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Philly Bar(food) Crawl

  • j

I'm meeting a buddy of mine next Friday, and we're probably going to hop around to a few resto's/bars for drinks and food. I think he wants to try Gayle, I'm also thinking Barclay Prime for sliders. Where else should we hit?
Could be somewhat trendy, could also be "dive-ish." The only thing we're not looking for is formal.
Also, we'd like to go places that have pretty decent access in the bar areas, we won't want to wait for more than a half hour or so to be able to get a seat and order food.

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  1. darn, and here i thought you were organizing one!! ;)

    absolutely i'd hit eulogy, north third, standard tap. love the vibe & beer at johnny brenda's, but never had the food.
    there is nothing better than the tomato/moz salad at standard tap while sipping a yards out on the 2nd floor balcony on a gorgeous evening! or just grabbing a slice of pizza from rustica on your way out. come to northern liberties!!

    2 Replies
    1. re: rabidog

      i should also mention the pierogies, fried fish sandwich, and french fries at north third. yum!

      oh, and the abbaye's grilled cheese was pretty darn good last time i had it!

      1. re: rabidog

        OK, had some gazpacho and pan-roasted cod both from the specials menu at the abbaye today alongside a couple pilsners with a funny-sounding name. good service, beer, food. while i am still mourning the loss of azure, there are some good pub food picks in northern liberties.

    2. well, I don't know if it would fit your other criteria, but Good Dog has a great burger

      1. If you stuck with Galye - it would be fun to also visit North Third, Eulogy and the Standard Tap. Those are a reasonable distance from each other.

        If you wanted Barclay Prime (this is the dressiest place) Good Dog and Apothecary (just for drinks, amazing).

        1. Gayle's bar is very small from what I remember, maybe 4 seats, so I wouldn't count on being able to sit right down there on a Friday night. It's been a while since I was there but it seemed to be more like a waiting area for diners than an actual bar with a bartender.

          If I were you I'd skip it and go to Southwark or Ansill (or both) instead. They're a block away from Gayle, have great food and nice big bars.

          1. I would suggest choosing an area first and then deciding on specific bars. Philadelphia Weekly's list, although far from perfect, is a good start.

            Here a few pub crawls I've undertaken with a fair amount of success (the first one on each list has especially good food):

            South Philly: Royal Tavern, Dive Bar, Pope, finish off at Cantina or 1601.

            Center City(ish): Jose Pistolas, Good Dog, Nodding Head, finish off at Bob and Barbaras

            Old City: Eulogy, Sugar Mom's, National Mechanics, finish off at Khyber

            If you want more upscale drinks, do Chick's and/or Southwark in South Philly, and if you want divier then sub in any of the Midtowns.

            1. No Philly pub crawl should exclude The Standard Tap or N. Third. Some of the best bar food to be found anywhere.

              1. Want to Report Back Everyone-

                Thanks for your input, we made it out last night. As a note, I would say that doing something like this on a Sunday is absolutely ideal- you can go anywhere, get great service at the bar at just about any restaurant, and there is a great vibe in the city.

                With the heat, we were thinking latin, so we started at Alma de Cuba, hit Tinto after that, then went to Monk's, Tequila's, and finished at Barclay Prime. I had your recommendations with me, but after a few drinks, all bets were off!
                Alma de Cuba: Had a refreshing caprinha, along with the dates and empanada with spinach and manchego. The empanada was ok, the dates were great. They were stuffed with cabrales, and served on an endive boat with a little crunch from almonds, and wrapped in bacon. Real good rendition of a classic. Great service at the bar.
                Tinto- bar was empty, we had it all to ourselves. We got the ham, pork belly, mussels, and short rib sandwich. Wow that short rib sandwich and pork belly! The sandwich was on a small torpedo roll, and had bacon, a little frisee I think, and some aioli. Awesome. The pork belly had a honey laquer on it with some green apple. Unctous (is that a word?), and great deep flavors. The mussels fell behind the other dishes.
                Monks for a beer, no food. Great beer, I'm forgetting the name of it, it's the white bier on tap in the back.
                Tequila's- Just some chips and guacomole. Weird room, with the chandelier and fireplace and everything. Good bloody mary for me, service again was very good.
                Barclay Prime- We walked in around 9:00. The bar was empty our entire dinner. We had an order of the sliders, tomato and mozzarella, the bacon, and fries. I've always been a big fan of the sliders, and they didn't dissapoint. The star here though, I have to say, was the bacon. Double smoked, crispy on the edges, chewy in the middle, and drizzled with maple syrup. Unbelievable.
                All in all, a great night of eating. The best dishes were probably the short rib sandwich and pork belly from tinto and the bacon from Barclay Prime. I highly recommend this style, it was really alot of fun.
                Can't wait 'til next time to try out some of your other recommendations.

                2 Replies
                1. re: JCap

                  awesome review. thanks for that! i can totally buy the heat/latin thing. nothing says "no, it's not 100 degrees out at all!!!" like mint and lime in stuff, i know! :) just discovered the magic that is a capirinha myself, and i am in love. your tour sounds like one i might replicate in the midst of this summer heat!

                  then belgian beer tour in the winter. :)

                  1. re: rabidog

                    Belgian beer tour!? What a great idea!
                    It was really a great way to kill 6 hours or so with a good friend on a 100 degree day. Thanks again for the input rabidog.