Thursday, April 26, 2012

¡Derby De Mayo!

So Saturday, May 5th we got Cinco de Mayo which, although its roots are about Mexican victory from France's occupation during the later 1840's, is celebrated with intense drinking and eating of Mexican imports more north of the border than in most parts of Mexico. It is normally confused with Mexico's Independence day which actually lands on September 16. And then every so often, if you are lucky, then two of the most important drinking days of the year land on the same weekend dayThat Saturday is also the Run for the Roses  or "The most exciting two minutes in Sports" or better known as The Kentucky Derby which is held the first Saturday in May. This one also has a commerical interest. Bourbon based drinks like mint juleps served in silver cups (120,000 sold at last years derby) and traditional "roadkill soup" known as Burgoo (actually a delicious hearty spicy meat stew).  These two events are some of the most popular excuses for Americans to eat, drink, be merry and take part once a year in cultures rich with tradition unlike their own. ¡Come on down to Franklin & Company Tavern and see how we celebrate both in style!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Zagat Time in Los Angeles!

What started in 1979 at the Zagat's house was dinner conversation with friends over the unreliability of the New York Times food reviews. What it became 34 years later was one of the nations leading surveys of consumerism.  

Yelp may seem like it is  preeminent out there with consumer based reviews on the internet but we forget the Zagat business mantra since 1979.  It states;
 "Zagat Survey® is a business based on a simple premise – that the shared opinions of thousands of avid consumers with real experiences are inherently more accurate than the opinions of just one or two critics. Through our guides, we give people the power of a collective voice and the information to make smart decisions."

There is a definite argument taking place in the food review scene on Zagat V.S Yelp and both sides have merit. Below are some recurring frustrations with these two institutions.  

Zagat skews to an older, more moneyed crowd, while Yelp skews towards 20 somethings.
Yelp is free and Zagat isn't ($24.95/year to view ratings and reviews).
Zagat's is pretty much an old fogey restaurant review guide. You won't see a Zagat review of either the Bacon Dog Cart or Farolito's, but you will see Gary Danko's. 
You can't trust 90% of the reviews on Yelp. Most people don't know jack and are just mad that they had to wait 5 minutes for a table, etc. 
Most of the reviewers are insipid hipsters, and the really sharp reviewers often get drowned out in the noise. 
They both suck. Zagat is stuck in the past and isn't broad enough. Yelp is too broad and run by monkeys -- seems like every other review on there reads something along the lines of "the restaurant was great! my friends and i got pretty drunk and had a great time, besides my boyfriend was telling really funny jokes that night so it was an AMAZING NIGHT!" -- totally irrelevant blather that has nothing to do with the actual restaurant in question. Feels more like Facebook than a restaurant review site.

Most everyone has settled where they land in this debate. One thing to mention however regarding one of the quotes above is that Zagat is indeed free if you go to to cast your vote of the restaurants you like around the Los Angeles area or click on the image below. 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Triple Crown at Franklin Tavern!

The Run for the Roses is upon us! Greg and Jeremy have been frequenting the Santa Anita race track and getting all sorts of ideas and promotions in place to be one of the few bars in Hollywood making an event out of the triple crown races! 

The Kentucky Derby this year landed on Cinco de Mayo but that's okay. Come on down and celebrate the Derby de Mayo. Get a free drink by coming in a derby bonnet or a sombrero! Join in the festivities with craft beer on draft, mint juleps, margaritas, or Red Stag iced tea. 

Harvey at Franklin Tavern

One of the great James Stewart films of the 1950's is Harvey. Stewart plays Elwood P. Dowd, a middle-aged, amiable and eccentric individual whose best friend is an invisible 6' 3.5" tall rabbit named Harvey. His family seems to be unsure whether Dowd's obsession with Harvey is a product of his propensity to drink or mental illness. Elwood spends most of his time in the local bar, and throughout the film invites new acquaintances to join him for a drink. Interestingly, the barman and all regulars accept the existence of Harvey, and the barman asks how they both are and accepts an order from Elwood for two Martinis. 

This past Easter Sunday at Franklin & Company Tavern a depressed Harvey came in without Elwood. 

Cicerone Certified Beer Servers

Little known fact about Franklin & Company Tavern is that all of the servers and bartenders before being allowed to work on the floor must first become certified beer servers with the Cicerone certification program. Below is a more detailed explanation on the importance of the Cicerone program from their own website.

Anyone can call themselves an expert on beer. But when consumers want great beer they need help from a server who really knows beer flavors, styles and brands. They also want to buy from a place that understands proper storage and serving so the beer they drink will be of the highest quality. Too often great beer is harmed by improper service practices.

In the wine world, the word "sommelier" designates those with proven expertise in selecting, acquiring and serving fine wine. Lately some beer servers have adopted the title "beer sommelier" to tie into the credibility of the wine world.  But anyone can call themselves a beer sommelier regardless of knowledge or experience.  And while some will be highly skilled, the only way to demonstrate that objectively is through independent testing of knowledge and tasting ability. The Cicerone Certification Program offers that independent assessment and certification so that industry professionals—as well as consumers—can be sure of the knowledge and skills possessed by current and prospective beer servers.
The word Cicerone (pronounced sis-uh-rohn) has been chosen to designate those with proven expertise in selecting, acquiring and serving today’s wide range of beers. Only those who have passed the requisite test of knowledge and tasting skill can call themselves a Cicerone.

Franklin & Company is the only known restaurant in Los Angeles where being a certified beer server with the cicerone program is mandatory.

A view of the service station with the entire Franklin staff's framed Cicerone Certifications.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Food Porn

Having been opened and serving the public for a couple months already it was time for professional photo shoot of the restaurant and it's food. Paul Wheatley, a great friend of the restaurant, did an amazing job executing those photos. If you are need of great food porn for your restaurant or market you can contact him at Paul Wheatley Photo

Below are some of the great shots Paul took. 

Blue Cheese Tater Tots

Scotch Egg
Meatballs & Fries
Whiskey Tasting
The Franklin Philly
Ahi Tartar Tacos
Lobster Roll
Beer Tasting
The tap system built from old butcher shop scales
The menu was designed by Greg's sister Annabelle
Blackened Ahi Tuna Salad
Fish & Chips
Wine on Draft
Steak & Fries  served with chimichurri butter
Salmon served with smoked portobello mushrooms and green beans
Roasted Curry Cauliflower
Dry Rubbed Baby Back Ribs

A few of the beer on the reserve beer list

Mural upstairs in the snug
Chef Jared Combs at work

Every Thursday night is Burgers & Bourbon pairing

Sea Bass with Sautéed Kale and smashed potatoes
The completed murals
He who rings the bell in jest buys a drink for all the rest
Every Saturday is bar-b-que day!