Sips and Eats: Philly’s best food and drink picks for Sept. 18-22

The Twisted Tail's Whiskey Bonanza

The Spotlight of the Week: City Winery Opens

City Winery Philadelphia opens on Thursday, September 19 and will be showing off its impeccable customer service and delectable Mediterranean-inspired menu. City Winery Philadelphia will be serving all-day wine samples during regular restaurant hours from 11 a.m. -11 p.m. Guests can also order from their award-winning wine list featuring over 200 wines with hundreds more to come from many of the top producers from all over the world. There will also be a contest for all guests who come in on an opening day. They will be eligible for a chance to win a pair of concert tickets for one show of their choice each week, from now through the end of the year.

City Winery Philadelphia also offers a unique combination of wine and concertgoers experience that cannot be found anywhere else in the city. The brand new location includes two performance venues; a 300-seat intimate concert hall and a smaller 150-capacity loft space. The 150-seat restaurant will serve locally sourced dishes crafted by Executive Chef, Jason Heim, and house-made wines, crafted with grapes carefully sourced from acclaimed vineyards on the West Coast. Greg Laswell, Mason Jennings, Raheem DeVaughn, Mason Jennings, and several other talented acts are tabbed to perform at the spacious venue in the coming months.

This Week  in Cocktails: Philadelphia Brewing Company Presents: Pinups & Pints

(Philadelphia Brewing Company)

Philadelphia Brewing Company is partnering with Pinups for Pitbulls, Inc. and The PA Liberty Belles for Pinups & Pints, a classic car show and pinup contest, on Sunday, September 22 from 12 p.m.- 4 p.m. Retro style-lovers are encouraged to don their best pinup attire while vintage car owners show off their pre-1972 classic cars during this one-of-a-kind charity event. Attendees will drink for a cause as $1 from every Philadelphia Brewing Co. pint sold will be donated to Pinups for Pitbulls. Attendees will have a chance to try their luck in a raffle to win items donated from a number of local stores, including Ham + Bone, Toile, Carnival of Collectables, Beauty Set Apart, Liberty Kitchen, and Smitty’s Custom Bowling Pin Art.

While admiring classic cars, guests can enjoy tamales from a local chef, Jen Zavala, Philly cheesesteaks from Joe’s Steaks + Soda Shop, and ice cream from Big Top’s Surfin’ Sundaes ice cream truck. For furry friends, the Clean Plate Club food truck and Ham + Bone will be offering treats to guests who bring their pups. In addition to the pinup contest and car show, the event will feature adoptable pit bulls from the Animal Care and Control Team of Philadelphia (ACCT Philly).

The Twisted Tail’s Whiskey Bonanza

(The Twisted Tail)

Whiskey connoisseurs are invited to head down to The Twisted Tail on ThursdaySeptember 19, from 7 p.m.-10 p.m. for their 6th Annual Whiskey Bonanza boasting more than 100 whiskeys for sampling. The tasting event is one of the largest whiskey extravaganzas in the region and offers guests the opportunity to taste a variety of whiskeys — from big brands to local varieties — and to chat with industry experts while five top Philadelphia bartenders take part in a cocktail competition and mix up fierce creations for attendees to vote on. Additionally, Philadelphia-based food truck, Chewy’s, will be serving up comfort food from 8 p.m. – 10 p.m. outside to satiate any food cravings for an additional price.

Tickets are $60 for general admission and $75 for VIP tickets, which allow early entry (an extra hour from 6 – 7pm) to try rare whiskeys not available during the main event and to indulge in The Twisted Tail’s suckling pig roast. Tickets can be purchased here.

National Cheeseburger Day

(Royal Boucherie)

CO-OP Restaurant and Lounge: CO-OP Restaurant and Lounge is offering an over-the-top decadent foie gras stuffed grass-fed beef burger topped with Gruyère and crispy fried onions, and truffle herb fries on the side. Only available on National Cheeseburger Day, this $35 plate of indulgence is the perfect dinner time delight.

Forsythia: Forsythia, Chef Christopher Kearse’s new French-inspired restaurant and bar in Old City, offers a special bar burger for guests who dine at the marble-topped bar in the front of the restaurant. Dubbed the Royale Burger, this double-patty creation is $20 and is topped with comeback sauce and compté, a French cheese made from cow’s milk.

MilkBoy: Milkboy, Philadelphia’s dynamic duo of restaurants, bars, and live music venues, is offering not one, not two, but three delicious cheeseburger options between the Chestnut St and South St locations. Guests who dine at Chestnut St can enjoy a traditional Cheeseburger ($12) topped with cheddar, lettuce, onion, tomato, and pickles, a Veggie Burger ($13) topped with cheddar, tomato, red onion, and lettuce, and a local favorite, the Hangover Burger ($15) topped with American cheese, chili mayo, fried onions, pickled peppers, bacon, and a fried egg.

Those who are down near South St can stop in for their take on a Cheeseburger ($12), topped with cheddar, lettuce, onion, tomato, Tommy Sauce, fried onion, and pickles and the Hangover Burger ($15) topped with American cheese, chili mayo, fried onions, pickled peppers, bacon, and a fried egg.

Red Owl Tavern: Red Owl Tavern, located across the street from Independence Hall, is inviting Old City goers in for their BFD (burger, fries, draft) lunch deal. For $22, guests can enjoy a juicy Red Owl Tavern Burger topped with white cheddar, sharp yellow cheddar, pickles, tomatoes, lettuce, and tavern sauce with a side of fries and a draft beer.

(Red Owl Tavern)

Royal Boucherie: Royal Boucherie, Old City’s lively American brasserie from award-winning chef Nicholas Elmi, is offering lunch and dinner goers the Boucherie Burger ($18), a double patty party topped with American cheese, bacon, truffle mayo, and half-sour pickles with a side of perfectly fried pork fat fries. A local favorite, the Boucherie Burger was also named one of the best burgers in Philly by Craig LaBan.

Square 1682: Square 1682, the modern American restaurant and bar located on the bustling corner of 17th and Sansom Sts, is inviting guests in during their all-new happy hour to dig into a $5 juicy smash burger Cheeseburger. This single patty shorty is the smaller version of the lunch favorite 1682 Burger ($17), which is a double-decker with bacon, sharp cheddar, and bread and butter pickles.

The Twisted Tail: The Twisted Tail, the lively restaurant, bar, and music venue in Headhouse Square, is featuring The Twisted Burger ($14), topped with bacon, blue cheese, and bourbon BBQ sauce for National Cheeseburger Day. This juicy burger is also featured during Friday Social Hours in the $15 Burger, Beer, & Bourbon special.

Urban Farmer: Urban Farmer, Philly’s rustic-chic modern steakhouse located on Logan Circle, is offering guests a decadent Wagyu Burger, topped with bone marrow aioli, cabernet onions, and Gruyere cheese on a brioche bun. For $22, guests can indulge in this burger on National Burger Day for both lunch and dinner.

Oktoberfest at The Bourse

(The Bourse)

The Bourse Food Hall is bringing Germany to Philadelphia this fall with its first-ever Oktoberfest on Saturday, September 21 from 12 p.m.-6 p.m. While Munich kicks-off its 186th Oktoberfest on the very same day, The Bourse Food Hall is excited to transform into the Bourse Beer Hall for just one day, boasting German-inspired food offerings, German-style beers — available in keepsake mugs to take home — and fun entertainment in the form of a keg tapping event, German-Hungarian dance groups, face painters and more!

Food and drink highlights include Schnitzel Sandwiches from Freebyrd, Schweinshaxe from LALO, Bratwurst Platters from Rustica Rosticceria, A Pop-Up Pretzel Bar by Barry’s Buns as well as Ayinger’s Oktoberfest beer, Würzburger’s Festbier and Neshaminy Creek’s dunkel beer — poured at TAPS Fill Station. All specials are pay as you go.

Weekly Events

Each week, Philly Influencer picks the best parties, events, and social gatherings the area has to offer.

(Center City Restaurant Week. Photo courtesy of Center City District)

Center City Restaurant Week:  Center City District is offering up three-course lunches for a  $20 and three-course dinners for $35 beginning this Sunday. Your chance to taste these special menus and dishes will vanish within a few days.

Parks on Tap: Parks on Tap will be at Pretzel Park this week through Sunday evening.  As usual, the pop-up beer garden will have plenty of drinks and food available at any of the food trucks nearby. Come out to the Manayunk scenic spot for some sips and tremendous food options.

Brews & Views: The Free Library of Philadelphia’s series returns this week. Brews & Views shows off the great Philadelphia skyline, has craft beers, wines, and cocktails. The Happy Hour event is running from 5 p.m.-9 p.m. each day until September 19.

South Philly SausageFest: The fifth annual South Philly SausageFest is this Saturday from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. There will be seasonal craft beers, food vendors, crafts, live music, and more at this yearly sausage-themed party.

Oktoberfest Live: This Saturday Xfinity Live! Will be booming with unlimited samplings of 250+ tremendous beers. Oktoberfest Live! will feature live music, games, prizes, food trucks & more. This German-themed celebration truly knows how to ring in the new seasons.

South Street Oktoberfest: South Street will be erecting tents and doing it big this Saturday for their yearly South Street Oktoberfest. There will be festive Oom-pah music, several German brews up for sale, and traditional fare at this party. The 11th year of this event will blow you away.

CiderFest at the Historic Houses: The Historic Houses of Philadelphia will be hosting a CiderFest this Saturday from 12 p.m.-5 p.m. There will be tremendous cider samples, live music, food trucks, games and much more.

Daybreaker at The Shops at Liberty Place: The Shops at Liberty Place is partnering with Daybreaker for a morning yoga session and dance party on Sunday, September 22 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Participants are invited into the Rotunda for a morning that will consist of an hour-long yoga class, accompanied by live piano music, and a two-hour dance party featuring several surprises. The morning wraps up with a closing ceremony and healthy juice and treats. The yoga class is BYO mat.

Manayunk Restaurant Week BeginsManayunk Restaurant Week will start this Monday, Septmeber 23 and run through Sunday, September 29.Come out to any of the participating eateries to have three-course meals ranging from $15, $25, and $35.

You can follow Candis McLean on Twitter (@CandisRMcLean) and e-mail her at

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