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Taps: 20 / Bottles: 218
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$$ - a bit pricey
[ Bar, Eatery ]
264 S 16th St
phone: (215) 545-7005
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Great mussels! Maybe that's not the first thing that should be said about a place being reviewed for its beer, but to be honest, I'm not even that fond of mussels and they were great, especially with my tripel.
Service was outstanding. Extremely friendly and attentive woman who of course, was very knowledgeable about the beer. I find this to be particularly helpful when the majority of beers are in another language. This also came in handy as the beer list was fairly unhelpful, very generic descriptions that could be applied to pretty much any beer. Sometimes, "refreshing" just doesn't cut it. Plus, what you find to be refreshing may not be to me.
06-21-2011 19:47:08 |
More by mjw06
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
A- Darker and not so inviting per se. But it was pretty cool otherwise with the collection of bottles and cool posters (gotta get some of those big oval Unibroue decorations).
Q- Great beer, tons of appropriate glassware.
Ser- The waitress was helpful and gave good recommendations. It was slow getting service after we first sat down, but better after that.
Sel- Tons and tons of bottles and a good number of taps, particularly Belgians. Far better than any selection of beers I'm used to.
F- Food was good. Duck salad sandwich was great, the burger was decent but not particularly outstanding.
06-13-2011 02:42:11 |
More by jsprain1
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
After arriving in Philly, I detoured from 30th St. here, just to guage distance. It wasn't open yet (11AM), so I made a note to stop back later. Haven't been in in years. As luck would have it, I returned a few hours later.
Atmosphere: A homey, old-world cafe. Tables and a front bar greet you immediately. Past the bar, more tables and, after a longish hallway, a second back bar. Glassware is appropriate.
Quality: Several people were chowing down on mussels when we arrived, so I knew that authencity was a done deal. The normally surly (based on other reviews) waitstaff was very friendly. Restrooms are small though...
Service: We were greeted promptly and seated at the bar. Our bartender was prompt although easily distracted by the volume of business and glasses to fill - not a big deal by any stretch.
Selection: A+. Ever walked into a bar and saw that they had 4 Russian River beers on tap? Nope? Well it happened to me yesterday. That's right, Rejection, Erudition, Defenestration, and Symposium were all beckoning me. I, of course, obliged them all (thank goodness for the train ride home). The bottle list is impressive and both bars had another 10 or so Belgian style beers on tap. Hard not to be impressed here.
Food: A full menu, plenty of mussels included, is designed to compliment the beer. We ordered a charcuterie platter and noshed on cheese and sausages. The terrine was especially nice when paired with bread.
06-11-2011 13:00:49 |
More by akorsak
vibe: 2 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
Crowded, dark, and hot. Not much room to stand and enjoy, its best to be seated or sneak up to the bar. Its tough to make a call on the atmosphere. Its almost too dark, and too small.
The beer list is excellent, if a bit Belgian focused for my tastes. Russian River Salvation was on tap, along with some other great selections. The bottle list is impressive - stuff like vintage Cantillon and a slew of Lost Abbey selections. Sadly, prices were pretty inflated.
The food is beyond upgraded pub fare. I got Thai curry muscles with frites and some sort of spicy mayo dip. Fresh and very tasty. The food here is a much better value than the bottles.
Our server was fine, although the front bar tender needed to chill out a bit. He was running around and freaking out for no reason. It was busy but not...THAT...busy. It was sort of a slightly humorous and uncomfortable situation at the front bar, prior to being seated.
05-31-2011 13:58:13 |
More by zoolzoo
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
Atmosphere was dimly lit, definate belgium pub look. Very packed on a Saturday evening as to be expected at a popular place like this right in the heart philadelphia. Food selection is not huge but everything is fantastic that I have tried so far from the food menu. Service wasn't bad, nothing exceptional. Selection is pretty spectacular. A lot of vintage Cantillon which I love, and a good amount of 3 Fontenien as well. As far as price goes it was a bit on the higher side, but again the location of this place and the vintage of the beers would cause price increase. Overall its a great place to spend a evening at with good friends.
05-26-2011 02:45:12 |
More by henway
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
Located on 16th & Spruce in Philly. Yum... Extremely dimly lit, European atmosphere, front and back bars... Very extensive and extremely good quality beer bible, with lots of rare and limited brews from all over the world. Seriously, there are beers here you won't find anywhere else. The beer menu isn't quite as extensive as Eulogy's, but Monk's gets a lot of stuff that Eulogy doesn't. On the other hand, how often would you pay $30-100 for a rare beer? Great menu. Mussels are orgasmic. There's really no way to say who has the better mussels between Eulogy and Monk's. They're both amazing.
I suppose there is a rivalry of sorts between Monk's and Eulogy, so I'll put it this way, from my experience.
Atmosphere ... Monk's > Eulogy
Beer list (quantity) ... Monk's < Eulogy
Beer list (quality) ... Monk's = Eulogy
Beer list (rarities) ... Monk's > Eulogy
Beer list (on tap) ... Monk's > Eulogy (though this varies)
Staff ... Monk's = Eulogy (for the most part)
Food ... Monk's < Eulogy (so far from what I've had)
Location / parking ... Monk's < Eulogy
And that last point is vital, considering that's probably the factor that gives Eulogy the edge over Monk's for being my favorite bar. Would you rather go to Eulogy in Olde City and easily find a parking spot within walking distance at any time of day, or would you rather go to Monk's in Center City and spend an hour of drinking time looking for a spot within a mile's walking distance? It might not be so much of a factor if you take public transportation. :D
Monk's also owns The Belgian Cafe, in the museum district.
04-29-2011 20:09:14 |
More by Rifugium
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
Went here while I was in Philly for my bachelor party. Don’t get me wrong, the selection is pretty bomb, but I’m really not a big fan of the layout of the place. The decor is fine, what you’d expect for a Belgian-themed beer bar, but the setup is awkward. It gets crowded and there’s not enough good standing room or places to sit if you’re not ordering food. The place is long and narrow, and don’t miss the second bar in the back. Now, the beer selection is excellent. Not mind-blowing, but very, very solid. Great vintage Belgian list that’s not TOO expensive. I got an ’05 Lou Pepe Framboise for $45, which was a bit of a splurge. They had Pliny the Elder, not that I cared coming from California, as well as a solid selection of US beers, as well as a great international list. Food was very solid. We had the moules frites. Prices are about what you’d expect. Overall, a great place, but could be REALLY great if they improved the layout.
04-22-2011 21:58:27 |
More by nickd717
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$$
Was in town for a conference and HAD to stop here.
A- This is down 16th street in an older section of Philly. Its VERY small inside-long and narrow. You walk up a few stairs and the enterance is to the right. We sat at the bar to eat-which was great because I could see whats on tap.
Quality/Selecion-The draft list isn't very big- 5-6 beers on tap. What I was most impressed with and what I ordered on-tap was PLINY THE ELDER!!! Other than that it was all stuff I can get in Pittsburgh. The bottle list is quite long and offers great stuff from Cantillon, Lost Abbey, and Russian River-among others but those three breweries were the highlight for me. Pretty rare beers as well-particularly from Lost Abbey. Bottle prices for these beers range $20-$40 for a 375ml so they cost a pretty penny to get ahold of.
Service+ food- The bartender was very good and very knowledgable about the beer list as well as the food. The food is somewhat expensive-but very good and different. I think what is reccommended is the Mussells.
Overall- I expected more beers on tap and the bottles to be more affordable. As far as strictly Belgian Beers/Menu goes-Sharp Edge has this place beat by a longshot. What this place DOES have that sharp edge doesn't is access to Russian River, Port/Lost Abbey, and a much wider selection of Cantillon beers. COnsidering that these are 3 of the best breweries out there-its a big pro...
04-19-2011 02:02:33 |
More by PittBeerGirl
vibe: 2 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
Made sure to stop in here before heading to a concert last weekend.
In short, this place was packed. When we walked in, there was a hoard of people crammed in the entry way waiting for tables, getting their ID's checked, and just standing around because there was nowhere to sit. We eventually found the back bar which was much better, but we still had to stand at the end of the bar.
The barstaff were knowledgeable, served everything in proper glassware, and quite timely.
The selection here is, to say the least, great. While only about a dozen taps (both front and back bars), the bottle selection mandates a ~10 page booklet. Of course, I have no idea how much of what was listed was still available.
As a note to future patrons, make an effort of cross-check the tap and bottle lists. My 8(?)oz. pour of St. Berny 12 was $8, and we soon afterwards saw 12oz. bottles for sale for $10.
We came at a very busy time (~9pm on a Friday), but can only imagine this place being better earlier in the evening. We were going to try some of the food (the charcuterie platter in particular caught my eye), but it just wasn't the right time. I'll absolutely be visiting this place again in the future to get the full experience.
04-01-2011 19:09:58 |
More by Sneers
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$$
The price is a bit high, but then again, I can't think of many places in hundreds of miles in any direction where you can get the same beers or food as you can get here. Russian River days, weekly changing draft menus that differ from back and front bars. THE BEST french fries, chicken fingers, and mussels I have ever had. The service can sometimes suffer on busy nights, cause everybody knows how good Monk's is. But if you're hanging at the bar and have a chance to talk to the bar tenders or owners when they're around, the service is amazing. You might think you know a lot about beer, but these guys and gals are sponges of info from every beer nut in the philly metro area (and then some), so sit your smug self down and chat with the employees with an open mind. Being knowledgeable yet humble has gotten my friends and I more than a few free bombers of top shelf Belgian ales from the owners.
03-30-2011 02:57:34 |
More by ReelBigwigFish
Monk's Café in Philadelphia, PA