Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Day 4: Philadelphia - Standard Tap, Max Brenner, & Capogiro


901 North 2nd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19123
(215) 238-0630


I had done some research right when I had arrived in Philly of local dives, particularly of pubs and burger joints. One of the places I found through various sites was a gastro pub called Standard Tap. When I had mentioned it to my friend and her boyfriend they said they had never heard of it. According to some online resources, Standard Tap was a local hangout.. very popular. I was quite proud to help them discover a local favorite that even they didn't know about. A win for the Californian!


The first night we tried going it was a complete zoo. Wall to wall people and absolutely no place to sit. We ended up going to a different restaurant that night. Jackie and I came back on Monday night when it was a bit quieter. We had actually wanted to stop by this popular cupcake store called Brown Betty right before we went to eat dinner but was greeted by a sign. Not a friendly, "Welcome!" but a big fat:

We're closed.. so get out of our hair.

What's funny was that there were people inside working. They did a fabulous job ignoring us as we peered inside the store hoping they'd see our puppy dog eyes and give us a cupcake to make us go away. No such luck. Oh well. Off to dinner.

It was a bit early. There were maybe 1 or 2 tables in the entire place. Jackie and I actually liked it a lot. It was quiet and calm, unlike the other night. We could eat our dinner in peace and had no problem with it. As we looked at the chalkboard menu on the wall to decide what to eat, there was an employee about to chow down on a delicious looking burger. We asked what it was and the bartender had said that it was the rib eye burger. Yeah, I was getting that.

We ordered a couple of beers.. that I can't remember the name of (sorry!) and grabbed a table by the window.



Beer was good, but then again, I'm not much of a beer drinker so it could have been really bad for all I knew. Considering this place is so popular among the locals I'm sure it already has some credibility.


To try and capture this lovely atmosphere I asked Jackie to "naturally" look out the window while sipping her beer.

StandardTap_Jackie 2

I think she chugged down half of the glass as I tried to take some photos. Thanks for being a good sport!

Our food arrived and, man oh man, it looked... AWESOME.

Side of Sauteed Asparagus

Standard Tap Burger

StandardTap_Burger and Fries

StandardTap_Rib Eye Burger 2
Rib Eye Burger

Looked amazing and it was pretty delicious. One complaint: the rib eye was overdone. I had asked for it medium rare and it came pretty close to well done. It was a bit chewy, too. When I had looked at the rib eye the employee ate there was a lot more meat than what was on my burger. Bit of a downer... but it was still a yummy dinner. Fries were delicious and the asparagus was surprisingly delicious as well. Not as heavy as I was expecting it to be.

Overall, it was a cool dive. Lots of older people hang out there I think but it's pretty bumpin' on the weekends. That's usually a good indicator.


1500 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 344-8150


After the disappointment of Brown Betty being closed, Jackie and I were driving around thinking of other cupcake places we could try. As it turned out they were closed too. Bummer. I was all in the mood for cupcakes too. We ended up at Max Brenner. It was a place that I was looking into before but I hadn't made it a priority to try. It seemed like a shi shi fru fru kind of place and I wasn't sure if it'd be worth it. Seeing how we didn't have any other choice for dessert we made our way to the "Chocolate by the Bald Man".

MaxBrenner_Wall 2

We walked in and there was a section that sold chocolates to the right side. It makes sense.. a place known for chocolate selling chocolates. But what didn't make sense to me was a place known for Chocolates by a bald man to sell food. I had no idea it was an actual restaurant too. Seemed a little strange to me for a place to advertise so much of chocolate then to have an entire menu of entrees. But I guess they have to herd the people in somehow.


Chocolate EVERYWHERE. Even some of the wooden decor looked like bars of chocolate. Melted chocolate swirling around... jars of chocolate chips... bowls of chocolate chips...

MaxBrenner_Chocolates 2

I think I would have enjoyed this place more had I not had the Sipping Chocolate from the Naked Chocolate Cafe just a few hours prior. It was waaaay too intense. Seriously, who DRINKS straight up chocolate? Not me, that's for damn sure. I was about to throw up at the thought of melted chocolate.. and unfortunately I didn't realize this until after we sat down.

We looked through the menu and decided on the least chocolaty thing there:

MaxBrenner_Ice Cream Sandwich
Ice Cream Sandwich

It was made with their OMG Chocolate Chunk Cookies, Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream, and Marshmallow Fluff. There was some melted peanut butter to dip as well. FABULOUS. Even though I was sick of chocolate it was delicious. Perfect for the two of us to share.. but probably not for the waiter to serve a table buying one dish that was $10. He ignored us most of the time we were there even as we tried to stare him down so he could bring us some more water. I definitely would like to go back and try their other concoctions.


Midtown Village
119 South 13th Street
(Corner of 13th and Sansom)
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 351-0900


I think by this time the top button of my pants were ready to explode but if I didn't get this gelato that Jackie had been talking about ever since I arrived in Philly I was going to miss out. The next day we were planning on going to New York and the following day I was leaving. So even though both my stomachs (one for regular food and one for desserts) were full I had to have it.

After a few tastings I decided on the Lemon and Champagne Mango. I thought maybe if I had picked the fruit ones it would be better than the regular gelatos with tons of fat. It probably didn't make that much of a difference but you know what they say, ignorance is bliss.


I was so disgustingly full at this point I don't even think I enjoyed it as much as I could have. Plus, too much citrus ends up burning my tongue so after a few bites it was hard for me to eat. I probably should have gotten the fatty gelato. I keep saying I because Jackie didn't want any, that punk. She made me finish it by myself.. and by "made me" I mean she left me alone.

Another crazy marathon of eating. I was in a lot of pain... but it was soooo good. BRING IT! Bring the pain!


  1. That ice cream sandwich looks amazing. But seriously, I think I would throw up if I ate it! lol.

    It's just so mesmerizing to look at! :o)
    I love your pictures...just want to go in one.

  2. The food looks really great! There are many celebrities who has the same birthday as you. Don't believe me, all the proof can be found on celeb networth