Friday, May 16, 2008

Existentialist Question: Okay Sandwiches Are No Better Than Inedible Ones?

I've had some significantly tasteless grub in the past, experiences that I have no wish to recall, but these culinary flights of disaster are a basis for understanding the good and bad that can come from the belly of the kitchen.

Considering that South Philly Tap Room has let me down once before, I still respect it as a fine drinking destination. With a new menu that has bumped up the vegetarian fare, I was intrigued by the veggie burger with guacamole. When I'm auditioning a VB, I'm not looking for a stand-in. I'm not your proto veg. If I wanted a real burger, we wouldn't be here right now.

It suffices to say, I do have needs.

A sandwich that is so-so, barely memorable, filler? In a foodie town, you have to do better.

The Burg at SPTR is akin to a black bean patty, with a bland dollop of guacamole that barely registers. It's not bad, but it's indifferent. The poutine was something I had to try, a ponderous pile of junk that I've had in Montreal (the traditional way-gravy & cheese curds on top of fries) and in NYC (a vegan version at Kate's Joint). SPTR's attempt with mushroom gravy did not even come close, but it was, again, okay. We managed to eat most of it.

There's also a vegetarian Frito Pie among the appetizers, that will most likely break my heart and not best my Frito Pie. If it did, I'd retire my recipe immediately.

Being okay is not enough.

South Philly Tap Room, 1509 Mifflin St., 215.271.7787,

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