My corner of Philadelphia has several notable characters and many character-full restaurants. While we are packed to the gills with good eats, one restaurant consistently stands out: the Varga Bar on Spruce and 10th.
The menu is upscale bar food classics. Appetizers run the gamut from Duck Wings in a pomegranate barbeque sauce to fried Brussel sprouts to truffled Mac and Cheese (all delicious). Dinner entrees are reasonably priced, with sandwiches and burgers ranging from $10 to $15, and non-sandwiches varying from $17-$25. Tonight was an old stand-by night for me - Veggie Burger with salad.
The other food order this evening was the crabcake sandwich.
Varga Bar also serves up creative alcoholic beverages named for the summer months (ie Miss July). Being a July baby, I went all out for the Miss July - strawberry lemonade spiked with vodka - while my man gamely ordered Miss May - a mango margarita.
So, to recap:
Varga Bar has fun food, excellent prices, and some fabulous fruity drinks, as well as a respectable beer and wine list. My totally arbitrary star rating, on a scale of one to five, is as follows:
Food: *** 1/2
Creative bar food, fresh ingredients, occasional proportion errors
Fruity and flavorfully fabulous
Ambiance: *** 1/2
Pin-up girls abound, as do 50s era drawings, but the windows open up and the restaurant spills over onto the sidewalk, making the whole scene fairly irresistible.
Friendly, laid-back, slightly overworked hipsters bring the food fairly quickly, although things like silverware and ketchup needed to be begged from the hostess.