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Giveaway: Harrisburg Restaurant Week

It’s that time! Harrisburg Restaurant Week has returned. Follow along with hashtag #HbgRestWeek.

2012 LogoCheck out 11 local restaurants over 10 days — Sept. 8-12 and 15-19. Each participating restaurant is featuring a special menu, from which you may choose three courses for $30. A terrific way to sample new-to-you restaurants in the City!

Participating restaurants include Bricco, Cafe Fresco Center City, Carley’s Ristorante & Piano Bar, The FireHouse Restaurant, Home 231, Mangia Qui, McGrath’s Pub, Sammy’s Authentic Italian Restaurant, Stock’s on Second — and new this year, Cafe 1500 and Char’s Restaurant.

READ MORE about Harrisburg Restaurant Week.

This week, we’re giving away two (2) $25 gift cards to Sammy’s Italian Restaurant to help celebrate #HbgRestWeek.

Complete your entries by using the Rafflecopter widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

NFL Sunday, #HbgRestWeek, Cider, “Chief Chili,” Fall Festivals & MORE

Happy Sunday! I cannot wait to hear the sound of NFL football ringing through our house, low humidity and chili on the stove.

A quick shout out to everyone who attended last night’s #BoozeCruise. Another kick-ass party if I do say so — I’ll have the full event recap with photos later today/tomorrow.

booze cruise pride riverboat

I plan to enjoy a relaxing Sunday, and then I can’t believe I’m saying this but we’re off to a fancy wine dinner after the Steelers game. I dread reminding Andy of that — he had a long day yesterday.

Let’s get started — we have a few Steelers-centric stories, so you’ll want to read those before the game. I’m introducing my fall intern, Jimi Werner (waiting on a photo for his intro post), who has a look at Pittsburgh’s NFL season. Drink up, folks.

Here’s everything else we wrote this week:

From PennLive:

Elsewhere on the Internet:

Upcoming Events:


How many drinks are in a Steelers season?

The regular season is finally here. The games finally matter and with it brings a slew of questions for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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They will start to answer some of these questions with an opening day game against their longest rivals the Cleveland Browns. It used to be the “hated” Browns but the Ravens have taken over as the overwhelming current rival.

How worried should Steelers faithful be?

Here’s a scale of drinks you should take when you think about each of these problems the Steelers have right now.

Let’s start of with something light.

How will the offensive line play this year?

This is a question that plagues every team but it seems to hit the Steelers harder and more often than other teams. Coming into this year it’s easy to feel comfortable about this offensive line. They have a great mix of veterans and young talent that have been in the system now for years.

You can just take a casual sip of the beer of your choice when contemplating this but with an injury or two this could easily change to a few sips of a liquor of your choice.

Who will step up for the loss of Emmanuel Sanders?

Although Antonio Brown is still one of the best in the game the Steelers face a big drop-off in options when it comes to other receivers and for a team that likes to throw the ball a decent bit this could be a major problem. There is some potential with Darius Heyward-Bey and Lance Moore who both have experience but are on their way out of the League.

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The person who is most likely to step up is Markus Wheaton. Wheaton has shown his potential this preseason but he is unproven in regular season.

But after all that it’s all still up in the air.

This thought alone should lead you to finish that beer now.

Don’t fill the mug up, though – you might need something a bit stronger for this next round.


CATEGORIES: Pennsylvania, Sports

NFL on CBS 21: 2014 Season

Bookmark this page. If you’re a Steelers fan, you’ll want to know when you can catch the game live on our local CBS affiliate, WHP-TV CBS 21.

Remember — if you’re traveling, or prefer the radio announcers, The River 97.3 is now the home of the Pittsburgh Steelers!

NFL on CBS 21

Craft the perfect 6-Pack for NFL Sunday

While football officially started last night, the majority of the games kick off this Sunday. We talked about session beers last week and the art of the marathon drinking, but this weekend is going to be different. Many of us will get together for our first football Sunday of the year and with that comes the gift of some great beers with friends.

Headed to a get-together and not sure what to take? Here’s my suggestions for the perfect pick-six, starters and backups, for this weekend.

Easy to Drink IPA:

Starter: Long Trail Limbo IPA. Benchwarmer: Cigar City Jai Alai

Jai-Alai_FinalYes, we all love Ithaca Flower Power, Bell’s Two Hearted, and Troegs Perpetual. Football is all about the sleeper picks and the underdogs coming out on top. I’ve got two here for you that you may not know about. I discovered Long Trail Limbo IPA when getting my hair done a few months ago and fell in love. It’s a solid IPA with a great balance of citrusy grapefruit and straight up hops. Can’t find it? Grab Cigar City Jai Alai. It comes in cans and will remind you of the sunshine state it comes from also featuring citrusy undertones in a well-balanced but often forgotten IPA.

Fall Beer:

Starter: Southern Tier Harvest Ale Benchwarmer: Sam Adams Oktoberfest

stbc harvestFootball season triggers the mental change of seasons so it’s time to think about those fall beers. I’m still avoiding pumpkin beers for a future post, which works well for that special spot in my heart reserved for fest beers. Southern Tier Harvest has a unique blend of hop bitterness and a bit of the biscuity bready fall beer flavor you’d expect. Can’t find one? Sam Adams Oktoberfest is a substitute even I would recommend. Expect a more traditional Oktoberfest malt and grain flavor that’s sure to please anyone at the party.

Wheat Beer:

Starter: Stoudts Heifer-in-Wheat. Benchwarmer: Penn Weizen

penn weizenWhen you drink Stoudts you drink local and you support a woman-operated brewery! The Heifer-in-Wheat is a fantastic example of a great German wheat should be. Hints of banana and clove, bits of citrus, and a golden color. Looking for another option? Grab a Penn Weizen. Yet another Pa. beer to be proud of that continues to be a respectable stylistic representation. A little more mellow than some wheats but a great addition to your sixer.

Classic Stout:

Starter: Left Hand Milk Stout. Benchwarmer: Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout

left hand milk stoutMy classic go-to perfect stout is Left Hand Milk Stout, on nitro if I can. It is the best replacement beer for your Guinness-loving friends. Prepare them for a more expansive flavor offering with hints of chocolate and even coffee on a canvas of creamy stout flavor. Looking for a backup? Grab a Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout. While this certainly doesn’t come second in line, it’s a wonderful option if you’re not in the mood for Left Hand. Fun fact: it’s made with brewer’s licorice which doesn’t impart a ton of flavor, but provides depth and something to train your palate for find.

Fruit Beer:

StarterLancaster Brewing Strawberry Wheat Benchwarmer: Snitz Creek Appleweisse

We’re going Pa.-proud on this one. When it comes to fruit beers my steady choices usually don’t fit in a mixed six, but I’m happy to recommend Lancaster Brewing’s Strawberry Wheat. If you’re feeling frisky, mix it with that Left Hand Milk Stout you picked up. Want a different fruit? Snitz Creek Appleweisse is the ticket. I adore this beer and find it to be a great conversion beer for those cider lovers. Okay, it doesn’t come in bottles (yet) but you can always pick up a growler from the brewery to share.

Flex Beer:

StarterOmmegang Hennepin. Benchwarmer: Victory Golden Monkey

ommegang hennepinSometimes you’re not in the mood for a regular old beer. A wild card. Grab an Ommegang Hennepin. This flagship highly acclaimed saison will pair with just about every football-related food and go down easy. Need something else? Go with the beer that started it all for me: Victory Golden Monkey. This isn’t a beer to take lightly, in fact, this would make a great game winning celebration beer at 9.5% ABV. These also make for great pre-game beermosas if you’re looking to front-end your booze.

What are you drinking this Sunday?


Weekend Roundup 9/4

Last night, I grabbed some food to go (a whole bunch of it) from Mezza Cafe, which just opened in the State Street Plaza in Lemoyne. The Khouri sisters first operated a stand in the West Shore Farmers Market, and yesterday marked their first day in an independent shop with seating.  Another great BYOB for the west shore!

mezza cafe

Tonight I’m participating in the Central PA SuperChef at the Hershey Lodge. I can’t wait to be a part of this great event — and of course eat so much great food.

The Dauphin County Jazz & Wine Festival begins tomorrow, and I’ll be joining the Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau (with one of my number one gals) for a bit before heading down to Little Amps to see Koji (it’s a big deal).

We start off Saturday with The Bruce Bond Late Afternoon Show on Saturday Morning on 92.1 WTPA. Later, of course is the #BoozeCruise! Hey, I’m giving away a pair of tickets (maybe two — who knows?!) over on Facebook — enter now!

Then on Sunday, we’ve kindly been invited to join a table at the Très Bonne Année Patrons Party. Fine wine and great food — should make for a lovely evening.

This weekend, along with the bulk of September, is PACKED, including at least two wine festivals and three beer festivals — and loads more. Grab a pen and plan out your weekend now!

Need more inspiration? Tune in tomorrow morning during the 7  o’clock hour to Glenn & Bob on The River 97.3 for “Sara’s Weekend Picks.”

What are you doing this weekend?


{Getaway} Finger Lakes, part 2 of 2

Last week, I began talking about my trip to the Finger Lakes. Today, we move on to the fun stuff : the booze! We didn’t even come close to trying a fraction of them (there are way too many), but out of the ones we did try, here are some recommendations for where to go.

finger lakes

Three Brothers Wineries and Estates – This was a really cool venue. The estate hosts four different buildings, three wineries and a microbrewery. For $10, you can purchase a passport to sample at all four, or you can pay $2.50 at any of the places to do a tasting. The estate is huge, and it was milling with people. They definitely could keep any party happy, with their variety of sweet and dry wines as well as several different types of beers. The employees were all very knowledgeable. I’d highly recommend stopping by.

finger lakes

Penguin Bay Winery - We enjoyed several types of  “sparkling wines,” which most places didn’t have. The staff was super friendly and insisted we tried more than the allotted amount to get a taste for what they offered. They had tons of cute penguin gear and as an added bonus, a portion of their proceeds is donated to the Syracuse Rosamond Gifford Zoo for the Humbolt Penguins exhibit. Drinking wine for a good cause? Sign me up.


CATEGORIES: Food/Drink, Travel, Wine

Harrisburg Restaurant Week returns Sept. 8-12, 15-19

Looking for an excuse to sample from the area’s best restaurants?

Try: 11 restaurants. 10 days. 3 courses for $30.

2012 Logo

Harrisburg Restaurant Week, provided by the Harrisburg Downtown Improvement District, returns for two weeks of dining pleasure, beginning next Monday, Sept. 8-12 and Sept. 15-19 (specials don’t apply on Saturdays and Sundays).


  • HDID will provide FREE parking for the event in the River Street Garage (entrance located on Second St., next to Sawyer’s) from 5-9 p.m. each day of the event.
  • Two new restaurants also join the trail, including Char’s Restaurant and Cafe 1500.

Harrisburg Restaurant Week offers diners the opportunity to experience a three-course prix fixe meal for $30 (not including beverages, tax or gratuity). Each restaurant has designed a special menu for the week(s) showcasing their finest dishes.

View participating restaurants’ Harrisburg Restaurant Week menus here!

Eleven total restaurants in downtown and Midtown Harrisburg are participating in this year’s event, including Bricco, Cafe Fresco Center City, Carley’s Ristorante & Piano Bar, The FireHouse Restaurant, Home 231, Mangia Qui, McGrath’s Pub, Sammy’s Authentic Italian Restaurant and Stock’s on Second.

Follow along and share your Harrisburg Restaurant Week experiences by using the hashtag #HbgRestWeek. You also can find more information on the Harrisburg Restaurant Week Facebook page — and follow the HDID on Twitter, @TheHbgDID.

CATEGORIES: Food/Drink, Harrisburg

2014 September Preview

It was a weird and wild summer, wasn’t it?

clouds september

It’s barely fall but PSLs (pumpkin spice lattes, natch), Halloween decorations and fall fashion have already overtaken our feeds and quite possibly, our hearts. We’re usually oh-so-ready for that change of season, but this year’s mild summer complicates things. Soon enough, however, crisp air will return and we’ll be pairing scarves and boots, snacking on apple cider donuts (my fave), sipping Oktoberfest brews and enjoying the falling leaves.

In the meantime, September’s weather typically sets the stage for perfection, thus the onslaught of outdoor festivals and events. As is tradition, we’ve compiled some of the best for you — so bookmark this, dig out your calendar and grab your friends for a fun-filled 30 days.

Giveaway: Fall Bluegrass Festival at The Vineyard at Grandview

As you know, the month of September is host to some of the best festivals in the area.

On Saturday, Sept. 13, The Vineyard at Grandview hosts its annual Fall Bluegrass Festival.


Sponsored by Members 1st Credit Union, the event features music by The Zepp Family Band (2-4:30 p.m.) and Hogg Maw (4:30-8 p.m.)

Enjoy southern-style BBQ from Jo Boy’s Brew Pub. Plus, check out a variety of craft vendors, including jewelry, cigars, food, wooden wine stoppers, Eastland Alpacas, local artists and more.


Gates open at 1:30 p.m., and tickets are $15 each and can be purchased online.

This week, we’re giving away **2** couples tickets to The Vineyard at Grandview’s Fall Bluegrass Festival.

Complete your entries by using the Rafflecopter widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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