Archive for the ‘Bars’ Category

Devil’s Food

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

Location: 1907 Chestnut St.

Typical Brunch entree price: $5.95 – $12.95

Eye Opener Mixed Drinks: $7 -$10

It’s your boy, Al à la Carte here stepping in with my debut post. I need no further introduction than for you to know that I am that guy. So let’s get into this thing man.

The scene is Devil’s Alley. Red and black decor is punctuated with depictions of every sort of devil you can imagine, cartoony, realistic, even reverse-anthropomorphized, all are represented if you look hard enough. The players are dressed in black and move between two floors of seating which creates a half bar, half restaurant atmosphere. This theme of being on both sides of the fence will permeate through any patron’s experience here. The net result being that the place tends to spread itself a little thin, delivering just enough of each experience to be adequate. We’re here to experience the restaurant side however, Sunday brunch being very conducive to the tagline of the place: “Sinfully good comfort food…”

Satan is also watching you pee.
This is the bathroom, where Satan also watches you pee.

I was accompanied by a mid 20’s female for the occasion. We will call her MuMu. She takes pride in the act of eating things that are not animals. I had heard of this sort of behavior before but had never really seen it in action to be honest. Lettuce, carrots and things of that nature are used as decoration in my world, a way to bring further color to what is usually just a brown and red meal. Garnish being the centerpiece of a dish? My mind reeled at the thought.

As we entered the restaurant we were greeted by an over eager young man who gave us the choice of sitting above or at ground level. I chose above to gain a better idea of the venue. Once seated, we ordered quickly: A Veggie Burger with fries and water for her, Salmon BLT on whole wheat with fries and a lemonade for me.

Being a sort of lemonade connoisseur I have to say that the beverage I received was well above average. It was certainly made by an unloving, unattended machine but had the distinctive texture of having actual lemon juice in it. A feat that is, unfortunately, not matched by most establishments. The water MuMu received came in a glass but was filtered, Schuylkill Punch fans look elsewhere for your fix.

The food came out quickly. Too quickly. Disaster struck as my companion noticed she was given the Veggie Sandwich and not the Veggie Burger she had ordered! Who knew eating plants was so nuanced? The gaff was corrected quickly enough, so I didn’t have to feel too guilty about eating while she watched.


The BLT is a simple sandwich, but toss in Salmon and it becomes a battle between meat for top billing. The Salmon was well done, slightly burnt on the edges and also a little on the dry side but the juices from the bacon made up for it and the sandwich was tasty enough overall to win my vote of approval. The fries were nothing special, cooked well, a few burnt. Your standard affair, potato skin on.

Ain’t no meat on that plate.

MuMu reacted quite well to the Veggie Burger. The patty looked like a mish-mashed thing-a-mob with random vegetables poking out of its orifice. My companion took it in stride so I assumed it was quite normal. After only a few minutes it was reduced to mere crumbs. Devil’s Alley is therefore herbivore approved.

In all, the visit was positive and the food was cheap. Be sure to add Devil’s Alley to your list if you’re looking for a no frills brunch while Satan watches you eat.

The Fox and the Hound

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

Location: 15th and Spruce Sts, Philadelphia, PA

Price per meal: $5.99 – $22

Other Locations: 160 N. Gulph Rd in King of Prussia

The Fox & Hound is a sports bar at 15th and Spruce with a very, um, upscale-yet-sporty motif, $2 draft beer on Tuesday nights, and a rather wide selection of eatables (for a bar with huge tvs all over, anyways).

Alongside the standard Lager (I mean, this is Philly we’re talking about here!), I had a burger, creatively titled The Ranch Hand ($8.99 w/steak fries). It was, surprisingly, covered in ranch dressing, but also was topped with applewood smoked bacon (who would’ve thought the rest of the apple tree would be so delicious?) and cheddar cheese. And of course all the fixins. Cooked medium well, the burger was still juicy yet flavorful, while letting the ranch and cheddar flavors peek through.

My date for the evening, had the Taco Salad ($8.99) alongside a Purple Viper (I don’t think any male porn stars were hurt in it’s creation, but you never know…), which is black raspberry liquor, cranberry juice, and curacao. The salad was served in an edible tortilla, which is always a plus, not to mention mandated by international law, I’m pretty sure. Both were deemed tasty, though I’m not sure how one could mess up a taco salad or anything with curacao in it…

If you’re down in the city and you want to catch the Phillies game, or want to catch the Eagles on a stray Sunday, and don’t mind paying restaurant prices at a bar, then I’d recommend The Fox and Hound to anyone…who drinks. The drink menu is pretty expansive, and being a sports bar obviously has a wide variety of beer on tap (including their own microbrew), but nothing I’ve had there is worth the trip if you’re a teetotaler/recovering alcoholic.

Update: I made a second visit Thursday evening, and rediscovered the strange-in-concept-but-smooth-in-taste Guinness blends. The Stout/Blue Moon Ale combo is pretty good, and for $2, a steal. The Stout/XX is a better blend, but come on, it’s Dos Equis.

3.75 out of 5 Shef’s Spatulas