James Beard Awards Be Damned: Philly Recognized For Best Beers, Burgers and Barbecue
Sure, our fair city was completely shut out of this year’s James Beard Awards, but the Foundation, as prestigious as it may be, is hardly the end all and be all for Philly’s multifaceted, and quite formidable food scene. And thankfully, there are others who agree. Like the folks behind the World Beer Cup, which took place last weekend in San Diego, California, who bestowed the coveted “Champion Brewery and Champion Brewmaster, Small Brewpub” to local brewpub chain Iron Hill Brewery & restaurant. In addition to that top honor, brewers Bob Barrar and Justin Sproul were both recognized for beers they brewed at Iron Hill outposts in Media, and Newark, Delaware (respectively). Barrar earned two gold medals for his Russian imperial stout and old ale. Sproul took a bronze medal in the “Smoked Beer” category. And that’s not all.
Mark Coates gets some props in latest issue of Food & Wine. In a feature titled “Best BBQ: Pit Masters and Grill Geniuses,” the magazine lists Coates' Smoke Truck as one of its picks for “Best BBQ in the East,” placing him and his smoked meats alongside such smoke whisperers as Pork Barrel BBQ in Alexandria, Virginia and The BBQ Joint in Easton, Maryland.
And finally, this week Travel + Leisure ranks the City of Brotherly Love number two on its list of “America's Best Burger Cities.” Rouge’s proverbial golden calf of burgers, Jose Garces’ Village Whiskey burgers and newcomer Hickory Lane’s burgers are all credited with Philly jumping 20 notches up from last year’s list.