south philadelphia tap room

It took me way too long to get down here. I’ve always heard great things about the food Chef Scott Schroeder makes. He also tweets photos of his food and it always looks awesome. For example, there’s the grilled cheese & tomato soup and the extremely rare chicken fried cheesesteak. After seeing these, you’re probably wondering why it took me so long to go.

Grilled cheese in mind, I made my way down after work yesterday. To my surprise, an insert was handed out in addition to the regular menu which included Scott’s Dogs, hot dogs which will soon be served from a cart in a collaboration with Southwark Chef Nick Macri, an appetizer of “mexican construction worker style headcheese tacos”, and “my grandmom’s tomato and mayonnaise sandwich”. Whoa! If you follow Scott on Twitter, you have definitely seen him talk about a simple sandwich of tomato and mayo. I never thought it was weird, but I certainly have never had or heard of it. It certainly intrigued me. After I saw that Scott was offering this on the menu, I had no choice but to order it. I had to see what all the fuss was about. The sandwich (pictured above) is made from Lancaster county tomatoes, white bread, and mayo and is accompanied by a side of fries, salad, or pasta salad. It was freaking delicious. I would ramble on more, but my words honestly don’t do it any justice. You HAVE to make it down here.

grilled cheese & tomato soup

One of the three of us did get the grilled cheese and she was kind enough to let me try a piece. That was quite fantastic too. If I had a couple more beers in me, there’s no doubt in my mind I would have ordered a grilled cheese too. I also tried one of the headcheese tacos which was tasty. They had quite the spice kick!

mexican construction worker style headcheese tacos

I will definitely be back. The place has a chill vibe, the beer selection is good, and Scott’s food rocks. I also have unfinished business (grilled cheese/tomato soup, the burger, Scott’s Dogs, and a chicken fried cheesesteak…if I get lucky).

If you think it’s too far to get to it’s only a couple blocks northwest of the Snyder stop on the Broad Street Line. Do it.

South Philadelphia Tap Room
1509 Mifflin Street
Philadelphia, PA 19145

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the abbaye

It’s been almost a year since I’ve visited The Abbaye. I had a great time last year when I went even though it was just for a drink or two. There is no good excuse for why I haven’t been in so long and after last night’s dinner, I will not forget about this place again.

One of the reasons I chose to come here last night, besides the fact that it’s been too long, was that they have some great vegetarian/vegan food options. Some of my friends have raved about their vegan wings in particular. That being said, vegan wings were ordered for our appetizer (pictured above). They were delicious. The Abbaye makes these in house! The wings were full of flavor and had a crisp outside, a texture almost dead on with fried chicken skin. These were some of, if not the best, faux meat experiences I’ve ever had! After Lent is over, I’m still going to order these…they’re THAT good.

seitan cheesesteak

In addition to the wings, I ordered the seitan cheesesteak. I’ve had other sandwiches made with seitan before and enjoyed them, however, this was the first time I’ve had a vegetarian cheesesteak. The cheesesteak is served on a roll with melted gruyere, grilled onions, grilled tomato, and a roasted garlic aioli. I haven’t had other veg cheesesteaks to compare but this was delicious as well. The chopped up pieces of seitan were tasty and not dry at all. The cheesesteak came with a pickle, frites, and a dipping sauce.

The menu is pretty huge. Even though I could easily eliminate the meat options, I still read through everything and started to wonder how some of the stuff would taste once Lent is over (ex. Abbaye Burger, Smokey Chimay Wings). I NEED to come back to try those. Seriously had an awesome time last night. I’d like to apologize to my stomach for ignoring this fantastic place in NoLibs for almost a year. Hope to be back soon!

Also, I got to try one of their pâtés at this year’s Brewer’s Plate and it was great! Looking forward to trying the non-vegetarian ones!

The Abbaye
637 N 3rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19123

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khyber pass pub

If you know me well enough, you’re probably aware that I’m a huge fan of this place. I’m cozy when I’m here – it’s the beer, the food, the music, and the atmosphere.

baby spinach salad

Through my previous visits, I’ve had a ton of different brews from their killer list of beers, on tap and in bottles. My love for Voodoo Cowbell was also born here. Psst, it should be on tap there now as you read this…if not already kicked…

I’ve also been able to try a bunch of different food. Just to name a few: bacon grease popcorn, debris fries, fried green tomatoes. That bacon grease popcorn is pretty damn good. If you’re not vegetarian/vegan and not watching your figure, try out the popcorn. Make sure you’ve got a lot of people to share it with you cause you WILL feel a little guilty about it. The debris fries are another decadent but delicious item on the menu. These fries are covered in smoked cheddar, beef, and gravy.

One particular item on the menu has my heart (and stomach) won are the po boy sandwiches. Khyber even uses Leidenheimer rolls for em! I’ve tried the vegan fried chicken, the oyster, and a half/half of oyster and shrimp. All of them were fantastic.

More recently, I had lunch with some friends this past weekend and here’s some of what was ordered:

sammy po boy – fried chicken, ham, swiss w/ a side of mac & cheese

half ‘n’ half po boy – oysters & shrimp w/ a side of mac & cheese

Also ordered was the baby spinach salad (pictured above), gumbo, and catfish po boy (special).

The half ‘n’ half po boy might officially be my favorite item on the menu, though I was rather shocked to find out that the half ‘n’ half was one half oyster po boy, and the other half shrimp po boy. I assumed it was going to be two halves of mixed oyster and shrimp. Maybe I’m just being a clown, IT IS called the half ‘n’ half after all. Maybe I can ask for it mixed next time? The mac and cheese is pretty good too. The only other side I’ve had were the onion rings which were enjoyable.

I have not yet had a burger here. Embarrassing considering you are reading bridges, burgers & beer. I promise to get one soon and report back!

Khyber Pass Pub
56 S 2nd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

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Barcade is another place I’ve been meaning to go to for a while. I love video games and beer…therefore, Video Games + Beer = Barcade = Happiness.

They have a ton of great beers on tap and a pretty awesome atmosphere. The walls are lined with vintage arcade games. There were also two ridiculously cute dogs roaming around. I ended up playing fetch with one of them for at least 10 minutes…yeah, I just said that. It was awesome.

I did see Marble Madness, a game I was fascinated by growing up. Why I didn’t play it? No idea. There were also several other ridiculously awesome games. (Sorry, my inner geek is coming out)…I just didn’t get around to playing any. I packed a ton of quarters too…it’s a shame a barely used any. Someone did play some Donkey Kong though…i won’t get into the results of that though…

self proclaimed donkey kong champion, runner’s kitchen

I will be back…this place is TOO awesome.

Can’t wait for the Philly location to open up, but I’m sure it won’t feel the same as going to the original.

388 Union Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11211

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village whiskey

Ever since my gf and I dined at Amada, I’ve been a big fan of Jose Garces. He’s an extremely successful chef who’s only in his 30’s and owns six Philadelphia restaurants. Garces has also recently become the next iron chef…beating out all the competition (I have yet to watch all the episodes I’ve DVR’ed). I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting him at Share our Strength’s Taste of the Nation food charity event last summer. During Philadelphia Restaurant Week, I had the chance to try Chifa, a Peruvian/Cantonese “fusion” restaurant which Garces opened up fairly recently (within the last year or so). More recently, Garces opened up Village Whiskey, next to his wine bar, Tinto within the past 6 months…

As soon as I found out about this place, I knew I had to make a trip. Unfortunately, the wait for a table was an hour and a half…so my friend and I just walked around the bar area and the back. Fortunately, a couple was leaving and my friend and I were able to snag a stand up spot along the back wall.

VW’s menu sports a lot of great offerings. They have a bunch of finger foods such as cheese puffs, oysters, and pretzels as well as different kinds of pickles (cipollinis, beets, onions). Of course, what stands out in my mind from the menu though are the Whiskey King burger (w/ maple bourbon glazed cipollini, rogue bleu cheese, applewood bacon, and foie gras) and the duck fat french fries! Had I not been heading up to a crazy alumni weekend at Lehigh after this, I would have ordered those. Instead, I opted for a Village Burger with rogue bleu cheese and caramelized onions. I also ordered a Brooklyn Brewery Chocolate Stout to go along.

The service was great despite the place being packed. The meal came out within 15-20 and had a pickle on the side. If you know me at all, you know I’m not crazy about pickles…but I ate this one! As I took my first bite, I wandered off into a bit of burger heaven. It was just so damn delicious. The bread was perfect. The burger was juicy and just right. The forementioned plus the other additions all came together to make this easily one of the best burgers I’ve ever had.

Due to the pretty awesome drink menu and great food offerings, I have unfinished business here and will without question be back in the (hopefully) near future.

DEFINITELY, definitely check this place out if you can!

Village Whiskey
118 S 20th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103

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