Monday, August 8, 2011

Marathon Grill

10th + Walnut
929 Walnut St, 2nd Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 733-0311

Marathon Grill. I bet most Philly people have been there. More than likely because there are a number of them all over the city. Marathon and I have a storied past. I have eaten at a number of them, and to be honest it's usually in a pinch. Not that there is anything wrong with the establishment(s), but the reason my body is not cut like a Greek God is that I go out seeking new, interesting food. Also the fact that I have no portion control and that I love beer MAY contribute to my "huskiness." That being said, Marathon serves a niche in Center City. It's decent food, interesting yet approachable by the more reserved generation of eaters, and it's reasonably priced.

I asked the waitress on this visit what she recommended. She said the burger over the cheesesteak and the fish and chips (should have went with my chiseled gut feeling on this one). She actually said that the fish and chips were her favorite thing on the menu. More on this later.

The Marathon Burger consists of an 8oz. blend of sirloin, short rib, and chuck steak, Vermont cheddar, caramelized onions, applewood smoked bacon, and housemade bbq sauce, served on brioche.

Fish and chips obviously comes with fries, so I opted for the Caesar salad with the burger. The burger was cooked to a nice medium, which was for the best with the hearty blend of steak involved. The meat itself was very tender and flavorful. A nice amount of fat rounded it out. The bacon was probably the best part, crispy, thick and more bulky than the one slice some places try to pass off as reasonable. Was this the best burger I have had? No. Was it good enough to eat the next time I find myself at Marathon Grill? Definitely.

The crispy cod "fish fry," however, was not as great of a catch. On the menu they are labeled as crispy cod, hand-cut french fries, green cabbage slaw, served with tartar sauce and malt vinegar. The breading was not very crispy. Actually it was a bit soggy. The fries were another disappointment, soggy and seemed to have been sitting. The greatest mystery of all, was why there was coleslaw served under the fish. It was wilted, warm and bland. A big letdown after the delicious burger. I may have either caught it on a bad day, or maybe ordered the wrong item, but I was not a fan.

Bottom line is that Marathon is a good place to go if you want a good sandwich, an upscale diner, or a place to take your parents who think that Pad Thai is exotic.

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