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Guidebook for Philadelphia

Lowell

Guidebook for Philadelphia

Getting Around
Fast, reliable service, but few late-night trains.
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Berks
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Fast, reliable service, but few late-night trains.
Essentials
Nearest grocery/convenience store. Quite a large selection of essentials, and it's near the Berks El stop, but a little bit pricy. Take-out counter with excellent shawarma and falafel sandwiches in the back!
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Liberty Choice
1939 North Front Street
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Nearest grocery/convenience store. Quite a large selection of essentials, and it's near the Berks El stop, but a little bit pricy. Take-out counter with excellent shawarma and falafel sandwiches in the back!
A surprising variety of useful things here: ATM, milk, bread, deli meats (or sandwiches), cleaning supplies.
Tejada Grocery
2036 E York St
A surprising variety of useful things here: ATM, milk, bread, deli meats (or sandwiches), cleaning supplies.
Fancy-pants store with Philly foodstuffs so clever and cute you’ll want to buy as gifts, if you don't end up eating them before you get home.
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Riverwards Produce Market
2200 E Norris St
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Fancy-pants store with Philly foodstuffs so clever and cute you’ll want to buy as gifts, if you don't end up eating them before you get home.
Drinks & Nightlife
a James Beard Award finalist with a huge selection of regional alcohol, including ciders, sour beers and natural wines. https://martha.menu
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Martha
2113 E York St
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a James Beard Award finalist with a huge selection of regional alcohol, including ciders, sour beers and natural wines. https://martha.menu
Fermentery Form doesn't technically BREW beer, but they do ferment an amazing variety of well-balanced sours, and on Saturdays they open their workspace and sell glasses and bottles. http://www.fermenteryform.com/
Fermentery Form
1700 N Palethorp St
Fermentery Form doesn't technically BREW beer, but they do ferment an amazing variety of well-balanced sours, and on Saturdays they open their workspace and sell glasses and bottles. http://www.fermenteryform.com/
PBC makes tasty beer in an 1885 brewery, complete with a lovely “Peacock Room” and beer garden. They only distribute regionally, so if you’re from outside Philly, drink now. http://philadelphiabrewing.com
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Philadelphia Brewing Co
2440 Frankford Avenue
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PBC makes tasty beer in an 1885 brewery, complete with a lovely “Peacock Room” and beer garden. They only distribute regionally, so if you’re from outside Philly, drink now. http://philadelphiabrewing.com
I hate that they're owned by Anheuser-Busch. I also hate that their chic new beer garden beside the Fillmore makes that whole complex feel even more like an adult Disneyland. But I have to say, their sours aren't bad. https://www.gooseisland.com/
Goose Island Brewhouse
1002 Canal St
I hate that they're owned by Anheuser-Busch. I also hate that their chic new beer garden beside the Fillmore makes that whole complex feel even more like an adult Disneyland. But I have to say, their sours aren't bad. https://www.gooseisland.com/
Whiskey is delicious, and New Liberty makes a bunch of it. Tours and tastings. Try the Kinsey Bourbon. https://newlibertydistillery.com/
New Liberty Distillery
1431 N Cadwallader St
Whiskey is delicious, and New Liberty makes a bunch of it. Tours and tastings. Try the Kinsey Bourbon. https://newlibertydistillery.com/
Exceptional small batch whiskey, rum and birch beer, open for tours and tastings on certain weekends and by appointment. http://www.redbrickcraftdistillery.com/
Red Brick Craft Distillery
2628 Martha St
Exceptional small batch whiskey, rum and birch beer, open for tours and tastings on certain weekends and by appointment. http://www.redbrickcraftdistillery.com/
More music. http://www.thefillmorephilly.com/
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The Fillmore Philadelphia
29 E Allen St
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More music. http://www.thefillmorephilly.com/
Music. https://www.johnnybrendas.com/
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Johnny Brenda's
1201 Frankford Avenue
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Music. https://www.johnnybrendas.com/
More music. https://www.kungfunecktie.com/
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Kung Fu Necktie
1248 North Front Street
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More music. https://www.kungfunecktie.com/
I'm a bit of a sour beer fan, and Memphis Tap always has something delicious. Their food is a bit hit-and-miss for me—it tends to skew greasy—but Chelle thinks the fries are great! http://memphistaproom.com/
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Memphis Taproom
2331 East Cumberland Street
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I'm a bit of a sour beer fan, and Memphis Tap always has something delicious. Their food is a bit hit-and-miss for me—it tends to skew greasy—but Chelle thinks the fries are great! http://memphistaproom.com/
The legendary Ardmore brewers, Tired Hands, graced Fishtown with their High Harvest Biergarten in 2018, and Fishtown graced them right back—that place is bumpin’! Open seasonally, Wednesday through Sunday. Credit card only. https://www.tiredhands.com/biergarten/
Tired Hands Biergarten
2213 Frankford Ave
The legendary Ardmore brewers, Tired Hands, graced Fishtown with their High Harvest Biergarten in 2018, and Fishtown graced them right back—that place is bumpin’! Open seasonally, Wednesday through Sunday. Credit card only. https://www.tiredhands.com/biergarten/
Parks & Nature
This is obviously not in Fishtown. Valley Green is a historic tavern on Forbidden Drive, a former carriage road that winds eight miles north into Chestnut Hill, and joins the Schuylkill River Trail the whole way to downtown, and beyond. A wonderful place for biking, hiking, having a drink, watching ducks or just feeling lost in the city.
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Valley Green Inn
Valley Green Road
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This is obviously not in Fishtown. Valley Green is a historic tavern on Forbidden Drive, a former carriage road that winds eight miles north into Chestnut Hill, and joins the Schuylkill River Trail the whole way to downtown, and beyond. A wonderful place for biking, hiking, having a drink, watching ducks or just feeling lost in the city.
John Bartram (1699-1777) was a third-generation Pennsylvania Quaker. He purchased 102 acres from Swedish settlers in 1728, and systematically began gathering the most varied collection of North American plants in the world. Today his legacy, expanded by his son and granddaughter, is preserved as a 45-acre National Historic Landmark. https://bartramsgarden.org
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Bartram's Garden
5400 Lindbergh Boulevard
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John Bartram (1699-1777) was a third-generation Pennsylvania Quaker. He purchased 102 acres from Swedish settlers in 1728, and systematically began gathering the most varied collection of North American plants in the world. Today his legacy, expanded by his son and granddaughter, is preserved as a 45-acre National Historic Landmark. https://bartramsgarden.org
Arts & Culture
Brand new as of 2018. I have not yet been, but apparently it's just excellent, with interactive exhibits. https://www.amrevmuseum.org/
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Museum of the American Revolution
101 S 3rd St
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Brand new as of 2018. I have not yet been, but apparently it's just excellent, with interactive exhibits. https://www.amrevmuseum.org/
Free University of Pennsylvania art museum. https://icaphila.org/
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Institute of Contemporary Art
118 South 36th Street
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Free University of Pennsylvania art museum. https://icaphila.org/
Okay, so this is a Quaker (Friends) meetinghouse. But it's also one of very few sky space installations by the seminal U.S. artist (and Quaker) James Turrell. For an experience that will be hard to explain when you get home... http://chestnuthillskyspace.org/
Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting
20 E Mermaid Ln
Okay, so this is a Quaker (Friends) meetinghouse. But it's also one of very few sky space installations by the seminal U.S. artist (and Quaker) James Turrell. For an experience that will be hard to explain when you get home... http://chestnuthillskyspace.org/
Museum-quality shows for free. https://centerforartinwood.org/
The Center For Art In Wood
141 N 3rd St
Museum-quality shows for free. https://centerforartinwood.org/
Things you never thought ceramics could do. https://www.theclaystudio.org/
The Clay Studio
139 North 2nd Street
Things you never thought ceramics could do. https://www.theclaystudio.org/
Entrancing, macabre and thoroughly original, the Mütter Museum displays anatomical specimens, models, and medical instruments in a 19th-century ’cabinet museum’ format. http://muttermuseum.org/
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The College of Physicians of Philadelphia
19 S 22nd St
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Entrancing, macabre and thoroughly original, the Mütter Museum displays anatomical specimens, models, and medical instruments in a 19th-century ’cabinet museum’ format. http://muttermuseum.org/
Formally, the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Alongside the troublesome creepiness of having long-dead Egyptians in display cases, the University has an exceptional new gallery devoted to American Indian cultures, stunning Middle Eastern statues you can stare at for hours, and new Africa Galleries and a Mexico & Central America Gallery on the way in the fall of 2019. https://www.penn.museum/
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Penn Museum
3260 South Street
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Formally, the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Alongside the troublesome creepiness of having long-dead Egyptians in display cases, the University has an exceptional new gallery devoted to American Indian cultures, stunning Middle Eastern statues you can stare at for hours, and new Africa Galleries and a Mexico & Central America Gallery on the way in the fall of 2019. https://www.penn.museum/
Shopping
Sarah does an amazing job curating quirky, designer, vintage things—clothes and more. It's not cheap, but it sure is beautiful.
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Two Percent To Glory
2031 Frankford Avenue
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Sarah does an amazing job curating quirky, designer, vintage things—clothes and more. It's not cheap, but it sure is beautiful.
Amalgam Comics and Coffeehouse has been featured in the New York Times and on the cover of Marvel’s “Invincible Iron Man #1.” http://www.amalgamphilly.com
Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse
2578 Frankford Ave
Amalgam Comics and Coffeehouse has been featured in the New York Times and on the cover of Marvel’s “Invincible Iron Man #1.” http://www.amalgamphilly.com
Hip vintage fashions more expensive than Circle Thrift down the block, but less expensive than your average Bachelor’s degree. Two floors. Frequent bag sales. https://urbanexchangeproject.com/
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Urban Exchange Project
2050 Frankford Ave
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Hip vintage fashions more expensive than Circle Thrift down the block, but less expensive than your average Bachelor’s degree. Two floors. Frequent bag sales. https://urbanexchangeproject.com/
Super cute baby boutique with well-made and carefully selected wares no one else will be bringing to the baby shower. https://minnowlane.com/
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Minnow Lane
2029 Frankford Ave
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Super cute baby boutique with well-made and carefully selected wares no one else will be bringing to the baby shower. https://minnowlane.com/
Discriminating design and uncompromising quality of materials set these handcrafted American jeans, shirts and boots apart. https://franklinandpoe.com/
Franklin & Poe
1817 Frankford Ave
Discriminating design and uncompromising quality of materials set these handcrafted American jeans, shirts and boots apart. https://franklinandpoe.com/
Vintage clothing, old-school vinyl, used furniture, antique glassware and weird metal things you didn't even know existed, all stuffed (relatively neatly) inside an old church. https://www.phillythunderbird.com/new-index/
Thunderbird Salvage
2441 Frankford Ave
Vintage clothing, old-school vinyl, used furniture, antique glassware and weird metal things you didn't even know existed, all stuffed (relatively neatly) inside an old church. https://www.phillythunderbird.com/new-index/
A lot of our vinyl comes from this tiny but tightly organized record shop. Bill has a section devoted to Philadelphia music. A wide variety of albums, in good condition.
Wild Mutation Records
2223 Frankford Ave
A lot of our vinyl comes from this tiny but tightly organized record shop. Bill has a section devoted to Philadelphia music. A wide variety of albums, in good condition.
Food Scene
Soup Kitchen is across from a vacant lot that could be mistaken for a corner park, one block down on Frankford. It's the best possible combination of coffee shop, bar and family diner. Informal and delicious. http://soupkitchencafe.com
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Soup Kitchen Cafe
2146 East Susquehanna Avenue
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Soup Kitchen is across from a vacant lot that could be mistaken for a corner park, one block down on Frankford. It's the best possible combination of coffee shop, bar and family diner. Informal and delicious. http://soupkitchencafe.com
Franny Lou’s Porch, an eclectic, relaxed coffee shop with good coffees and teas named after exemplary women. http://frannylousporch.org
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Franny Lou's Porch
2400 Coral Street
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Franny Lou’s Porch, an eclectic, relaxed coffee shop with good coffees and teas named after exemplary women. http://frannylousporch.org
The flagship restaurant of La Colombe is one of the rare places where you can drink alcohol, or coffee or a Draft Latte. While eating flaky pastries or a hot breakfast that would steal the show anywhere else. https://www.lacolombe.com/
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La Colombe Coffee Roasters
1335 Frankford Avenue
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The flagship restaurant of La Colombe is one of the rare places where you can drink alcohol, or coffee or a Draft Latte. While eating flaky pastries or a hot breakfast that would steal the show anywhere else. https://www.lacolombe.com/
If you want a transformative experience with a brownie or a cup of hot chocolate or a serving of gelato, go here. Chicago transplant Melanie Diamond-Manlusoc is ‘sort of a big deal in the restaurant community’ writes Philadephia Magazine. http://flowstatecoffeebar.com/
Flow State CoffeeBar
2413 Frankford Ave
If you want a transformative experience with a brownie or a cup of hot chocolate or a serving of gelato, go here. Chicago transplant Melanie Diamond-Manlusoc is ‘sort of a big deal in the restaurant community’ writes Philadephia Magazine. http://flowstatecoffeebar.com/
Aside from being named the country's best new hotel of 2017 by USA Today, Mulherin's does everything else right: pastries, pasta, meats, drinks, ambiance, service. Save $200: stay at Irene's; go to Mulherin's for brunch. http://wmmulherinssons.com/
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Wm. Mulherin's Sons
1355 N Front St
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Aside from being named the country's best new hotel of 2017 by USA Today, Mulherin's does everything else right: pastries, pasta, meats, drinks, ambiance, service. Save $200: stay at Irene's; go to Mulherin's for brunch. http://wmmulherinssons.com/
Stunning Middle Eastern food in a meticulously appointed space. If you're missing home—or wondering why anyone would eat pita—go here. https://surayaphilly.com/
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Suraya
1528 Frankford Ave
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Stunning Middle Eastern food in a meticulously appointed space. If you're missing home—or wondering why anyone would eat pita—go here. https://surayaphilly.com/
Inquirer food critic Craig LaBan nails it: ‘A 19th-century carriage house has been transformed into a moody Asian night market counter wrapped in a riot of colorful graffiti art, with adoring hipster patrons slurping vegan noodle bowls in their beanie caps, and an energetic, youthful vibe that’s tapped the edgy zeitgeist of Frankford Avenue’s recent revival.’ https://www.cheufishtown.com/
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Cheu Fishtown
1416 Frankford Ave
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Inquirer food critic Craig LaBan nails it: ‘A 19th-century carriage house has been transformed into a moody Asian night market counter wrapped in a riot of colorful graffiti art, with adoring hipster patrons slurping vegan noodle bowls in their beanie caps, and an energetic, youthful vibe that’s tapped the edgy zeitgeist of Frankford Avenue’s recent revival.’ https://www.cheufishtown.com/
Order food at the counter, then sit at the bar. At least that's what we do. The space is eclectic and charming. The meat is exquisite. https://fettesauphilly.com/
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Fette Sau
1208 Frankford Avenue
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Order food at the counter, then sit at the bar. At least that's what we do. The space is eclectic and charming. The meat is exquisite. https://fettesauphilly.com/
Little Baby’s Ice Cream serves flavors like sweet cream, cucumber and dill, chocolate pomegranate, pepperoni pizza, and dairy-free speculoos, whatever that is. http://www.littlebabysicecream.com
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Little Baby's Ice Cream - World Headquarters
2311 Frankford Avenue
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Little Baby’s Ice Cream serves flavors like sweet cream, cucumber and dill, chocolate pomegranate, pepperoni pizza, and dairy-free speculoos, whatever that is. http://www.littlebabysicecream.com
A large variety of great Vietnamese food at this anchor of a block-long Little Vietnam district on Kensington Avenue. Philadelphia Inquirer food critic Craig LaBan calls it his ‘favorite phở in Philly.’ https://thanglongphilly.com/
Thang Long Noodle Restaurant (Kensington)
2534-36 Kensington Ave
A large variety of great Vietnamese food at this anchor of a block-long Little Vietnam district on Kensington Avenue. Philadelphia Inquirer food critic Craig LaBan calls it his ‘favorite phở in Philly.’ https://thanglongphilly.com/
People love this place, so I put it in. It's hip. It's irreverent. It serves what passes for Mexican food on the East Coast. You can get drunk here. http://locopez.com/
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Loco Pez
2401 East Norris Street
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People love this place, so I put it in. It's hip. It's irreverent. It serves what passes for Mexican food on the East Coast. You can get drunk here. http://locopez.com/
In the home of Fishtown's late mainstay, Ida Mae's Bruncherie, comes a chic but homey brunch spot with the best chicken sandwich I've eaten in years. Good hash browns, good coffee—good grief what's this thing on the menu called "Dinosaur Egg" with a whole avocado? https://www.instagram.com/oebc_/
Over Easy Breakfast Club
2302 E Norris St
In the home of Fishtown's late mainstay, Ida Mae's Bruncherie, comes a chic but homey brunch spot with the best chicken sandwich I've eaten in years. Good hash browns, good coffee—good grief what's this thing on the menu called "Dinosaur Egg" with a whole avocado? https://www.instagram.com/oebc_/
How do they fit those huge portions on that tiny table? And how can something so big also be so delicious? Questions for the centuries... https://www.coffeehouseco.com/
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Coffee House Too
2514 East York Street
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How do they fit those huge portions on that tiny table? And how can something so big also be so delicious? Questions for the centuries... https://www.coffeehouseco.com/
The sign says "Since 2018," but this place definitely opened in 2019. It has the all wood, tile and industrial fixtures that signal "we have done our market research." On the one night I was there, the drinks were well made, the oysters looked amazing, and the burger was undercooked. https://aetherfishtown.com/
aether fishtown
1832 Frankford Ave
The sign says "Since 2018," but this place definitely opened in 2019. It has the all wood, tile and industrial fixtures that signal "we have done our market research." On the one night I was there, the drinks were well made, the oysters looked amazing, and the burger was undercooked. https://aetherfishtown.com/
Diners as a rule are cheesy. Diners built inside old warehouse buildings that are not diners are in danger of being fake and cheesy. Amazingly, this diner is just kind of pleasant. There used to be police mug shots of famous people on the wall. Now there is a big mural Gritty leering at your chipped beef. You can order salmon three different ways. There is a lunch counter. There is a display case with enormous heart-stopping cakes that aren’t as good as they look. There are large windows, and booths, and 24-hour service, and everything else you'd expect from a real diner. We like! https://fishtowndiner.com/
Fishtown Diner
2424 E York St
Diners as a rule are cheesy. Diners built inside old warehouse buildings that are not diners are in danger of being fake and cheesy. Amazingly, this diner is just kind of pleasant. There used to be police mug shots of famous people on the wall. Now there is a big mural Gritty leering at your chipped beef. You can order salmon three different ways. There is a lunch counter. There is a display case with enormous heart-stopping cakes that aren’t as good as they look. There are large windows, and booths, and 24-hour service, and everything else you'd expect from a real diner. We like! https://fishtowndiner.com/
We liked it, then we felt meh about it, then we had the best biscuits and gravy we can remember eating. https://cedarpointbarandkitchen.com/
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Cedar Point Bar & Kitchen
2370 East Norris Street
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We liked it, then we felt meh about it, then we had the best biscuits and gravy we can remember eating. https://cedarpointbarandkitchen.com/