Restaurant Review: Village Whiskey

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In my last post, I gave you a glimpse into the standard conversation that we have when trying to decide where to eat. You can see now why I much prefer to have a plan, and on Saturday, we had did: lunch at Village Whiskey, another one of the restaurant in the Garces empire.

The restaurant does not accept reservations, and when we’ve tried to go at night, we’ve encountered a wait time of one to three hours. If you know me, you know that I don’t like to wait, especially for food. When we arrived at around noon, we were seated right away.

The place has kind of a speakeasy vibe. It’s tiny with just a few leather booths down one side, the bar down the other, and a counter built into the wall at the back with a handful of seats. Now I understand why there’s a wait most of the time. I’m sure that it gets very loud and crowded in the evening too (I probably would hate it at night. I’m old, okay?)

The menu is comprised of classic bar food, including burgers, fries, snacks, sandwiches. And, of course, there’s whiskey—about 80 kinds—and old fashioned cocktails.

Since I had already kicked off my weekend by eating a ton of Mexican food, I had talked myself into getting a veggie burger or maybe even the cobb salad. But seriously, you don’t want to get a veggie burger when you come here. Save up all of your Weight Watchers points, or red meat chips or whatever you are counting and just get the real thing. I caved, of course, and it was worth it.

Chester and I both got the Village Burger. Now, the slightly annoying thing is that this burger just has the basics—lettuce, tomato, thousand island dressing—and you can add additional toppings (I had cheddar cheese and truffled mushrooms; Chester had cheddar, carmelized onions, and bacon) to make it special. This also results in adding another $8 to $10 to the price, and before you know it, you have a $20+ burger.

They reminded us of the burgers at JG Domestic—they came out of the kitchen perfectly medium rare and were juicy enough to make the bun fall apart. We also had the deviled eggs (which had a heavy mustard flavor, but were otherwise pretty standard) and the duck fat fries with cheddar dipping sauce. The fries were crunchier and not as gamey as JG Domestic’s version, but that could be because the cheddar sauce was so yummy that even if they were terrible we wouldn’t have noticed. Cheese sauce makes everything awesome, right?

I’ve heard people say that Village Whiskey has the best burgers in the city (they may also be the most expensive when all’s said and done). I don’t eat enough burgers to know if this is the case (and I sometimes have trouble remembering what I had for lunch yesterday, let alone all of the burgers I’ve ever eaten), but it was pretty darn good.

Chester, though, as I’ve said before is a burger connoisseur, and the Village Whiskey burger caused him to seriously think about the list that he complied just a few short months ago of his top Philadelphia burger experiences. If you’ve been using that as your burger bucket list, please note it’s been revised to: 1) Deuce (honorary number one, because it’s now closed), 2) Village Whiskey (so that’s the “for real” number one spot, since it’s actually open), 3) Adsum, 4) JG Domestic 5) Eulogy 6) Bobby’s Burger Palace 7) PYT.

Chester knows his burgers, so you can take his word for it. Village Whiskey is the best.

The end.

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