OK, a couple of updates on Philly. As always Philly delivers as a city with a great beer scene, rich history, walkable and affordable. Really an under-rated destination.
On the beer front I made it to a couple of new places (to me) as I was staying in the Old City. Khyber Pass Pub is a fun, neighbourhood spot with lots of US/Belgians on tap - Weyerbacher, Ballast Point, Arcadia, Uinta, Elysian plus Belgians like Petrus & Corsendonk. Fun crowd and food menu til 1am which helped as we got in late.
Also in the area I was finally able to make it to Eulogy, a Belgian themed bar - nice spot but it was very late and didn't fully absorb it
Good beer lineup as usual.
Around the corner is City Tavern, which is a recreation of Ben Franklin times, with servers dressed in period costume. Cool spot, but I would have expected a place where the founding fathers got drunk would be a bit more rowdy. Very quiet and seemed more tailored for sit down meals, definitely not boozing. They do have 4 house beers which were quite nice, not sure who brews them though.
One of my favourite spots in Philly is Johnny Brenda's, an all-around good time joint with live music and exclusively local craft beer. A recent addition to the neighbourhood is a Philly location of the Brooklyn BBQ restaurant Fette Sau which is just across the street on Frankford.
And if you're in that neighbourhood it's only about a 20 min walk to Memphis Taproom, a literal neighbourhood bar. Like, it's surrounded by houses. Cool spot, seemed surprisingly a bit sleepy on Saturday night. A small tap lineup (only about 8-10) but diverse selection and a couple of casks too.
The food highlight of the weekend was definitely Zahav, a restaurant that's billed as "modern Israeli". One of the best meals I've had in a long time - you can get a full tasting menu for only $39 per person. Focuses on small plates which is my preference to try lots of things and not over filling. The hummus, merguez, halloumi, rugelach, beef cheek - everything I had was outstanding. And, they have a nice lineup of craft bottled beers to boot.
If anyone happens to be in Philly before the end of April, the Constitution Center has a special exhibition called "American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition". Well designed, interactive exhibition curated by Daniel Okrent, author of Last Call. Always fascinating stuff and even free on Sundays.
Great place to go, and Air Canada runs convenient flights from Friday night to Sunday night, so you can get in 48 hours without taking any time off of work, at low peak times at Pearson. Not bad if / when Porter adds Philly to their lineup.