Posts within the 'Views' Category

Beer Buy: Great Lakes Doppelrock

Monday, March 26th, 2012


Trying to crown the best American craft brewer would be a thankless, somewhat pointless task. With so many different styles, and so many individual tastes, it’d be impossible to placate everyone. That said, if the main characteristics were consistency and balance, Great Lakes would have to be near the top of the list. Every beer from the Cleveland-based brewery is well-made, achieves a remarkable balance between malt and hops, and is wonderfully tasty.

Though I have yet to have a bad Great Lakes beer, if pressed to pick a favorite, it would likely be The Doppelrock, a Spring Seasonal / bock offering. Like others from Great Lakes, this brew manages to pack a huge amount of malty love, hoppy goodness and alcohol power into a smooth, stunning beer that never seems off-center. The malt brings loads of chocolate, caramel and nutty sweetness, but there are just enough hops on the finish to even things out. Despite it being close to 8% abv, the heat is barely noticeable. This is everything great about a traditional Spring bock, “amped” up in truly American style (hence the dueling guitars on the label).


Beer Buy: Dominion Beers

Sunday, March 4th, 2012

dominion-baltic-porter (via Dominion's Facebook Page)

One of the reasons Philly is always mentioned among the nation’s (world’s?) best beer cities is the plethora of great craft brewers in the area. Interestingly, though there are a few excellent brewers in town, the greater Delaware Valley is home to even more (and arguably better) than inside city limits. From Victory in Downingtown to Weyerbacher in Easton down to Dogfish Head in Delaware, we can compete with any area for quality.

One brewer that doesn’t often make that list, however, is Old Dominion Brewing Company (maker of Dominion beers), located in Dover, DE. Surely, however, if we include Troegs (Harrisburg), Lancaster, and Dogfish Head (Milton, DE) among the cadre of local brewers, we should also include Old Dominion. Or should we?


Di Bruno Brothers Private Tasting

Sunday, February 26th, 2012


Much hype accompanied the opening of Di Bruno Brothers‘ stand in the Ardmore Farmers Market last year – and with good reason. The legendary Italian Market “House of Cheese” has been providing Philadelphians with incredible access to gourmet cheeses, charcuterie and specialty foods since 1965, so it was about time for Main Liners to get in on the act without a trek downtown.

That said, there’s still one specialty feature of the 9th street shop that you can’t get in Ardmore: the after-hours private tasting. That’s right folks, for just $200, you and 7 friends can take over the Italian Market Di Bruno store for two hours, wreak havoc on the antipasto bar, and taste a wide variety of Di Bruno’s best meats and cheeses. It’s BYO too.

The night basically works like this: show up at the appointed time with your friends. To start off the night, they’ll set you loose on the antipasto bar, which is mostly olives, but also marinated veggies of varying types, paired with as much bread as you can eat. While you’re digging in, the mongers will be bringing out plates of cheeses, meats and other tasty goodies the store has to offer. (The plates were themed as “easy party plates” for entertaining, but I was too busy eating to pay too much attention to the spiel.) By the end of the night, you’ll be stuffed. But, before you go, you can purchase anything in the store for 10% off.


Italian Wine in PA Stores

Saturday, February 18th, 2012

brunello vineyard in montalcino, italy

For residents of Pennsylvania, the PA LCB Chairman’s Selection program is the one and only (legal) lifeline to interesting wines at reasonable prices, so it’s easy to get excited when they bring in some of the more uncommon varietals or styles that we read about online but rarely get the chance to purchase. As an Italian-American who’s obsessed with vino from the homeland, I’ve been especially stoked to try the plethora of non-mainstream Italian varietals that they’ve been offering over the past few months. Of course, as is the curse of the Chairman’s program, there are some highs, and some lows. Here’s what we’ve found so far:


Do You Follow Us?

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

The best way to keep up with all the latest local food news is to follow Main Line Dine on Facebook or Twitter.

You don’t want to miss out on tidbits like who will be replacing The Paddock in Devon, do you? We often post smaller stories and news via these channels before they are posted the main site, if they make it here at all.

BTW, you don’t need to have a Facebook or Twitter account to check these feeds – just use the links provided here.

Beer Buy: Weyerbacher Winter Ale

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012


Winter warmers, which is what us beer geeks call these winter ales, tend to be richer in flavor, higher in alcohol and generally bigger than beers we drink any other season. Weyerbacher, an Easton, PA brewer who has made a name for themselves with big, Belgian-style ales, has, somewhat surprisingly, gone in a different direction here. (I expected at least 8% abv in a Weyerbacher winter warmer, but this is only 5.6%) Instead of the big, over the top beer, they’ve come up with a roasty, malty, wonderfully smooth brew that can be enjoyed one at a time or in a session. The truth is that this is a somewhat simple beer. It’s not going to change your life. It is, however, darn delicious, which is why it is my “must buy” winter ale every season.


Local Cookbooks: Gravy Wars!

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

gravy wars lorraine renalli

This month, Local Cookbooks takes on Gravy Wars: South Philly Foods, Feuds & Attytudes by Lorraine Ranalli, which is a fascinating look at the South Philly gravy (aka tomato sauce) culture, describing in hilarious detail the endless debates that Lorraine’s family had (still has!) over the proper way to make gravy, and whose is best. The book, which includes at least 9 gravy recipes (with multiple variations), plus a plethora of other South Philly faves from scaloppini to pizza to biscotti, is certainly a must-have for anyone raised Italian in this area, and an entertaining read for the rest of us.


Holiday Gift Suggestions

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011


Yeah, we know, another holiday gift guide… but hey, maybe you’ll find an idea here that you haven’t seen before!

Food Gifts
Great for a hostess gift, or just for the person who never stops thinking about their next meal:


Beer Buy: Anchor “Our Special Ale” Christmas Ale (2011)

Monday, December 5th, 2011


“This smells like Christmas!” exclaimed a friend of mine who was trying this beer for the first time. Anchor Christmas Ale, from the Anchor Brewery in San Francisco (most famous for their Steam beer), is always the first beer I look for when the Christmas ales hit the shelves. Though the formula changes from year to year (and always remains a secret), it is consistently delicious and a great representation of what Christmas beers are about.


PLCB Pick: Cantina del Bueno Vino Nobile di Montepulciano

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

cantina del bueno vino nobile

In 2010, we were lucky enough to take a dream vacation to a villa in Tuscany – a week of eating, drinking and exploring the small towns and beautiful countryside of Italy’s most famous* vacation destination. It was as great as it sounds, and of course grows in stature in my memory every day since.

Unsurprisingly, we drank a lot of wine during the trip, almost all of it Tuscan. Vino Nobile di Montepulciano was the particular wine we consumed the most often, for several reasons: