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“Very good. Have some patience.”
Review of Monk's Cafe

Monk's Cafe
Ranked #83 of 4,538 Restaurants in Philadelphia
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $12 - $30
Cuisines: European
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Lunch
Neighborhood: City Center West
Reviewed February 17, 2013

My wife and I went to Monk's Cafe on a Saturday, late afternoon. We figured we would beat the dinner rush. Unfortunately, even though we arrived at 4:15, the place was packed. We put our names in for a table and were told it would be between 30 - 45 minutes of a wait. The front bar was crowded and there was only one bartender. We found our way to the back bar which was also crowded and the bartender was coming and going. He was away from the bar for about 5 minutes. We then headed back to the front bar.

We finally got the bartender's attention and ordered two beers from the tap menu. We ordered Allagash White and the Lost Abbey Devotion. Both beers were excellent.

We were called to our table about 30 minutes after checking in and were led to a table by the front window. It was good to get away from the bar and have a view of the street. The next time we go to Monk's we will try to get the window view again.

We ordered appetizers. My wife ordered the Flatbread & Dips. The flatbread pitas were warm and came with several types of hummus and dips along with some olives. This was an excellent starter. I don't go for fancy food so I ordered chicken tenders. Really, I just wanted something to soak up the beer. The chicken tenders were excellent, but that's not the reason to go to Monk's. We ordered two Russian River Blind Pig IPAs. These were great beers to go with our food.

For our main meal my wife ordered the small portion of the "Ghent" mussels. These were cooked with bacon, bleu cheese, garlic, and leeks in a Saison Dupont broth. The portion was very sufficient and came with a side of fries (pomme frites) which are thin and crispy and very delicious. The mussels were outstanding.

I ordered the Pulled Pork sandwich. This was served on an Italian roll and had thin apple strips with some type of cheese (light). It was a good sandwich, but next time I will order something different. Not bad, but I probably would have enjoyed something more straight forward from the menu.

We had another round of beers while we finished dinner. The beer selections go very well with the food. It's a great dining experience.

The wait staff was very good. The waitress offered suggestions and the service was prompt. My only complaint was with the slow speed of the bartenders while we were waiting for a table. It was crowded so I was surprised there was only one bartender. Not sure if it is always like that.

We will certainly go back. Next time I will have a better expectation of the crowd. It's a unique place to have dinner and some good beer.

Our tab was $70 before tip. I thought it was very much worth it. Nothing on the menu appeared to be too expensive. We were in and out in just under two hours including our wait for the table.

I recommend this to anyone without kids. It's too chaotic to take young kids.

I added a few pictures of the beer bible and of the flatbread and the Ghent mussels.


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Thank RWM-JR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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344 - 348 of 622 reviews

Reviewed February 15, 2013 via mobile

My husband loves beer ( I am a wine drinker) so normally when we visit a pub I have to settle for French fries or a salad. I love that monks has a tasty selection of veggie offerings that I can enjoy while he enjoys the wide range of Belgian beers. Also like the low key unpretentious atmosphere

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Thank Trish M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 10, 2013

I had an oak aged pale ale which was fantastic. It almost tasted like a wine (ok, I reveal my basic preference here). For food, I had the charcuterie started, a small bowl of muscles (a ala ghent) and of course the frites. All very good.

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Thank pghprof
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 10, 2013

This is THE place to go in Philly if you like Belgian beers and / or mussels. I've never had better mussels and I have friends who come in from NY and LA and this is where they want to go. The staff is very knowledgeable, though sometimes a bit curt. It's dark and very rustic.

Thank Jean D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 4, 2013

Very cool place, especially if you like Belgian beer. I could do without the beer, but the mussels and burgers are very good. Plus, they serve these annoyingly small broken pieces of french fries that you just cannot stop eating. I really like this place.

Thank Jim K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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