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Category Archives: neighborhood bar

The Eagle Has Landed

Manayunk is a great neighborhood in Philadelphia for eating and drinking. In fact, the word Manayunk itself comes from the Lenape Indian word for river – Manaiung – which literally means “a place to drink”. Most people only associate Manayunk with the long stretch of restaurants and bars lining Main Street, but there are lots of hidden gems up in the hills as well if you’re willing to make the trek. Luckily, I live at the top of the hill, so navigating my way to the Old Eagle Tavern this week wasn’t so hard on the knees. While from the outside it may look like your typical neighborhood “Old Man Bar”, inside it – well, ok, it kind of looks like your typical neighborhood Old Man Bar – but without the musty smell or smoke-filled air. The draft list and menu are also a far cry from what your Uncle in the suburbs is probably sitting around looking at as well, as the place is owned & operated by the same folks who run Devil’s Den and the Barren Hill Tavern & Brewery. Since I’d given the burger at Devil’s Den a try before, I figured I’d see what the Old Eagle Tavern had to offer.

The burger was a simple, no-frills bar burger, topped with cheddar, red onion, bibb lettuce, a HUGE slice of a beefsteak tomato & pickle slices. I ordered the burger medium & it was cooked perfectly pink all the way through, with a nice grilled char on the outside. The patty was a little on the small side, so I was worried that I would run out of meat before I ran out of bun, but I somehow managed to make it through to the end with a good burger to bun ratio left. I think it may have had to do with the bun being super light and airy. I got a lot of bread in the first few bites, but it wasn’t as bread-heavy as some other buns so it didn’t make me feel too full; I was happy about that. All in all, it was a really nice, solid bar burger. Paired with a beer list that includes gems like Weyerbacher’s Heresy & Barren Hill’s own Biere de Extra, this definitely ain’t your Uncle’s local watering hole. I’m just upset that this place has been in my neighborhood all this time and I only just found out about it!

Burger Rating: “B”

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

A year ago, the building on the corner of Laurel & New Market st was a run-down shell of a former bar, but since then, it’s undergone a major renovation to be reborn as Jerry’s Bar: the perfect edition to the Northern Liberties neighborhood. With exposed brick walls, a marbled bar top, two floors of bar and dining space, this isn’t your run-of-the-mill, hipster PBR joint. They’ve got a highbrow bar menu, a solid cocktail list of the classics, and a bunch of off the beaten path beers both in bottles & on draft.

After a series of misses in the burger department, I was worried about trying the deluxe burger: topped with bibb lettuce, tomato, red onion, your choice of cheese (I got cheddar), sandwiched on a brioche bun.

My burger came out quickly, and was slightly more on the medium well side than medium, but still nice and juicy. The lettuce was crisp and fresh, as was the tomato. And the bun was soft, slightly buttered and toasted, which gave it a delicious “melt in your mouth” flavor. I could also detect that the meat was seasoned with a little bit of salt and pepper, which is how I tend to make my own burgers at home, so it was nice to enjoy a burger with that home-cooked feeling. There’s also the “Jerry’s Burger”, which has caramelized onions & cheddar, but I wanted something a little bit lighter on a hot, summer day. (I know I was just saying how I wished I could find more burgers with caramelized onions as a topping, so I’ll have to come back to check it out.) Pair it with the Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier like I did; I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Burger rating: “A”

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