Craftsman Row Saloon
112 S 8th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Ideal for: Outing with friends
I have walked past Jeweler’s Row at least 100 times. It is near my brother’s house, it has great food (see Fat Salmon, Sweet Charlies, and Le Pain Quotidian) and it is on the way to my synagogue. But what many people don’t know is that there is a hidden jewel, and it has nothing to do with the fancy stores that sell engagement rings. Craftsman Row Saloon is a modern comfort food restaurant, and it is definitely a place everyone in the area should experience at least once. It is located between Samson and Chestnut street, right in the middle of Jeweler’s Row.
By now you should know that I am a huge fan of fried food, especially when said food includes cheese. Craftsman Row has plenty of that. We ordered mac and cheese for appetizers, as well as truffle fries with parmesan cheese and Doritos crusted mozzarella sticks. I loved the mozzarella sticks; they were tasty and gooey, just like any mozzarella stick should be, with the only difference that these ones had a kick of Doritos. That gave them an extra kick of flavor, more cheesy without becoming too cheesy – as if this was ever possible.
Sadly, the fries were disappointing, but I kept eating them anyways. I felt that they were lacking parmesan cheese and truffle oil. I have tried truffle fries before and devoured them without letting anyone get close to them, but this ones were just stam (in this case, this Hebrew slang stands for whatever) I could barely tell the difference between these fries and the ones that came with my entree. I can’t say they were bad because they weren’t, but I personally expected more after trying the delicious mozzarella sticks and the mac and cheese. The latter was very good, being everything I like when it comes to mac and cheese. It was just the right amount of pasta and enough cheese to make it gooey but not overwhelming. It had some panko on top to balance the four-cheese sauce. I recommend this as an entree instead of one of the heavier plates if you are not that hungry and looking for smaller plates.
For entree, I ordered its famous mozzarella stick grilled cheese. I been eyeing this plate since I saw it on its Instagram page. Like the ones for the appetizers, these mozzarella sticks were crusted with Doritos. I have to say that, although I was not surprised by the appetizer, the sandwich was to die for. It was a lot of flavor in each bite, the sticks were still crunchy and gooey. As you might know from previous posts, I am not too much of a fan of marinara sauce, but I was pleased with the one in this sandwich. See, although I have a very strong stomach and I can eat more cheese than any other human being ever, I consider that the marinara sauce is what made this specific sandwich what it is. Without it, the amount of cheese would have been too overwhelming and would not have allowed me to finish the sandwich. And folks, this will be one of those rare moments in life in which you will read that from me, as I do not believe in too much cheese.
I also believe that my ability to finish said sandwich had to do with the amazing, mouth-watering, one of a kind milkshake we got at the end of our meal. The Brotherly Love shake has Hershey’s chocolate, peanut butter, tasty cake and other delicious goodness that made for the perfect dessert. I know many people would order a milkshake to go with the food, but I got to say that this is actually more of a dessert rather than something to accompany your food with. Just see the amount of sugar it has!
The milkshake was definitely too sweet for my taste, and after a few sips, I was ready to chug some water and go for a long, long walk to at least try to burn some of the calories I just ingested. It was indeed delicious, and it made the perfect prompt for a cute Instagram picture, but a few sips of it was enough. I had half my sandwich left, so I alternated between the sweetness of the shake and the saltiness of the sandwich to avoid the overwhelming feeling I had before. This worked wonders, and I was able to finish my sandwich and 3/4 of the shake (that was shared between my friend and me.
Overall this restaurant was very good, but not something I could eat often. It is indeed the comfort food that everyone loves, and that will make all your friends be jealous once you show them all the pictures you took there.
Jewtina Tips: Share, share and share! Sharing the food here will assure you won’t get overwhelmed and that you would enjoy your food!