What We Learned at Two Stones Pub's 1st Birthday Bash...

We'vedecided that every other week or so we're going to to throw a little spotlighton one of the awesome craft beer bars/pubs/restaurants in this great state ofours! We're kicking it off with Two Stones Pub, located in the ChesmarPlaza, on the corner of Route 4/Chestnut Hill Road and Marrows Road, in Newark,DE. Check it out...

Eric and I love hearing and reading about what's going on in the craft beerscene in Delaware. I should probably mention, as much as we love beer, we would definitely consider ourselves foodies as well. We love it when we are able to find a placethat caters to both of these things. When we read about Two Stone's in PatriciaTalorico's Second Helpings blogon delawareonline.com, we decided to take the advice first posted in herarticle - “Oh, man! You HAVE to go to this place.” So we did.

Before our fist visit, I hopped on their website to check out the menu and see what was up. The first thing that caught my eye was a quote from Buddha...
I immediately thought to myself, we are so going to dig this place. They're all spiritual and super cool. And they have 24 taps and over 100 bottled beers (including some larger format type bottles like DFH 750ml bottles). I think I found my zen garden, my happy place.

We've been going to 2SP pretty much ever since. We probably go more often than we should, but we just can't help it. It's one of those places where you know you're guaranteed not only a fantastic local craft beer selection but you're going to get really awesome food to boot!

We have tried, well, a lot of things on the menu. The cool thing is, they've caught onto the whole Gluten Free thing too. As someone who technically shouldn't have gluten, it makes me feel not as guilty about having a beer when I can counter-balance it with gluten free food! (That works, right?!) For those of you who don't have to worry about that nonsense, there are some seriously awesome choices for you at Two Stones! 

When we go to a place like Two Stones, our first choice  is to sit at the bar, have a beer or two, and snack on a couple appetizers. Being able to do that at a place like Two Stones rocks since their menu is full of creative and unique options. A couple of our favorite appetizers are the Mini Corn Dogs - served with beer mustard, honey mustard and Dijon-horseradish cream) and the Pub Nachos (get the pulled pork on these bad boys!) The burgers and pulled pork look pretty stinkin' good too! Oh, and don't forget to try the fry piles. The Skinny Truffled Fries might rank as our favorite, but don't be fooled by the word "skinny." There's not a thing skinny about this little plate of goodness!

We stopped into Two Stones this past Friday, and um, again on Sunday (post bike ride). On Friday we tried the pierogie and brat appetizer, and on Sunday we had a small order of the Sweet Buddha Fry Pile (sweet potato fries covered in curry cream, cilantro and mango salsa). Yeah, they were both really good, as expected!
(For a little clearer version of the menu: http://www.twostonespub.com/dinnermenu.pdf)

A couple weeks back Two Stone's celebrated their 1st birthday, and of course we wanted to join in the fun! Little did we know all the good stuff we were going to learn during out visit. 

While I was in the ladies room (obviously, this is Lindsey writing this!) I noticed a flyer titled, "MORE Things You NEED to Know About TWO STONES PUB." Yup, I took a picture of it. Totally normal, right?! Right. 

So here's what we learned from said flyer. 
Pretty good stuff, isn't it?! Now let's break it down...

1. The awesome news of a second location. We had heard rumblings of this for a while, and we're stoked that they are definitely opening a second location on Naamans Road in North Wilmington. The new location will be in the Valley View Shopping Center. Stigz gave us a little insight to the new location. There's no set opening date yet, but they're shooting for late summer. Think late August, early September-ish. That'll be a pretty awesome way to deal with summer coming to an end! Get excited about the possibility of THIRTY TWO taps! And how about 2 casks?!
To our friends in North Wilmington: you're welcome, and enjoy!

2.  Two Stones posted a little teaser on their Facebook page with some of the details for tomorrow night's...all wheat beers, all night! They're calling it "Warm Weather Wheat Night!" There will be 16 (plus) taps dedicated to wheat beers. They've already mentioned having Goose Island 312, Twin Lakes Brewing Company Winterthur, Victory Beer Whirlwind, Dogfish Head Red and White, Jolly Pumpkin Weizen Bam and Ommegang Hennepin. Knowing these guys, they'll probably have a few surprised up their sleeve!

3. As I mentioned, we've been to Two Stones a few times. Ok, actually, we've been to Two Stones quite a few times. Whatever, it's not like it's a problem or anything! That being said, as many times as we've been there, somehow we managed to never make it there on a Tuesday night. When my friend Terry found that out, I got the, "What?! You've never been to Taco Night at Two Stones?!" That's when I realized we had to go. And quick. 

We finally made it in not only for Taco Night, but for Taco Night during day #3 of Delaware Beer Week. Sweet. 

That night's taco choices were:
  • BBQ pit beef, charred peppers and onions, fried jalapeno, and chipotle ranch
  • Fried chicken, mashed potato, corn leek gravy, bacon and scallion 
  • Crispy fried pork shoulder, shaved cabbage, red onion, smoked tomato coulis, and cilantro
  • Veggie bites: spinach, mushroom corn salad, and Chimay grad cru cheese
That night, Two Stones was pouring 16 Mile Amber Sun, Responders, Delaware Oyster, Blues Golden, Harvest, Old Court and Inlet. It was a seriously kick a*s night.

We're kind of excited to see Taco Night get even crazier. Bring it.

By the way, if you're planning on going on Tuesday for Taco Night, don't try to go too late into the night - they've been selling out lately. Selling out of 400! tacos! Whoa. 

4. Graduating, having a bridal shower, bachelor/bachelorette party? Definitely keep 2SP in mind. I mean, duh, what could be better than good beer and good food for any special occasion? 

5. Two Stones is one of those places that is just awesome about updating their Facebook page. From the menu for Taco Night or Brunch, to what they're Randalling on a Wednesday, to info about beer dinners (as well as everything in between), these guys have you covered and never leave you guessing on what's going on there or what they've just tapped. That is so major in my book. It also makes me want to go there. Every. Single. Day. Maybe I can rent a bed in the back?

6. Let's talk about their brunch. Holy crap, Gumbo and B Cal's Smokehouse Brunch, along with the entire brunch menu, very well might be the perfect cure for life, and most definitely the cure for your hangover!

We tend to do our longer bike rides on Sundays. That also means we are usually STARVING by the time we finish up (that's what happens when you burn a couple 1,000 calories in a morning!) The thing is, we pretty much have to ride by 2SP on our way home, so we have a tendency to end up there for Sunday brunch. Oh darn. One of the last times we stopped in for brunch it just happen to be the start of Delaware Beer Week (it was Iron Hill day). Double oh darn. Here's what their menu was looking like that day:
Yup, it was as good as it looks! The Little Italy Wrap was Eric's choice that morning, I on the other hand went with the Shakshuka (but deep down my former gluten tolerant self really wanted the Mexican Mac and Cheese). 
7. We had to make a phone call to see who Vince is! Eric gave Stigz a buzz and found out that Vince, a local artist, is one of Two Stone's regulars. Those that know Vince, know who I'm talking about. If you have no idea who Vince is, you have no clue what I'm talking about! But, according to Stigz, know that the man is quite the talented artist.
8. We don't like to play favorites (because we love all the craft beer places in Delaware the same, just like a parent loves each of their children the same...) bu we have to agree that Two Stones does indeed have one of the best beer lists in the state. We love that about that place.

Here's what they had on tap on a random Monday. Nothing special going on that day/night, it was just a Monday. 

Check out how many local brews they have on tap - Dogfish Head, 16 Mile, Fordham and Old Dominion are all there! We're big fans of that!
The tap list is always extensive with a good amount of variety. I've yet to walk in there and think to myself, man, I have better beer at home. That's just not happening here. And I don't think we'll ever encounter that at Two Stones. Eric and I usually have the opposite problem. I solve that problem by ordering a couple of the smaller 8 ounce pours of the ones I couldn't decide on, versus one larger pour. This makes me happy. And a happy Lindsey is a good thing. Just ask Eric!

While I'm talking about their beer menu, I can't move on without giving Randall the Enamal Animal, one of the greastest inventions ever, and all that Two Stones creates from it, a little love. Randall brings a whole new flavor intensity to craft brews. Two of my favorite Randalls Two Stones has come up with has been Dogfish Head 120 through bourbon-soaked cherries and vanilla beans. I dig 120, a lot, and consider it pretty much perfect just the way it is - like Mark Darcy felt towards Bridget Jones in Bridget Jones's Diary. Anyway, I thought it was near perfect, until I had it Randalled that night. In the words of Giuliana Rancic, it was amaze balls. At their birthday bash, they Randalled Red and White through fresh strawberries, vanilla bean and chocolate covered Oreos. Oh yes they did! Are you trying to imagine how ridiculously amazing that tasted? Well, it did.  
Randall the Enamel Animal making the 120 even more ridiculous!  
The finished product! 
Red & White through fresh strawberries, vanilla beans AND chocolate-covered Oreos!
I'm not kidding!
Stigz laid out their philosophy on the beer. They're not just a bar, they're not just a restaurant. But, they're all about the beer - quality beer. And taking care of that beer. They're not spending a ton of money to have a huge food inventory (which to me also means things are fresher), they're spending that money on a killer beer inventory. Some of that inventory is beer that you might not see for a while. But rest assured, you will see it someday, when the time is right. When Two Stones is ready to know you off your feet! 

9.  Now about Monday lunch Nikki. Something tells me we'll never make it there for lunch on a Monday either. Stupid work. Oh wait, we need to work so we can afford to drink good beer! Nevermind. Sorry, Nikki! 

10. Two Stones Pub LOVES Beer Dinners, and they host one each month. Here's what you've missed so far this year...
January - BBQ
February - Victory
March - Indian
April - Asian
September 26th - Dogfish Head - ALREADY SOLD OUT!

Here's what you can still check out this year...

May 16th - Mexican 
June 20th - Allagash
July 25th - Luau
August 15 - Tropic ales
October 17th - Fall Harvest
November 14th - Pig Roast
December 12th - Cajun

Now I could never talk about Two Stones without talking about one of my favorite things there- it's the big ol' Buddha that sits on the bar. This thing rocks. 

I'm also thrilled to hear that the new location will also have a Buddha. Stigz doesn't know where it's going to go or how big it's going to be, but there will be a Buddha. Sweet. 

I like to think it's a good idea to rub the Buddha for good beer. Seems to be working every time we go to Two Stones...
I try to sit as close to the Buddha as I can when we go to Two Stones -
it's good beer karma!