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Village Whiskey - ever been?

KittCat84 Sep 22, 2010 10:50 AM

I'm looking for thoughts on Garces' Village Whiskey. My boyfriend would like to go there for his birthday dinner. I've checked out the website and it looks like a more laid back type of place - is this correct? Is it best to make reservations ahead of time? Any suggestions on the best things to try on the menu? We are looking to go next Friday night.

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  1. AgentRed RE: KittCat84 Sep 22, 2010 11:07 AM

    Yeah, if you're willing to put up with a wait.

    VW is an amazing bar, the burger is (in my opinion) the best in the city, if not the entire East Coast, the bartenders are masters of the craft (and friendly too) and the selection of whiskeys will satisfy any aficionado.

    HOWEVER. That place is packed on Friday nights, we're talking a two+ hour wait. This may be better now because they have outdoor tables but it's still a pain. They don't do reservations so your best bet is to walk over, put your name+number on the list, and then go to Franklin Mortgage or the Ranstead Room for drinks until they call you.

    Also, the atmosphere, especially on Friday's, is zilch, too loud, too close and too busy, very un-birthday meal.

    If I were you, I'd save it for another time, after all it's relatively cheap for a restaurant. Have a nice birthday meal somewhere, and stop by VW whenever you're bored/have a weeknight free.

    5 Replies
    1. re: AgentRed
      urbanfabric RE: AgentRed Sep 22, 2010 11:56 AM

      AgentRed is right, it's much more bar than restaurant. It's tough to plan a meal around your slim chance on getting a seat in there on a Friday or Saturday night. They only have a few tables.

      1. re: AgentRed
        KittCat84 RE: AgentRed Sep 24, 2010 08:20 AM

        Thanks so much for your information. I was not expecting it to be a no reservations restaurant! We will probably save VW for another lower-key night. Any idea if the other Garces restaurants are all no reservations as well? And which would be best for a celebration dinner?

        1. re: KittCat84
          gregb RE: KittCat84 Sep 24, 2010 11:10 AM

          If it were my birthday, I would request a VW burger for lunch and then a birthday dinner!

          1. re: KittCat84
            AgentRed RE: KittCat84 Sep 24, 2010 11:19 AM

            I would always recommend the $35 tasting menu at Distrito, it's special enough to be a birthday dinner to remember (five or six courses of amazing food) but not expensive enough to break the bank.

            Plus it's a great atmosphere (take one of the booths) and they accept reservations.

            1. re: KittCat84
              urbanfabric RE: KittCat84 Sep 24, 2010 11:20 AM

              All of the other Garces places take reservations, including the low-key Garces Trading Company. I would recommend either Amada or Tinto as the best of the crowd, food-wise. But, if you want a fun place with good food, Distrito would fit the bill.

          2. m
            missfunkysoul RE: KittCat84 Sep 22, 2010 01:47 PM

            really yummy. and the space is nice. but yeah... i would definitely go on a slower night so that it's not so packed.

            1. smobron RE: KittCat84 Sep 23, 2010 04:09 PM

              well there is a way to enjoy the menu and the bar without the hassle ...go for lunch ..we went a few weeks ago on a Saturday afternoon and we had no issue at all getting a table ...it is a very small space and can not imagine if it were crowded and packed .....we got the duck fat fries with a short rib and they were really good , we also got a pulled pork sandwich it was very tasty .......walked across the street for gelato at Capogiro....good luck whatever you do

              1. Bacchus101 RE: KittCat84 Sep 25, 2010 07:32 AM

                Many great responses here. FYI you may want to read macandcheesereview.blogspot.com/2010/06/village-whiskey.html
                Comprehensive review with suggestions for ordering drinks.

                1. b
                  BelgianBeerMistress RE: KittCat84 Sep 27, 2010 04:04 PM

                  Best. Burger. Ever.


                  4 Replies
                  1. re: BelgianBeerMistress
                    KittCat84 RE: BelgianBeerMistress Sep 28, 2010 05:51 AM

                    Awesome, thanks guys! We've decided to make reservations with Distrito for the tasting menu, but stop by Village Whiskey first in case there is an opening. If there is, we will stay at Village Whiskey and cancel our reservations at Distrito :) I'll have to let you all know how it goes! Thanks again!

                    1. re: KittCat84
                      AgentRed RE: KittCat84 Sep 28, 2010 12:30 PM

                      Smart plan, it'll be an awesome birthday meal either way!

                    2. re: BelgianBeerMistress
                      Bacchus101 RE: BelgianBeerMistress Sep 30, 2010 06:48 AM

                      BBMistress... Just curious as to what makes the burger "Best Burger Ever"? Is it the beef, the adornments, both, the cooking? Your opinion is certianly shared by others. But what is it? We will visit this weekend for the first time. As a burger lover I will look forward to the Best Burger Ever!


                      1. re: Bacchus101
                        sockii RE: Bacchus101 Sep 30, 2010 07:26 AM

                        Can't speak for BBMistress, but I really like it for not just the quality of the meat & toppings but also because, somehow, it doesn't hit my stomach like a brick the way other "megaburgers" in the city does. For instance, while I love the Windsor Burger at Pub & Kitchen almost as much, it always feels like a lead weight in my stomach for a few hours after eating. The VW burger is immensely satisfying but not a grease bomb.

                        My full review of Village Whiskey is here, if it could be useful to any first-time diners:


                    3. g
                      gan911 RE: KittCat84 Sep 28, 2010 06:46 AM

                      i was just there last night...no wait, but monday night. The bar/bartender is very impressive. had the duck fries just as a snack...not bad, but I wouldn't say that duck is a main flavor that comes through. so i dont know what the point of frying in duck fat is....but it was worth a try. guess i should've ordered more food now that i come on chowhound and read this post...

                      1. p
                        phillylunchjamie RE: KittCat84 Sep 28, 2010 01:05 PM

                        Do yourself a favor and try Village Whiskey's new Saturday happy hour. From 2pm-4 sliders and pickles are on special, along with drafts beers,and one specialty cocktail. The sliders are insanely good and only $3. The burger slider is a mini version of their famous burger- one of the best in Philly. They have outdoor seating to avoid the wait.

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