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“Great atmosphere, disappointing food -every time”
Review of Jack's Firehouse

Jack's Firehouse
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Ranked #116 of 4,370 Restaurants in Philadelphia
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $20 - $75
Cuisines: American, Barbecue
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Business meetings, Large groups
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Breakfast, Dinner, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: 22nd Street
Level Contributor
76 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“Great atmosphere, disappointing food -every time”
Reviewed September 9, 2012 via mobile

We live nearby & have frequented for about a year. I don't know if they changed the chef, but the food is consistently disappointing. I once ordered the risotto, which was so overlooked it had the consistency of mashed potatoes. This is how we learned of Jack's policy of charging you for food sent back to the kitchen. The waitress told us we were the third table she had to explain this policy to that night. Hello! If everyone is sending back their food there is likely a problem in the kitchen. We didn't go back for a long time & when we did - I had the dryer frittata of my life. Atmosphere is great, and are the after dinner cookies, but forget the meals.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Melinda V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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369 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Winston Salem, North Carolina
Level Contributor
300 reviews
199 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 182 helpful votes
“Another Great Recommendation”
Reviewed September 6, 2012

Before our vacation someone who heard we were going to be touring the Eastern State Prison recommended a restaurant right across the street from there for lunch after the tour. You can’t miss Jack’s because it literally is right across the street from the entrance to the prison.

In the summer the open air concept of the restaurant was very appealing. Even if you were seated indoors the big doors were open and you would have the sensation of dining outside. We decided to have our lunch on the outdoor patio, which was very enticing; shaded and cool with a small fountain/waterfall in the back providing just the right background noise.

We selected the Pecan Crusted Catfish Sandwich with Basil Aioli ($9.95) and the Mussels with Roasted Garlic & Hot Sausage in White Wine ($9.95). Before our lunches arrived we were brought a plate with biscuits, butter and some sour cherry jam. They were scrumptious and a very nice touch.

Our lunch was delicious. The catfish sandwich was served on Italian style bread. My lunch partner was concerned that the mussels would not fill him up but it was a generous portion and the addition of the spicy sausage helped make it more of a meal.

Since our hunger was appeased we passed on desert but when our check was presented two small chocolate chip cookies came with it. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a restaurant that did that and it was a lovely gesture.

So glad that we took the recommendation offered – it made for an extremely pleasant and delectable lunch.

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Thank DearDona
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
19 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Convenient but just ok”
Reviewed September 4, 2012

The waitress was very friendly and helpful. The food was ok,, but I've had a lot better. The waitress steered us away from the ribs witch was a big red flag. Living in the south in the past, we experienced many rib dinners. It is pretty difficult for a well established restaurant to screw up ribs. We were on a time schedule to get back home so the very long wait for out meals was disturbing. We also wanted to beat the Labor Day traffic on the turnpike. Therefore, we had to rush through our meal. We had lunch so the $45.00 check was also a bit overpriced, but then the bottled water was $7.00. Water use to be free. It must had been the bottle that put it over the top. If you have more time after touring Eastern State, I'm sure you can find a better restuarnt for the price and quality.

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Thank SerenityNow01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Springfield, Illinois
Level Contributor
234 reviews
85 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 160 helpful votes
“Lovely, Relaxing, Elegant.”
Reviewed August 25, 2012

We were taken to Jack's by some friends of ours who are local Philadelphians. The neighborhood looks dubious, but the restaurant is a beacon of civility. The weather was cooperating, so the doors were open and the garden tables were full, so we sat in the back, and enjoyed a lovely relaxed dinner, along with a Pennsylvania wine and a local craft beer. I enjoyed the clam chowder, and the Apple Pecan salad, while one of the other diners had an amazing looking plate of buffalo tenderloin. It was tablecloth service, but I didn't feel out of place in jeans. We lingered over coffee, and never felt hurried. The service was a perfect blend of there when you need it, gone when you don't.

Visited August 2012
Thank Melston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
98 reviews
46 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Surprisingly good barbecue”
Reviewed August 16, 2012

I have to admit this up front - I'm from Texas, and I've eaten barbecue all over the Lone Star State. I'm a little dubious about trying it anywhere else. After touring Eastern State Penitentiary, we walked across the street to have lunch at Jack's Firehouse. Although it had been recommended by a ESP staffer, we mainly went for convenience. I saw that they had a barbecue platter on the menu, and although apprehensive of what Pennsylvania barbecue would be like, I ordered it... and I have to say that the entire experience at Jack's Firehouse was delightful, start to finish. They served delicious local beers, we ate in the shadow of the penitentiary, and when the meal came, well, while it was very different from Texas barbecue, it was certainly delicious in its own right. I found myself trying to analyze exactly what they'd done to achieve those flavors. We became instant fans of Jack's.

  • Visited June 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank whois23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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