Parks on Tap comes out smoking for 2017

Brisket sandwich from Parks on Tap.

Parks on Tap - the traveling beer garden sponsored by Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, Fairmount Park Conservancy, and FCM Hospitality - has returned for its second season, expanding from 14 parks to 20. 

This year’s food service is led by chef Brandon Thomas, former sous chef at Fork and Russet. Thomas' menu includes Texan-influenced sandwiches with barbecue meats prepared in a smoker made by John Lewis, the pitmaster behind Lewis Barbeque of Charleston, S.C. Bread comes from baker Alex Bois, who was nominated for a James Beard Award out of High Street on Market.

Menu highlights:

• Sandwiches: Pulled Pork, Chicken Salad, Turkey Sausage, or Eggplant served on Malt Yukon Potato Bread or Vegan Roll ($7-$9)
• Sides: Baked Beans & Burnt Ends, Pea Shoot Salad, Coleslaw, Smoked Potato Salad, Cornbread ($3-$6)
• Grab 'n' Go: Summer Pasta Salad, Seasonal Fruit Salad, Grain Salad with Cranberries, Chicken Salad on Greens, Fresh Pretzel Twist with Mustard, Crackers ($4-$8)
• "Picnic in the Park:” Chef's Choice of Local Cheese, Homemade Butter, Jams, Rillette, Charcuterie by 1732 Meats and Pickled Veggies with a Bread Boule by Bois ($25)
• “Parks on Tap Platter": 1/2 Chicken "Beer-Can" Style, Served with a Choice of 2 Sides ($16 starting Memorial Day Weekend through the end of the season).

On tap will be the new Parks Pale Ale created exclusively by Saint Benjamin Brewing Company, as well as other drinks including:

• Beer: Straub American Lager, Jack’s Hard Cider, Weyerbacher Pilsner, Spring House Grapefruit Pale Ale, Evil Genius Mango Belgian Wit, and Sly Fox Rt. 113 IPA ($5-$7)
• Cocktails: Root & Rye (root beer and whiskey), Frozen Tequila Lemonade, Frozen Vodka Watermelonade ($8-$10)
• Wine on Tap: Bridge Lane Rosé ($8)
• Non-Alcoholic: Draft Root Beer, Frozen Lemonade, and Watermelon Coolers

For kids, there are Ice Cream Balls, which contain ingredients that must be kicked around for 20 minutes to create ice cream.  

Many parks have timed their Parks on Tap residency to coincide with special events like movie nights, concerts, and plays. In addition, Parks on Tap offers pay-what-you-wish yoga classes every Thursday from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. led by Roots2Rise. A loyalty program and social media contest will offer discounts and prizes throughout the season; for example, customers who spend $5 at 5 different parks will get $5 off their next visit to the beer garden.

Parks on Tap will visit 20 parks between now and Oct. 1, spending a few days at each location. Hours are: 5 to 10 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays,  1 to 11 p.m. Saturdays, and noon to 10- p.m. Sundays and holidays.

Here is the schedule:

• May 17-21, Azalea Garden, behind Philadelphia Museum of Art, East Fairmount Park

• May 24-29 (Memorial Day), FDR Park Boathouse, South Philadelphia

• May 31-June 4, Belmont Plateau, West Fairmount Park

• June 7-June 11, Matthias Baldwin Park, Spring Garden/Fairmount

• June 14-June 18, Columbus Square, Passyunk Square

• June 21-25, Paine’s Park, Center City/Schuylkill River Trail

• June 28-July 4, Strawberry Mansion Bridge (pedestrian pathway), Fairmount Park/Strawberry Mansion

• July 5-July 9, Shofuso Japanese House & Garden, West Fairmount Park

• July 12-July 16, Schuylkill Banks at Walnut Street, Center City

• July 19-July 23, Jefferson Square Park, Queen Village/Pennsport

• July 26-July 30, Lemon Hill Mansion, East Fairmount Park/Fairmount

• August 2-August 6, Aviator Park, Benjamin Franklin Parkway/Logan Square

• August 9-August 13, Gorgas Park, Roxborough

• August 16-August 20, Penn Treaty Park, Fishtown

• August 23-August 27, Clark Park, University City/Spruce Hill

• August 30-September 4 (Labor Day), Cliveden Park, East Mt. Airy/Germantown

• September 6-September 10, Mt. Pleasant Mansion, East Fairmount Park

• September 13-September 17, Pretzel Park, Manayunk

• September 20-September 24, Burholme Park, Northeast Philadelphia/Burholme

• September 27-October 1, Powers Park, Port Richmond