More than eight years ago, Edward and I enjoyed a delicious dinner at For Pete’s Sake Pub. We tucked into hummus, Caesar salad, hanger steak and a rack of veal. I cannot remember whether a burger was listed on the bill of fare.
You may know that I am on a quest for a perfect burger. I have been disappointed on so many occasions. Frankly, I am weary of the fancy-schmancy burgers so many restaurants serve.
For Pete’s Sake Pub is exactly what a neighborhood pub should be. Located in Queen Village, it features a long mahogany bar; good lighting; flat-screen TVs to watch the Phillies win (I keep the faith); Alex, the congenial barkeep; happy hour specials; and music that ran the gamut from Otis Redding to Etta James.
Edward and I took the last two seats at the bar. The place was packed with happy revelers enjoying a pint and a nosh.
I ordered a pint of Allagash ($4) while Edward sipped his martini ($7.50). Both drinks were more than reasonably priced.
The menu is global: You can order a flatbread pizza, pierogi, quesadillas or edamame among other selections.
We began dinner with edamame ($6), which was large enough for three people. The soy beans were steamed in their pods, lightly salted and placed in a sauce of light soy and peppercorns. They were uncommonly good. The beans retained a bit of bite and I especially enjoyed the sauce because it was not over-the-top salty.
Grilled asparagus ($4) was an intriguing item to see on a pub menu. Then again, so was the edamame. Although I prefer thick asparagus, the pencil-thin vegetables were bathed in olive oil and set on the grill. The smoky flavor and aroma a grill gives to any ingredient is always welcoming.
We next traveled to Italy because I wanted to try the mushroom risotto ($6). I have eaten some truly poor versions of this classic Milanese dish. Arborio rice was cooked a bit more than toothsome, which is fine with me. Undercooked arborio rice is dreadful. It was bathed with stock, topped with heady woody sautéed mushrooms and finished with Parmesan. I would not call this classic risotto but it was darn good, if a bit salty.
Now on to my burger. I ordered it medium-rare with cheddar cheese. The beef was perfectly seared on the outside and red-pink inside. It was juicy and filled with flavor. Sometimes ground beef lacks salt and pepper, but this burger hit the mark. The cheddar melted beautifully, glistening on top. For the first time in recent memory, the bun was not bigger than the burger. Hand cut french fries were piping hot, free of grease and lightly salted. Lettuce, tomato and red onion came with the burger.
Edward wanted to sample the fish and chips ($13), a classic pub staple throughout the city. He asked Alex to recommend a beer to go with his platter.
“The fish is fried in a Guinness batter, so I recommend a Guinness,” he said.
Alex drew a pint from the tap when dinner arrived. Fresh pieces of meaty cod were dipped in the batter and flash-fried to a light golden brown. I thought the batter could have been crispier although it wasn’t heavy. I don’t care for heavy batter coatings on cod, a meaty firm-fleshed fish that held up nicely in this preparation. A pile of hot french fries and a tasty tartar sauce came with the platter. I dipped my fries into the sauce and enjoyed.
I made a point of sampling dishes we did not try on our first visit to For Pete’s Sake Pub years ago. Thank goodness the burger did not disappoint. I will continue my burger quest, but this one brought a smile to my face.
For Pete’s Sake Pub also is open for lunch and weekend brunch. Its moderately priced menu and good solid food are two reasons why the restaurant was packed on our visits.
Three-and-a-half tips of the toque to For Pete’s Sake Pub.
For Pete’s Sake Pub
900 S. Front St.