnitas steamed buns and rice & beans (and hot sauce!) at Jose’s. So good!
To make the “franks” official, though, we got some hot dogs to go at Misconduct Tavern — house made hot dogs with pickle relish and mustard sauce.
Entree #7: Beef Lo Mein
“If you try to knock me, you’ll get mocked / I’ll stir fry you in my wok” — Intergalatic
We went behind the scenes at BarLy in Chinatown this year, where chef San Heng showed off his “wok skills” for us, while stir-frying up some delicious beef lo mein.
Entree #8: Pasta Primavera
“You’re all mixed up like pasta primavera / Why’d you throw that chair at Geraldo Rivera?” — What Comes Around
We crossed the Delaware River and visited Pizza Amore (Delran, NJ) for a special version of pasta primavera this year … pasta primavera pizza. Owner Jamie McCracken rocks!
Entree #9: Pasta with Pesto
“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” & “peach” course), we dined at Gran Caffe L’Aquila, where we enjoyed the special pasta dish of the week — Pansotti alla Gorgonzola, hand-rolled ravioli filled with fresh herbs and Ricotta, topped with a delicate walnut-Parmigiano pesto and gastronomic Gorgonzola cheese & fig gelato, by gelato champion Stefano Biasini. The best gelato in the world!
Entree #10: Pancakes
“When I’m in Holland, I eat the pannenkoeken” — Super Disco Disco Breakin’
Once again, we desperately tried to find pannenkoeken (Dutch pancakes) in Philly. While we still have yet to find them, we went to Marathon (19th & Spruce) to eat some (a lot of) pancakes.
Dessert #5: Bon Bons
“Flame on, I’m gone / I’m so sweet like a nice bon bon” — Body Movin’
Once again, we ended our tour by indulging in sweets. This year, we enjoyed some “nice” bon bons in the form of truffles from Mueller Chocolate Co. in the Reading Terminal Market.
And, yes, two years ago, 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 third 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/week 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 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 during the week before MCA’s BDay …
Did we miss anything else (that’s not in this year or the last couple years‘ food/drink tours)? Do you know where to find pannenkoeken in Philly? Let us know in the comments section below. Cheers!