Sunday, April 4, 2010

Memphis Taproom

Sunday April 4th 2010
Memphis Taproom, Memphis and Cumberland, Philadelphia, PA

My neighborhood, being closed in by Frankford Avenue to the west, York St to the south, Lehigh Ave to the north, and Aramingo Ave to the east, is an unidentified conglomeration of three real bordering neighborhoods. Fishtown, the hip somewhat pleasant tree lined area full of cafe’s and trendy bars. Kensington, the more run down industrial zone. And Port Richmond, a calm working class area along side the Delaware river. The central overlap of these three areas is where I am. An area with a split population, half of which most likely hasn’t ventured past this four street boundary. A cast of degenerate mutants with sagging guts, oversized clothing, local sports pride, and an uncontrollable desire to be loud no matter what the cost. Ugly undesirables with a looping root somewhere in their malnourished family tree. The other half being the displaced runoff of youth thinking they were moving to Fishtown. Put me in the second category. Normally I would argue, say I wasn’t one of those people, that there was more to it, but lets face it, I’m 25, white, and here I am BLOGGING about the BRUNCH I god. And if you have to pick one of those to be in, the later is most definitely the better in this case.

The Memphis Taproom is, for the neighborhood, an upscale bar and restaurant, catering specifically to part two of the population. They stock specialty beers, local beers, Belgian beers, all ranging from $4 to $65 a glass. That’s right there’s $65 dollar beers here. Who? How? Why? I don’t know. They serve pretty standard fancy bar food. Seen here is about the simplest thing you can get, the breakfast special; potatoes, scrambled eggs with cheese, and wheat toast (note: I ate about half of this before I remembered to take a picture). Thick cut potatoes, and probably at least three eggs with a generous portion of cheddar tossed in there, not bad at all. Kept me full for several hours afterwards, and with the addition of the two pints of Fleur De Lehigh, feeling quite good as well.

Our waiter was our friend Michael Barker, except it wasn’t, it wasn’t him at all, it was his toned down dolled up PG-13 doppelganger. So that was kind of strange.
Part one of the neighborhoods population could almost come in here. It’s not like they all only eat Kraft products. Some of them might enjoy the ‘Memphis Brefis Sandwich’ and extensive beer selection, but some of the options are definitely leagues away from the world they live in. The vegan blood sausage being number one among them. A loose definition of the word vegan could be: a strict vegetarian who consumes no animal food or dairy products. Making the words ‘blood’ and ‘sausage’ following the word ‘vegan’, nothing more than plain wrong. It just can’t exist. They are attempting to serve imaginary food. The worst part of all this being that real actual tangible blood sausage was nowhere on the menu. While I looked for it I noticed scrapple and pork roll cutely thrown into certain dishes, and then when I heard Michael Barker go into his practiced spiel about ‘what is scrapple?’ to an inquiring table, I knew they weren’t serious about serving it and it was only a gimmick on their part. Treating scrapple, a proud Philadelphia tradition, as a novelty, although I don’t care for it, is a shameful act.
Closing up, this is a great place to walk to with your friends and spend some extra money on some good beers and decent food, blah, blah, blah. My only advice is to be aware of what side you’ve joined upon doing so.

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