Sunday, November 7, 2010

Varga Bar

941 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 627-5200

I have snacked at Varga before, and they have some pretty tasty stuff. When some friends wanted to meet around 10th and Spruce, I figured it was a good chance to try out the rest of the menu. First of all, when you walk in, it's pretty dark. That aside, we were seated in the very back, the darkest corner of the dining area. So the pictures are better once I get a camera with a good flash.

The service was pretty mediocre, the server seemed out of it, and left us waiting for a couple of extended periods of time. She also seemed not to care to really take our orders. The food, however, is quite good. We started with the lump crab meat cheese fries. I am pretty sure I don't have to explain why.

The fries are thin, crunchy and fast food-like with a nice coating of truffle oil. With that additional earthy-essence, these fries are very good. If I would have realized I was ordering a burger, I would have still wanted the extra fries before-hand (the burgers come with tons of fries). Which brings me to the burger. I went with the Kobe burger medium rare. It came out medium well, but it was still quite delicious. They serve it with aged cheddar, bacon, caramelized shallots, organic greens, and heirloom tomatoes. Oh, and did I mention - a huge pile of truffle-oil fries. They offer homemade ketchup and sweet-hot mustard to go with the fries. Delicious. The burger was really juicy, the meat was perfectly seasoned and not overwhelmed by toppings. I really enjoyed it, and it almost lasted two minutes on my plate.

The fish and chips were another fry-laden meal, but when they taste this good, who's complaining? The fish was perfectly cooked, crunchy on the outside, light and flaky on the inside. Just how you wish they made it everywhere (but often fail to do).

The risotto was riddled with English peas, wild mushrooms, roasted butternut squash, Parmesan cheese and drizzled with (dare I say it) truffle oil. The lemon and thyme helped lighten this cream-heavy dish, but it was still an absolute gut bomb. Not in a bad way, but two people probably could share this and hit their daily allowance of fat in one sitting.

Overall it's a pretty solid spot for upscale bar food. It's not cheap and the service is confusing/underwhelming, but the beer is good and the food is really tasty. I will definitely be back for another run at their appetizer menu.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love Varga! I always sit at the bar even when I eat there -- much better service usually, although I havent been there since spring. Those cheese fries with CRAB look amazing.