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.