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Extreme Beer Fest
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Taps: 20 / Bottles: 218
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$$ - a bit pricey
[ Bar, Eatery ]
264 S 16th St
phone: (215) 545-7005
(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Ratings & Reviews
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| Reviews: 311 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by ithacabaron:
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
What a fantastic place, and I'm lucky enough to make it almost a weekly stop. My opera company rehearses just down the street, so Monk's is a natural stop for a pint afterwards.
Atmosphere is fantastic -- incredibly dark, incredibly smoky, incredibly crowded, and every piece of dark wood furniture banged and bruised to a well-worn shine. A beautiful thing, and very much in the traditional belgian vein. Don't mess with the front bar. Go right to the back, babe.
Quality is very good. Sometimes things are served a touch too cold, but you shouldn't be in a rush hanging out here. Going to Monk's for a spell means a few long, lazy hours. Just hang out and let that baby warm up a bit.
Service is very nice, always interested in helping you out, and appropriately gruff and rude when they need to be. If you pester a waitress too often about a certain vintage (and this happened at the table right next to us), she'll turn right around and tell you to get off her back, to relax, and that she's still trying to find the bottle. Once she finds it, she'll be happy to tell you the history of it, her own feelings about the offering, and whatever else have you. So don't be a pain in the ass. You'll be gotten to when you need to be gotten to. These people are consumate professionals -- and sometimes that means giving a little verbal beat down back. Nothing wrong with that. Sort of charming, really.
Selection is just about the best you'll find, Belgian-wise, in the entire United States. No 5 from me, however, as a little bit too often there's bottles that appear on the menu, but no longer exist down in the cellar. Still fantastic selection, and some things (Cantillon 2002 vintages on tap) that you simply won't find anywhere else, anytime soon. Proper glassware is provided for everything. Other countries are well represented as well, and those beers are treated with the same respect.
Food is fan-freaking-tastic. Have any of the burgers, moist tender, and a little bit bloody. Have some mussels (I'll even break my rule and snag a few from a friend's plate here), have some pomme frites. Just have something to eat. It's surprisingly affordable, and very delicious.
In fact, everything here is pretty reasonably priced. Sure, you'll pay 15 dollars for a beer sometimes, but it'll be a 750 of a limited-run Saison from a brewery that doesn't even exist anymore. Things like that. Pretty much everything on draft, from the Hommel Ale, to the Delirium Tremens, to the Cantillon, to whatever else, you'll get for five dollars, and generously poured full into a nice tulip for five dollars at that. You'll never be shocked and horrified at the bill here, and that's a good thing. You will put out a little cash, but you get what you pay for -- and you only find the best here.
All in all, Philadelphia's finest beer bar, far and away. Make a special trip just to visit here, or just make it your new local, like I have.
05-16-2005 21:13:53 |
More by ithacabaron
More User Reviews:
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11-13-2013 20:39:05 |
More by BigMike
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75 | $$$
Visited Monk's during a weekend shopping trip based on BA rating, as it was near our hotel. Great atmosphere, beer selection, food, knowledgable bartenders. Loved the old school feel of the place. Best of all, no TV's . Worked my way thru the Deschutes beer on tap. Quite satisfied. My advice: go early, stay late, visit the back bar, have a meal.
11-09-2013 14:04:09 |
More by curl217
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
I visited Monk's Cafe on a recommendation from a friend. We battled rush-hour traffic from Cherry Hill into Philly to visit here, and I wouldn't change a thing.
The Atmosphere is awesome. It has an almost rustic feel to it with both a front bar area with some tables, and then a back bar area with additional tables. Only complaint would be that it's a compact space, but that doesn't bother me when it's a great bar.
The Quality was fantastic. The high quality brews and great food make this place a winner.
The Service was just alright. The back bartender wasn't that friendly, and while I understand they were busy, they took a LONG time to make their initial visit to our table. However, once we received our initial visit, the waitress was great the rest of the night.
The Selection is among the best I've seen. I was able to drink a Firestone Walker PNC without having to trade for it, and I also ordered up a Cantillon Gueuze. I think that says it all. They have various Cantillons throughout the year according to the bartender. They had 20-25 total drafts between the two bars, and their bottle list is craziness, which includes a lot of relatively hard-to-find Belgian ales and sours.
The Food was fantastic. I got the chicken apple sausage, the fries with accompanying sauce, and I tried my co-worker's mac and cheese which was also amazing. Although it's almost impossible, try to save room for dessert as the couple we tried were incredible.
If I were closer (25-30 min drive), I would come back here again on my final night. This place is incredible and is a must-visit when in Philadelphia.
11-08-2013 21:20:24 |
More by smartassboiler
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Monk's Café in Philadelphia, PA
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