Much celebrated chef Jack McDavid hasn’t lost his Southern drawl or his overalls despite his more than 20 years in Philadelphia. His home-style cooking can be found at the Down Home Diner, his outpost in Reading Terminal, but his Firehouse (housed, yes, in a fire station, complete with fireman’s pole and imposing doors that open onto a sidewalk café) is about “haute country cuisine”: black-eyed pea and hog jowl soup, crawdads and macaroni with spicy tomato sauce, and buffalo with moonshine sauce.
I went to Jack's for Valentine's Day this week and had an amazing evening. We go to Jack's a lot and find the food to be delicious, authentic southern cuisine. I was thrilled to try a coursed menu from them and found it to be a terrific deal!
We ordered different items to try more things on the menu and were pleased with absolutely everything! Our server was knowledgable about everything on the menu, including the items that were specials. Like the lobster with the Louisiana style etouffee, which was amazing and served over wild rice. She told us that the desserts were all homemade and that the cakes were a heart for the holiday. It was a nice touch and a delicious end to the evening. I still can't believe that we had such a beautiful, and very filling! meal and that it was only 40$ a person.
We also had a bottle of red wine with dinner. The woman who did our wine service chatted for a bit with us. Everyone there is smiling and friendly, it's not like places where they rush through your communications. They are all friendly and attentive, various people filling your water when they see it's low. Our server was friendly and attentive and really made us feel special despite having quiet a few other tables. The owner came around and checked on our meal, so nice to see that kind of care. We asked about the firehouse and he was thrilled to tell us about it and offered to give us a tour of the upstairs. We saw that the place was busy but will definitely inquire next time we are there! Everyone seems to want to make sure you really enjoy your visit. Refreshing.
We left absolutely stuffed and looking forward to our next visit. Posted by Constance: Feb. February 16th, 2012 at 11:55 PM
Several Mice crawling at our feet while dining. When we complained to manager, he apolized and asked if it "affected our meal in any way?" Cant imagine how many were in the kitchen!!!! Posted by thomas: Dec. December 29th, 2010 at 7:49 PM
After visiting Eastern State Penitentiary my wife and I ate dinner just across the street at Jack's Firehouse. I had ribs and my wife had crab cakes. The crab cakes were full of crab and had just the right amount of seasoning. I had the ribs for my main course and they were cooked perfectly and the serving was large enough to take some home. We had shared an appetizer of pulled pork. We were served homemade biscuits and jam while looking over the menu. We squeezed in some homemade deserts of cheese cake and butter cake, both were delicious. Our server was very friendly and knowledgeable of the food and wine selections. We have already recommended Jack's to several friends and we will probably return soon to try their weekend brunch Posted by Robert: Jul. July 2nd, 2010 at 12:05 PM
We had a reservation for Jackís Firehouse for Valentineís Day, I have been there a few times before, and enjoy their food and atmosphere. The restaurant is usually dimly lit, has high ceiling, and a rustic feel. So it seems as though Jackís Firehouse has acquired the offices next door that were previously owned by Eastern State. Someone in charge thought it was a bright idea to turn this spare room into extra seating. The room/previous office is a bright white, surrounded by bathroom style horrible brown tiles, and has a loud furnace in it. As you could probable have figured out, we were sat in this room on Valentineís day, as were a number of other couples (while their main seating area was not even full). I just canít fathom who at Jackís Firehouse thought this was a good ideaÖ especially on Valentineís Day? You could see that everyone sitting there was noticeable uncomfortable. After ordering (looking back on it we should have left before this point) we told the waiter to bring the food to-go, because it was a little embarrassing to be all dressed up and sitting in what looked like a bathroom. You could even see the people walking by on the street looking in, confused to who owned this weird bathroom style room. What sucks is that I liked Jackís Firehouse, but this move has ruined any chance of me ever going back. We ended up going next door Urban Saloon and drinking, Iíll be eating my Valentines Day to-go salad for dinner tonight! Thanks Urban for saving us! Posted by Victoria: Feb. February 15th, 2009 at 3:34 PM