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South Philadelphia Tap Room
Taps: 14 / Bottles: 75
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
1509 Mifflin St
phone: (215) 271-7787
(Place added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-29-2005)
Ratings & Reviews
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| Reviews: 37 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
SPTR was a mandatory stop during my recent jaunt to Philadelphia - King Tut and Leahy. It is truly a pleasant way to spend a few hours. A few stops on the SEPTA Broad Street line took me to the Tasker-Morris station, which is a short walk to SPTR. A quiet neighborhood anyway. It was a Saturday afternoon and rather quiet with a few couples and some tatooed hipsters, but they need beer too. Above the bar hangs a listing of draughts; behind you, on the opposite wall, a list of bottled brews.
I counted around 13 taps, not as many as other places, but it was a diverse mix of regionals, such as Sly Fox and Yards (which I really liked a lot). My victims on that quiet afternoon: Yards IPA, Sly Fox irish Red, Sly Fox O'Reilly Stout (I loved this one) and Bell's (yes, that one) Double Cream Stout. Of course, I'm sure that these have been rotated since then.
SPTR is home to a Monster Grilled Cheese Sandwich, a messy concoction made with 3 cheeses. Hmmmm Beer and Cheese.
It should be a mandatory stop for any BA!
05-04-2007 03:34:53 |
More by jjboesen
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $
I'd been hearing for some time what a great place this is, from people from all walks, and when my wife insisted we go someplace, my choice, for my birthday, I decided SPTR was perfect for a night when I didn't want to drive for an hour.
Parking is...well, it's South Philly, with all that entails. This means you either get lucky and park within a short walk, or you end up with a spot blocks away and make the trek. But as a caveat, I'd advise not even considering taking some local's spot along the many uncomfortably narrow backstreets should lightning strike and one be available. You may think the spots are fair game, but rest assured, the locals do not.
So as you walk up you see the mandatory neon signs in the large windows, and you enter on the corner. What at first might seem shabby chic is actually quite nicely fit-and-finished. The bar is standard dark wood, and the barback is big and typically crafted. Tables run back along the right, then a wall shelf has some chairs on the back left as well. There are a few TV's scattered throughout, as well as a big-screen in the back right that wasn't on the night I was there, and it was Final Four Saturday, so if it wasn't on then, it just might not be operational. And I can't say exactly why, but I dig the blue and brown ceiling.
The jukebox is dynamic, eccentric, and far-reaching, with everything from Big Bands to Sixties psychedelia to Punk and Grunge to whatever seems to be passing for music these days.
But I have to say, it's the people here that make it the cozy, welcoming place that it is. They come in all shapes, sizes, orientations, aromas, and ideologies. And this means that you and I are every bit as welcome as they. It's come one, come all. I venture to say not even a sociopath would find him or herself out of place here. And the upshot is that makes SPTR one of the best people-watching establishments of the beer bars in the city, hands down.
Quality is high, with cleanliness an obvious priority. Beer is served in one of a few types of glassware, which means you can get a whole lot closer to appropriate than in most bars. Short of the wobbly table I sat at, it's easy to feel cared for here. Hell, even the restrooms were tidy, which we all know can be a challenge even in the most fastidious of places.
Service is quite attentive, very friendly, and more than willing to answer any questions you might have. Our waitress was very knowledgeable about the food menu, then went on to surprise me when she told my wife that Troeg's Dreamweaver was the only wheat on the beerlist, so if that's what she wanted, there was no real alternative on tap. And that's no knock on the selection, but rather, as my wife loves Dreamweaver but wanted to try something new, she was given some good advice. Though she did end up branching out in the end. I know, it seems like a simple instance, but how often do you hear of staff talking out of their metaphorical asses about beer when they obviously have little or no clue? So I found this exchange a promising indicator.
The selection is not astounding, but it is extensive and surely offers something for everyone. The tap list is the strength, with 10 lines running the night I was there. Troeg's, Sly Fox, Brooklyn, Yards, Stoudt's, and the ubiquitous Stella were represented, among some others, with a nice range of styles in play. The bottled selection carries a nice range of Belgian and German styles, with quality high and all the big hitters available if you'd care not to experiment too extensively. And I saw a smelly Bohemian drinking Miller Lite at the bar (apologies to Warren Zevon), so yes, Virginia, there are macros as well.
The food is a big, tasty step up the bar food evolutionary scale. It's very good, plentiful (but not gluttonously huge, that pathetic trend be damned), and with plenty of offerings, from outright carnivorous to vegetarian. The New Bold spuds, a clever spiral sliced merging of fries and chips, are wonderful, and when dipped in the special sauce, almost sublime. The Monster BLT (a special) and pulled pork were winners, and I heard other tables crowing about the bruschetta and quesadilla. There are plenty of specials as well, all priced and with the same range of variety as the set menu.
The prices are better than reasonable. For several beers and two very full bellies, SWMBO and I ran up a tab that just couldn't reach $60, and that's in the city. This is one of the top beer-venue values in the Delval region, for my money at least.
And so, after enjoying, immensely, our evening there, we walked out with the tacit understanding that return, soon, is inevitable, for all the good and best reasons. The walk to our car was less than half a block, as some lucky guardian seemed to be granting us special dispensation, but I'll tell you that even if the trek was multiple blocks long, it would have been worth each and every step.
04-04-2007 20:42:23 |
More by Foxman
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
The Taproom is visited on every trip to Philly. Situated South of the Center City Philadelphia, in a more down-to-earth neighborhood. Extremely friendly, knowledgeable staff, who will often provide samples to those unsure of what to try. On this Saturday night visit, plenty of room, though bustling with a mix of 21 to 30 somethings. Typically clean, comfortable seating. On this night, however, a bit too smokey. The day before a smoking-ban was passed and this should clear the air in future visits. On tap were: Hoegaarden, Stella, La Chouffe, Yuengling Lager, Sly Fox Royal Wiese and OReilly Stout, Troegs Rugged Trail Nut Brown, Ommegang Three Philosophers, Strongbow, Stoudts Okktoberfeast and Legacy Euphoria. Also maybe two dozen bottles a mix of mostly PA brews and Belgians. I had the hummus platter, which comes with homemade, delicious hummus, warm pita and kalamata olives.Very fresh and flavorful. Friends ordered the portabella sandwich and loved it. Lines on the pumps were very clean. Overall, always a great place to visit. Looking forward to my next visit!
09-20-2006 02:26:34 |
More by bwyker
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
The SPTR has contributed greatly to my love of beers and awakened me to craft brews. Very friendly neighborhood bar with a dozen top-notch beers on tap: a handful of belgians at all times (Hoegaarden, Stella, Urthel, Leffe), an assortment of local PA brews (Sly Fox, Legacy, Troegs, Yuengling, Yards, Stoudts) and a splash of West coast beers (Stone, Rogue) can usually be found there every week. There's also an assortment of fine bottles (Ommegang, Allagash, Lagunitas, Victory, etc) available at all times too. The waitstaff are pleasant and very accomodating (especially Meredith - best waitress ever.) The head chef, although moody at times, kicks out flavorful dishes every day. The taproom has a menu of traditional bar food along with an offering of daily specials that tend to be a bit more gourmet. I'm vegan, so I can only really comment on the veg food, which is generally pretty fantastic. Last night I had the vegan tacos which were awesome; I usually get the oh-so-tasty hummus and pita or some cajun fries. I'm also a big fan of the hummus-smothered portabello sandwich. The jukebox has a great selection of indie rock, alternative and classic 80s. Theres an assortment of specials available - "Temple Tuesdays" offers $1 Yuengling lager mugs for age-appropriate students, Yards IPAs are $3 every weekend, and one Saturday during the summer was a day-long "Wheat beer" fest - $2 pints of local wheat beers (which included the Sly Fox Royal Weisse, Troegs Dreamweaver Wheat, Slyfox Royal Weisse, Yards Saison, Legacy Midnight Wit.)
The South Philadelphia Taproom should be a definite stop for anyone who ventures beyond the crowded snobbery of the Center City beer bar scene.
09-10-2006 23:11:02 |
More by kmudrick
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
After a long time of hearing "You gotta get to the Taproom," I finally get my ass hauled there. It's a dimly-lit English-style pub with breweriana decked on the walls. Big chalkboards announce the latest on drafts and what's available in bottles: a great selection. On draft, they had mostly local beers, Sly Fox and Victory, plus some out-of-towners like Ommegang Hennepin and Leffe. There's a good bottle list if the draft doesn't tempt you.
The food here is beyond fantastic. I had a Morroccan lamb sandwich that was very tender and served with Old Bay fries. (Had to ask for Old Bay.) I started off with the calimari, which was the best I ever had, even if it was on the salty side. Other foods are of the pub grub persuasion: salads, burgers, and sandwiches. The table next to me loudly declared that the mussels they ordered were better than Monk's. Just reporting what I heard, y'all.
The service is attentive and was very understanding when I leaned the wrong way on the wobbly tables and sent a glass pepper shaker crashing to the ground. I stopped feeling badly when my dinner partner almost did the same thing to a candle and neighboring diners declared they did the same thing earlier. Word to the wise, folks: beware the wobbly tables!
06-25-2006 04:59:59 |
More by StoutHearted
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $
I have a friend who lives within walking distance of this bar, across Broad St. Its a great small neighborhood bar with a diverse and friendly crowd (and staff).
This is the only beer bar in the area, so if you are looking for fresh Yards IPA (one of my faves), go there. SPTR carries other local brews besides Yards, like Sly Fox, Troegs, Flying Fish and Dogfish Head. They have loads of belgian bottles like Hoegaarden, Corsendork and Ommegang too.
Twice I've played quizzo here (Tuesday nights), when the service is always excellent. The last time I went to SPTR, it was a Friday, and although it was very crowded, the service was still great.
However, it gets a 2.5 atmosphere rating because that Friday night when I was last there, there must have been a fire in the kitchen or something because the air inside was thick and slightly charred. More likely the cause was just a million orders of fried pubfood in those three hours, but seriously, all of my clothes, especially my jacket, hair, purse, shoes, everything stunk of fried foods so bad, it made me nauseous when I got home and realized I was the source of the horrible McDonalds-like greasy burnt french-fry odor!!
Its really disgusting when you end up smelling like that rather than cigarettes after a night out at a little bar. I'll take the second hand smoke anyday. They need to improve the ventilation in their kitchen or change their frying oil more often.
01-04-2006 00:35:16 |
More by roan22
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
The Taproom, as it's commonly called, is a cozy little bar with 11 seats and 20 covers in the small dining room and cocktail area. It look like an old-time corner tappy (and it once was), but it's fixed up really nice.
The food is pretty good, and the prices are reasonable. "Nibblers" run from $5-9 and include a cheesteak quesadilla and sauteed perogies as well as the expected wings and nachos. The spinach & lump crab dip is the only item that's $9. And then there's the "Rabbit Food". A standard Caesar is $4, and the more adventurous sesame apricot salad will run you $6. The "Pita Pizzas" are popular and tasty for $5 or 6, and the "Sandwich Board" gives you a variety of different items in the $5-7 range including grilled veggie ($7), pulled lamb ($7), and Big Mouth Burgers ($5.50-6). And if your hungrier than that, the "Colossal Plates" include BBQ ribs ($14), a Cajun shrimp sautee ($10), and smothered chicken (also$10).
There are 11 draft lines (although they'd been planning to put in a few more) which rotate fairly often and included Victory Throwback, Yards Saison, Magic Hat #9, Sly Fox Royal Weiss, and Flying Fish Farmhouse on my last visit. There are over 60 bottled beers, and although there are alot of common ones, Wittekerke, Geuze Girardin, and Three Philosophers are some of the more interesting choices. You can get a Schmidt's too, for $2.75 if you feel like getting "retro".
There's also a good tequila selection, some decent bourbons, and a limited pick of scotches if you're interested.
The service is good, and the bartenders that I've met so far have all had a fair knowledge of beer.
Its still fairly new, so the crowd is still settling in, but there's a good mix of 30 something "new" neighborhood people, and some of the older residents as well. And there are some younger people on weekend nights as well. I've always had a good time, but I tend to get along with everyone anyway.
06-12-2005 11:40:59 |
More by NeroFiddled
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South Philadelphia Tap Room in Philadelphia, PA
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