Known for my exceptional timing, I arrived in the City of Brotherly Love, four days ahead of the Pope. The airport and every street sign was welcoming the Pontiff and on Tuesday night, the police were in full preparation mode. The first place I headed to for dinner (in Fairmount), I couldn’t get near, at first, as the first three streets I tried to get down were closed. Then, when I eventually got close, all of the “empty” parking spots were prohibited by temporary police order. After half an hour, I gave up and headed downtown to the Royal Tavern, instead.
Driving in Philly, at night, is an experience for a Southern boy. Most every street is one way, with parallel parking on both sides. Parallel parking, on the left, is a skill that you don’t practice much in the ATL. I found the address fairly easily and then saw a place to park (on the right, thank goodness) and pulled in. Then I got out looking for the restaurant. I walked slightly east and was in front of row houses. I turned around and then saw the sign hanging overhead and walked into a very dark restaurant.
I took a seat at the bar (this photo is a “lightened” photo looking toward the back wall – thank goodness for that TV) and used the flashlight on my phone to read the menu. I kind of new what I’d be having as the note in my phone said that they serve only one Angus burger, but it’s so delicious that the Food Network named it the best burger in the state. That’s what I ordered, with a side of fries.
The famous patty comes with bacon, caramelized onions, smoked Gouda, pickled long hots (a kind of pepper), and chili mayo. I had the onions and pickles held and asked for the burger medium rare. When it arrived, I took a photo with the flash – partly for the blog, but mostly so I could see what I was eating. The burger was cooked to a tasty medium and the smoked Gouda and bacon, together with the chili mayo made this one of the best burgers that I’ve enjoyed in a while. I can see why food network rated it so highly. This tavern serves much more than “bar food”, with well executed dishes and a very good selection of vegetarian dishes. Highly recommended.