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Sunday, April 09, 2006

Bridgid's in Philadelphia, PA

One of Philadelphia's charms is its multitude of neighborhoods. In my humble opinion, the Fairmount/Art Museum area is one of the most livable neighborhoods in all of the Center City area. Without going off on too much of a tangent, I should just say that the neighborhood has so much going for it including: many restaurants and a few taverns but without being too commercial; a residential demographic covering various walks of life; very pleasing architecture; and charming streets to walk. All of this tucked just off of the Ben Franklin Parkway, the Schuylkill River and its recreation paths, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It is in amongst these streets that you will find Bridgid's. Their location helps provide exactly what you'd expect from a true neighborhood gathering spot. A small bar and an intimate dining room built into a rowhouse. When you enter from the street, you will find yourself immediately at a very small bar where you cannot help but get to know your fellow imbibers. The dining room is spread out over two floors. Once you are settled in to your personal spot, the fun begins. The food menu changes periodically and is posted on chalkboards throughout the restaurant. For beer, while the draft list does not usually number more than five, the bottle list is what impresses even more. With a heavy focus on Belgian beers, Bridgid's delivers what I believe other Belgian beer bars in Philly do not. When you go to Bridgid's, you feel as if you have just walked down the street to your friend's house for some of the best beer in the world. Obviously, I say this not to detract from the other first-rate Belgian spots in the city, only to differentiate them. Sometimes, I feel that folks get too caught up in the newest, the biggest, the best....when they need to remind themselves of places like Bridgid's that having been doing what they do....longer than most. On this most recent visit to Bridgid's, I was with my mother and chose not submit her too harshly to my beer geek ways. I just snapped a quick picture, had dinner with her, and made sure I put down a couple of tasty beverages. Be careful, though, the kegs turn over quickly here. While we were there, two were replaced with new victims. So, guess what I just had to do when the next candidate was put up on the board....the Brewer's Art Resurrection Ale ;-) Somehow, I feel like I am not really doing this review much justice. So, do yourself a favor. Next time you find yourself at the Art Museum, or the Eastern State Penitentiary (for a tour, of course!), a regatta on the river, or the Franklin Institute, make sure that you stop by Bridgid's for a dinner, some great beer, and a good time.

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