Loyal readers of the South Philly Review know that resident restaurant critic Phyllis Stein Novack is on a quest to find the perfect burger: "I have been disappointed on so many occasions. Frankly, I am weary of the fancy-schmancy burgers so many restaurants serve."
This mission brought her and dining companion/husband Edward to For Pete's Sake Pub (900 S. Front St.) for a return visit.
PSN was pleased with the international lean of the menu: "The menu is global: You can order a flatbread pizza, pierogi, quesadillas or edamame among other selections."
After drinks (an Allagash for PSN and a martini for Edward) were ordered from Alex, the congenial barkeep the duo started off with uncommonly good, not too salty edamame and intriguing for a pub menu olive oil-bathed asparagus and then traveled to Italy with a mushroom risotto. PSN has plenty to say about this Milanese classic: "Arborio rice was cooked a bit more than toothsome, which is fine with me. Undercooked arborio rice is dreadful. It was bathed with stock, topped with heady woody sautéed mushrooms and finished with Parmesan. I would not call this classic risotto but it was darn good, if a bit salty."
And then is was time for the burger. Ordered medium-rare and with cheddar, PSN's burger arrived cooked to temperature, seasoned correctly and topped with a beautifully melted, glistening slice of cheddar. "For the first time in recent memory, the bun was not bigger than the burger. Hand cut french fries were piping hot, free of grease and lightly salted. Lettuce, tomato and red onion came with the burger."
Edward's Guiness-battered fish and chips scored points for a not too heavy batter but could have been crisper according to PSN.
At the end of the day the burger at For Pete's Sake didn't disappoint but the search continues: "I will continue my burger quest, but this one brought a smile to my face."
Three-and-a-half tips of the toque for solid food and a moderately priced menu at For Pete's Sake Pub.
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