Tuesday, December 6, 2011

American Sardine Bar

1801 Federal St. (Point Breeze)
Philadelphia, PA 19146

Newcomer to Point Breeze: the American Sardine Bar. Lots of hype (and a few court cases) surrounded this opening. Owned by the same people that own/run the South Philly Tap Room, this was a much needed bar/restaurant in a neighborhood that can't seem to define itself. Finally, a place to grab a beer in Point Breeze without getting shanked. One of the most talked about aspects of this place was the awesome sardine can sculpture hanging outside.

While the sardine can IS pretty rad, I was more interested in seeing what the food (and beer) was all about.

They have a decently priced and quite extensive beer list, from pilsners to porters. For the food, we felt it was only right to start with the $2 namesake sardine sandwich. The sardines are chopped, tossed in some fresh lemon and parsley, served on two slices of baguette and topped with lettuce, red onion and sliced hard-boiled egg.

Even if you aren't a fan of the funky, oil-packed sardine, this sandwich might be enough to sway your opinion. A perfect snack when you want to have a couple of afternoon beers (or glasses of wine).

The Walt Wit braised pork sandwich was next on my hit list. Served simply, with Boursin (a soft, spreadable cheese) on a toasted ciabatta, this sandwich was a winner. The lack of sauce could have been an issue had the pork not been cooked so perfectly. The Boursin offered a tangy, creamy contrast in flavors to the well seasoned pork.

A side of the salt and pepper fries, served with dill pickle dipping sauce, was another delicious offering. Thin, crunchy, salty and peppery fries were a great side to my already indulgent lunch. The pickle dipping sauce offered a fresh and welcome juxtaposition to the spicy fries. I had never had this flavor as a french fry accoutrement before, and I would gladly dip my spuds in pickle once again, if the situation allowed.

The Pittsburgh cheesesteak, to quote our server was "hearty." It was much like a Primanti's – at least french fry and coleslaw wise – except much, much better. The bread was a perfect vessel for delivering steak meat, the onions were nicely caramelized, and the peppery cheese sauce delivered a spicy flavor kick that lingered long after eating the last bite, like the terrible glutton I am. This is a hell of a sandwich.


Next up was the falafel wrap (vegan): falafel, spicy pickled peppers, tomatoes, pickles and onions on a grilled pita. The falafel itself was delicious, well seasoned, light and crispy outside with a smooth interior texture. The pickled peppers were also delicious, I just wish this sandwich was served with a bit more sauce. I should have asked for more.

Last up is the krab kake sandwich. Obviously this was not your average crab cake sandwich. With no lump crab in sight, this was possibly a nod to the neighborhood seafood shack. The dill pickle tartar sauce was pretty delicious, but the bun was beyond toasted. It was burnt to a crisp (see below). Probably should have been sent back, but I hate to do that kind of thing.

(I admittedly lent them some ease there, considering the newness of their kitchen.)

This is, without a doubt, a great addition to any neighborhood, especially one desperately in need of something other than bodegas. Now if they could just get a coffee shop . . .


Julianne said...

man, this just got moved to the top of my list for this weekend. minus the burnt bun... what were they thinking?

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