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A Time for Scotch and Haggis: Where to Celebrate Robert Burns Night in Philly

Let other poets raise a fracas
'Bout vines, an' wines, an' drucken Bacchus,
An' crabbit names an' stories wrack us,
An' grate our lug:
I sing the juice Scotch bear can mak us,
In glass or jug!
— Robert Burns, 1759 – 1796

Poet Robert Burns, Scotland’s favourite son, had an unmatched knack for spinning words into golden verse that in many instances celebrated the food and drink of his birthplace. So it’s no wonder that every year on his birthday, January 25, folks all over the world gather together in his honor for Robert Burns suppers, where they enjoy copious amounts of Scotch, haggis and readings of the “Ploughman Poet’s” highly revered works. If this sounds like fun to you, check where you can get in on the action this week.

Brick and Mortar
The new bar and restaurant in Philly's Loft District is celebrating Bobby Burns from January 20 until the goods run out. Executive Chef Brian Ricci is cooking up traditional Scottish favorites like Haggis Bundles, Neeps & Tatties (lamb heart, lamb liver, scotch, turnip, potato), Beer Battered Fish & Chips (Atlantic cod, Lefthand black jack porter batter, fries), Bannock Buns (barley flour pancakes, house-cured salmon, dill, sour cream), and Deep Fried Candy Bars. Pair the Bobby Burns cocktail (The Famous Grouse Blended Scotch, sweet vermouth, benedictine) with your haggis on Thursday, January 21, when Address to a Haggis will be read at 7 PM. (315 N 12th St.; 215-923-1596)

Sly Fox Brewhouse & Eatery
For the brewery’s Phoenixville-based pub and restaurant, the annual Burns Night festivities serve as the first of the many big beer events it has lined up for the year. This year the celebrations fall on Saturday, Janurary 23. It’s also when seasonal brews Burns Scottish Export Ale and Gang Aft Agley Scotch Ale make their debut. Bagpipes will pipe and Address to a Haggis will be read as the ceremonial haggis arrives. Guests dressed in kilts will be rewarded with a free pint, and prizes will be awarded to the men and women who sport the best ones. (520 Kimberton Rd., Phoenixville; 610-935-4540)

Victoria Freehouse
The Old City anglophile bar and restaurant has the requisite Scotch (available in flights for $20), and haggis (as part of a $40, three-course dinner) lined up for its Burns Night party on January 23. And to complete the picture, they will also have live bagpipers piping. The fun starts at 8 PM. (10 S Front St.; 215-543-6089)

Photo via Flickr user tjmwatson


Tags: Beer, Food, Holiday, Music, Prizes, Scotch, Spirits, Whiskey
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