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Category Archives: bars

Stoppin’ By The Memphis Tap


One of things I love doing in the spring and summer is stopping by a local bar for happy hour. One place I enjoy going is The Memphis Taproom, which, despite their claims on their website that they are in Kensington (and claims of being in Port Richmond on “Diners, Drive In’s and Dives”), is located in Fishtown on the corner of Memphis and Cumberland Streets. This irritates me. Fishtown is a neighborhood that has gentrified and no one seems to have enough brains to ask the people who live there (and I mean the original inhabitants) what neighborhood it is. Anyway….

We sat outside in their cool yard/beer garden and munched on hot dogs from thier very own truck, served by the very funny Steve Miller-Miller, but it started to get kind of cold so we relocated to the inside bar. We ordered some food and here’s the highlights.

Crawdad Donuts

Crawdad Donuts

First off we ordered Crawdad Donuts. They are described with “Jalapenos, green onions, shellfish nage”. A “nage” is a broth flavored with white wine, vegetables, and herbs, in which seafood is poached. The liquid is then reduced and thickened with cream and/or butter. In other words: it’s delicious without being too heavy. This nage hit the mark.

And it also has a ton of little bits of crawdads in it, which it was awesome.

I’m not exactly sure why they call them donuts, as I really thought that the texture was more of a beignet, but whatever, potato, potahto. these things were great.

Inside the Crawdad Donut

Inside the Crawdad Donut

As you can see, they have the green onion in the mix, which really gives the dough a nice tang. As I said above, I think the texture is more beignet-ish, and it soaks up the gravy like nobody’s business!

This is definitely not something I would have ordered normally and I’m glad I took a jump to give it a shot! For $9, it was totally worth it!

Crawdad Donut

Crawdad Donut

More of the Crawdad Donuts

More of the Crawdad Donuts

Beef and Onion Pasties

Beef and Onion Pasties

The second thing we ordered were Beef and Onion Pasties. A Pastie (pah-stee, not the stripper type pay-stee) is a traditional English food, basically it’s a little fried savory pie. It’s the official food of Cornwall, England and you can stuff them with whatever. These have short ribs in them and sit in a horseradish sauce & parsley sauce.

I have to say, I loved the sauce. It was a little creamy but the horseradish wasn’t ground down so much that you couldn’t taste the texture of the root. It also has a little heat to it, so the horseradish they used to make the sauce wasn’t too old. Here is a tip: you like horseradish but don’t like crazy heat? Let it sit in the fridge for awhile. It tends to lose it’s potency.

Inside the Beef and Onion Pastie

Inside the Beef and Onion Pastie

Anyway, onto the pasties themselves. Short ribs are things I can eat everyday for the rest of my life. The pairing of the horseradish and the short ribs was smart, because, at least in my family, we smear horseradish all over meat like that.

For once, I was smart enough to let something sit for a few minutes before taking a bite and burning myself, and I’m glad I did. The dough was nice and crisp, and not very greasy at all. The short rib meat inside was moist and delicious. If I had to pick something to nitpick about, I’d say that the pastie could have been filled more. there seemed to be a lot of empty space in there. Maybe put in some mashed potato, or some peas or something. For $9, maybe bulk it up a bit.

Overall, it’s not cheap but if you are looking for some food that is a little left of center to eat while celebrating the end of the week, hit the Tap. It does get super crowded after about 5:30 but if you can get there early, go for it.

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Photo Roundup!


Hey Everyone!,

So I realized I had a bunch of stray pictures hanging around. I am the asshole you see snapping pictures of food at inappropriate times (“I know you are having that cookie because of your low blood sugar but it looks cool”…Snap!) but not all of my pics can be a whole blog post unto itself. So, here is a roundup of assorted pics that I thought would be cool.

First up! In a previous post, I drooled all over the internet about a Prime Rib that my cousin-in-law, Bob, the firefighter chef, had made. Well, what I did not mention was that his wife Chrissy cut me a giant piece to take home. So, later on, home alone on New Years Day, I wanted to eat it. But how? I cut it up, threw it in a cast iron skillet and started to just heat it up.

Leftover Prime Rib & Eggs

Leftover Prime Rib & Eggs

In a little bowl I mixed some ketchup, A1, sriracha, worcheshire sauce and water and threw it in so it wouldn’t get dried out. Then I thought, what should I eat with it? Duh.

It was a thing of beauty. The sauce had cooked down and caramelized on the meat and the eggs were cooked but the yolks were still kinda dippy. I sat in the green leather armchair in the living room with this plate on my lap and welcomed the first day of 2012 (yeah, I had to check) with reckless abandon. And lots of meat!

Changing gears…

I was in North Jersey doing some comedy awhile back with my friend Latice. It was a long drive and I was super crazy hungry. I ordered a burger (an aside: please don’t advertise a big giant burger and then give me a big giant…jetro frozen burger. It takes 20 minutes to make like 45 fresh burgers for the week. Salt. Pepper. Maybe something else if you wanna get crazy. It’s cheaper to buy a chubb (haha, yeah that’s what they call it) of meat from wherever you get your meat and make them yourself then to lie to me and make me angry.) and wanted nachos. I love nachos.

And what they served me made me so angry I wanted to burn the building down.

The Worst Nachos In The History Of The World

The Worst Nachos In The History Of The World

What we have here are the Worst Nachos In The History Of The World. They were over salted regular and blue corn tortilla chips with the bagged shredded cheese and old chili on them. Oh. And olives. Where are the other ingredients? They were on another plate (that I didn’t take a picture of due to being angry) in little cups. There was not enough for the both of us, which irritates the crap out of me, because nachos should be big enough to be shared by at least 3 people. THAT IS WHY THEY EXIST. Some idiot in the kitchen decides to make deconstructed nachos and then doesn’t even mention it in the menu. And then tries to pass off a frozen burger as homemade. For shame. FOR SHAME.

This is what nachos should look like:

Nachos at Urban Saloon

Nachos at Urban Saloon

There is everything you need there. They don’t make their own chips either, even tho it is simple, but there is height, heft and yes, DELICIOUSNESS.

(And the maraschino cherries for dessert? You really get me internet, you really do…)

Ahem.

Frankenstein Cake Pop

Frankenstein Cake Pop

My little cousin Matt turned 7 earlier this past year and he wanted a monster themed party (fitting for Matt, but you don’t know him, so this must seem very inside baseball. You’d be right. But, trust me.). So his mom Lorrie made a very cool cake and gave out these monster cake pops!

Lorrie makes such awesome baked goods that sometimes I daydream about keeping her in my basement to just make me baked goods all day long. But then I remember how silly that would be…my cellar isn’t big enough for that kind of operation. A girl can dream tho.

Anyway, aren’t they cool? The hair is oreo crumbs and the cake is a light and airy chocolate. Did I almost get into a fight with another 7 year old over one sitting on a table?

One may never know…(I sure as hell ain’t tellin’….)

Red Velvet Donut

Red Velvet Donut

I found myself out of my area of cheesesteaks and tastykakes and into another area called Brooklyn. It looks a lot like Philly but with much more annoying Yankee/Giants/Mets crap plastered to all the cards. So instead of making an afternoon out of keying cars, I ended up eating this…a red velvet donut.

I didn’t eat it when first given to me. It sat in the bag for a bit. While I do tend to write about baked goods, I really very rarely eat them because too much carby stuff turns me into a parade float. Ahem. Anywho, this beauty is from the Peter Pan Bakery on Manhattan Ave in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn. This thing was freakin’ amazing. Could it have been better with cream cheese frosting? Perhaps. But it was like eating a cupcake, a cake and a dance on a ballroom floor and I’ll take that any day.

Awesome Cupcake

Awesome Cupcake

I’ll end this hodgepodge post with a cupcake. A plain vanilla cupcake. I don’t remember exactly where I had this thing (it might have been another one of Bob’s creations), but I remember the icing. I hate cupcakes that have skimpy sugar-ball icing. They have no flavor. No panache. No…soul.

This was a perfect cupcake. Cream cheese icing. Tiny sugar crystals. It took me awhile to get down to the cupcake but ya know what?

It was a holiday cupcake and I was in love with it. And that was just fine with me.

LA Trip: Cole’s


When I was a kid, I loved going on vacation. We always went someplace different (unless it was Colonial Williamsburg…again) and I really liked seeing different places, eating different foods, staying different places, you get the idea. I haven’t traveled a whole lot as an adult and that kinda sucks, so when I got the chance to crash at my friend Sean’s in LA, I went for it. This is part one of my trip out there, food wise.

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I really like bars. Not bars in a strip mall with random shit glued to the walls. Not bars where you have to scream at someone to talk to them. Give me some dark wood and a nice whiskey selection in a capable bartender’s hands and I am a happy girl.

It was a long flight from Philly to LA, and by the time I got to the car rental place and then to my friend’s apartment, I was starving. He suggested we go to Cole’s. As we rounded the corner, we saw that they were shooting some kind of something there (film gear was all over outside, so we went to Pete’s instead. Pete’s has a burger that is kickass, unfortunately, I was so cracked out from traveling I didn’t take a picture. But if you are anywhere around 6th and Main, in Downtown LA, hit them up for the Hellman Burger: a half pound of prime beef, fontina cheese & smoked tomato aioli. Ridiculous.

I promptly fell asleep, the next day took it easy and after Sean went to work, I found myself looking for something to do later on in the nite and found myself walking to Cole’s.

Cole's: Originator of the French Dip Sandwich & Purveyor Of Awesome

Cole's: Originator of the French Dip Sandwich & Purveyor Of Awesome

Cole’s is located in downtown LA (DTLA for those hip assholes out there). It’s a downtown area that’s in the middle of changing from kind of ghetto-y ghost town into an area with lots of bars, restaurants, galleries and apartments.

Downtown used to be the Financial District (when the bar was founded, in 1908) and the bar was located right in the train station area, so all the stockbrokers used to come and drink there on the way home.

The Bar Area

The Bar Area

The place closed for awhile and then was reopened with a whole restoration of the entire place. The Red Car Bar was totally restored and it looks lovely (as you can see in the picture here). There are stations on each end where you can se the bartenders making old school cocktails.

The Old Fashioned

The Old Fashioned

The signature cocktail at this place is The Old Fashioned. Served with bourbon, bitters, a sugar cube and a luxardo cherry. What’s a Luxardo Cherry? It’s a real maraschino cherry, imported from Italy (and it is ridiculously delicious). They also hand chip a solid little block of ice for your drink. Think that doesn’t make a difference? You’d be wrong. And it’s really cool to watch the guys chip the ice to fit right in front of you! It’s also awesome to be asked what kind of whiskey you would like, because, you see, they have a fantastic selection of whiskey so you’ll great recommendation.

The Old Devil

They also do variations on the Old Fashioned, this one is a rum version called The Old Devil. It will knock you right back just like the whiskey one, and if you look close, you can see the solid ice cube in there.

Red Car Named Desire

Red Car Named Desire

And then there are the cocktails. This one is called a Red Car Named Desire. I was a little disappointed at first when it was put in front of me. And then I took a sip. It has Rye Whiskey, Cynar, Luxardo & Maurin Liqueur. It goes down like a velvety fire, and, while not cheap, worth every penny.

Cole’s has a really cool old school drink menu, including a kick ass Manhattan, Sazerac (rye, bitters, and an absinthe rinse), a Moscow Mule (vodka, lime juice, topped with ginger beer and served in a copper mug) and many others. They also offer a special cocktail every few weeks or so. You can check out the drink menu here.

Prime Beef Dip with Au Jus & Atomic Pickle

Prime Beef Dip with Au Jus & Atomic Pickle

You know, after all that booze, you gotta eat. Cole’s has ya covered. The story is that they invented the French Dip sandwich. There is another place in LA, not too far away, called Philippe’s. They also say they are the home of the French Dip. According to Cole’s menu, the City Of Los Angeles has proclaimed the title to them. I am sure Philippe’s serves a nice sandwich, I did not get a chance to have one. I did, however, eat many Cole’s French Dip’s and lemme say…that’s a damn fine sandwich.

If you aren’t sure what a French Dip is, it’s a sandwich with some sort of meat (usually roast beef or something like that) on a nice crusty roll, that you dip into some Au Jus to soften up the roll and get some more goodness into the roll. Cole’s makes theirs with Prime Beef, which is delicious. The roll is tasty. You get your choice of different cheeses, I kept it simple with a nice cheddar. They offer a spicy mustard that will clear your sinuses and make you do a little happy dance. Put this all together, give it a dip in the nice sized bowl of Au Jus and you got a little bit of fantasticalness that melts right in your mouth.

Atomic Pickles on the bar

Atomic Pickles on the bar

For a little bit extra, you get what they call The Atomic Pickle. They keep a jar on the bar, and make them right there in the kitchen. I thought, when I ordered it, that it would just be a spicy pickle. This thing slowly explodes in your mouth and then works it’s way to the back of your tongue where it lights your head on fire. If you like hot stuff, this is a 10 on the excellence scale.

I also find it cool they keep the jar on the bar, like in the olden days before bars had refrigeration. It fits right in with the whole vibe of the place and it’s just cool to look at!

Garlic Fries

Garlic Fries

Let’s talk a minute about french fries. It’s real easy to make crappy ones. Under cooked, over cooked, freezer burned, luke warm, mushy, reheated, or just bad tasting. People just accept it and stuff them into his mouth. So, when I find awesome fries, I gotta talk about it.

These fries are crispy enough on the outside and fluffy inside. Specifically, these are Garlic Fries, and you can see the fried garlic in there. Needless to say, if you like garlic, dive head first in there. Just be sure you shower when you get home! It is worth every crunchy bit!

Sides! Let’s talk about some sides!

Bacon Potato Salad

Bacon Potato Salad

First off, there is Bacon Potato Salad. Otherwise known as German Potato Salad. When my Grandmom was alive, one thing she made that I absolutely loved was her German Potato Salad and my Dad loved it too. Since she died, we would go out to eat and if it was on the menu, we would both order it, hoping it would be like her’s, but it was always disappointing. It got to the point where we would just stop ordering it. I took a chance, and was rewarded kindly.

The potatoes were cubed small & were slightly al dente, so they had some crunch, as opposed to some potato salad thats just mush. The little bit of dill gave it a zing and the bacon popped right out onto your tongue to say hello. Absolutely delicious and a lovely compliment to the French Dip.

Closeup Mac and Cheese

Closeup Mac and Cheese

The homemade Mac and Cheese was like my Babci makes, very creamy with a nice bread crumb topping. People are usually used to either the Kraft Mac and Cheese (which I am most guilty of loving) or a dry, flavorless Mac and Cheese.

This cheesy, buttery bowl of goodness make me tune out the entire bar as I scraped as much cheese out of there as possible.

Dessert? Oh yeah!

Dark Chocolate Cream Pie

Dark Chocolate Cream Pie

Let me introduce you to the Dark Chocolate Cream Pie. Hellooooo Pie!

An oreo cookie base that is moist and delicious. A chocolate mouse center and a topping that’s a giant pile of delicious whipped cream, sprinkled with chocolate powder.

I’m not even a dessert fan for the most part. I can never get that far in the meal. When I asked Danny the bartender where they got the pies from, he told me they are them right there. A bar that makes it’s own pies….my heart grew 3 sizes.

Last but not least, let me introduce you to 2 bartenders I hung out with during the time I was in town. They made me drinks, kept me laughing and were all around cool dudes.

Danny the bartender

Danny the bartende

Meet Danny. Dog lover, comedy writer and the maker of some of the most kick ass drinks I have had in years. I had drinks I didn’t even know I liked and I think he has spoiled me on any other bars for quite awhile.

Max the bartender

Max the bartender

Meet Max. Max is a great dude, who will recommend 9 kinds of whiskey that all rule, wears a cool bowler for kicks at work, and can juggle 15 different kinds of customers, drinks & goofballs without batting an eye.

These guys are so good at making these old timey drinks & explaining them without that dead look of “you are the 15th person today I have had to explain this”, it’s just fun to sit at the bar and watch them work!

You can have a great building with a great menu but if the people working there suck, you got jack squat. These guys, and the rest of the staff (I’m looking at you, Ms. Bar Manager! Those Fernet shots were crazy!) are awesome. If you find yourself in LA, swing on by. Things might be a little expensive, but you not only get what you pay for, you get a whole lot more.

A Trio Of Burgers


There are few things I love more then a good burger. The more combos the better. Recently, I have had some interesting burgers and, while it took me awhile, I am gonna show you them now.

Burger at The Grey Lodge

Burger at The Grey Lodge

The Grey Lodge had, in the past, really disappointed me with a really nasty cheesesteak. Well, with their new chef Eric, they seem to be turning this around. They now make almost everything in-house, which is refreshing. It is so easy to trot down to Jetro in South Philly and load up on frozen burgers, fries and munchie food. It takes balls to step out of that shadow and stretch the boundaries of bar food, especially in Mayfair, where people are used to Chickie’s and Pete’s frozen crinkle fries.

They have some neat stuff on the menu, including a tasty Cuban sandwich I had one day. But the burgers are pretty good. You first figure out if you want the burger, then pick what kind of cheese from about 6 and then go to town customizing it. The burger you see above has mayo, cheddar cheese, a fried egg and pickles. The pickles are sliced deli pickles, which is a nice touch and added a nice crunch to the whole package. The bun was fresh and the egg was, well, an egg on a burger is always a great touch.

The fries were fresh, hot and overflowing. I hate it when they skimp on fries. I ordered the spicy mayo to dip in and it did not disappoint. It was spicy without your face on fire and I even found myself trying to dip my burger in it too. Overall, the burger was about 12 bucks, which might seem pricey but the base burger is 8 bucks. So, that’s about reasonable.

I am super excited about the food at The Grey Lodge on the upswing. They have fantastic beers and now they have food that’s catching up. Go check it out!

Jack Daniels Burger @ PYT

Jack Daniels Burger @ PYT

PYT is a burger bar joint in the Piazza. They have a burger of the week and this was one awhile back. It’s a burger with cheese and bacon that is basted in a Jack Daniels sauce. Also on this thing are fried pickles.

You would think the bacon would make this burger but the fried pickles actually sneak in and steal the show! Also stealing my heart is the dill mayo dipping sauce for the fries. It is subtle and dances in your mouth when it mixes with the fries and the grease. If I could, I would have swam in a vat of it. Yes, I have no shame.

Peanut Butter & Bacon Burger @ Urban Saloon

Peanut Butter & Bacon Burger @ Urban Saloon

This burger here I almost did not order. I originally ordered a chicken salad sandwich on whole wheat bread but the chef came out and told me they were out of it. So, I ordered this. Wow.

This, from Urban Saloon in Fairmount, is a burger with Peanut Butter and Bacon on Texas toast. While the fries were typical Jetro coated fries, the burger was pretty great! It was done exactly how I ordered it, medium, and the peanut butter was melted just enough to cover the burger but it wasn’t dripping down my arm. They are not skimpy with the bacon either, so extra mega points for that. The patty is a bit small but it does the job.

The only thing I did not like was the texas toast. I am not a fan of texas toast at all, and I think if this was on a nice potato roll, it would be a grand slam. As of now, it’s a home run 🙂

Finally, I did enjoy a Yards Pale Ale with the burger, altho I prefer the Philly Brewing Co’s “Philadelphia Pale Ale”, but they don’t carry the PBC stuff there. Let’s get with the program Urban Saloon!

Pies & Comics at Ministry Of Secret Jokes


So here in Philly there is a famous Ministry Of Secret Jokes and this month they had a pie eating contest. Three comics ate pie and told jokes and it is pretty hilarious. Doogie Horner is your host with Carolyn Busa, James Hesky and Christian Alsis as your contestants.

Check it out:

Thanks to Carolyn Busa for the original post and the laughs!

Reuben Burger at PYT


Before I was to attend what would turn out to be only the second No Hitter in the history of playoff baseball, I had a meeting at PYT in the Piazza. The Piazza is a big apartment complex where the bottom floor is a collection of shops, bars, restaurants and whatnot with a big courtyard (or, a Piazza!…ah-ha!) for bands to play, games to project and markets to peruse.

PYT is a burger bar in there. I had not been there, and had only been to the Piazza once to visit my friend Doctor Satan, who was one of the first people to sign a lease there. So, I checked out the website and drove on over. It is a cute place, bright and happy, has a super clean (a pet peeve of mine) bar and friendly staff. They do burgers of the week, and while I had some time to kill, I decided to order it….The Reuben Burger!

I had read about this thing on facebook, and frankly, I was a little giddy to try it. No disappointment here. (please click pics to embiggen)

Reuben Burger @ PYT

Reuben Burger @ PYT

They start with bread from one of my favorite bakeries, Kaplan’s, at 3rd and Brown. My grandpop used to get bread from there for the holidays and I love their challah and rye. The rye makes an appearance here, all buttery toasty and delicious. What I loved about it is this: the bread is toasty and buttery but not toasted to the point where it rips your mouth apart like a bowl of Captain Crunch. Underneath the thick burger patty is a nice pile of corned beef, and on top is kraut (made with one of my favorite beers, Kenzinger!)and I think some cole slaw. It’s the kind of burger that makes you not want to engage in conversation. Quiet deliciousness.

Peeking inside the Reuben Burger

Peeking inside the Reuben Burger

I dig the fries too. Thin fries are easily overfried, overdone to the point where they turn into potato straws, which I hate with the exploding burn of a thousand exploding suns. Coming with the fries is a zippy dipping sauce that I kept dipping my burger in after I hoovered up the fries. It’s a nice spin on the russian dressing you’d get on a reuben in a deli.

Inside the Reuben Burger

Inside the Reuben Burger

I am not sure how long this Reuben burger will be on the menu at PYT, so get your collective butts over there and buy one! They have a nice beer selection, and since it’s the Halloween season, why not get a Dogfish Head Pumpkin Ale, one of my faves! You will not be disappointed with this burger or this place. Nine thumbs up!

The Grey Lodge


I really want to like the Grey Lodge. Super, super badly. I hate going downtown to drink and I am not particularly in love with the jackass hipsters in Fishtown either. I also do not mind the northeast too much, so it is a decent change of scenery sometimes. So, when I had heard of this place a long time ago, and realized it is next to my dentist (oddly enough), I was kind of excited.

This place is a bar on Frankford Ave in Mayfair that stocks, what can only be described as, a shit ton of beers. In the cooler they have your regular array of Boddington and other recognizable overseas beers (for those who pay attention to this sort of thing). But they have, on tap, a great rotating selection of beers that range from local PBC to California microbrews to everything in between. They also offer them in different sizes so you can just have a smaller glass of a beer and then have a few different ones as opposed to one giant beer. They have done their homework and it shows. They even have a nice selection on their second floor, which could have gotten the shaft and had the usual Coors, Bud, whatever sucks crap.

I had arranged with one of the managers to reserve some space upstairs for a reunion, and the guy I talked to (Patrick) was super awesome, incredibly accommodating and professional. When we all showed up, everything was exactly like he had promised, and everyone had a really good time.

My problem is the staff behind the bar and the food. First off, this was not my first time at the bar. I had been there before, in the middle of the afternoon. The place had 4 people in it and a very short, young looking girl. She wasn’t too interested in taking my beer or food order, which annoyed me. Then when the cheese fries came out, they were limp and not fried very well. Mushy, would be a good word to describe them. But! It was the middle of the afternoon, so I cut the kitchen some slack. But if you don’t want to be at work in a service job in the middle of the afternoon, please do not take it out on the customers.

The second time I was there, I strolled in around 6:30 on a saturday. It was dead, but there was a lineup at the bar watching the ballgame. When I popped up on the barstool, the bartender literally sneered at me from behind his bushy beard and took my order like I was asking him to pick fleas off my cat. Again, I was annoyed. When I paid the fellow and he got his tip, he seemed relieved, which I thought was bizarre.

Later on, I moved upstairs and there were 2 women behind the bar that were nice, quick with the beers and food orders and tidy with the bar. I ordered my food and it arrived quickly.

The Lodge Steak

The Lodge Steak

I got the Lodge Steak (Fresh-sliced ribeye with cheese sauce, roasted pepper mayo, and Genoa salami). I wanted to get the Surf and Turf Cheesesteak (fresh-sliced ribeye with cheese sauce and marinated shrimp) but honestly, it sounded a little too good and I didn’t want to slop myself up in front of people I had not seen in forever (that can wait for next time).

Anyway, it came in a basket and I was a little bit excited. I love cheese sauce (I have said many times, as my friends can tell ya). The meat was kind of chewy, the mayo was nonexistant and the salami felt like it was right out of the prep area and onto the sandwich with no grill action or anything (it was cooked, as you can see in the pic by the black marks on the edges but I think not long enough for the thickness of the meat).

The Lodge Steak Insides

The Lodge Steak Insides

It was the most disappointing thing I have eaten all summer. I had such high hopes, that maybe I ruined it for myself, that no one could meet my expectations? I don’t know. Perhaps.

I want to love the Grey Lodge. I love the beers. I even like the decor (they had a cool Okocim metal sign upstairs!) and it is a very clean bar with ample room for darts. The bathrooms have glass collages in them! The management are very nice people! But the food…I just can’t get with it. I’ll be back Grey Lodge, maybe we can make it work then!

A Trip To Kraftwork


After a long and kind of boring day at the farmer’s market, I enlisted my friend Mary Kate (of Ida Mae’s Bruncherie) to go get some food at this new bar/restaurant Kraftwork on Girard Ave. I was expecting this place to be huge, but in actuality, it is the size of a regular corner bar, which, honestly, surprised me a bit. Even tho it was a Saturday early evening, the place was full, but we managed to score some seats at the bar. We had two people (one girl who I assume was the hostess/waitress and the bartender) both ask us where we would like to sit and thier attitudes were great. It irks me when you walk into a crowded place and the hostess gives you attitude.

The decor is interesting. The tables surround the perimeter and you sit with others. Besides that, there are seats at the bar, with sturdy, not crappy bar stools (also a pet peeve of mine). While the hipsters were aplenty, the staff was nice (even if super busy), but we never had to wait to get drinks, food or anything else. It is, however, super loud, I am guessing from the acoustics. The place is barebones, plenty of room for voices to bounce around.

There are landscape printed excel sheets on the bar for you when you sit down, with all 25 beers on tap mapped out for you. What is really awesome, is that there are two columns, the regular list, and then a corresponding column with the beers that will replace them right away when they kick the keg. Talk about planning! Most places would either just replace the line with another keg of the same or have to wait for something to come in and replace it with. Very cool. Even funnier is that they have a ton of neat beers, but they also have PBR on tap. A nice nod to the hipsters in the area.

We were both starving so we started with the Cheese plate.

Cheese Plate

Cheese Plate

While it was super loud, and we couldn’t really hear the guy who brought it out, the cheese plate was pretty kick ass. In the middle was some kind of creamy parmesan. The one with the candied almonds I think was a sort of soft stilton and the one with the thinly sliced apples and honey was a very, very blue cheese. We didn’t catch the others except for that the one had some sort of soaked cherries (which were great) and the other had finely chopped olives (also awesome). The cheese is served with sliced garlicy flatbread:

flatbread

flatbread

Mary Kate said that she thought they used the same flatbread to make a delicous Flatbread Pizza Margherita. It went perfectly with the assortment of cheeses, and we hoovered it down quickly.

While we ate the cheeses, our appetizer came out, the Ricotta Dumplings:

Ricotta Dumplings

Ricotta Dumplings

Please note that they come with 4, but we both speared one before I managed to dig out the IPhone 4 to snap a pic. They were creamy, with that parmesan nuttiness, and sitting on a nice roasted red pepper Harissa sauce. It was semi-spicy and a little kick to the dumplings. The greens were a wilted swiss chard, and had a great almost olive oil taste.

I ordered the Beer Can Chicken. It came with fried long hots and onions with sharp provolone. The star of that plate tho, was the red cabbage and apple slaw!

beercan chicken

beercan chicken

The slaw, of which I kind of thought would just be a vinegary slaw, was spicy in a slow burn kind of way, and we both thought it was great. The beer can chicken was good, chopped pretty small and it congealed with the provolone pretty quickly. It was on a brioche bun that was just big enough, so that you did not feel like you were getting a bun that happened to have some meat on it. It had a lovely aged provolone, but it could have used a sauce. I ended up putting a big forkful of the slaw on my sandwich, which made it tad bit juicier.

MaryKate really dug her burger.

burger

burger

It came with  2 year old Grafton cheddar, butter lettuce, carmelized onions and a bacon onion jam. She was pleasantly surprised that you could really taste the bacon all the way thru it. The fries were slightly garlicky but not overwhelming. The dipping sauce tasted like a stone ground mustard with some mayo and another secret ingredient we couldn’t place, but I am guessing is sugar. Overall, another winning dish.

They had a bunch of great sounding desserts (I hear the chocolate tureen is fantastic), but we were both too stuffed to order.

From the easy going and friendly staff, to the great (but not overwhelming!) food selections, to the wide variety of beers (and a few very cool looking cocktails!), to the reasonable prices for what you get, I’d say Kraftwork has their proverbial shit together, and I would definitely go back.

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