Toothsome Taverns: Monk’s Cafe
Beer Bible Bonanza
BY AARON STELLA Rittenhouse residents patronize Monk’s Café for two reasons: their tour de monde of brews containing more than 250 beers, and their mussels, which are arguably the best and most affordable in the city. The beer menu is hardly your standard order wash of local and imported; it’s a phalanx of curios, obscure as they’re beautiful, and refined and they’re diverse. Such that Monk’s appropriately titles their beer list, “The Beer Bible.” You could probably dream up some beer with random attributes and find it or something scarily similar to it at Monk’s. And the quaint cafe treats imbibing beer with same care that the brew masters took concocting them. All beer’s are served in precisely shaped glasses or are decantered for maximum flavor and breathing effect. Now for the food. After the braised veal cheeks, country terrine, a smattering of burger stacks and the seitan cheese steak, there are the mussels. All boast of rich herbaceous vigor—chervil, an uncommon herb, is in Monk’s Flemish-styled and Red light Mussels—with infusions of choice beers and varying consistencies in the broth, all of which are preceded by two copious rolls so nothing goes to waste. Broth recipes include Ghent (Saison Dupont, fum, parsley, caramelized leeks, bacon, bleu cheese & garlic), Provence (fume, celery, olives, bell peppers, mushrooms, leeks, garlic, parsley and cream), and Monks (Cantillon, gueze, fum, garlic and parsley). Monk’s Belgian pub interior is usually packed on the weekends, and experiences high volumes during the week. But all in manageable droves. So drop on by and partake in the sensation Philadelphians know and love. Beer and Mussels. You can’t go wrong.
Aaron Stella is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Philly Broadcaster. After graduating Temple University with a degree in Literature, Aaron has written for several publications in the city, including the Philly Gay News, Phawker, City Paper and AOL’s City’s Best. While a writer by trade, Aaron has devoted his talents toward developing the careers of writers and artists in the city in hopes that one day Philadelphia is regarded not just as an arts mecca, but as a city of artists with business acumen who can compete in the new economic landscape.