Funky southern fare stakes out a spot on South.

Sarah Tse
The phrase “southern comfort–inspired food” conjures images of paper bibs covered with finger–lickin’–good drippings, but the atmosphere of Strangelove’s is anything but unpolished. The brick walls, dark wood and extensive bar make for a warmly sophisticated restaurant. Strangelove’s displays a wide variety of whiskeys and offbeat craft beers that add an element of sophistication to the unavoidably messy feast heralded by the menu.

The two for $14 lunch special prompted our early afternoon visit but kept us from indulging fully in the alcoholic options. Strangelove’s doesn’t take reservations for groups fewer than six, so if you’re looking to avoid lines go before the happy hour rush (5–7 p.m.). However, the hustle and bustle of this sociable beer bar doesn’t happen until later in the evening.

Strangelove’s New Orleans–inspired menu puts thoughtful twists on southern classics as well as eats you’ve never heard of. The appetizers aren’t exactly “Sips & Nibbles” as the menu suggests but rather, colossal servings that hardly leave room for more. The O. Redenbachers ($5) combines brown butter, cojita cheese and chilis for a spicy, sweet snack. Another play on a classic is Strangelove’s duck and sausage gumbo ($10). The combination of tender, sweet duck with spicy sausage is another example of this restaurant’s ability to combine the unexpected. Still not convinced? It has fried green tomatoes with lump crabmeat ($11).

The shrimp po’boy ($14) has an extraordinary range of flavors and textures folded into a single sandwich. Buttermilk battered and fried shrimp, dill pickle remoulade, shredded lettuce and tomatoes are served atop toasted rolls imported from New Orleans. Strangelove’s takes its ingredients seriously. The seared chicken sandwich ($11) is another great option. Molasses–Dijon mayo, white cheddar and roasted red onion relish atop tender chicken and a fluffy bun make for intense sensory overload, but in the best way possible. Vegetarian and vegan options like Vegan Chorizo Tostadas ($13) are available, too.

If you still have room at this point, you are a complete and utter champion. Strangelove’s will reward you with some serious Southern sweets. A whoopie pie ($7) with pumpkin mousse and the Big Ass Brownie ($7) with cream cheese frosting and toasted coconut are only two of the sweets tempting you to unbutton your pants one notch further.

Philly is lucky to have Strangelove’s sophisticated take on Southern cuisine. It’s just so finger–lickin’ good.

Strangelove's

216 S 11th St.

@Strangelovesbar

(215) 873–0404

Don't Miss: Shrimp Po'Boy

Skip: Joe's Burger

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