Garrett Hill Ale House - Rosemont
We've been to the Garrett Hill Ale House (on County Line Rd., intersection of Garrett Ave., in Rosemont, just south of Lancaster Ave.) a few times now. I think this is exactly what the neighborhood has needed, and what this place should have been all along - a true gastropub/ale house in the spirit of The Standard Tap but in the suburbs.
The food is very good, far above most 'bar food'. We've had the meatloaf a few times, which is very good (I think the second best in the area, exceeded only by the Ugly Moose in Manyunk). The burger is excellent, I think the best in the area - thick, juicy, looks handmade. The fries it comes with are thin 'shoestring' style, nicely crispy and not greasy, a refreshing change from the fries at most places. The roasted potatoes which accompany many dishes are absolutely delicious, maybe the best thing available. There are usually a couple of specials, this weekend it was a 'swordfish sloppy joe'.
They offer a brunch on Sunday, though we haven't been to it and can't comment on what's offered or the quality.
The only wish we had for the menu was for there to be a few more offerings. As it stands, there are a few appetizers (including mussels, a must with beer), a few salads, and 4 or 5 entrees. Along with the specials, it's enough to pick from for everyone, but a few more offerings would be nice. But, quality is more important than quantity of selections.
A key attraction are the beers, which (I think) are the best selection in the area - higher end, more distinctive craft beers than you can find at most other places. Distinct from Teresa's Next Door (a few miles down the road in Wayne), the offerings here focus on American craft beers, mostly from the northeast and midwest. The selection is excellent, with about 20 on draft (with heavy representation of Victory, and Troegg's).
Jerrod the bartender (and I think part owner/manager) really knows his beers, in a good, fundamental, quality, unpretentious way - he knows good beer, and it shows in the offerings.
The atmosphere is a step above most places in the area as well. Most of the bars on Lancaster Ave. are filled with college students, not so here. The vibe is quiet, seems to be mostly 20- or 30-somethings, which is a nice change from most bars in the area - you can actually have a conversation.
I can't think of many other places with such high-quality American microbrews, combined with excellent food, and a quiet, casual, comfortable, unpretentious atmosphere. We'll definitely continue to be regulars there.