Sometimes we get cravings that we can’t fight. They usually comes spontaneously. That’s how it usually works with me and chicken fingers. I’ll be just going about my business and than it hits me. Chicken finger time. This seems to be my thing to eat when it’s late and I’m out on the town. Or in this case, city.
I had just finished up another half marathon, the Rock and Roll Philly Half. Andrew, Rob and I had been gallivanting the historic streets of Philadelphia all day. We had visited many places that most have read about in textbooks. We took our pictures and took in the city’s atmosphere.
But when all was said and done for the day, we had to figure something out for the night. But to me it didn’t matter. As long as I had my chicken fingers. So at around 9 o’clock we called for a cab. We were not in the mood to dish out more money for parking for the 20th time. Our cabbie Simo (shout out to Simo, big ups my man) got us to the city in a few minutes. We asked him about a good bar, he couldn’t give us a recommendation, but in the end we were left to fend for ourselves in the City of Cheese Steaks.
The first bar we hit was just not for us. No place to sit and filled to its brim with Eagles fans. Andrew, being a Dallas fan and Rob being a Giants fan just didn’t mix in with this crowd. We thought the possibility of chicken fingers was long gone. So we carried on to the streets. We wondered aimlessly for a little while and nothing seemed to be stirring. Perhaps it was the area or perhaps it was because it was a Sunday night.
But than we saw it. The beacon of hope. Monks café. We heard about this on a Twitter suggestion but we had no clue where it was. A small hole in the wall bar on 16th street. It was the “Soul of Belgium in the heart of Philadelphia.” This place had to have chicken fingers. And by God they did. The best chicken fingers I had ever eaten in my entire life. I couldn’t tell you what it was about them. Maybe a combination of everything. The seasoning, the perfect temperature they were cooked. It was a little piece of heaven fried up and served with a spicy dipping honey mustard sauce and peach BBQ sauce. These chicken fingers were beer battered and fried to perfection. Just the right amount of crisp on the outside. And they were greatly different from most bar chicken fingers. They didn’t have that dry feel to them. They were so juicy. I didn’t want the ecstasy to end. The fries satisfied as well. Fresh cut from local, organic potatoes, and prepped every day. Crispy, greasy, and served up with a bourbon mayonnaise. They both went well with a good brew.
For the Belgium beer lover this place is an excellent stop if you are in the area. Its not your typical bar that carries the typical more popular beers. They have a selection of beers such as De Ranke XX Bitter, Elysian White Owl Pumpkin Ale, Weyerbacher Romeo, Allagash White, La Rulles Estival, and many others. For the lightweight, try the Allagash. It’s light in color and only 5% alcohol so you should be able to handle it. For the enthusiast, give the De Runke XX a shot. It’s a bit bitter and hoppy, beer lover’s will appreciate it. So if you are in the mood to taste something new, hit up Monks Café.
264 S. 16th Street