Monday, March 19, 2012

Percy Street Barbecue

Percy Street Barbecue
900 South St
Philadelphia, PA 19147

I've dined at Percy Street on two separate occasions and have been so excited to sit down and write a review ever since. While I consider myself a pretty tough, but very fair critic, I have to say that Percy Street ranks among one of my top dining experiences in Philadelphia.

Ambiance: 5 out of 5
Situated on Philadelphia's historic South Street, Percy Street has a relaxed, neighborhood vibe. Patrons are typically mid-20-30 somethings who are dressed fashionably and casually, and the din of convivial conversation is pleasant and constant as Percy Street usually has a full house. The dining room is an intersection of hip, modern, and upscale barbecue meets down home comfort in an unpretentious setting. The roll of paper towels at each table epitomizes the experience: casual, messy at times, but overall delicious to the point where you will want to dig in with your hands and napkins alone would be insufficient.

Barbecue Chicken: 5 out of 5
Wow and wow. This tremendously-conceived chicken is perfectly cooked; it was warm, moist, seasoned and teeming with flavor. The skin on the outside was crispy and flavorful and the meat on the inside fell off the bone in all of the right places. One of the things that I appreciated about chef Erin's O'Shea's execution is that the chicken was not dripping in sauce. What you get is a piece of cooked and seasoned meat wrapped in parchment paper. O'Shea clearly appreciates meat cooked correctly. Sauce, while extremely important, is secondary. When you order your meat of choice, your server will bring three types of sauce that you can try and use to your taste. This allows you to sauce your dish as much, or as little, as you would like. Genius! The sauces are: Sweet Thang (sweeter barbecue sauce), Old Faithful (standard barbecue sauce), and Hot Mess (hot sauce).

Ribs: No rating
While I did not try these, my friend said, "I would like to die eating these [ribs]," which attests to his delectation.

Cole Slaw: 4 out of 5
PS's cole slaw is a winner;  it was crisp, creamy, slightly sweet, and refreshing. I gave it a 4 out of 5 because it was classic done right without any element of outstanding.

Macaroni and Cheese: 4 out of 5
The macaroni and cheese arrived piping hot in a small terrine. A toasted shell of breadcrumbs sat atop the creamy macaroni magma. The white cheese tasted like a slightly sharp, salty, yet very creamy cheddar. It was delicious by itself and also with a little barbecue sauce.

Sweet Potato Casserole: 5 out of 5
For those looking for the ultimate comfort food, your search ends here. The sweet potato casserole is Percy Street's magnum opus. Whipped creamy sweet potatoes are baked inside a terrine with toasted marshmallows on top. The dish is creamy, sweet, rich like dessert, and sends a shot of seratonin through your brain when it hits your taste buds.

Alcoholic Beverages: No rating
There are many offerings for beer and whiskey.

Overall: 5 out of 5
I cannot wait to go back. Head over for some of the best Texas-style barbecue in a refined setting. Percy Street is a great place for a casual dinner or for a date. It is also suitable for large groups and parties (they appear to have a room off of the main dining room specifically for private events).