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Taps: 16 / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
37 E State St
phone: (610) 627-2515
(Place added by: Beermaninpa)
Ratings & Reviews
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| Reviews: 24 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 2 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2 | selection: 3.5 | $$
Transcribed from notes dtd W, 29 Dec 2010.
It was Media Day for this wandering beer scribe and I was finishing my rounds of the triumvirate of Nokes, Quotes and the Hill as local beer types refer to them.
It is located slightly catty-corner to Iron Hill (Media) on their northeast side of the street. A wide windowfront ran along the East State Street with the doorway on the west side of the building, opening onto a snaking passageway with a waiting bench along the left wall, followed by the m.d.s. a little further aft. To the right of the bench was a portal leading into the bar area. High tables and chairs encircled this space, including along the windowfront. The blonde wood bar (and the place was primarily outfitted with blonde wood, if that trips your trigger) had its top heat-etched with actual quotations. The restaurant seating area was on either side of the bisecting passageway that ran the length of the place. The kitchen was halfway back on the right and the lavatories were seven-eighths of the way aft on the left. The tabletops also had heat-etched quotations and the fronting windows were painted with quotations as well as being written onto blackboards throughout the restaurant area.
Beers: Sixteen (16) rotating drafts and a whole bunch of bottles.
Ambiance: I do not know what gives with this place, but it is a good concept poorly rendered. Every time that I have gone in, it strikes me as being particularly joyless. The staff is reluctant to talk to me and I just feel like it is all business while it should be a bar.
11-09-2011 16:59:09 |
More by woodychandler
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
After seeing all the previous reviews of this place, and after a few less then entirely satisfactory BA posting dialogues with the owner here (Mike), I confess I didn't know what to expect when I visited this place the other night. However, suffice it say, what I did see/experience was not what I guess I had come to expect.
As you walk in the front door, the first thing you notice is a good size bar area to your immediate right. The bar itself easily accommodates around 20 patrons, and includes probably 8 or 9 tables as well in the bar area. As you stand by the bar with it on your right and look back, you can see three modest size dining areas. None of them are particularly large, but all together I would guess there must be close to 30 tables and chairs. So the restaurant area is actually pretty good size, and set far enough away that diners here miss quite a bit of the smoke and noise from the bar. It's a pretty nice set up. The place itself has sort of a newish, almot industrial feel to it. By that I mean it has something of a TGIF/Applebees feel to it. I didn't get any food, but what I saw looked good, if not particularly exciting or special. Still, at least based on what I saw, I can't imagine anyone panning the food here. It looked to be a cut above what I'd call typical pub grub, if not exactly a huge cut above.
As for the selection, at least with the beers on tap, it was jaw dropping awesome. The night I was there it included hopslam, stille nacht and the scotch winter ale from Canaster. There were an additional 5 or 6 Belgians on tap, as well as Bells Kalamazoo Stout, Aventinus, Pyramid Apricot (not to generalize, but Mike has a better then average selection of "chick beers" here - fruit beers and lambics), and a number of others. I think there were roughly 20 beers on tap, all of which were solid. I spoke to Mike about the selection, and he confirmed that he goes out of his way to try to feature beers you are unlikely to see any place else. That would explain the unusual fact that there were no beers from Victory, SlyFox, SmuttyNose, etc. the night I was there. Mike was quick to point out that he has nothing against these local breweries, but just feels you can get their beers pretty much everywhere, and that's not what he's about.
The service was generally excellent, and I noticed there were plenty of employees working behind the bar the night I was there (Saturday). The bartender confirmed that the size of the crowd (the place was packed) was pretty typical for a Saturday night.
I guess I agree that the prices here are a bit high (in the $6 range for the non-Belgians), but the beers here are exceptional. I paid $7 for a 12 ounce glass of Stille Nacht, which I think is VERY fair. Also, the beer was incredibly fresh, and was probably the best stille nacht I've ever had on tap (which granted, amounts to no more then 2 or 3 other times).
I had told Mike I would likely be stopping by, so I sat and had a couple of beers before introduing myself, just so I could see him and his crew in action. To say the least, I was impressed by normal operations at Quotations.
One thing I've noticed at the beer bars I've visited in the area, the owners are not afraid to work. Matt at Capone's, Jeff at TJ's, they all work very hard and put in VERY long hours. However, I've never seen anything like Mike and his wife (Stacey as I recall). Here it was 8:30 on a Saturday night and Mike was just everywhere; taking orders, talking to customers, taking out the trash (I kid you not), bringing out more beer, helping with table service.
This is an exceptional place, with one of the best draft selections I've seen anywhre. I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone.
While I'm here, I might as well say something about the owner (Mike), who I was able to talk to for 10 or 15 minutes. The man is clearly wound pretty tight and is extremely passionate about his place. He does occasionally crack a smile, but it's obvious he loves his restaurant/tavern, and is serious about his work there. Talking to him about his beer list, I think it fair to say that he is also very competitive about how his place compares to some of the other outstanding beer bars in the area (this area is just teeming with great beer bars). I have no doubt he wants people to think it the best, and he's not above working his butt off to achieve that result. The results speak for themselves.
It's a pity this place doesn't get better recognition from the BA population. IMHO, it truly is one of the better beer bars in the area, if not the entire country. I'll definitely be back.
01-20-2008 19:14:04 |
More by johnmichaelsen
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
The best beer bar I have found in Media. Compared to most areas in the Philly suburbs, Media's best restaurants, bars, brewpus, etc. do not match up to the best in West Chester, Paoli, Wayne, Malvern, Newtown, etc. This is true for Quotations too, though it's still good.
Atmosphere is fine but way too smoky and as bright as a diner in the bar area. Selection is somewhat limited (10 or so taps, 15-20 bottles) but very high quality. This is *the* place for Bells products in our area. We had Hop Slam on tap a few weeks ago and Oberon on tap today and both times they were the only place in the areas that had the product on tap. They are also on the forefront with the Italian craft beer movement.
Service is just ok. For some reason, I don't mind when I go to Capone's and the bartenders don't know a thing about beer. I think it's because it seems like all of the bartenders were there long before Matt started bringing in craft beer and they are doing the best they can. Here the bartenders are young and uninformed. I find that inexcusable but maybe that's just me...
There's some good stuff at Quotations but I won't go out of my way to stop here unless we're in the mood for Bells on tap . The place could be great but, well, it's not.
UPDATE: Atmosphere has improved dramatically since the PA smoking ban. Selection continues to shine as there is a lot of stuff you will find nowhere else. I also upgraded service based on a couple of good experiences with one of the young bartenders (even saw him at the Kennett Brewfest) and with Mike, the owner.
04-04-2008 02:29:47 |
More by sholland119
vibe: 1.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
I've poked my head into this place on a few occasions, gotten a really bad vibe instantly, then just opted to go to Iron Hill right across the street. But I finally did visit Quotations properly just recently.
The appearance is pretty basic: medium-sized bar holds about 20 people, I'd say, with plenty of tables. Large windows provide a view of the street. The bar is setup like someone just threw in a few kegerators and called it a day. I get a real d-bag/a-hole vibe from this place, and even when I went and there were only a few people there, I could tell right away, this is where d-bags and hipsters go to drink and pretend like they know what good beer is, while listening to crappy music over the PA and slamming out the beat to "Buffalo Soldier" like it's some uber underground song that only they know, and have such a connection to with their white-boy dreads. Not that that's the management's fault, but speaking of that...a lot of the reviews I've read have mentioned how crass and irritable the owner is, and having now seen him in action, I suppose those statements are justified. And the more I hear about him and his ignorant outlook towards beer and the beer scene, the more I realize that this place deserves no legitimate business from true beer enthusiasts. Basically, this bar comes off to me as a polished turd: a regular everyday bar with regular everyday staff, that just happens to keep a good beer selection.
As for the beer selection, it was pretty decent. A good selection of crafts and micros appropriate for the season, though nothing overly extraordinary. The food menu was decent, with mostly comfort food, and some pricey entrees that why would you even consider? The food itself was not bad, and other than the entrees, pretty reasonably priced.
The staff seemed pretty generic when it came to actual beer knowledge. Our bartender was pretty attentive, so I have no complaints really. I'd kind of want to go back during busy hours to get a better feel, but I just KNOW that the crowd would be intolerable.
My two cents:
Iron Hill is right across the street, and MUCH nicer than this place, and even if IH's beer selection is limited to their own brews, said brews are still generally top notch. The other option is Pinocchio's just a few blocks away. Beer selection is much better, even if the place seems like a dump...but it's a nice dump, and much friendlier and less douchey than Quotations. Plus the beer garden (pricey but convenient).
07-15-2011 20:01:11 |
More by Rifugium
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
Visited for the first time with 6 BA's. Wasn't sure what to expect with some of the previous reviews. But, with some of the slections they had flowing, the recent into PA Oggi's/Left Coast Brewing, I felt this place deserved a chance.
Located directly across the street from IH Media and Media Trader Joe's there is at least reason to stop in here every now and then.
The overall vibe is fine...nothing spectacular but certainly clean and pleasant. You will understand the meaning of the name once you visit.
Despite not having an overwhelming number of taps I gave the selection a bump up due to the originality of the selection. Many of the brews on were quite different....such as ST Pumking, Laughing Dog CSB and three Oggi's/Left Coast choices. I like to see different and not a repeat of the same old stuff.
Our service was solid and pleasant. I am told that we talked to the owner and despite previous posts we had a very nice chat with him. I am sure he knew we knew our beers....and he treated us as such.
A quality place, that I am told is much better now having gone non-smoking. I will certainly poke my head in to see what is flowing next time I am in the Media area.
11-22-2008 08:56:19 |
More by Deuane
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | $$
The last two times I have been here have been miserable. A month or so ago, I brought my girlfriend here for lunch. The table we were seated at was absolutely filthy. There were chunks of food all over and the silverware itself was encrusted with old dried food. The glasses we were served our beer in were crusted over with filth as well with little particles of someone else's food floating around inside. We went to Iron Hill for lunch.
Now, today I head in for a beer and the frizzy haired male bartender greeted us with a smile and threw down two coasters for us. He then proceeded to help some other patrons. He then left the bar to help a band or something set up their speakers. Then he returned to the bar to help his two friends get their drinks. I was at wit's end by now. His next move was to wash dishes at the sink so he could still talk with his buddies. Unbelievable! I We were ignored at the bar for over 10 minutes! I have never been treated so poorly at a bar in my entire life.
It's too bad their rotating selection is so awesome, because I'll never go back!
...So I ran across the street to see what this place was all about. The boring, bland, and generally lame exterior had me a little put off from the get go. But once inside, I was singing a different tune.
The entrance of the building takes you down a relatively long, windowed corridor with a wall on your left and a view of the bar on your right. As I walked this, I kept wondering when I would be let in so I could get at all of the goodies. I finally ran out of glass barriers and found a hole in the wall to let me into the bar area. The general lay out of the place from this vantage point is that there is a bar up front, and dinner seating in the back, mostly in the form of booths. I preferred the bar, as I was really following a terrible side track from a shopping trip to the Trader Joe's across the street. Once at the bar, I had to scan around to get the gist of what was on tap. Instead of one centralized tap center, all of the taps were spread around the large bar. When I got tired of squinting at taps, I noticed a tap and bottle list on the bar next to me. That will help. After a little deliberation, I realized that I wanted either the Double Daddy from Speakeasy, or The Poet from New Holland. I asked for a sample of each and figured the Double Daddy had enough of my attention to warrant a glass. When it came, it arrived in a Leffe long-stemmed chalice. Very nice. Whilst savoring my beer I noted the lay of the land.
As I said before, the front is all bar, and the back is all eating. Over all, the place had a very open feel to it with an all glass store front allowing tons of sunshine into the building. The bar itself was really huge with tons of space around a small beer cooler/island in the middle. I can't imagine tenders getting caught up back there, even on the busiest night. Looking down at the bar itself, it was covered with quotes (like the name, I get it!). I sat next to something inane said by Charlie Chaplain The light woods of the bar seemed to reflect the other light colors of the place, like the white ceiling, and the light green on the walls. Around the bar was a series of small tables where a few patrons were having their lunch. Over all, the openness really struck a chord with me. Ah, but alas, I have not been here on a Saturday night.
On tap it looked like they had Rouge Dead Guy, a Chimay, Hoegaarden, Double Daddy, NH's The Poet, OD's Oak Barrel Stout, Guinness and Harp. The bottle collection also was nothing short of stupendous. I spied on the menu a Stone RIS '06! I snatched one of those bad boys up for my fridge at home. Man, what a place! Their taps rock, their bottle rock and the bar tender I spoke to explained that their tap handles seldom reflected what was actually on tap because things changed so much, and I was there on a Wednesday! Kinda makes me feel all warm inside.
Someone here clearly cares a lot about beer. Also, the bartender who helped me on my way also knew a lot about beer. I even asked her for a recommendation for the Iron Hill across the street and she had some ideas about that as well. This is really a quality place with some quality employees! I'll be back! After I finished my beer, I headed across the street to the Iron Hill to see if their specialty beers were all that good...
Well, I stopped back to see what was on. Had an amazing brew and our server was awesome. What can I say? I'll bump my numbers up to reflect more of an average.
05-24-2006 20:50:32 |
More by DarkerTheBetter
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 1.5 | selection: 4 | $$
I've been here a few times now, most recently for their 12 Belgian Taps of Christmas.
Atmosphere is on the higher end as far as bars go. Actual quotations from famous and not so famous people are everywhere. On the walls, bar, windows, every where you look.
Every time I'm here I find a real treat on tap. They do have a solid tap line up, and I've yet to be served a bad pint or snifter. They had Goudenband on tap for the 12 Belgian Taps of Christmas, and it being one of my favorite beers, that made the night. I have yet to eat here, so I can't comment on the food.
Service, well, thats a touchy subject. Every time I'm here I get lousy service. And I've only sat at the bar. You typically get the best service when sitting at the bar, which makes you think how sitting at a table would pan out.
While having my last beer of the night, another Goudenband, a gentleman sits next to me. He flags down the bartender, and says that he has a couple of questions about the beer. The "bartender" then points at me and says "Ask this guy, he's had a couple of them" and then walks away. Are you freaking kidding me? The poor schmo sitting next to me hadn't even uttered the name of a beer, and was told to ask the stranger sitting next to him, who was just another customer, about the beer he was interested in. At that moment, I set my glass down and left. That goes beyond unprofessionalism, thats just a dick move. Why don't you take the time to train your staff, or even just give them a sheet to read off of. You have your help telling customers to answer other customer's questions?
My opinion, just go to Iron Hill right across the street. You'll get great service, knowledgable staff, and you won't have to answer other customer's questions.
02-18-2008 18:52:18 |
More by leftmindedrighty
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 1 | selection: 4 | $$
So I finally tried Quotations after my mini-dust up with the owner (or manager, I forget). I had a pretty open mind going in and was actually pretty impressed with the decor and set up when we strolled in.
My first glance at the tap list had me looking over it again. Not that it was bad, but there wasn't a single beer I was geeked about seeing. Some of that is probably personal preference and some was the fact that it was a bit ho-hum for a bar that claims to have the best tap list in the area (claim was made in a beermail to me). Of the three other people I was with, 2 of whom are BA's, none of us ordered a draft. The bottle list was solid with a pretty strong variety and a varied selection. Not sure that this selection is destination worthy, but if you are in Media, the IH/Quotations combo ain't bad. It certainly isn't enough to get me away from TJ's or The Drafting Room (or the upcoming Belgian place in Wayne).
Service was solid but unremarkable.
I have lowered my service number to 1 based on the possibly insane owner who started an incredibly unprofessional email string with me via BeerMail. The tone of which was pretty much that he didn't need BA and then went on to badmouth just about every other bar in the area. I just couldn't bring myself to give this place any more money after the interactions I have had with him.
05-21-2007 19:39:47 |
More by NolanGTI
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 2 | $$
My second time here, have an office in the area so anytime I go there I be sure to stop.
Atmosphere - pretty standard bar/eatery...everything looked clean. went there to watch a game, and had an ejoyable experience. havent been there on the weekends though so not sure of what an assumed added crowd is like.
Service - bartender was quite helpful. i was there with a beer newbie and he overheard us talking about pumpkin beers, so he gave us both a free sample of Pumking which was on tap. it was pretty empty (went on a tuesday night to watch a hockey game) but the bartender was quick to take our orders, refills, and allowed us to choose was went on the numerous tv's surrounding the bar area.
Selection - not a huge tap list, but they had some stuff i havent seen out my way. through the night, I had: Terrapin Rye Squared, Terrapin Depth Charge, Southern Tier Harvest, and a Pumking. they were running a Miller Lite special that night and it was amusing to see most everyone at the bar taking advantage of it, save for a very attractive girl who was housing pumking like it was the greatest drink on earth.
Food - both times i was here the food left me a little underwhelmed. we ordered some "crab fries" which were mediocre, and i had a sort of steak sandwich which was also a bit greasy, lukewarm, and dissappointing. oh well, i was here for the beer anyways.
Value - an appetizer, two sandwiches, and 7-8 beers ran us about $70, but work was paying so i didnt mind.
10-26-2009 14:35:36 |
More by Stigs
vibe: 2 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$$
The owner of this place ruins what could be a perfectly fine establishment. He is very odd...often getting into arguments with patrons and I believe he refuses to put a lot of local stuff on tap because that would be his "competition" which makes no sense. The clientele here are generally obnoxious sports fans who want nothing more than a miller lite and some wings, which is fine, but that is not my preferred drinking environment. I have gone when there isn't a game on, and it is much more bearable, enjoyable. Even still, the prices are pretty outrageous for both beer and food. Quality/selection is decent, but not nearly as good as Pinocchio's which I would much recommend over Quotations.
Service was spotty...good enough I suppose. The bartender didn't really seem beer-knowledgeable, which was a bummer. Food was good but again, expensive. I will pass on this place in the future, though it was worth a try just for the experience.
10-29-2011 04:43:37 |
More by MsRif
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Quotations in Media, PA
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