The Sidecar Bar & Grille
Taps: 12 / Bottles: 50
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 10 | Reviews: 5 | Display Reviews Only:
3.94/5 rDev -10%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | $$
The directions to get here were a bit weird (thank you, google), but it was completely worth the effort to stop by (for their North Coast Brewing tap take over during Philly Beer Week).
Sidecar is your rather typical Philly corner tavern/cafe, which really is no bad thing. I came in through the back door entrance (by the kitchen), and then walked left into the smallish dining room and bar area. I sat at the bar, where I'd guess there was something like 10 seats. On this particular day I believe they had 8 different beers on tap, including one cask (it appears this is fairly typical, though of course today everything was from North Coast). Selection was good of course, though I was very impressed to see that they had the Brother Thelonious on cask (had not seen that before and the beer was excellent in that format). They also have a decent selection of bottle beers (not all that big, but some good stuff - Rasputin XII on this particular day), though I was more than content this day with the beers on draft. Atmosphere is a bit stark; maybe the owner got a deal on the bluish green paint for the place, but a few more decorations might be nice. Service was impressive. The staff was quick, friendly and knowledgeable, and I was very impressed to see the owner (Adam) instructing the staff on the various beers before they went out to provide service. This is a man who clearly takes his job seriously, and as already noted, I was impressed (I saw him the next day over at their sister pub, Kraftwork, where the staff were sampling all the specail dishes on the menu that night so as to be sure they could provide accurate information to diners).
Didn't try the food, but what I saw looked good, and there were some interesting and innovative items on the menu.
Not sure how often I would stop by here, as there are just so many great places in Philly (most with larger and more impressive draft selections). However, if I happened to be in the neighbor, and wanted to go grab a quick bite and a beer, this is certainly a place I'd keep in mind.
06-09-2011 13:25:04 | More by John_M
5/5 rDev +14.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $
This is a classic neighborhood bar and if you're an out of towner in for a middle of the week business meeting looking to have a good, random week night, this is the place to go. Beer is always rotating but only 8 taps, not 20 and one beer engine. Burgers are some of the best in the city and their happy hour can NOT be beat: 3-7pm Every weekday with Bitter Monday, $1 off IPA's and APA's ALL DAY and a dollar off ALL DRAFTS ALL TUESDAY! Are you kidding - and these include food discounts as their pork carnita's are $2 each during the happy hour and their chicken fingers (house made mustard - booyah!) and pork or steak nachos are half off too. And before i forget they have a SECOND HAPPY HOUR EVERY WEEKDAY from 12 midnight to close for drinks and til 1:30am for food. Since I live close enough and Conan has rightfully been restored to the airwaves, after I'm done laughing with Andy and the gang I head down for a pork carnita and a night cap more often than not.
So for those keeping score, food is awesome and cheap, beer is good and constantly changing.
Atmosphere - the music is the bomb. On any given night you'll get classic Motown, old school rap, kicking rock 'n roll, and some serious soul and funk. The sound system doesn't mess around either. On the TV when the Phil's aren't playing it's usually 80's classics.
The bartenders are the nicest, coolest ones in the city who never keep you waiting.
This place gets a bad rap sometimes because it's small and overcrowded on the weekends with drunk hipsters. While this may be true, once you have a few good week nights and have been won over by the food, beer, and beverage slingers - you'll deal with it just fine.
Don't miss their High Gravity wednesday night events, half price pork every sunday, and the brunch!! Can you say crab and tomato omelette and a short stack of mouth watering french toast. MMmmhmmm!
12-07-2010 06:13:00 | More by biophiliadude
4.18/5 rDev -4.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Always have a good time here. Selection seems smaller than some but always solid, small but well thought out. The food is always good, and the staff is hugely accommodating and knowledgeable. The outdoor seating can be a bit tight, but I generally prefer to sit in at the bar anyway. They also run happy hour all afternoon and seem to have a different special every night. Definitely worth checking out. And with the kitchen open till 1:30 it works out as a great last stop if you forgot to get a bite to eat before you started drinking.
09-04-2010 17:12:23 | More by Cbfree
4.35/5 rDev -0.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
Sidecar is creeping into my pantheon of favorite bars in Philly. It's a bar that is low on hype-seekers and high on neighborhood types. Not to say the beer geeks don't haunt Sidecar - oh geeks abound - but overall it it presents a low-key affair, much more about it's spot within this gentrifying neighborhood than it's stature in Philly's ever-burgeoning beer scene. This despite the frequent beer-centric events and special draft selections (i.e. that dryhopped firkin of Sculpin I enjoyed this past Thursday).
Somehow SCB escapes the hype machine to some degree, which is HIGHLY welcome. Assuredly no matter when you visit, you will find a well-thought beer list that is sure to make your beer-nerd inside tingle with excitement. They seem to focus on NE and mid-west breweries as opposed to local-only offerings. In particular, Sidecar seems to attract low-hype, high-quality offerings that I believe many others neglect in the city (i.e. Two Brothers, Ithaca, Southern Tier, Dark Horse, et et). Food-wise, it's not a gastropub, but it does serve some tasty and even unexpected food (the Mahi Mahi tacos I had on Thursday were very well done - citric, tart, crisp, fresh and meaty)
No, it is a bar. Although it is clean and newish in it's interior, the decor is primarily to serve as a backdrop for your drinking pleasure. Sidecar's atmosphere is more interesting from the street (which says more about the corner than the bar), which is relevant because during the warmer months the outdoor seating is sought after, especially during brunch and happy hours. The custom metal-work shutters that cover the windows are an imposing work of art. They're intimidating when closed, but on second thought you need this sort of looming grit at 22nd and Christian when you operate into the wee hours. But when the shutters open, it is a friendly smile put on. And if you have the chance to enjoy beer and brunch on the sidewalk, take it. You will be served by competent, friendly individuals. Sidecar is doing a good job of nurturing craft beer in Philly, and an even better job of anchoring my neighborhood (amongst other individuals and business, part of a wide effort). How often can you say that about a bar? It is very much appreciated.
02-28-2010 15:29:55 | More by Philabeerphia
3.88/5 rDev -11.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Went here during a snow storm to try some Ballast Point rarities and to go to a new bar in the area.
The vibe is nice, not snobby or uppity, but also not divey and sucky, the sidecar has a nice balance. Pretty much your average city bar in appearance with a dark interior and a nice array of different colored lights, I thought I was on acid. I nice sized bar with tables to the side with a few TV's in case your bored to death with your date or party members.
I had no problem with the quality, the lines tasted very clean and the glassware was crystal clear. The bar was very dark but the place seemed very clean, the bathrooms were not too shabby either, no complaints. The service was good, I sat at the bar and had a great convo with the tender who knew his beer. It's always good to go to a place where the tender knows his or her shit. There is a very highly respected beer bar in SEPA where the servers don't know shit about the beer which pisses me off. The Sidecar staff is knowledgable, even the barback knew his shit, i'm impressed.
Edit- And not impressed at all with the table service on the 2nd go around, this guy was just a straight up dick. Snide comments don't go far with me, even if they are not directed towards me, like in this instance. Hey guy, leave your comments to yourself and just get me and my friends some Founder's wheatwine, (which was delicious by the way, i prefer this over nemesis any day). Out of line, elitist, out of date, condesending, WTF, rude words that left me scratching my head.
Selection was really nice. Not a lot of tap handles, i would say about nine or ten, but a good selection none the less. a hand pump as well pouring Dry Hopped Sculpin, yummmm. I came during a Ballast Point event so all the handles were dedicated to that San Diego brewery, but this place seems to have a good following and turn around. Did not see the bottle list but they seemed to have a few goodies stocked. The on deck list seemed nice too with some Van Twee in the bullpen.
The food menu while not overly extensive, will suit the need for your drinking pleasure. "The chicken was good, nice and spicy." (c)- Junior Soprano. I also had some fries and such, no complaints there. I overheard this place has a pretty killer brunch as well, I'm going to need to hit up the sidecar on a more regular basis from now on, if I can get a seat at the bar.
02-26-2010 09:27:15 | More by BARFLYB
The Sidecar Bar & Grille in Philadelphia, PA
94 out of 100 based on 10 ratings.