Recently Andy and I made a one-night trip to Philadelphia for a friends birthday. If you only have one night to eat in Philadelphia, where do you go? We needed something casual, inexpensive, and close to our hotel. So I called my sister in France to ask her. She did her undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania and loves Philadelphia so I knew she would have a good answer- Monk's Belgian Café and Beer Emporium. My sister loves the fries, and her husband thinks their burgers are the best he's ever had- so it seemed like an easy decision. It is quite a popular place. We went at 6 o'clock to grab dinner and there was already a 30-45 minute wait. But the wait was worth it, because I had the best mussels I have ever had:
You can't see the broth in this picture, but it was an amazing mixture of Hoegaarden, fumè, toasted spicy chile de arbol peppers, chervil & garlic that Monk's calls the "Red Light." It was heavenly and I certainly used the roll provided to mop up as much of the broth as possible. But, the broth didn't outshine the wonderful taste of the briny, succulent mussels.
Alongside my huge pot of mussels was a little basket of little fries with Monk's famous bourbon mayonnaise:
These fries were addicting, and you couldn't help grabbing a bunch between your fingertips and dunking them liberally into the bourbon mayo. And all of this delicious food was only $9.95- a pretty great price for a restaurant in the heart of Philadelphia.
One person in our party did order a burger- and between massive bites he made a couple comments about how good it was, but other than that, I can't confirm that they are the best burgers so I'll just have to trust my brother-in-law on that one- especially because if I ever make it back to Monk's, I'll be ordering this beautiful pot of mussels again!