The Devil and Thomas Mütter

Happy Monday, web-o-verse. I’ve decided that Mondays around here will be restaurant/bar reviews as we tend to go out on the weekends and do things like eat and drink. Imagine that.

I’ll get to the restaurant review in a minute, but first I need to share a little geekitude.

If you haven’t yet been to Philadelphia’s Mütter Museum (19 South 22nd Street, Philadelphia, PA), then you are truly missing out on one of the best museums Philly has to offer. The collection boasts everything from a plaster cast of the torso of world-famous Siamese Twins, Chang & Eng to a case with drawers full of over 2,000 objects extracted from people’s throats. My favorite part is the wall of skulls. Beneath each skull is an index card with the country of origin, the subject’s name, and a little bit about them and how they died.

The descriptions read something like this: “Suicide by cutting her own throat due to disappointments in life”. It’s not for the weak of stomach, but those looking for a more historic version of the Bodies exhibits are in for a good time.

Ok, on to the restaurant. Because who doesn’t go on the prowl for a good burger after spending a few hours staring at jars of human organs? Since Phrigid was out of town this weekend, my restauranting/museuming partner was my friend Zach. We walked out of the museum with no real purpose in terms of what we wanted to eat, just that it should be filling and involve good beer. Which is pretty much how I go about my daily life.

We stumbled upon the Devil’s Alley Bar and Grill (1907 Chesnut Street). They had both upstairs and downstairs seating, we chose to go sit by the upstairs bar. It was fairly busy for a Sunday afternoon, but not so much as to feel crowded. The beer selection included Legacy Euphoria, Magic Hat #9, Yard’s Tavern Spruce and Victory Hop Devil on tap, and Unibrou Ephemere, Legacy Hedonism, Arrogant Bastard Ale, Lucifer and Chimay in bottles. Zach got a Euphoria, I got an Ephemere.

The food is fairly standard American, with the “Devil Burger” (topped with onion rings and fries) being the headliner. Other menu standouts were a Grilled Cheese with apples and bacon, a Grilled PB&J, and a healthy selection of BBQ ribs. Zach ordered a Turkey Cubano, and I went with a Turkey Burger with guacamole.

The Cubano arrived with a side of homemade waffle potato chips (gaufrettes), sliced and with accompanying red sauce. Zach seemed to enjoy it. I tried a chip and sort of wished that my burger came with a side of them as well. If you go, don’t assume that your burger or sandwich will come with a side of some sort unless stated on the menu, my burger came with nothing of the sort. The turkey burger was definitely good and they didn’t skimp on the guacamole. I sort of wish there was a little more of a kick to it, but I’ll survive.

The bar itself is open and welcoming, and the staff seemed friendly. We never wanted for service, although we did have to hunt down napkins at one point. The downstairs dining room looks entirely date-worthy, with small tables, booths and candles. The upstairs bar has open windows and two, large HD TVs. As Zach put it, “There’s something about watching baseball, or any sporting event, on a really large, widescreen TV that’s just…..beautiful” I think he may have teared up a little, too.

Overall, it’s a spot I’ll probably go to again if I’m in the neighborhood, but not one I’m going to go out of my way for. I am interested to try those ribs, though, maybe I’m missing out on the raison d’etre of the place.

–DB

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Filed under center city, Restaurants

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