Finally! After 3 different failed attempts to get a table without an hour wait, we scored 2 seats at the bar as soon as we walked in. We’ve been trying to taste the famous Village Whiskey burger for months now. Well, we are happy to announce it was everything we were hoping it would be. In fact, everything we ordered was pretty damn good. What a relief!
Our very first Garces Group restaurant experience was at Tinto Wine Bar in Rittenhouse Square…disappointment. (You can read our review HERE.) While the thought crossed our minds that all the Jose Garces hype was maybe just that…hype, we ultimately figured this Iron Chef must be doing something right. After all, he’s got about 7 successful restaurants in Philly alone. So, instead, we have made it our mission to try all 7 before the end of the year!
O.K….Village Whiskey. It’s located in Rittenhouse Square which means you’ll probably have to deal with parking if you’re not from the city. There’s a small lot across the street, just prepare to pay. The small restaurant seems to always be crowded with a line out the door, so prepare to wait. We made it over on a Thursday night around 8pm and it wasn’t too bad, though still very busy. The Whiskey selection is obviously a big deal, but what has everyone talking are the burgers. Whiskey isn’t our thing so we ordered some glasses of wine and studied the menu.
- Zonin 2009 Montepulciano D’Abruzzo (tasted like we got the bottom of an old bottle…sent it back with no problems)
- Zestos 2010 Garnacha/Tempranillo – Light, fruity and slightly sweet
- Round Hill 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon – (a favorite) smooth, silky, oaky -perfect with our dinner
The simple, but unique menu is one page of snacks, raw bar, pickles, burgers and milkshakes. We started with one of the snack dishes…House Made Cheese Puffs. This little plate of warm cheesiness is $5. Loved! We then tried the Truffled Cauliflower pickled dish. Not bad, just really not our thing.
Burger time. For $12 we ordered the 8 oz Village Burger served on a sesame bun with house made thousand island, tomato and Boston bibb. You can add on other stuff for an extra charge. While we didn’t want to get too crazy so we could really taste the beef, we couldn’t help ourselves. Cheddar cheese, caramelized onions and a fried egg on top completed our masterpiece…
The burger was cooked perfectly, was so juicy and full of the right flavors.
We have to apologize for the lack of better pictures. We lost most of them during an iphone crisis. You’ll have to take our word for it though…this “pricey” burger is so worth it! We plan on returning soon so we can try the Whiskey King Burger, along with the Lobster Mac-N-Cheese and the East and West Coast oysters.
As usual, we finished up our meal with a chocolate dessert…cake and ice cream for $9. It’s the only dessert on the menu besides milk shakes. Perfect ending to our meal.
We definitely recommend trying Village Whiskey if you are ever in the Philadelphia area (or Atlantic City). Service was great…everyone was very friendly. While we were sitting at the bar and the place was busy, our food still came right out. We noticed people were having a good time and no one seemed in a hurry…even the staff…they didn’t rush anyone through their meal. There’s a nice, casual vibe, but it’s definitely no dive bar. Remember, you’re in Center City…dress to impress. You will spend some money, but not ridiculous amounts and it’s well worth it.