HOME > Chowhound > Pennsylvania >

Bar Ferdinand?

Mawrter Feb 11, 2007 08:24 AM

In my quest to find a Spanish tapas place, I found this online. I hardly ever get into town anymore. Worth the trip?

The pictures show a real tapas case, some credible menu items and Cava by the bottle and the glass...

http://www.barferdinand.com/
1030 North 2nd Street
215-923-1313

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. c
    Chowtalk RE: Mawrter Feb 11, 2007 02:04 PM

    Nope....quite disappointing.
    Cheap, great prices but boring food.
    Weak spanish flavors.
    Sketchy neighborhood at night.
    Head on down to Amada in old city.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Chowtalk
      G Goo RE: Chowtalk Feb 11, 2007 03:32 PM

      The neighborhood isn't that bad and the same could be said for the food. Nice atmosphere, bar. Sketchy neighborhood....come on!?. I'll show you some sketchy neighborhoods and Northern Liberties and Fishtown ain't it.

    2. j
      jennw36 RE: Mawrter Feb 11, 2007 04:38 PM

      Agreed.... sketchy neighborhood? G Goo has it right. It's a nice place for a drink in a quiet part of town with easy parking. The neighborhood is great. You're more likely to get mugged in New Jersey then in N. Lib.

      1 Reply
      1. re: jennw36
        G Goo RE: jennw36 Feb 11, 2007 04:54 PM

        Yeah, I love Northern Liberties. Great bohemian/Philly-hometown vibe. Not pretentious nor dangerous. Still retains some of the industrial-area grit, but that's what makes it real. Take that away and you have, well, Old City. For Chowtalk to throw out the "sketchy" label is both false and irresponsible.

        And Bar Ferdinand, while new and probably inconsistent, it's the kind of place that given a few years (along with The Standard Tap, N 3rd, etc) will act as an anchor for the developing area. My wife and I had a great night there on a warm November night last year.....I say give it a go.

      2. spinach RE: Mawrter Feb 11, 2007 04:55 PM

        now now, let's not be jumpin on NJ. every state/city has bad/unsafe areas. as to the tapas at bar ferdinand, i've alos heard less than stellar reviews. there USED to be a great place in center city right on the corner of locust st. sadly it's gone and whatever else has tried there has failed. amada is my preference now IF you can manage to get in. the food is consistant, the waiters (that i've dealt with) are knowledgable and outgoing. i am ceratin someone somewhere will disagree, but c'est la vie. i love the place.

        1 Reply
        1. re: spinach
          j
          jennw36 RE: spinach Feb 11, 2007 04:59 PM

          Spinach - It was for effect, I am originally a Jersey girl.

        2. Chinon00 RE: Mawrter Feb 11, 2007 06:37 PM

          I've thoroughly enjoyed Bar Ferdinand on every visit. I agree with the previous posts that describing the area as "sketchy" is accurate only if you are one who is use to frequenting suburban strip malls exclusively (not that there is anything wrong with suburban strip malls). Great beer list, solid wine list, interesting tapas and friendly staff (and patrons) make this place a winner. I like Amada 99% for a variety of reasons but what they call a Paella should be considered a disgrace. Horrible!

          1. saturninus RE: Mawrter Feb 12, 2007 05:17 AM

            I enjoyed the atmosphere, food and drinks at Bar Ferdinand BUT I found the tapas to be SO small, it was very hard (and expensive) to fill up. Is it really less expensive than Amada?

            1 Reply
            1. re: saturninus
              gina RE: saturninus Feb 12, 2007 03:43 PM

              My checks have been significantly lower at Bar Ferdinand than they ever were at Amada, for the same amount of food and drink. But Amada uses pricier ingredients for some items, and is fancier overall. I like both for what they are, it just depends what I'm in the mood for--'comfort' (BF) or 'high-end' (Amada).

              To Mawrter: if you decide to make the trip to Bar Ferdinand, I especially recommend trying any of the empanadas, the skirt steak with egg, patatas bravas, and duck confit. I was not a big fan of the Cava Rosada by the glass (a little too sweet for me), but the Cava Segura Viudas is good. The only dish I can think of to avoid would be the roasted lamb--it was pretty dry, although the onion relish on the side was delicious by itself.

              And I feel just as safe on Liberties Walk as I do in Old City, my own neighborhood. In fact, if it's late enough, Old City can be pretty dicey.

            2. t
              tilemaker RE: Mawrter Feb 12, 2007 05:52 AM

              Don't fear the neighborhood at all. But don't go hungry if you haven't got a fat wallet. Somethings are very tasty and memorable and other dishes they should be ashamed of serving. The mosaics alone make it worth a trip.

              1 Reply
              1. re: tilemaker
                G Goo RE: tilemaker Feb 12, 2007 06:01 AM

                I've only been once but I found the serving sizes to be ample and the prices right. I left full. Have things changed?

              2. Tonyjlive RE: Mawrter Feb 12, 2007 05:58 AM

                Food wise I don't think it's worth it. The place is nice, but the overall value is not there. Yes, I realize tapas are small dishes and the quality is supposed to be high enough to justify the prices, blah, blah, blah. I don't think the price is worth it for the product. I'd be interested to hear some reviews on Isla Ibiza up the street though, haven't been and since it's on the complete opposite end of town for me, it's not that often I come over unfortunately.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Tonyjlive
                  t
                  tilemaker RE: Tonyjlive Feb 13, 2007 07:09 AM

                  Tonyjlive, I've given Isla Ibiza four shots and each time it's gotten noticibly worse. And this is a shame because I really wanted to like them. Everyone there is exceedingly kind and that corner is desperate for an anchor.The final straw for me was the tres leches cake that was soaked in spoiled milk.My friend and I took our forkfuls simultaneously and then had the same reaction of surprise and wonderment as to what to do with this inedible mouthful of spoiled milk cake. We couldn't spit it out because we didn't want to offend the other diners so down the hatch it went. YUCK

                2. j
                  JABDDD RE: Mawrter Feb 12, 2007 01:08 PM

                  Wowza. "Risking your life"....that is taking it a bit far. As a person who also drives in from the burbs, I couldn't disagree more. Norristown could be far grittier than Northern Liberties. I went with a few girlfriends, unarmed ( ;) ) and we never felt anything but safe.

                  And, I rather liked the food, especially the eggplant dish.

                  Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but you do need to be cognizant of the fact that statements could be very insulting.

                  1. c
                    Chowtalk RE: Mawrter Feb 12, 2007 01:31 PM

                    Amada.
                    Safer.
                    Better Tapas.

                    Show Hidden Posts