Thursday, September 15, 2011

Cherry Street Tavern

129 North 22nd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 561-5683

So, you say you've never heard of the Cherry Street Tavern? Or maybe you have. In that case, I'd be preaching to the choir. This place is historical, delicious, and one of the best spots to eat and drink anywhere around the center city area. No pretensions, no jacked-up prices, and no bullshit food. Unfortunately it no longer has a urinal running the length of the bar, so you have to actually walk to the bathroom; I have to imagine that I would be a bit weirded out eating delicious meat sandwiches while the guy next to me was peeing. Cherry Street may be dark and unassuming, but the roast beef is phenomenal.

I decided to go with a corned beef special the last time I was there (which incidentally was twice in the same night), as I usually just go all-in on the hot roast beef or pork. The corned beef came out quickly, freshly sliced, on a delicious marble rye with Swiss, coleslaw, and a slather of thousand island. This was as good as any I have had around the city: tender, salty meat with a creamy, tangy dressing, and crisp, cool slaw. It is very dark in there, so I took it upon myself to create some artistic sandwich shots, using the raking light of the setting sun.

I was instructed by the man in charge to take a pic of the Bambino while I was there. Done.

Now, on to the real winner at The Tavern. The hot roast beef. Somewhere between a french dip and a beef on weck, this sandwich is the stuff cows dream of being made into. I mean, if you are gonna go, you might as well end up as the pinnacle of hot beef offerings, right? Freshly shaved beef and provolone cheese, served on a chewy roll that's soft enough to sop up the quick-dip they do into an au jus, but also with enough body to stand up to said juice.

You can also get a side of dipping juice, but I prefer to eat it how it was intended. Exactly like they make it. Other than the whopping amount of prepared horseradish I add.

Salty, tender, and satisfying, this is one sandwich you can't afford to miss. Oh, and it's $7.50, served until mighty late, and they have $3 Kenzingers. Need more coaxing? I didn't think so.

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