Sunday, October 17, 2010

Bar Review: Stogie Joe's Tavern

Stogie Joe's has been a dive bar on E. Passyunk Ave. since before we ever moved into South Philly.  But recently they redid their exterior, hanging a new sign and adding a patio area.  They also got some buzz in Philadelphia Magazine's best sandwiches feature for their meatball sandwich.  We figured it was time to give old Stogie's a chance.

The atmosphere is still that of a dive bar.  Some South Phillly guys screaming at the Flyers game, run down decor, etc.  Their tap list is not special, but for a dive bar it was pretty good, with a couple of imports and craft beers.  Their fridge had a number of local bottled craft beers, as well.  Nicole and I opted for a couple of rounds of Yards Philadelphia Pale Ale.

The food was solid.  Nicole had the burger.  It wasn't really that great, but they get a lot of bonus points for cooking it to her specifications.  She said medium rare and it came out medium rare; a pet peeve of mine is serving well done meat when you asked for medium rare.  I had the meatball sandwich, which was fantastic.  I won't say the meatballs are as good as my aunt's homemade meatballs, but it was close.  I chose sharp provolone and broccoli rabe for toppings, which went well with the sandwich, served on a nice roll.  The rabe was a bit undercooked but definitely fresh.

The only real annoying part about this place was that they don't take credit cards, another pet peeve of mine.  I wouldn't have minded so much except their ATM was out of service and I had to walk a few blocks just to pay my bill.

I'm not going to hurry back to Stogie Joe's, but the meatball sandwich guarantees that I will return at some point.  It's not a bad corner bar.

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