- Neighborhood: Center City East
- 1318-20 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA
- Phone: 215-800-1079
- Website | Facebook
- Cuisine: German
- Price: $$
- Accepts Credit Cards: Yes
Teddy Sourias opened Brü last year at 1318-20 Chestnut. And now he’s working to open U-Bahn, a subterranean bar below Bru in the old Jeans West clothing store. The 3,300 square foot space will include two bars and a new kitchen. U-Bahn will offer local beers and food including cured meats, cheeses and specialty sandwiches.
The space will feature an open layout and 16-foot ceilings. Tables will be incorporate reclaimed wood from local barns and tables built from tree slabs. Classic arcade games will also be installed. A private area will offer audio/visual equipment and videoconferencing technology for business meetings.
This isn't the first rathskeller for Chestnut Street. Soula's Cafe and Rathskeller was located in the Betz Building at Broad and Chestnut in the early 20th century.
Boy, Midtown Village sure has changed in the eight years since it started throwing its annual Fall Fest. First of all, are we all really calling it Midtown Village now? Second, it had East Passyunk’s dining scene before East Passyunk did. Third, are we really calling it Midtown Village?
Anyway, the neighborhood’s fall fest has always been a fully legit event, regardless of the name, and this year may be even better. For one, Chestnut Street will be closed for the first time from 12th Street to Broad, and it’s being held on a Sunday – Oct. 6 – from noon to 7 p.m. Trivia tidbit: last year, 40,000 people showed up.
Adam Erace goes with the mixed meats and wurst platter at Brü Craft & Wurst for $48, and enjoys almost all the kitchen has to offer.
Like I nearly did under the onslaught of food. Gose in hand (tepid, with a sputtering fizz), the Drury Street breeze fanning me like a boxer’s cornerman, I prepared for the arrival of the hulking $48 mixed-meats-&-wursts platter, which [chef Matt] Buehler describes as “basically the whole menu.” The carnivore carnival sees a dam of pointy, crispy, skin-on fries, the juicy, edgy, whey-fermented kraut (whose secret accelerator I’m stealing for home) and potato-apple latkes constructed for a slew of proteins. There were sausages both housemade (fresh pork greened with marjoram and chive, liverwurst) and from seminal Fox Chase butcher Reiker’s (veal-and-pork weisswurst, a smoky Hungarian-style link), plus pork meatballs, falling-apart braised bacon blocks, curls of pink Westphalian ham and a slab of melting braised pork rib whose tangy glaze was inspired by, according to Buehler, Chinese sweet-and-sour sauce. Not hardcore like Brauhaus, indeed.
But don’t let Buehler’s self-deprecation fool you. This veteran of Striped Bass, Oceanaire, Kraftwork and Bar Ferdinand has sunk more care and energy into this menu that he probably needs to. Those French fries? Brü would be within its rights to use frozen. They don’t, and they’re some of the best in town. The lightly funky liverwurst, poached like a terrine, sliced and seared until dark and crunchy, brought to mind a more finessed scrapple, veined with ground bacon and pork liver.