I wanted a really good burger at lunchtime today and I work two blocks from a great burger place, so over to Monk's Café I headed.
Yup. I said Monk's. Not only do they have the best selection of Belgian beers and ales this side of Belgium, but the also make some of the best burgers in Philadelphia.
So I ordered a St. Bernardus Wit and an Abbott burger and settled in for an hour.
About 5 minutes later, I was talking beer and New Jersey taxes with Tom Peters, who owns Monk's with partner Fergus Carey. It was a great way to spend the rest of my lunch.
He only knows me as Chris, so he may be surprised that I was interviewing him for Another Delco Guy's much-anticipated and recently neglected series of food and drink articles, but what the heck. It was a great conversation and i don't think he would mind if I share. It turns out that Peters is a resident of Collingswood, just like Jersey Shore Jen, and also like Jen has frequented The Pourhouse, the PJ Whelihan's re-creation of Dockhopper's.
I noted that Another Delco Guy had also made a Pourhouse stop one recent child-free Saturday, but that I found that I favored the beer selection at The Blue Monkey in Merchantville. Peters had not yet hit the Monkey yet, but promised a trip would be in the offing this spring. As we chatted, the conversation wandered though his leardship in establishing Philadelphia as a beer town, the great work Matt Guyer and his BeerYard have done to open up the Main Line as a great beer locale, and the impending opening of Varga Bar at 10th and Spruce.
Peters has a very ecumenical approach to beer bars, noting that he thinks there is plenty of room for more good beer destinations and that he generally thinks that the more places that serve good beer the better things get for his place. Bartender Jodi, Peters and I got a chuckle talking about the beer goofs that customers sometimes make, coming to the bar and ordering Coors Light much to the mirth of the seasoned regulars.
As a point of disclosure, I will say that Peters bought my beer, but I remian objective. If he would like to buy me more beers, I will evaluate my objectivity at that time.