7.5

When you walk into Fare, its hard not to be struck by the no frills elegance. The red, white and gray color scheme and modern industrial design aren't overt. The bar is happily populated with craft style wooden stools. When I walked in Bob Marley's “No Woman, No Cry” was playing and was followed up by a sexy salsa number. The cool, utilitarian, stylized-industrial character goes all the way to the table top pepper grinder, with it's push bottom operation and the very fact that each table is adorned with its own...

6.5

Some people love Stephen Starr because he’s a celebrity restaurateur who brings international experiences and cuisine to an audience ill-afforded the opportunity otherwise. Other people hate Stephen Starr because he’s a trend-hopping oompa loompa who bastardizes international experiences and cuisine to an audience ill-equipped to know better. For all the bickering on both sides of the butter battle, most...

4.5

Burger.org is the name of a business destined to fail. It's too kitchy and too evocative of countless early '90s start-ups that also failed. It has the most unGoogleable name of any restaurant in the city. Its name is tellingly based on the domain for nonprofit companies. It can't register its name as a domain because it's not a nonprofit. And its name wasn't Burger.org until after it spent the majority of its advertising budget calling itself "O Burger,"...

3.5

Sassafras is the inspirational seed upon which Village Whiskey was modeled. It's an old-school bar rocking original Philadelphia-famous tin ceilings, black and white tiled floor, defunct marble fireplace, and a handful of cozy tables. All this without a celebrity chef, gimmick decoration, or air on inauthenticity.

I'm a little ashamed to admit that,...

5.5

Now, I'll never say, "I never said I was smart," because that would be a lie. I say it all the time. All of my ideas are brilliant, each word I speak is poetic, and everything I does is meaning. All the live-long day I'm telling people I'm smart.

Thing is, that's a lie too. I'm a liar. I lie. That's kind of our thing, us liars.

Still, even now I don't know how I was able to convince myself that going to Alfa American Tavern was in any way a good idea. For ages I've walked by it...

6.5

Smokin' Betty's really sounded like a Southern style barbeque joint and I was excited to visit it. Suave and sophisticated Center City restaurants get boring sooner or later, particularly when you're there for a burger and the burger is so-so. In my mind Smokin' Betty's was an oasis in which I could happily drink beer, eat a burger without being viewed as the cheap guy, and get food on my face without it being a problem. In reality Smokin' Betty's is more like a trendy bar from a prime-time...

3.0

When City Tap House opened up, Laurence assured me that it was pretty cool. He mentioned the ample outdoor seating, to which I responded, “But it's in University City.” He told me of the impressive number of taps they offer, to which I responded, “But it's in University City.” He then said that their burger looked awesome and had a giant knife in it, to which I responded, “But it's... damn it, okay.”

Laurence was right about the outdoor seating: City Tap House has one of the largest...

7.0

The Corner is the kind of building you expect to find in Rajovic, Iceland circa before the country ran out of money. It's a sleek brick exterior with lovely tree-topped deck and modern variant on a rustic wooden interior. The restaurant is long and thin like any row house in the city, boasting a nice happy hour with half price appetizers and reasonably priced beers. Beer drinkers beware though, there are no taps down on the corner.

The Burger: The no frills cheeseburger uses aged...

5.5

Over the last two months, Kennett has repeatedly popped up on my radar. Between favorable reviews from Craig LaBan and some other bullshit I'll make up later [Whoops. - Ed.], my interest became officially peaked.

Walking into the bar after the last First Friday felt a bit like coming home to a place you've never been. Rich wood tones and music...

3.5

A meal inside Cuba Libre is anything but Cuban. It lacks poverty and sweltering humidity, replacing the former with expensive dishes and top shelf rum and the latter with chilled air and faux charming stucco. It's the Disney version of a Latin restaurant. To the establishment's credit they make a mean Mojito, actually 36 varieties of Mojito. That's right kids, there's no reason to go home sober if you don't want to. With drinks this delicious we dare you to have just one.

The Burger...