My first residence in Philly was at 1703 Green street, a mere two doors down from Cuvee Notredame. What a great welcome to the city.
$5 steaks at the bar, and last call Duvel on the house by one of the owners at 2:15 in the morning was "open arms" to me.
I spent some serious time there, also heading west to Tavern on Green, sometimes London or Rembrandts. But heardly ever Jack's Firehouse.
I have now lived in four different neighborhoods since then. I reside in South Philly, but my significant other is in Fairmount, so once again, I get to patronize the art museums fine alehouses and restaurants. But things are a bit different 6 years later. Cuvee bit the dust years ago, and Tavern on the green was purchased and amazingly rehabbed to be the new Belgian Cafe (a huge thanks to Tom Peters and Fergus Carey- trust me- you don't want to know what that kitchen looked like).
-I am in love with the pirogies at Aspen
-drink weekly at Brigids (always rotating great taps),
-you can catch me playing Jimmy Cliff, drinking Saison Dupont at Bishops collar
AND debating what I want on the menu at Jack's Firehouse a few times a month.
Their food is fantastic. Crab Cakes with "lava" and Barbecue items are specialties...get a load of that brisket sandwich with caramelized onions (and my customized addition of the white cheddar)....messy...yet delicious.
The only way to finish the meal off (no matter how tight you're pants have gotten) is with Butter Cake. Still to this day the owner's mother brings in her classic recipe that she makes at home. You taste the LOVE in this butter cake. They serve it with a dollop of whip, some fresh fruit, and a brownie, which is equally rich.
What about the BEER you ask?
They did a draft overhaul in the last year, expanding from one tap (which was YARDS) to 6. Now they carry Legacy Midnight Wit, Sly Fox 113 IPA, Yards, and a few other local craft standards. When they installed their new system, they made their tower antiquated fire extinguishers. Perhaps the coolest tap tower in the city.
They also have live music on Weekend nights, Al fresco dining, and great service...Next time you're in the Fairmount area, I would jump all over Jack's. Then-- of course--mosey on down the Fairmount strip for the sound of Jimmy Cliff is only a mere two blocks away.