The Belgian Cafe
Ratings: 26 | Reviews: 19 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Sammy:
3.72/5 rDev -7.9%
Great bottle selection, decent tap selection. Service was OK, a bit aggressive around peak hours. We could not order beer fast enough for them. Staff knew something basic about the beers. Decent location. Inside is kind of dark, outside tables nice.More or less an average place to go for beer in today's market.
08-07-2013 18:21:05 | More by Sammy
More User Reviews:
4.25/5 rDev +5.2%
With a two hour Amtrak layover in Philly, I was quite pleased to find this lovely little Belgian-style beer bar about a mile from the train station. Pleased enough that when I had a second 90 minute layover on my return trip, I went again.
There is a fair number of tables outside, and plenty of seats inside. A long bar runs the length of the main room, behind which is a tremendous array of Belgian glasses. A second room goes off to the side with tables for seating.
I had two different bartenders, and both were knowledgable and pleasant, though not overly talkative. The Phillies game was playing both times on an HD TV in the corner.
The food is not Belgian, and tends towards high-end American bar food. The first trip I had the vegan Korean tacos which I found a little sub-par. The second trip I went with the Chimay Cheeseburger which was quite good. I definitely recommend going with burgers as opposed to the specialty items. The fries are quite tasty as well and are served with a chipotle mayonnaise.
Now the beer.
The tap list is modest (maybe 8 taps) and ranged from American to Belgian. While I was there they had St. Bernardus, Allagash, Victory, Monk's Café, and a few others on draft. A Lost Abbey draft night was a couple days away.
But the bottle list is where this café wins. An enormous list, they featured beers from US, Canada, Belgium, Holland, Scotland, Germany, Austria, among others. The list included several beers I had been wanting to try for years, including five different Russian River selections, and two of the beers from Abbey of Christ in the Desert.
The bar is certainly well worth visiting if you find yourself near the train station. I haven't spent a lot of time in Philly, so I can't say that it is necessarily worth trekking over for (my understanding is that Philly has many worthy beer spots), but if you did make the trip, you wouldn't leave disappointed.
04-04-2012 15:34:49 | More by rinhaak
3.65/5 rDev -9.7%
Nice spot in a residential area, inside and outside seating. Medium sized bar area that opens into a slightly larger dining room.
Beer selection was very good and some beers seemed to be a few dollars cheaper than monks. Beer was served in appropriate glassware and my server seemed to take care not to pour in the yeast from the bottle of cantillon that I had ordered.
We had lunch here with the wife getting a soup and salad and me getting some mussels. The "monk's" mussels were ok bordering on plain and some of them were very undercooked. My wife really liked her food. The menu here is very similar to monks.
The service was very good for such a casual place and our server was very attentive despite it getting busier and busier as lunch went on.
I would return if I was in the area.
07-09-2011 17:38:16 | More by bpfishback
The Belgian Cafe in Philadelphia, PA
90 out of 100 based on 26 ratings.