Recently my husband and I have decided to concentrate on NE Philly spots because they are close to our house right over the city line. Two places we have been to are Moonstruck in Fox Chase and the Grey Lodge Pub on Frankford Ave in what I think is Frankford. I do not have exact addresses on hand right now but could post them later. More importantly the chow:
Moonstruck was a bit over the top in terms of all the mirrors in the place, but it did have a nice bar and the food was excellent. We ordered two different salads, a tricolore with red peppers, zuchinni and lettuce tossed in a lemony vinaigrette. Excellent and not too much dressing, and a grilled calamari with balsamic vinegar and onions which my husband said was excellent. Before the salads, a complimentary polenta with white beans, garlic and herbs was placed on our table along with some good, crusty bread. I had the house sangiovese, which was tasty. Husband had a beer, maybe a Bass Ale?
For entrees we had maltagliatti with a roasted eggplant sauce and sea bass with potatoes and some other veg I cannot remember. The pasta was fresh, perfectly cooked and the sauce was different and a nice change. The sea bass, from my husband's report was simply prepared and delicious.
Followed up with a lemon tart and a sambuca to share the dinner came out to 100 dollars including tip and my husband had two beers and I had two glasses of wine. It was not necessarily a cheap dinner, but we have a one year old and get out more rarely now, so we were pleased. More than anything, I will say, the service was pleasant and helpful, the place was not too loud, and the food was top notch. There were a lot of families and a mix of younger and older people. All in all, I would go back for the right occassion.
The Grey Lodge Pub was a scruffier location and atmosphere, but equally as interesting and good for what we got. Had an excellent selction of beers on tap, including a Helles that was tasty. I am not a hophead, so I am less discriminating than my husband. I had a Yards Summer Pale Ale and it was fine for me, he was all over the beer list and all excited. However, the tomatoe pie at $4.75 was the highlight of the evening for me. A wafer thin crust with cheese on the bottom and sauce on top. I am not a local, so I have no idea how it fits into the hierarchy of tomatoe pies in terms of authenticity, but being a liker of thin crusts and not too much sauce, it was right up my alley. I think the whole evening cost 22 dollars, and while different than the night out at Moonstruck, just as good in a different way.
Will report back on other NE philly locations as I visit them. Any suggestions out there for things not to miss?