Archive for June, 2009

Jonesin’ for Jones?

Sunday, June 14th, 2009

Location: 700 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA

Price per meal: $7.99 – $23

Other Locations: None (Part of Starr Restaurants)

Situated right on the edge of the historic Independence Hall district, Jones is poised to attract plenty of touristy stragglers who walked up an appetite leering busily at the Liberty Bell or attempting to peer in the windows of the place where the Continental Congresses commenced constructing the Constitution. Based on it’s pedigree as a Stephen Starr restaurant, it draws out-of-towners and inner-city hipsters alike (I assume, as both were evident Sunday night, along with a healthy helping of young urban professionals). The main draw is the menu of comfort foods, such as baked mac’n’cheese, chicken’n’waffles, meatloaf’n’mashed potatoes, steak’n’fries…notice a pattern here? Also, you can have give thanks even in July with the Thanksgiving Dinner.

Also available are soups, sandwiches, burgers, and a variety of champagne drinks, mixed liquors, and beer both micro- and macro-brew. Desserts seem plentiful from the menu, but just expensive enough to not try after a good-sized meal. There are even vegetarian options, such as the soy burger.

Speaking of burgers, on my first trip to Jones I decided to try the ol’ standby of a beef burger with fries (&10.50), while my dining partner went with the Soy offering. Garnishings include: lettuce, tomato, dill pickle, and carmelized onions, which is a nice departure from the norm. Both burgers were served quickly, even though the place was packed, so the staff seems to be on the ball.

dsc01397.JPGMy burger (pictured above) was prepared medium-rare (I asked for medium-well but apparently that doesn’t exist?!), covered in a thick slice of white Cheddar cheese, and served on a grill-toasted bun (a big plus if tastes is what you’re after…probably not if you’re watching your caloric intake). The hand-cut fries were on the soft side of crispy, but tasty nonetheless. I imagine they were cooked in peanut oil. I also imagine that I could discern the type of oil used by taste. The soy burger was served much the same way, cheese and all, though it wasn’t red on the inside (would have added a smidgen of authenticity, or at least freaked the hell out of a passing vegan).

Both burgers tasted well, nothing too special, except for the buns; I thought that grilling them added a nice smoky flavor to the whole deal, but solidly delicious. I’d have to rank the beef burger over Ruby Tuesday’s in terms of flavor, though RT’s patty might be just a tad bigger. One knock for me was the consistency of the bread used: the rolls seem to be a bit airy (almost croissanty in texture); what can I say, I like big buns and I cannot lie.

dsc01396.JPGI decided to have a Yards Pale Ale with my meal (a departure from my old standby Yuengling Lager), and the lighter taste blended well with the heavier meat and cheese flavor. A surprise was the choice of bottled water or good ol’ Schuylkill Punch, so we all know which I chose as a born-and-bred Phillyite.

Overall, the experience was enjoyable, the drinks chilled, and the burgers well prepared and tasty. I look forward to going back one day to check out some of the comfort food offerings…I know a few diners that could probably teach Jones a thing or two about that!

Some of the prices could stand to be a bit more recession-friendly for the offerings, but the high quality ingredients seem to justify the price.  The burgers ran about $10, champagne cocktail $8, beer $6.

3.5 out of 5 Shef’s Spatulas