So it was Martin Luther King’s Birthday, and I figured it would be a good time to take my work crew to lunch. We are eleven, including me, with food interests that vary from fries to fromage. Let’s see, we have persons from India, Thailand, Puerto Rico, Uzbekistan, and one from outer space (just kidding, David). Finding a food joint to please such a varied group is always a challenge. I had recently read about a place that opened in Northern Liberties, on the site of the old Schmidt’s Brewery where Sylvester Stallone recenlty shot a scene for Rocky V … or is it VI, I’ve lost count.
This place is basically a bar dressed in red, a near-miss rip-off of rat pack sensibility. I mentioned before that it was a holiday so I guess I should have expected less than attentive service from the wait staff-er … there was only one person drawing bear at the bar and serving luncheon patrons. This was undoubtedly the reason why our entrees arrived in stages; some of the group were finishing their main courses when appetizers were delivered to others in the party. What did we have? Several tried the $14 Kobe beef burger and liked it. At least two (including me) tried the meat loaf on ciabatta bread, one had the hanger steak ($11), and one soul tried the taco salad and pronounced it ordinary. Other than that one dissenter, everyone enjoyed their choices but without enthusiasm. A boutique draft beer was the only real highlight (I will have to research the brand), especially since we were seated in a cold and drafty corner of the bar. All of this cost me $273 plus an automatic 20% gratuity for large groups, or $323 total! For a few more bucks I could have had a better lunch at Brasserie Perrier … and we would have been warmer. 1040 N. Second St., Philadelphia, PA 19123 – Northern Liberties (215) 413-3822