Our picks: bar food

You’ll find more than nuts and pretzels on the bar at these places. The Abbaye 637 N. 3rd St. Don’t let the name scare you off, the Abbaye – pronounced “Abbey”– at 637 N. 3rd

You’ll find more than nuts and pretzels on the bar at these places.

The Abbaye

637 N. 3rd St.

Don’t let the name scare you off, the Abbaye – pronounced “Abbey”– at 637 N. 3rd St. in Northern Liberties serves up some banging bar fare.

You won’t find bowls of peanuts dirtied by bar-goers’ unwashed hands or wimpy burgers dripping in grease, though.

The Abbaye’s chefs offer the typical bar favorites with gourmet flair, and everything is made in-house. Its chalkboard features daily specials, such as mako shark loin with collard greens and lentils, the shrimp po boy and vegan wings.

For the burger lovers out there, the Abbaye offers a build-your-own option for $10. Eaters can choose from gruyere, asiago, provolone, cheddar or bleu cheese and a slew of other toppings including avocado, caramelized onions and sautéed spinach. Additional toppings cost 50 cents, and all burgers come with a side of homemade fries.

For vegetarians or vegans, the Abbaye offers seitan cheesesteaks, veggie burgers, a hummus plate and several daily specials, as well.

Unlike most gastropubs in Northern Liberties, the Abbaye allows for an intimate dining experience so you don’t have to scream for your dining partner to repeat every word over the blasting sound system, too. But don’t let that scare you away. Fun drunk times are still to be had, especially with a draft list featuring Yards, Anchor, Victory and an array of U.S. and international wines.

-Alexis Sachdev

Good Dog

224 S. 15th St.

Nothing in this world hits the spot quite like a juicy, gooey cheeseburger. But even among God’s gift to gluttons, there are winners and losers. If your night of drunken debacles ends at a McDonald’s, we pity you, especially with a joint like Good Dog so close.

On 15th Street between Walnut and Locust streets, Good Dog has the full package: good food, good drinks and good times.  The gastrodive offers beef, veggie and salmon burgers starting at $11, with toppings such as caramelized onions, cheese and applewood smoked bacon. All burgers at Good Dog are served with homemade regular and sweet potato fries and an aioli sauce.

Henry Thoreau was right: Simplicity really is the way to go. Good Dog takes out all the bells and whistles and brings eaters back to basics with these delicious options of literally epic proportions.

Good Dog’s bar also offers an array of craft and mainstream beers, including Philadelphia Brewing Co., Sly Fox, Flying Fish and Magic Hat. Not convinced yet? Take Guy Fieri’s word for it. The silver-haired food aficionado sampled Good Dog’s truffled cheesesteak empanadas back in November 2010 for the 10th season of “Diners, Drive-In’s and Dives.”

-Alexis Sachdev

Devil’s Alley

1907 Chestnut St.

Though without candlelight it might be difficult to see the food on your plate, rest assured that whatever finds its way from plate to mouth at Devil’s Alley will be delicious.

With a restaurant downstairs and extensive seating on the second floor around the bar, this place serves up some devilishly good appetizers.

Fried green tomatoes come lightly breaded, sprinkled with grated parmesan cheese and topped with chunky marinara. Pork sliders – though perhaps not their most inventive dish – come piled high with meat and soaked in a tangy barbeque sauce, and provide a meatier alternative to pretzels and peanuts.

For those looking to test our claim – while the menu’s pretty affordable – pork sliders are normally $7.95, fried green tomatoes, $6.95 – happy hour is definitely the most wallet-friendly time to do so. Featured draft beers and wines are $3, and several appetizers are priced at $5 and under.

When appetizers aren’t enough, though there’s a good chance they will be, check out the extensive list of sandwiches. The list includes classics like buffalo chicken and turkey B.L.Ts. Stop in on the weekends for their extensive brunch menu, and justify a chipotle bloody mary or “rise n shine” cocktail, Absolut rudy red, peach liquer, fruit juices and pomegranate juice, since it’s 12 a.m. somewhere.

In nicer weather, the front of the building, lined with floor to ceiling windows, is opened up. This, as well as some limited outdoor seating and the Chestnut Street Center City location makes it a prime people watching spot – or, gives passerby the opportunity to gawk at diners’ plates as they dig into some seriously good bar food.

-Kara Savidge

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