Thursday, March 19, 2015
French Fry Diary 655: The Dandelion
Jessica A. Walsh
Fed up with the cold of February and going mad with cabin fever, I stumbled over to uwishunu for some ideas of something to do over the weekend in Philadelphia. A list of ten foods to eat before winter ends caught my eye. Looking for a new place to try for brunch, I scrolled past the briskets and stews, and paused at a photo of the Scotch pancakes at The Dandelion, an English style pub situated in a large converted Victorian house located near Rittenhouse Square at 18th & Sansom Streets.
After perusing the menu online, they had me at pickle brine bloody Marys.
The Dandelion is a very cool spot. It boasts several floors, winding staircases and many rooms all with different feels, several fireplaces, small bars and unique decor. My husband and I being bar people, we sat ourselves at a six person bar in a room with floor to ceiling windows adorned with thick drapes covered in dog print. Shelves on the walls held hundreds of porcelain statues of dogs of all breeds.
After ordering a bloody Mary and a beer flight, we started with an English cheese board. I was intrigued by the quince paste and make it a point to always try at least one new thing when provided the opportunity to do so. The board came with three English cheeses, three types of house made crackers, grape chutney, the quince paste, honey, and grapes to cleanse the palate. I refused to look up quince on my phone and excitedly spread a little of the gelatinous rectangular paste onto a cracker. It’s just a fruit, I later learned, not unlike a pear. The cheese board was lovely, as far as cheese boards go. I’ve only ever had one that truly disappointed.
After a second bloody Mary and a relaxing wait, my scotch pancakes and Cumberland sausage arrived, as well as my husband’s burger and fries. When he told me he was considering the burger, I had gently suggested that he might like to try something different. The bartender, overhearing me, smiled a knowing smile and with a sort of reverence, said, “Get the burger. And let her take a bite.” Those few words would later increase his tip over the 20% mark.
But first for the pancakes. Sitting on top of these small, thick cakes were maple apples and a mound of light as air cinnamon creme that melted all over my plate, and was heavenly. The Cumberland sausage was authentic and delicious. I smiled after every single bite. Well done, uwishunu!
As for the burger, yes, I did take a bite, and it was the best damn burger I had tasted in a long time. Beautiful fresh brioche, house-blend aged beef, apple smoked bacon, Vermont sharp cheddar, Brooklyn brine pickles, and Churchill sauce. I have no idea what Churchill sauce is, but I will tell you that this burger was worth every penny of its $16.50 price.
But what about the fries, you ask! First of all, they came alongside a small glass jar of large malt salt with a little wooden spoon. Very thick, at least half an inch in diameter, these fries were crisp on the outside and hot, perfectly baked potato on the inside. In fact, they were so thick that I actually put mine down between bites! After my fry, I said to my husband, "I don't think a fry has ever taken me six bites before."
I loved The Dandelion. Great ambiance, great service, great food, GREAT FRIES!
Today's guest post here at French Fry Diary comes from Jessica A. Walsh, super cool friend, fellow member of the South Jersey Writers' Group, and a terrific writer, editor, and blogger. You can read her uplifting and inspirational blog The Cracking Nut here, check out the Reading Glasses anthology here, and Follow her Twitter here.