I like the P.O.P.E.
Everybody likes the P.O.P.E.
Not that aging Catholic with the tricked out ride, but The Pub On Passyunk East -- that divey bar with a great jukebox and good time vibes on E. Passyunk Ave. in South Philly.
Even though some kind reader suggested I eat at this bar a few years ago, I just never imagined the food would be stellar at a bar with stained couches. Drinks at the P.O.P.E? Hells yeah! Food? Um...
When I got word of a new consulting chef and menu featuring a few hearty veggie items, and saw a glorious picture of one of those new items -- a house made veggie burger -- given a nod by a guy I trust, I rethought dining at the P.O.P.E.I went with the seitan cheese steak, which comes with either fries or house salad. I ordered the salad, but received fries, and just decided to go with the flow. The fries were a little well done and cold by the time I got them, but the spicy aioli covers many flaws.
The peppery, grilled seitan and onions and your choice of cheese was perfectly flavored and generous, but the firm, whole wheat bun (kinda dark in the bar, but it looked like whole wheat) ruined the sandwich. The bun wasn't stale. It wasn't rustic. And it wasn't dense. It just managed to seem like all of those things without actually being any of those things. Change the bread out to a classic white bread Philly hoagie roll, and all will be good with the seitan cheese steak. Hard to believe, but the above veggie burger made with a kasha patty, your choice of cheese, red onions, deep fried tomato slice, and basil mayo is the same as the one in the picture that wooed me into dining at the P.O.P.E. She's really let herself go!
My partner ordered this burger (with house salad, as well, but you can see that those are fries), and after one bite thought something was odd. I took a bite, and instantly declared that the burger tasted like plastic. He took another bite, and confirmed. Don't know what happened here -- rancid oil, old cheese, bad burger, off mayo -- because the boy wouldn't let me investigate further with my taste buds, nor would he investigate further, but something was very wrong. This burger went uneaten.
And, yet, I still like the P.O.P.E....for drinks!
The Pub On Passyunk East
1501 E. Passyunk Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19147
open for lunch at 11 am
full menu til 1 am
happy hour 4-6 pm