Monk's Cafe and Belgian Beer Emporium

A really fantastic restaurant and "Belgian beer emporium" in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the US of A. On the corner of 16th and Spruce, or right about there, anyway. Expensive, but worth it. Be sure to try their pomme frittes. All of their burgers are excellent too, and available as standard beef, chicken, tuna, garden burger or vegan burger. It's basically a pub atmosphere, rather dark, but usually not too smoky even right by the bar (there is a non-smoking area as well). About a 15 minute walk from Suburban Station.

The Flemish sour ale on tap is fantastic. A number of the beers are not available anywhere else in the US (including this one). Probably the most remarkable thing about a meal about Monk's is the incredible variety of beers available. Rather than a small section of the menu listing the various beers they have, there are two separate menus for beer-- one is akin to your standard wine list, a rundown of everything available and its price. The more interesting and unique list is the "Beer Bible".

The Beer Bible is a good 20 pages long (they have over 200 beers, after all!), and tries to capture the essence of each beer they have. It gives a good description of the different types of beer, terms used to classify beer, and the beermaking process. It's quite an education for the casual drinker, and even contains some tidbits the connoisseur may be unaware of.

The food is great too, of course; but perhaps not as interesting as the beer. Monk's serves several variations on mussels, the burgers already mentioned, fantastic pub fries, rabbit, and more. Food ranges from about $8-$20; beer ranges from $4-$75(!). Expect to spend $6-$8 on most beers; this is expensive, but many of them are 8 percent alcohol by volume, going to 12 percent and beyond. I highly recommend the Ardennes burger, with an order of the fries (pomme frittes), and starting out with the Flemish Sour Ale. Young's Double Chocolate Stout, though British, is a fantastic choice. A trip is never complete, though, without drinking a lambic( lambics are a fruity type of beer; they have Kriek, Boones, and Lindemans among others). They usually have a great variety of desserts (and dessert beers) available as well. Open from lunch until late at night (full menu until 1AM).

Monk's is my favorite place in Philly; it's worth the $30-$40 for a full meal there anytime.

Note: they won't let you in if you're underage.

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