HOME > Chowhound > Philadelphia >
Brewing beer, curing meat, or making cheese?

Farmer's Cabinet

barryg Apr 22, 2011 01:02 PM

Anyone eat at Farmer's Cabinet yet? The reviews I've seen are mixed, to the say the least.

  1. l
    lowereastrittenhouse May 20, 2011 05:28 PM

    I have not eaten there, other than a sample plate of pickles, which were excellent. I was put off, however, by the attitude about the beer selection. Look, I like novel and quality beers as much as anyone - the rauchbier was particularly tasty - but not to have a single lager or pilsner in a selection of more than a dozen European beers smacks of trying too hard. Add on top of that the bartender's sneer when I inquired about one....

    3 Replies
    1. re: lowereastrittenhouse
      cwdonald May 21, 2011 06:40 AM

      Its no different than Monk's selection. The only difference is that Monks also has a substantial bottle selection. Going to a beer bar and asking for a pilsner is like going to a wine bar and asking for a White Zinfandel.

      1. re: cwdonald
        Buckethead May 21, 2011 07:56 AM

        "Going to a beer bar and asking for a pilsner is like going to a wine bar and asking for a White Zinfandel."

        That is silly, there are many world-class pilsners. Not all pilsners are Bud. Try Victory's Prima Pils or Jever. Monk's will have Stoudt's pils on draft soon as well.

      2. re: lowereastrittenhouse
        Bacchus101 May 21, 2011 09:10 AM

        Well a sneering bartender! I am putting FC on my go to list for sure! A chance to deliver that
        famous Sienfeld line, " But you are a (cashier) bartender!

        It is wonderful to have a selection of rare and fine beer and lovely that there are those who have the knowledge and taste to enjoy them. I must say I know better what I don't like than what I will like. But beer , down through the ages is the beverage of the common man.

        Enjoy it, explore its variations, learn what you can, but please drop the attitude it still is beer.

      3. j
        jmtoconnor May 4, 2011 06:23 PM

        Had dinner there last night solo while on a business trip to Philly. Was excited to see many non-run of the mill draft choices, including a couple of excellent Belgians and a great domestic, Port Brewing Co.'s Mongo IPA (scored A- on Beer Advocate website). Started with an excellent frisee salad served with lardons and melted leeks. Outstanding. Ordered the rabbit 2 ways and was bummed out when it was served to me before I even finished the salad. Granted, the place was pretty empty on a Tues. night, but professional pacing is expected when paying hefty tabs. The rabbit was ok...a bit underseasoned and the portion was small for $26. Heavy cherry sauce/accompaniment was a bit too sweet.

        Had to ask for bread (a tad stale and I really don't want apricot chunks in my bread) and water even though I was sitting right at the bar next to a service station where the overly populous for the thin crowd waitstaff chatted about, "what a drag it is when customers ask you for your first name and keep calling out for you." The bill was also wrong, with a charge for a beer previously settled up. Maybe the blaring 1930's ragtime soundtrack is distracting the attractive staff. I'd probably go back, but strictly for the beer/salumi/cheese small plate selection.

        4 Replies
        1. re: jmtoconnor
          urbanfabric May 5, 2011 09:37 AM

          And, if you just want good beer/salumi/cheese plates, there are other great places to try! Tria, Varga, Garces Trading Company, Chick's...

          1. re: urbanfabric
            barryg May 5, 2011 10:10 AM

            The house-cured meats and cheese plate at Southwark is off the hook, too.

            1. re: barryg
              Buckethead May 5, 2011 10:26 AM

              Le Virtu also makes a great salumi plate.

            2. re: urbanfabric
              cwdonald May 5, 2011 12:26 PM

              Great list.. I am partial to the salumi cheese pairings at Zavino... beer selection not as good however.

          2. t
            Tasty Duck May 2, 2011 02:54 PM

            It's good, but the drink prices really are out of control. That $8 beer was probably only 11oz. I doubt I will go back.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Tasty Duck
              cwdonald May 2, 2011 03:45 PM

              FWIW those prices were the same as the now closed Fork and Barrel in East Falls... You are paying for rare/novel beers that are hard to find. If you are the type of person that wants a 2 dollar Coors light... or even a 3 dollar Yards Brawler.. you will never be happy at Farmer's Table.

              1. re: cwdonald
                Tasty Duck May 4, 2011 04:11 PM

                I had Der Dolle Oerbier. One member of my party had a Scandinavian beer and one had a French beer. I actually don't think I've ever tried a Coors product. I have had many beers from Yards including the Brawler.

                I am familiar with beers from 12 Percent Importers & Shangy's, which seems like a lot of what FC carries. I understand the economics of beer pricing and I won't be going back to FC. It's too expensive for what I got. If you like it fine. It's the same as I won't be going to the Ranstead Room. It's overpriced.

              2. re: Tasty Duck
                Buckethead May 2, 2011 06:41 PM

                What was the beer?

              3. h
                Hungryin theBurbs Apr 22, 2011 04:29 PM

                I've heard a couple of positives, but I haven't been myself. I generally trust the food sense of my friends that liked it, though they are probably a little less discerning than I am, FWIW.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Hungryin theBurbs
                  BelgianBeerMistress Apr 24, 2011 07:04 AM

                  I was so excited to try this place since I'm a lover of interesting beers. I don't mind paying the high prices, as the beers on this menu are extremely rare in these parts. I head read good things, but then this happened: http://philadelphia.foobooz.com/2011/...

                  (Read the comments).

                  I'm not sure I can frequent a place that has so many former employees with so many negative experiences. I used to work in the biz, and people put up with a lot of crap from jerky chefs and managers. So for these people to come out and slam the owners like that, it has to be really bad.

                  1. re: BelgianBeerMistress
                    micreynolds Apr 25, 2011 01:09 PM

                    WOW. Those comments on FooBooz are pretty intense!

                    I had gone there about two weeks ago. LOVED the beer list. Loved, Loved, Loved it. Food however was OK, nothing special.

                    1. re: micreynolds
                      phillyjules Apr 29, 2011 05:43 AM


                      I decided to check the place out yesterday. I have to say that I was impressed by the beer list but I wasn't too keen about the hokey atmosphere. My husband who is the beer drinker tried an interesting smokey beer which was pricey at $8.00. But, it's a specialty beer so I can understand the high cost. I ordered a martini, although it was made well, it was the smallest martini for $11. I almost laughed at the bartender when I saw the drink. I'm deifnitely not coming back since it's too expensive and I can get a huge martini across the street at Moriatry's for $7.

                2. i
                  ilovesummer Apr 22, 2011 01:22 PM

                  hmmm...never heard of it...where is it located???

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ilovesummer
                    barryg Apr 22, 2011 01:26 PM

                    Center City - 1100 block of Walnut

                  Show Hidden Posts