The American Sardine Bar
“Where are we going tonight?” Eric wanted to know because it was Friday. It had been a great winter and he was looking forward to another fun night. I read about this place via Facebook and its unusual name etched a picture in my brain – The American Sardine Bar. We like sardines, but sardine bar?
I googled the location and it meant returning to South Philly, deep into a neighborhood known as Point Breeze. In addition to reading about the bar I also read about the crime in Point Breeze but this tavern was too intriguing to pass up. Plus famous foodie Anthony Bourdain had visited recently according to my friend on Facebook.
The sign hanging above the front door on the corner was a gigantic 3-D sardine can with a lid curled back. Intriguing. The interior décor included dark red walls and curtains, giving it a vintage bar feel but with unusual menu items on the chalkboards. We didn’t come in expecting to eat buy Air Bear the tattooed bartender set us up with 4 different kinds of sardines, pickle eggs served in shot glasses on the house, and three sardine sliders for appetizers. We completed our impromtu feast with family-style bowls of macaroni and cheese, sauteed brussell sprouts and a pulled pork sandwich that we split three ways. Add to the food three craft beers and we were in gastro-pub heaven.
We never made it down the aisle to the famous jukebox, which has left a trail of impressed customers, especially for “Suicide’s self-titled ’77 debut album”. Next time. There were lots of police cars circling the block around the bar. Apparently Mayor Nutter’s call for cleaning up Point Breeze has been heard.
Feb 2013 –
1801 Federal St
Philadelphia, PA 19146