Philadelphians are loco for Four Loko. And at Adsum Restaurant, it was standing room only — just to get a taste.
On Monday, chef and owner Matt Levin put his culinary skills to the test with a food pairing extravaganza featuring the "blackout-in-a-can," Four Loko.
The $35, three-course dinner started with two seatings, but quickly grew to four. All were sold out.
“I kind of put it up on Twitter as a joke a few weeks ago and within about 3 minutes I had 40 people that said they were in, and at that point we had to do it,” said Levin, who opened Adsum, Latin for “I am present,” in July. The cozy eatery is located in the Queen Village section of South Philly with a menu full of refined comfort food like macaroni and cheese, fried chicken, burgers and duck fat fries.
“It's foods I’d want to eat every night after work,” he said.
The evening’s menu included fried chicken, homemade lamb sausage and fried French toast paired with a slushy Four Loko play on sorbet.
“We do serious food, and I wasn’t gonna change what I do just because we’re doing something a little bit more low-brow,” he said. “I’ve always been somebody that’s taken interesting and weird ingredients, whether its Pop Rocks and now Four Loko, and turned it into something fantastic.”
Levin began stockpiling Loko after he heard the concoction came under fire from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Phusion Projects of Chicago, the maker of Four Loko, has ceased producing caffeinated alcoholic drinks, and expects to have all of its caffeinated alcoholic beverages off retail store shelves by Dec. 13.
Levin’s verdict on Four Loko: “It’s an acquired taste, let’s just say that.”