Taps: 20 / Bottles: 2
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 39 | Reviews: 33 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by ithacabaron:
3.78/5 rDev -12.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 2.5 | $$
Solid, if not remarkable.
Beer outplays the food here -- there is a carefully constructed tap list, including several rarities (Cantillon vintages, etc.) and two hand pumps, most recently pouring the new Yards' Brawler, and eternal golden boy Victory Hop Wallop. A wide range of styles and countries are represented, and most beer is served in its "proper" glassware, always a nice touch; but it makes determining price-per-ounce value nearly impossible. Listing the serving size of each beer on the menu would be a nice touch. Even so, the prices seem reasonable. Additionally, printed copies of the beer list should be made available, as the two chalkboard lists -- right now the only way of telling what's on tap -- are not in the sight-lines of most patrons' seats.
Food is well-proportioned, but quite disappointing. The "asian" chicken wings, a large serving covered in a somewhat mushy, overly sweet glaze, end up somewhat cloying -- a good kick of vinegar, wasabi or Huy Fong chili-garlic sauce could really do wonders to create some balance in this dish. An extra minute in the fryer wouldn't hurt either. The hamburger, as well, is generously proportioned, but needs some sort of signature element (i.e. the famed Father's Office Onion Marmalade in Los Angeles) to really stand out.
All in all, most of the dishes I've sampled from the menu just need better seasoning and a good shot of butter. Additionally, most items on the menu are on the heavier side -- a nice chartucerie platter or cheese board would be appreciated for those that simply wish to snack.
Service is eager to please. Clearly, opening this bar has been a labor of love for these people, and it's nice to see such enthusiasm.
For all of the above complaints, in time, I imagine things will get honed in here, and a place like this is sorely needed in the Spruce Hill neighborhood. Goodness knows it's a vast improvement over the coked-out frat boy haven that it replaced.
For now, this place will win my regular business by default, although I'll still probably head over to Dock Street when given the choice between the two. Draw up a more educative beer menu, work on the food, and this could stand among the better of Philly's gastropubs.
A solid start.
01-08-2009 15:58:04 | More by ithacabaron
More User Reviews:
3.21/5 rDev -25.9%
vibe: 2.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3 | selection: 3.25 | food: 2.5 | $$
Kind of a pretentious divey place. It's got the smell of a wino bar but with zinc bar counters. Scrawled and uninformative beer list. The beers are not particularly worth a detour in this beer-rich town. Even as a tourist I found I had drunk most of them.
A vaguely interested bar maid did not add to the welcome. The clientele made me think of Bilbo Baggins in Alexandria on Ladies Night, but with the frat houses within crawling distance it must be a different crowd in the later evening. Food is greasy and also pretentious. Ridiculously hotly spice polenta (and so little of it!). On the plus side, you can take the interesting northside trolley lines and if you walk or ride further out you'll come to the actually worth the trip Dock Street Brewery & Restaurant. [transcribed from notes on May 30, 2012 visit]
10-29-2013 05:21:26 | More by mactrail
5/5 rDev +15.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$$
This place was on my list of bottle shops to check out while in Philly and I must say it was well worth it! However the prices may be a little steep, drinking a beer on tap while shopping for beer made it worth it! Great customer service, great selection, decent prices make this an ultimate place to check out while in Philly! The one thing that is crazy about this place is that its in West Philly (which isn't the nicest of areas IMHO), but it somehow works for them! The bottle shop is separate from the restaurant, but if you have time do stop by the restaurant and grab a brew and some grub!
01-02-2013 12:52:02 | More by legend8706
4.05/5 rDev -6.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$
Boston and Chicago are often described as cities "of neighborhoods." Philadelphia? Not so much, but Local 44 would make me consider it.
Tucked away on a quiet corner in West Philly, Local 44 offers just about everything you'd want in a local bar. The vibe manages to be both hip and inviting, homey and exciting. I've eaten and drank here twice now, and loved each visit. The draft list does a fine job balancing local breweries and beer geek favorites. Sly Fox, Yards and PBC are in good company alongside Great Divide, Lost Abbey, and Franziskaner. There are always one or two offerings on cask, and charmingly only Orval and a gluten-free option in bottles.
Go here with an appetite, though you won't need too much money - there are many options in the sub-$10 range here. On my last visit, I instantly regretted ordering my olive-oil poached, banana pepper-laden tuna melt as soon as I saw my friend's perfectly medium rare burger with a runny fried egg on top. I tend to avoid brunch like the plague, but the sweet potato latkes and maple-glazed hush puppies looked damn fine.
Every staff member is almost definitely cooler than I am. The bartenders and servers wouldn't look out of place in any number of bars in Cambridge or Fort Greene, and they're some of the friendliest beer bar employees I've ever come across. I've drank at the bar and eaten at tables, and the service has been helpful, courteous and incredibly efficient each time.
I'll be back to Local 44 for a PtY tapping or, more likely Sunday night Quizzo. A wonderful spot, one any neighborhood would be proud to call its own.
10-14-2011 01:22:33 | More by amphion1065
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Local 44 in Philadelphia, PA
95 out of 100 based on 39 user ratings.