After 3 or 4 years, I finally made it to Standard Tap

I’m feeling a little sick and my head is in a fog, but I finally found some time report back about yet another fantastic sandwich, covered in shoestring fries. That sentence hit so many points; I couldn’t be prouder.

It’s been a few years since I first saw Standard Tap, quietly looming over 2nd and Poplar. And while I have visited once or twice, I never really gave it my full attention until now. Meeting up with a friend for dinner, we sat in the oddly well-lit first floor bar. Things were pretty standard as far as these meet ups go: have a drink, chat with the bar tender, order food, have another drink, anxiously await food and pretend to be paying attention. You know, normal stuff. But then A BABY showed up. And not just any baby. This baby was cool as shit. She sat right on her dad’s lap and slapped the bar like she was ready for a drink. After her dad and uncle’s beers arrived, the bar tender handed her an orange slice. The little girl, like the boss that she is, just opened her mouth to accept his offering. Solid move, I wish it was still socially acceptable for me to do that every once in a while.

Finally, after what seemed like hours and a fuzzier-than-I-was-expecting head later, the food arrived and by this point I was so hungry I was simply throwing out words and confusing/terrifying the poor food runner. I ordered the portobello mushroom burger; my friend, the pulled pork sandwich with extra long hots. At this point, my memory gets awfully fuzzy. I know there was that first amazing, juicy bite where the top bun is crispy but the bottom has been soaking in deliciousness and the cheese is melted perfectly enough to string out as you pull away… But other than that, I was so absorbed in the efficient and total consumption of my sandwich that there are few other details. The fries were that awesome texture of thin, crispy, floppy, and greasy- basically the best kind of fry there is. And the beers we had were diverse, but easily accessible to a novice craft beer drinker. I stayed more on the darker side with dunkles and porters. My friend went with the lighter saisons they had on tap that moment. One thing I always fall for that I need to stop doing is the hand-pumped beers. It’s not that they can’t pour ’em at Standard Tap, because they can; they’re great at it. But a hand pumped beer never has the same amount of carbonation or chilly temperature I’m looking for. Really, there’s nothing worse than anticipating a cold, refreshing drink (of beer, water, juice, etic. this is a universal thing) and finding it lacking.


Photobomb like a boss.

In all, Standard Tap is one of those places you need to try at least once. Their menu is significantly gastro pub, but more “conventional” meat eaters will find something they like. If you’re ever in Northern Liberties, check it out. I’ll be back for another beer or two, for sure.


And then it hit me…


I’ve been a vegetarian for roughly ten years. My best friend from high school likes to remind me of the days when we shared popcorn chicken wraps freshman year only to come back the next fall and I could no longer partake in our weekly ritual. It was a traumatic time, but I still hold on to the fact that processed chicken pieces are kind of gross if you think about them for too long.

Since then, there has been a lot of research- books, movies, wikipedias on the true definition of Veganism- but the fact has remained that I never looked back. I never once missed meat. I used to love lobster and it is true that one fateful filet mignon did it in for me. But enough of the past, on to the future!

Just because I don’t like meat doesn’t mean I hate happiness. I love happiness. In fact, I love it so much, I wanted to share with you my adventures in finding Philly’s best vegetarian foods. And, so that things don’t ever get boring, I’ll try to bring a long a meat eating friend whenever I can (that same friend from high school calls it a “meat partner,” she’ll appear from time to time).

The first place we visited was Watkin’s Drinkery, probably the most gastro-pubiest gastro-pub I’ve ever been to. My friend’s direct quote was, “Oh no, you’re a vegetarian, aren’t you? I wouldn’t have brought you here if I remembered that.” And as expected, my choices were limited, but that doesn’t even matter because I had what is arguably the best grilled cheese sandwich of my life. It changes weekly and I was lucky enough to have the havarti with dill and red pepper relish. I was  a little hesitant about the relish because I am a grilled cheese purist, but it was amazing and just acidic enough to cut the cheese without overwhelming it. My meat partner had the haddock fish and chips with an enviable amount of fish-less crispies. And everyone knows the little fried bits of nothingness are the best part.


Needless to say, I won.