9413 Main St.
Manassas, VA 20110
CUISINE American, Bar/Pub Grub, Comfort Food
PRICE $$ ($13-$20)
HOURS Open for lunch, dinner and late-night dining daily; Sunday brunch.
NVM AWARDS None
NEARBY METRO None
By Warren Rojas
With the city’s name and Liberty Bell tattooed across their logo, there’s no questioning which team Philadelphia Tavern owner Mark Leporatti backs every week.
“We’re an Eagles bar,” he states unwaveringly.
Based on the decor, it appears management cherishes two things: ANYTHING Philadelphia (Eagles’ and Phillies’ memorabilia figure prominently). And emergency personnel (the bar is covered in a patchwork of firefighter, police and rescue services iron-ons).
Faithful patrons, meanwhile, seem to appreciate the cold drinks and stimulating conversation they apparently cannot find elsewhere.
One regular made no bones about camping out at the bar all day. “VFW wasn’t open yet,” he informed a buddy planted a few stools away.
Another bleeted, “See you for wings on Wednesday” as he stumbled out into the harsh light of early afternoon.
If the bar sets ’em up, the kitchen most surely knocks ’em down.
“You want all of ’em? It’s good that way,” the waitress suggests when I ask about the cheesing options—American, Swiss, provolone and Cheese Whiz, for the record—for their signature cheesesteaks.
The monster sub lines an imported Amoroso roll wit’ Whiz, chopped rib-eye steak, grilled onions, tender mushrooms, luscious tomato slices and crisp lettuce ribs, all blanketed by a triple threat of molten dairy (outrageously cheesy, but well worth the Herculean effort).
Beer-spiked chili is more beef and tomatoes than beans and fire. But a crown of sour cream, onions and cheddar goes a long way toward keeping you interested all the way to the bottom of the bowl.
Pre-game enticements include $2 Bloody Marys, Mimosas and Red Eyes (tomato-spiked beers) during brunch.(October 2008)
By Warren Rojas
For many restaurants, brunch provides an opportunity to play with dining expectations by trotting out savory snippets born to sate mid-morning cravings. At the Philly Tavern it means: even bigger cheesesteaks.
This home-away-from-home for City of Brotherly Love transplants keeps the seats filled by serving up over two dozen specialty cheesesteaks (all prepared on fresh Amoroso rolls) and signature tavern sandwiches, including classics like liverwurst and onions. On Sundays, they up the ante with assorted meat-egg-and-cheese offerings (yeah, they got pork roll) and: the Big Fella.
This breakfastified cheesesteak pads artfully grilled chopped steak and onions with made-to-order eggs (scrambled version weaves warm fluff into each bite; over-easy spills yolky goodness across the gullet) and your choice of cheese (veneer of bubbling provolone delivers a silky embrace; river of molten cheese whiz is an in-your-face delight).
If getting up before 1 p.m. on Sunday sounds like heresy, the signature South Philly Zep can vanquish hunger at any hour with a combination of grilled steak, vine-ripe tomato slices, a splash of oil and vinegar, bonus grilled salami and more melted provolone.
“I’m surprised when people get it because it’s so much meat,” manager Cathy Fennessy said of the beef-laden behemoth. “It’s insane.”