You know what I'm craving? A little perspective. That's it. I'd like some fresh, clear, well seasoned perspective. Can you suggest a good wine to go with that? --Ratatouille (Pixar, 2007)

Monday, April 15, 2013

It All WORK'd Out!--Kraftwork Bar, Fishtown

Last weekend I decided to ditch the excitement and busyness of being a highschooler on a Saturday night go out to eat dinner with my parents in Philadelphia. Because my dad has an affection for pretending he's a bigger beer drinker than he is (16 oz and he conks out), we tried out a new "brewpub" that's been all over the local food blogs and message boards.

Occupying a small corner lot at 541 E. Girard Ave, "Kraftwork" does almost as much aesthetically as it can with the space it was given. The middle of the restaurant boasts a rectangular bar, gallantly displaying the 24 taps the restaurant prides itself in keeping moving at all times. Though not ideal for parties of more than a single person, sitting at the bar is certainly an option when the restaurant becomes even just a little bit crowded. Outfitted around modular pieces of art including a big hacksaw above the bar, Kraftwork's outer ring of tables are sadly a bit small and require groups to be squeezed in, nearly shoulder-to-shoulder. It's clear that the restaurant's self proclaimed "neighborhood" image was taken a little bit too far when someone envisioned having to eat directly with his or her neighbor.

Assuming you're not sitting next to a nutcase, the rest of your dinner at Kraftwork should turn out spectacularly! Because of its craft-brewy nature, a meal at Kraftwork starts with a look over the beer menu. As if it was made on an elaborate excel spreadsheet, the menu has nicely laid out columns explaining where each beer is from and what kind of beer it defines itself as. As my dad picked out the only one he knew, my mom and I picked out the ones with the best names. Not a beer savant myself, I can't advocate for whether or not Kraftwork holds its own with the best of brewpubs in the actual "brew."

Natty Light is (fortunately) missing from the menu.

The food, mostly classic American dishes, is well presented and honest. When I first saw dishes headed around the dining room I was stuck wondering whether or not they could truly taste as good as they looked. Little did I know that an hour later I would be slapping myself across the face for ever second-guessing Kraftwork. For dinner I got a burger (because I cheated and saw one of these huge, delicious burgers floating over to another table before ordering), my mom got the French Onion Short Rib sandwich, and my dad got the Wild Mushroom Baguette.

The Burger was absolutely spot on. From the gargantuan and juicy patty all the way to the toppings (there's a list of 4 cheeses and 5 toppings to choose from), I could not have been disappointed. Below is my burger: 
The Short Rib Sandwich was absolutely delicious as well. Crackly stiff but soft bread shielded the delicate and tender short rib on the inside of the sandwich.
Finally, I did not sample my father's wild mushroom baguette. A lone wolf in our culinary family, my father is a wimpy ol' vegetarian. What I can speculate on, however, is that large pile of fries you see on each and every plate. A statement against any joint that dignifies their fries with different sizes or the proverbial "side of fries" title, Kraftwork doesn't let any sandwich leave the kitchen without being half full of their delicious garlic and herb fries.
At the end of the day I left Kraftwork stuffed to the brim with food and smiling ear to ear. I saw others eating some of the dessert options, but couldn't hold myself to ordering and finishing anything after such a large meal.

At any rate, try to make a trip out to Fishtown. A solid choice for anyone who likes classic American food, Kraftwork is definitely one of the best I've been to recently.

Overall Star Ranking: 4.5/5

Also, it didn't hurt that the background music in the restaurant nearly matched up entirely with one of my Spotify playlists. :P