Like I said yesterday, one of the best things about vacation (even mini ones!) is the going out to eat part. This morning I made a nice spread (that I’ll post about tomorrow) so early evening we were a little hungry and wanted to get something to hold us over until dinner.
Having read about Nodding Head Brewery & Restaurant in several of the Philadelphia vistors’ guides provided by our hotel, we decided that this would be a great place to grab a few drinks and split an appetizer.
Located on Sansom Street in Center City, this Brewery & Restaurant has won over 20 awards, and lives up to its reputation.
We ordered 2 beers each and shared the appetizer sampler platter.
Me: George’s Fault
I asked Eddie, our server, what he thought I would like if I tend to go for Belgian White’s and this is what he suggested. Although a golden and not a white, it was very similar to a Hoegardden or Blue Moon – but better. It was lighter, not as thick, sweeter (but NOT like a mixed drink) and had a great after taste. With orange, coriander and honey it was a perfect, flavorful combination that was sweet, but still tasted like beer. Ever have one of those “citrus beers” that taste like Shandy’s? If I wanted a shandy I would order one. Not at the nodding head – sweet, orangey and flavorful but definitely a full blown beer. I even ordered it again for round 2, normally wanting to try something new, but the keg had just been kicked so I went with Doc for round 2 (see below)
Phil: Belgian Chocolate Stout
Over the holidays I tried Brooklyn Brewery’s Chocolate Stout and was not a fan. At all. It was thick, had a very strong “dirt” aftertaste, wasn’t overly sweet and didn’t have a single taste even reminiscent of chocolate. Again, not at Nodding Head. This beer was dark as could be, but not thick (common misconception: the 2 aren’t really correlated). It tastes just enough like chocolate so that you know you are drinking a chocolate stout, but without feeling like you’re drinking a milkshake that your friend poured half of his beer in to. A good pick!
Since the keg of George’s Fault was kicked Eddie suggested Doc, the next closest to a white beer. To me this tasted like a sweeter, somewhat lighter Yuengling. I love Yuengling so that’s definitely a good thing. What I really liked was that the aftertaste was less than that of Yuengling. Another good pick. Three for three so far.
A dark beer similar to Guiness, but with chocolate undertones. Phil described it as “a lighter Guiness with the same great taste. And definitely chocolate.” I tried it and was shocked that I liked it. Guiness just isn’t my thing. I enjoy a sip, but anything more than that is just too heavy for me. This was lighter than a Guiness and something I could actually finish a whole glass of. Four for four at Nodding Head!
Since we weren’t going to be able to try that many different foods being that we just wanted an appetizer, we went with the sample platter. When Phil initially suggested it I was reluctant. Not another sampler platter with cold french fries, dry mozzarella sticks, jarred tomato sauce, dry chicken fingers and bottled honey mustard. Not the case here. Their platter had moist chicken fingers, decadent onion rings, fried mac and cheese (!!) and jalapeno poppers. OH.. and three sauces! I love condiments, especially unique ones so this was g r e a t. Jalapeno bourbon mayonnaise (my favorite), a unique salsa and what looked (and tasted) like homemade honey mustard.
The jalapeno cheddar poppers were very good. I love spicy, especially the mild jalapeno, and Nodding Head did it very well. The jalapenos were perfectly ripe and cooked well without being tough or mushy. The only thing I didn’t love was the cheddar. It tasted like processed “fake cheese.” Still good poppers overall, though!
The fried mac and cheese were balls of delicious, seemingly homemade, mac and cheese, breaded and fried. The breading was the perfect amount, crunchy and not greasy. It was really delicious. If I go back I would opt for just fried mac and cheese 🙂
The onion rings were great. I hate when the breading falls off or when one bite causes the onion to slip out and leave the breading behind. Not the case here. The breading was crunchy and delicious and the onions were cooked to the point where I could bite in to it without having it completely fall apart.
Overall it was a GREAT experience! Loved loved loved the beer and was very satisfied by the sample platter. A definite must-try if your in Philly!