tap that

it's proof that a place is special when you've been there countless times, and each visit renews your love tenfold. this is how i feel about the south philly taproom. yeah, the service might not always be at 100%, but i'm learning to chill out and slow down in my older age, and not get all annoyed when a server is sort of moseying around instead of hustling toward my table. the rest of sptr (or "spitter," as i sometimes call it) kicks so much ass that i can safely call it one of my favorite bars/restaurants in philadelphia.

the decor and layout of this joint are spot on. during the day with the windows open, the dining room is happy and breezy. at night, rustic vintage light fixtures keep the bar dim and cozy (but not too dark), good tunes float through the speakers (but not too loud), and you and whomever you're with can settle in for a real good time. the draft list consistently reads as a who's who of local craft beermakers with a few midwestern, west coast, and international brew dudes thrown in for good measure. i can always find something i'm stoked to sip on, and they have, like, a majillion bottles to choose from if you're not feeling draft-y.

the food menu is also simply stellar with clearly marked vegetarian options aplenty. vegans, fear not: the spitter has got you covered. there are some decent soups and salads, but their vegan hoagie - packed to the gills with savory tempeh, marinated mushrooms, lettuce, tomato and thinly sliced red onion - is not to be missed:

there is a wonderfully unconscionable amount of vegan mayo on this roll

sandwiches come with a side of thick cut fries, chopped salad, OR pasta salad. hooray for choices! to boot, $3 gets you a dish of bangin house made pickles and, according to the omnivores i know, they also prepare delicious meats. for brunch, the dairy-free inclined can rock a very interesting plate of mushroom studded tofu scramble that comes flanked with a watercress salad and hard-to-describe but FANtastic white rice dumplings.

it really does something for me when an establishment has different kinds of seating for different kinds of moods. the taproom offers lots of options: well worn stools at the long, curved bar, plenty of high top tables, intimate low round tables, and a big booth in the back by the windows, perfect for gathering with ten or so of your BFFs.

best seats in the house

south hicks & mifflin maybe used to seem like a random corner for a great lil pub, but the neighborhood has come a long way, and outside tables provide copious people and cute dog watching. they also frequently host cool events, including a well edited selection for the impending 2011 philly beer week (including a lagunitas "420" event on june 9th featuring stoner snacks - does it get any better?). sptr- what can i say but: i love you!