Devil's Alley Bar and Grill 1907 Chestnut Street (215) 751-0707
With high, industrial-style ceilings, walls of exposed brick and concrete and a name to make any customer feel a little bit badass, Devil's Alley's primary role as a late-night hot spot proved pretty obvious. We arrived around 12:30 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon, a bit skeptical of the restaurant's brunch-making capabilities, only to be pleasantly surprised by the obviously multitalented staff. With a short but sweet brunch menu placed before us, the traditional American-style breakfast choices and very reasonable prices left us hungrier than we were upon our arrival. Traditional platters such as blueberry pancakes and eggs benedict looked classically good, while others such as the smoked salmon scramble or the smoked andouille and shrimp hash delighted the more adventurous of our palates. Feeling a bit hungrier than usual, I ordered the "Pupu Platter," a dish consisting of a corn flour pancake, a slice of French toast, two eggs and bacon, all for the friendly price of $12 - the most expensive thing on the brunch menu. Not only was my brunch choice extremely fun to order, it was even more fun to eat. The portion size was perfect, setting the dish apart from the oversized platters at your everyday American diner. The scrambled eggs were neither overcooked nor undercooked and required little if any salt and pepper. The French toast was a delight (though the amount of maple syrup offered left me repeatedly asking for more) and I was in meat-lovers heaven with the generous portion of bacon present on my plate. The one thing that proved disappointing was the corn pancake. It's unfortunate proximity to my syrup-drenched French toast left the already-sweet cake much too sugary for my liking. The attempt at ingenuity in the realm of breakfast classics was a good try, but not one hundred percent successful as a complement to the rest of my meal. My dining companions enjoyed a range of choices, from chicken and goat cheese omelets to a melty breakfast sandwich with egg, sausage, peppers and cheddar. Everyone was able to clean their plates. Licking the buttery goodness off of our fingers, we put our forks down completely satisfied. We were tempted to try the creative midday cocktails (from "Mommy's OJ" to the "Apple Zinger"), and though we opted out in the end, we all commented on the appropriateness of the drinks for a brunch setting. For the classic breakfast lover out there, Devil's Alley knows how to do it right. Not many fruit-and-granola type options here, so if you're on a health kick, hit up the place at night instead. And be sure to check out the hell-inspired lower level. Sure, it's just restrooms down there, but I was scared to death at one o'clock in the afternoon making my way down the rickety stairs. Regardless, if this is the way they eat in hell, I may have to rethink my plans for the afterlife.