Food & Drink

Soup Season is Definitely Here



This is one of my all-time favorite soups, and with the chilly temperatures we’ve been having lately, it’s definitely time for another batch. The recipe has been in my soup repertoire since 1999 when it appeared in my first cookbook, “Irish Heritage Cookbook.”  A few whole cloves add magic to it, and you can serve it “as is” or embellish it with Bacon Breadcrumbs (recipe follows), a later addition. For a thicker consistency add a chopped potato. Continue Reading

How to Be Irish in Philly

How to Be Irish in Philly This Week

A bit of a slow week, but what there is promises to help you keep your New Year’s resolution to be a better-informed Irish person.

Tonight, starting at 8, John Byrne and band members will perform at a new venue, the Living Room at 35 East, 35 East Lancaster Avenue in Ardmore.

Also tonight, Seamus Kelleher fans can catch him at O’Mare’s Irish Pub, 10253 Bustleton Avenue in Northeast Philadelphia. His show also starts at 8.

One quick note for those of you who were hoping to catch the Seamus Egan Project at the Michener Art Museum tonight in Doylestown … the show is sold out. Sorry about that. Continue Reading


Rob and Vanessa Mullen Mark 10 Years in Charge of 50-Year-Old Campbell’s Place

(Editor’s note: This story by April Lisante first appeared in the Chestnut Hill Local. Thanks to them for allowing us to use it!)

It sits on the corner of Germantown Avenue and Gravers Lane, a familiar local fixture with its burgundy door and unassuming brick façade.

Need a place to go to chat with neighbors over lunch in a cozy booth? A place to charge your phone when there’s a big snowstorm? How about a place to get engaged, or take the kids for dinner? Locals liken it to their very own “Cheers,” but this resto-bar legend is the one-and-only Campbell’s Place, 8337 Germantown Avenue, in Chestnut Hill.

This month, the upscale comfort food eatery known for its Paulie Burgers and cheesy fried Brussels sprouts is celebrating a big anniversary of sorts.

Continue Reading


Could You Be the Biggest Loser?

One too many snickerdoodles this holiday season? Or has the weight just been coming on for a while?

Here’s an opportunity to shed those unwanted pounds and help out the Irish Immigration Center of Philadelphia at the same time.

It’s the center’s Biggest Loser challenge, set to begin Monday, January 14, from 6 to 7 p.m.

Anyone can join the challenge. All you need to do is set your mind to it—we admit, that part can be tough—and visit the center for a weekly private weigh-in. The three “losers” with the largest percent weight loss after eight weeks will win cash prizes. Entry fee is $50, which supports the Immigration Center. Continue Reading

How to Be Irish in Philly

How to Be Irish in Philly This Week

After the Christmas holidays, you’d expect a lull in Irish-y activities. Guess again.

Start tonight at 6 by joining First Fridays with Round Tower at Hanrahan’s Irish Pub, 690 Burmont Road in Drexel Hill. It’s a nice long happy hour—it lasts ‘til 9—with a terrific band.

Meanwhile, at Philadelphia’s Irish Center (the Commodore John Barry Arts and Cultural Center), 6815 Emlen Street in Mount Airy, you can join the First Friday traditional Irish music session, starting at 8 p.m. If you play an Irish instrument, by all means drop in. (Learners and beginners welcome—the first hour is the “slow session.”) Even if you don’t know one end of a tin whistle from the other, it’s still a great opportunity to visit and listen in. Continue Reading

How to Be Irish in Philly

How to Be Irish in Philly This Week

Two area Gaelic athletic clubs are sponsoring fund-raisers this week, and of course New Year’s Eve is right around the corner, so you’ll have an opportunity to put on your party hat and celebrate.

Here’s what’s on.

Glenside Gaelic Club hosts its annual Adult Winter Holiday Party Saturday from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m, at Jerzee’s Sports Bar & Pizzeria, 2609 Mount Carmel Avenue in Glenside. Friends of the club are invited to join in the fun, which includes drink specials. Jerzee’s will donate a portion of the night’s profits to the club. There will be a 50/50 and baskets of cheer and beer raffles. All donations cheerfully accepted. Music by Raymond McGroary.

Also that night (at the same time), the John Byrne Band presents the music of Shane MacGowan and the Pogues at The Locks at Sona, 4417 Main Street in Philadelphia’s Manayunk neighborhood. Shane was born Christmas Day in 1957, so consider this his 61st birthday party. Continue Reading


Wren Party 2018

The Philadelphia-Delaware Valley chapter of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann (translation: Gathering of Musicians in Ireland) carried on a long tradition Wednesday night, holding its 19th annual Wren Party.

The event commemorates the Irish custom of the Wren Boys—ragtag bands of townsmen in motley attire who went door to door playing tunes, dancing and singing songs, all in hopes of collecting money for a community party or dance.

In the early days, they mounted a dead wren on a stick. December 26 is the feast of early Christian martyr St. Stephen, whose hiding place in a bush was given away by the chattering of a wren. Or so legend has it. Hence, the sacrifice of one of those small birds.

That grisly last part of the tradition faded away—thank goodness—a long time ago.

The local Comhaltas chapter commemorated the feast of St. Stephen with a big party at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Glenside, with lots of traditional Irish music, dance, holiday treats—and a wren hat parade.

We have pictures from the night’s merriment. Check them out.

How to Be Irish in Philly

How to Be Irish in Philly This Week

After the last several weeks of frantic pre-holiday activity, maybe we need a light week to just settle in and relax, hopefully with a few days off from the 9 to 5.

So, here’s what’s on tap for the week ahead.

Saturday from 9 p.m. to midnight, check in to Rock Saginario’s Toy Drive for Local Orphanages at Paddy Rooney’s Pub, 449 West Chester Pike in Havertown. They’re asking that you bring a new unwrapped toy or give a cash donation at the door. Music by Lefty. Continue Reading