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Monks Cafe, Philadelphia

~Originally posted 3/23/09
A friend and I traveled to the city of brotherly love this weekend to check out some American history. That's right folks, Skip is a history buff too. My friend and I went to check out the Liberty Bell, the Betsy Ross House and Independence Hall; if you haven't been or if it's been awhile I highly recommend it. You've got to have a great appreciation for the hard work and sacrifice that went into the founding of our country. But I digress, you've come here to read about Monk's Cafe!

After taking in a healthy dose of history, two girls were in need of a good beer. My friend had suggested Monk's as she had been there before, it did not take much to convince me, I read they had a beer list as big as the phone book! And boy, they weren't kidding. There were so many beers I found it difficult to choose. Monk's is on S. 16th Street between Spruce and Locust in Philadelphia, it's a charming little place. You walk in through a plain black door, into a dimly lit bar area, beyond that the walls are lined with wooden booths and tables. Monk's has a bit of a rustic feel, some might even describe it as a dive bar. I thought it looked like a fun place to hang, like a friend's basement.

I've been told they have great muscles, but since neither my friend or I eat them, I cannot report on that. However, the menu looks like a typical bar menu, appetizers, salads, burgers and sandwiches. They did have some unique entrées that I would not expect at a bar, such as, spicy polenta and duck ragout, not to mention a veal cheeks appetizer. Needless to say, there are some things that make Monk's special. My friend and I both happened to want to try the same thing for lunch, chicken and apple sausage on an Italian roll. We both agreed it was very good, it was the least greasy sausage I have ever had (because it was chicken) but still had a lot of flavor. They put a spicy raspberry mustard on it, which was a perfect combination. Despite the fact that, as with most bars, there was a lack of "healthy' food on the menu, this sandwich did come with a mixed green salad on the side. We also split a basket of fries, they give you way too many, I don't think we even ate half of that basket. The fries came with a great dipping sauce, Bourbon mayo, to borrow from Rachel Ray, YUM-O.

Okay, on to the beer! I was getting dizzy trying to read all the beers, but I finally decided on Alvinne Podge Stout. I am a fan of a nice stout, I like a dark beer, usually if I am having just one or two (they are just too heavy for multiple beers). I really enjoyed it. My friend, as I said, had been there before and was some what familiar with the beer list, she started with Lindemann's Cassis Lambic Belgian Beer, it was on the sweet side, but a little tart too. She then moved on to Bezelbeth French Malt, which she shared with me, it was interesting, but not terrible.  I hope that my friend will comment and elaborate on what she thought of her beers and Monk's in general.

So, bottom line, Skip recommends a trip to historic Philly, especially if it includes lunch at Monk's. Of course, it helps if you have good company too.
Skip gives Monk's - 4 cosmos

try it for yourself--


  1. Hi,

    I just found your blog through! We go to Philly all the time and I am a beer aficionado (even making my own at home). Of all the beer bars we go to in Philly I have never been to Monks! I will make sure I go on our next trip (we live in Galloway, NJ, just outside of Atlantic City)!


  2. Glad you found the review! I highly recommend Monk's fun place with many beers and comfort food! I hope you make it there and that you enjoy it! Make sure to stop back and let me know how it was!


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