Toothsome Taverns: Ortlieb's Jazz Haus
Where Local Legends Keep it Legendary
BY AARON STELLA Northern Liberties‘ Ortlieb’s Jazz Haus is a proverb incarnate, which says, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” And perhaps an appropriate addition would be, “Or else you’re going to miss out.” Ortlieb’s is a legendary jazz bar well-settled and well-aged into the 3rd Street hill of NoLibs-where local legends come to jam. Jazz luminaries like Jimmy Oliver, Mickey Roker, Mike Boone and, one of my personal favorites, Sid Simmons ignite Ortlieb’s speak-easy environs aflame while cooling the mood with their virtuoso strains. Sundays from 8pm-12am are devoted to jam sessions with the Roger Prieto Quartet, and Tuesdays during the same hours it’s jammin’ with Ortlieb’s Hausband. You can also catch some unsung local talent during scattered open-mic nights throughout the week. Ortlieb’s happy hour, Tues-Fri 5-7pm, is one of the best in the city. A free order of wings with every pitcher of beer, $5 apps, $5 Stoli cosmos (biggun’s too), and $2.50 shots of Jameson, all day every day. And on Wednesdays, Ortlieb’s offers Snow Crab Legs at 10 smackers a pound. After the bar eatables, Ortlieb’s fashions its menu after the Cajun/Creole cuisine of New Orleans. Starters like Louisiana Crab Bisque, Blackened Catfish Fingers and the Smoked Andouille Quesadilla approach entrée sizes, while the actual entrees, like Orlieb’s Jambalaya, Oven Roasted Tilapia Filet Oscar are good for two, and even better to eat. Don’t let the humble trappings of Ortlieb’s Jazz Club fool you. Great food and great live music in the same location is a rarity you should never hesitate snatching up.
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.