There have been a rash of the “Gastro-Pub” growing in our cities and communities lately. Not that this is very new, but their style has replaced the standard for pubs bordering a simple watering hole and these “Gastro” houses have become the answer to a night out in a bad economy. The food is of a finer nature, the ambiance can be loud, fun and sports filled. You may find dart boards, pool tables, wide screens, video games and most interesting, a really great wine program to match some very good food.
The word “PUB” is short for Public House and was a place in England and then America for groups of a political ilk or communities to gather and speak their minds openly without fear of government reprisal. The basis of our government system was drawn up in many of these public gathering places. It was no coincidence that rooms for rent, food and drink and other services were available to patrons and travelers.
The modern day Pub got away from these political surroundings and became a more rugged, sports oriented restaurant with a focus on the bar, sporting events and simple food if any for their patrons. The newest re-birth of the Pub does not lean towards politics as much as inventive and artistic food, micro beers as well as in house production of the grain and an eclectic wine list.
You can find many of these places in and around Philly. They make a great mid-week or weekend destination before, or after any event with friends or family. The wine lists are not large but the selections are eclectic. The food is fun if not inventive and the atmosphere makes the visit worth every penny, which can fit most budgets from the starving college student to the fixed family budget.
The following is a list of some of these you should visit. They are great unknowns in the wine world and you may be surprised by the wine selection and prices you find. Cheers!
Public House, 1 Logan Square, Philadelphia (great food, ask about their upcoming wine dinners)
Hawkeyes, Rte 113, Hilltown PA ( screens in every booth make it fun for the kids)
Monks, 264 S 16th Street, Philadelphia (a must for anyone visiting Philly)
Good Dog, 224 S 15th Street, Philadelphia (great food & wine)
Iron Hill Brewery, 1460 Bethlehem Pike, NorthWales, PA (there are several in the area, but fresh beer, cool food and a nice wine selection are available in all their Brewery Pubs)
Plough & Stars 123 Chestnut St, Philadelphia (Love this place for the food & wine, get in here on St. Patty’s day) http://www.ploughstars.com/old_city_philadelphia_menus.php