Thursday, May 13, 2010

French Fry Diary 110: Monk’s Café, Philadelphia

If there are any "Seinfeld" fans reading this, I bet you thought the same thing I thought – that this was the coffee shop from the show. Sorry, no chance, but trust me, this is better. This Monk’s Café is the Belgian Beer Emporium and Restaurant in Philadelphia.

When friends and family invited us out to this place for Easter this year I was excited as I had heard of Monk’s before and had even gotten recommendations from a couple readers about their Pommes Frites. Yeah, that’s right, baby, real Belgian fries. Unfortunately, while this was a Belgian restaurant, these were not Belgian fries – but that doesn’t mean they weren’t terrific.

More bar and beer-centric in a German way than Belgian, Monk’s was still a very cozy place. It’s so beer-centric that there’s even a "Beer Bible" on the table, thicker than the menu. After I had ordered the chicken fingers, I saw the burgers and knew I had made a mistake. Not that the chicken wasn’t fantastic, but the burgers looked amazing. Regardless, it’s the favorite fried food we’re here to discuss.

As I said these weren’t really pomme frites, even though that’s what the menu indicated. These were extra thin shoestrings, natural cut, and cooked in olive oil – Spanish fries, similar to the ones at Nodding Head. They were soggy, but in a good way, just crispy enough and very hot in temperature. They had that extra kick that Spanish fries have, I wished I could have had more even though the helping was plentiful.

The beer-battered chicken fingers were quite good as well, but next time I’m getting a burger – and of course more fries. Recommended.

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