Thursday, February 3, 2011

Khyber Pass Pub

56 South 2nd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 238-5888
(UPDATED with 5)
From the outside, it looks strikingly similar to the old Khyber. The menu, however, looks to be something you would never get at the old Khyber, a menu. A they put out a combination of Cajun food and Southern barbecue, either of which fall into my "favorite things" category. So needless to say (although I am going to say it right now), I was excited to give this revamped Old City landmark a try.

If you remember the old joint, there was a dark room on the right when you walk in, where various medicore bands of various levels of weird would play (occasionally some good shows, but for the most part, meh), which is now an open dining room. Big improvement. You can also see the decor, due to the introduction of...light. It's a pretty nice addition to the bar, nice, but not so nice as to lose the character of the original Khyber.

I decided to give two standard sandwiches a try, as it was lunch, and wanted one from each genre. The North Carolina style barbecue pulled pork sandwich was served with spicy vinegar barbecue sauce, and topped with coleslaw. The pork was good. Not great, but good. It needed a serious kick of dry rub, and was lacking in bark. Bland comes to mind. Also, it was not served with the sauce on the meat, but rather on the side. I was also not a fan of the sauce, quite honestly, and looked to the optional Kansas City style sauce also presented for relief. None granted. I could get over the meat being just okay, as it was actually moist, but the sauces were just lacking that certain something. They had no "pop." The best part of the sandwich platter was undoubtedly the baked mac and cheese. Nothing life changing, but it was a solid rendition, perfectly cheesy with a nice baked topping. I ate both, but really enjoyed the mac.

The other sandwich I decided to try was the roast beef Po' boy with debris gravy. Yum. I was hoping it would stack up to my all time favorite. Well, I know it's not fair to place that burden on every Po' boy I eat, but I must. So overall, the roast beef was quite delicious. Rich, tender chunks of meat, smothered in that beefy gravy really hit the spot pretty well. One problem, however, was the roll. There was so much goodness on this sandwich that it was hard for the bread to keep up. Once again, of course, the absolute best part of the this dish was the smoked cheddar fries. These things were awesome. I would have been quite content eating a huge bowl of them with the beef gravy on top and called it a day. Mostly because I would then have had to retire to a couch to work out my "meat sweats."

This was a sloppy sandwich experience, as can be expected, from this style of food, and although it wasn't the best, it was certainly quite good. If the sauces were a bit sharper, it would be pretty delicious. These are scientific terms, obviously. As the kitchen is open quite late, this is a solid late night option if you get lost and end up in Old City some night.


brian said...

i am a khyber addict. love the beer selection and the po boys are delicious.

Philly Phoodie said...

Brian, the beer selection is great, but have you been to Catahoula, or even better Cajun Kate's? I will definitely go back to Khyber and try again, but I my Po' boy heart belongs to Cajun Kate's. Also, your blog is great.

Philly Phoodie said...

Wow, I guess I was really hung up on "great."

brian said...

thanks thad! i unfortunately haven't been to cajun kate's, the soft shell crab pic you posted looks awesome! catahoula was good? haven't been there either yet...