Bender Enders and 50-50’s…OH MY


Go ahead and stare, it’s okay. In fact, it is totally justifiable. Having trouble finding words? Let me help: BACON grilled cheese, juicy burger, cheese, fried egg, BACON grilled cheese. Drooling? You should be. And guess what? I did not find this place through”Diners, Drive Ins and Dives”, or online, or through some tourist trap. This was found through word of mouth and in fact, in Bethlehem, PA, which is near the boonies (where I live).

The place: “The Wooden Match.” Their slogan: “Beer. Meat. Cigars.” Yes, it is a cigar bar. When first told about this, I figured I’d get a good beer, cigar, and have some wings. While the CRAFT BEER and cigars did not disappoint, the food far exceeded expectations. Even the plain burger was good. Bringing other friends to experience this greatness, we finally mustered up the courage for the “bender-ender.” Just read the description again…I really don’t think I need to say more.

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Burns My Bacon: Anti-Booze States

Do you know what a State Store is? If you do, then you understand my endless rage. If you don’t, then you’ll most likely be enjoying the recent endless wines super-cheap case of wine gift with no frustrations. The rest of us are scrambling to find somebody in a neighboring state willing to open their doors to a case of wine while also willing to refrain from drinking it. (I’ll explain)

I know for most of you, you have no idea what I’m talking about. Some of you can stop at a gas station on your way home from work and pick up a pounder of Keystone for your enjoyment the minute you get home. Or you could stop at your local grocery store and get wine, beer, or yes, even liquor. You have no idea how much the rest of us envy you.

I live in the great state of Pennsylvania. We are home to two great cities, great sports, the Philadelphia Cheesesteak, the Liberty Bell, the homes of Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, and a site of which the constitution was drafted. We bring to America great pride in its history. But then there is this giant ink blotch on our state that we just can’t get rid of: The State Store.

Here in Pennsylvania, we are restricted to where and when we can get our booze. If you want beer, you need to go to a distributor. You want wine or the hard stuff?! Who the hell do you think you are? You need to go to what we call “state stores” run by the LIQUOR CONTROL BOARD (not controlling nanny-state-like at all). But wait—you can only go during certain hours, and we do not allow anyone to get any form of alcohol on Sundays (depending on where you live IN PA). God forbid. Phew. So those are the rules here.

Well…there is another catch. Apparently if these state stores (which have a giant selection and are run by experts in wine and booze…er…sarcasm) don’t have what you want,  you can’t even order if from  another state without going through the state store. And paying a tax nearing 20% on your purchase. You better pay for your booze you drunkard!

So that awesome deal that you’re trying to get…that’s hilarious! They can’t ship to Pennsylvania—that would be blasphemy.  I mean, unless you ship it to the state store and pay us back in taxes for allowing you to send a package to our door and hold it for you. That takes a lot of resources you know…

The deal is awesome. I’m pretty excited, and contemplating having the girlfriend let me ship to her house in New Jersey (just don’t tell anyone!). The rest of you…well, you know what I think about you. Pick up a 40 for me next time you’re out…anywhere. Celebrate the occasion that you’re free to buy whatever beverage you want, wherever you want. I’ll be lost in the maze of Pennsylvania legislation trying to figure out HOW THE HELL I CAN GET ME SOME NAKED WINE!

(Photo: Our Awesome Wine Sponsor)

Torta Reform

Due to the nature of my regular nine to five six seven whenever-I’m-done job, I am what you may call a Road Warrior. I spend 80% of my time traveling throughout the wonderful state of Pennsylvania. As an added bonus, this has led to some really great food finds that I would not otherwise have known about.

I found myself last week without a lunch and only about 15 minutes away from a small Mexican restaurant a friend of mine had recommended.  This friend grew up in southern Texas and is pretty stringent in his standards for Mexican food. He will rail against the evils of pre-packaged taco shells and refuses to even say the words “taco” and “bell” in the same sentence, so I felt that I could trust his opinion. Pulling up to the restaurant, I was a little unsure. The GPS told me I had arrived but the fact that I had pulled up to a small storefront with no signage was a little concerning. Once I stepped out of the car though, I was comforted by the fantastic smells of coastal Mexico.

As soon as I walked in, I knew I had come to a seriously tasty place.

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Bigger IS Better


You know what I really hate? Going to an event/concert/baseball game and paying $9 for a beer. And only buying one $9 beer at a time, because they don’t stay cold in those stupid plastic cups. Therefore, if I want more than one beer (which I always do), I have to leave my seat/dancing spot and wait in line for another one.

This weekend in Scranton, PA we made a discovery.

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Pennsylvania’s Finest: Give Me 40 Flavors or Don’t Bother


The deep fried chicken wing. One of those American creations we all hate to love. Sure, some of you might think you’re “too sophisticated” with your foie gras and fancy sweaters, but please, don’t deny it. We all love deep fried wings.

Chicken wings somehow turned into football food (wtf, they’re so messy?), but in my college years, they were every night cheap food. From 10pm-2am the local bar (yes,there was only one restaurant/bar combination) would give you a dozen for $3.50, which we all thought was a good price after a night of drinking.

And then there was the wing buffet…

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