Friday, November 03, 2006

Find a BYO, Courtesy of "The Google"

If you haven't yet been seduced by Philadelphia's burgeoning BYOB culture, than you are a much less hungry person than I. Who can resist the grilled whole fish, garlic hummus platters, goat cheese salads, hand-rolled gnocchi and vanilla creme brulees that await, just a few doors down any given block at one of the city's over 200 BYOBs. And its not just the food that tempts, but the din of happy voices, the buzz of the kitchen just a few feet away, the low candle light and the hearth-like warmth of these undersized and often overstuffed 1-room establishments. Why just in the last week alone I have had the pleasure of dining (and drinking) at 2 of these pint-sized places, Mercato at the corner of Spruce and Camac Sts. in Washington Square West (pictured), and Audrey Claire at 20th & Spruce in Rittenhouse.

But with the sheer number of BYO options these days, who can choose? Personally I'm trying to hit them all one by one, but it's going to take some time. And since they seem to be multiplying by the day, how can one even keep up with the latest and greatest? Now, thanks to the wonders of Google maps and the clever folks over at the Greater Philadelphia Tourism and Marketing Corporation, finding your next BYO has never been easier. Their new Interactive BYOB Restaurant Map lets you find what you want, where you want it. Just choose a neighborhood, and all the BYOs are marked by cute little bottles of vino, conveniently color-coded by cuisine type. Red for Italian, Orange for French, Yellow for Spanish/Latin American, Green for...well you get the idea. Click on your chosen bottle and up pops the address, website, phone number, and important bits of information like whether they take reservations (not likely) or accept credit cards (dream on).

The map even lists the Wine & Spirits shops in the area in case you run out of the fruit of the vine before the cheese course arrives. Brilliant.
Greater Philadelphia Tourism & Marketing Corp.
Interactive BYOB Restaurant Map

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