Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Henry James Saloon

577 Jamestown Street
Philadelphia (Roxborough), PA
(215) 483-8460

I was referred to the Henry James (Hank Jim) Saloon by a reader, and so I made a plan to hit it on my way out of town last week. Nothing like a cheesesteak and a beer for a quality lunch to start vacation.

This place is located right by the famous Dalessandro's cheesesteak shop in Roxborough.

They have everything you could want in a dive bar with food – menus on the place mats and a variety of comfort foods ubiquitous to the Philadelphia suburbs (yea you heard me Manyunk/Roxborough).

I somehow inadvertently ordered cheese fries by "accident", which turned out to be beer battered (they call them Brew City Fries), salty, crispy, and served with white cheddar-jack sauce. Delicious.

The "Pud Steak" was, for all intents and purposes, a deluxe cheesesteak. This one boasted a half pound of rib eye, provolone, fried onions, house roasted long hots, hot sauce, and tomato sauce. The hot sauce was barely there, but the rest was spot on. The meat was tender and well seasoned, the long hots added a bit of kick, and the prov kept every bite cheesy.

I also had to give the namesake "Hank Jim" sandwich a try. This one is served on a toasted "football" shaped roll, complete with chicken fingers, pepperoni, sauteed spinach, sweet peppers, and smothered in provolone.

My one gripe is that all of the cheese was stuck on top, whereas I would greatly prefer it to be interspersed with the rest of the components. That aside, this sandwich was delicious. The chicken fingers acted as extra crispy cutlets on a smaller scale. With sweet peppers and pepperoni adding some spice and tang, the crispy bread held it all together. Everything was pretty damn good.

A couple of Guinness's rounded out this meal. There was nothing not to like about this place, and it makes me wish we had more places in Philadelphia proper to enjoy GOOD classic bar food (Nick's Roast Beef being the pinnacle) mixed with the neighborhood watering hole feel. One of my favorite parts of the suburbs is the ability to drink some cheap domestic beer, eat dinner while watching sports, and not leave owing fine dining amounts of money. Henry James fits the bill.


Anonymous said...

I'm the dude who tipped you off to this place. I'm super glad you liked it. Every time I go there I walk away thinking I live so close to an absolute hidden gem.

kate said...

I am going to be civil and ignore the "suburbs" remark...
Your only mistake was getting the beer batter fries instead of the classic fries - skinny crinkle fries with old bay seasoning and white cheddar cheese sauce. Sound familiar? Yep, there is no need to go all the way to the stadium or all the way up the boulevard to get your crab fries fix, they are here, and they are better. Also you have to go back to get the turkey club - its 3" of house made, oven roasted turkey breast on your choice of bread with crispy bacon, lettuce and tomato. Another can't miss, especially if you are watching your waistline, is the gigantic serving of caesar salad with fresh house made croutons and freshly grilled, still hot grilled chiken on top. Oh, and the wedding soup is not to miss. And the hot roast beef... I could go on and on. But I really shouldn't, because then other people might want to go, and I have trouble getting a table at 6pm on a Friday night as it is!

Anonymous said...

The italian wedding soup is the best!!!!! Hands down! Everything there is awesome! The staff is so great...its havin dinner with your family when u go in there! Def a gem!

Anonymous said...

Man, you obviously don't spend much time in the area if you think Manayunk and Roxborough are suburban.

Manayunk is still mostly blue collar, real Philadelphians born and raised, unlike Center City which is 100% transplanted suburbanites.

And there's nothing suburban about Roxborough's whatsoever. I say this as a longtime former and recently displaced resident of Center City (9 years until summer 2012): Roxborough is what Mayfair and South Philly was 10-15 years ago with some gentrifiers sprinkled in here and there and nicer houses.

Both neighborhoods' residents are way more P'hiladelphia' than Center City. That's not even debatable.

Roxborough is the exact distance from City Hall as Mayfair.

Some kid from Jersey or Bucks County or wherever you're from deeming which city neighborhoods are 'Philly' and which aren't is fucking hilarious. Well done.