Sunday, October 31, 2010

Pub Review: The South Philadelphia Taproom

SPTR is my favorite bar.  It's a bit farther than some of the pubs we frequent, i.e., it is not on E. Passyunk, the new restaurant row.  But I kind of like that.  We took my mother-in-law there for dinner last night after the weak outing by the floundering Phillies, who have since been ushered out of the playoffs.  It is kind of a hipster bar but not exclusively, and the servers are all pretty nice.  Our server last night was a little lacking on knowledge of the beer list; I asked her if the Sly Fox Grisette was different than their bottled saison, and she replied, "If it has a different name it must be different."  Otherwise it was business as usual at SPTR, which means a solid, solid beer list and excellent gastropub type fare.  The Amish fried chicken special was awesome, as was the eggplant parm special.  The pork meatball sandwich was very good if not special.  Their mac 'n cheese is good, too, though I like my wife's better (with bacon and a potato chip topping).  They also do a very good burger, not the best in the city but in my top 3 or 4 for sure.  I was disappointed that the North Carolina bbq chicken sandwich, my all time favorite menu item, is no longer on the menu, I forgot to ask if it will return next season. 

As far as the beer, I tried Philadelphia Brewing Co.'s wet hopped "Harvest in the Hood" ale, made with locally grown hops.  I thought it was pretty good and tasted very fresh.  I then had a Victory Moonglow (weizenbock), which I quite enjoyed.  It has a nice fruitiness, a rich taste perfect for fall weather.  Of course I had to try the Sly Fox Grisette.  I'm still not sure if it was different than the bottled saison they put out year round, but I really liked the bottled version in the past while I thought this one was just okay.

Other thoughts on SPTR...They do a wheat beer fest called "Wheaties" in the summer, which I love, as I love wheat beer.  They do special beer and food pairing dinners but I have yet to make it to one.  The same owners have a coffeeshop across the street with takeout beer, appropriately named Brew (the tagline reads "beer and coffee together at last").  Brew has fantastic hand-brewed coffees from around the globe, and a nice beer selection.  I still buy most of my beer in Jersey as I have the good fortune of working there and taking advantage of better pricing.  But Brew is a nice option for trying something special or mixing a pretty good sixpack.

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