Has National Mechanics Shaken Its Ghosts?
Philadelphia Weekly’s Brian McManus reviews National Mechanics, an Old City bar not catering to the fickle Old City crowds.
The interior retains the sacred vibe, albeit warped through blood-tinted goth specs. Cross-etched leaded glass church windows overlook cross-carved dark wood church pews that act as benches for the dinner tables they cozy up to. A few odd wood-carved Italian greyhounds hang from the walls, and the homemade bottle lighting fixtures are an inspired touch. Preserved beetles encased in glass hang by the unisex restrooms like a high school science project someone just canâ€™t let go of. The walls are the color of dried blood.
The food is straightforward. None of it surprises, but most of it delivers. Calamari is crispy and served, yep, with marinara. The fish and chips are divine (have you any idea how rare great fish and chips are in this city?), and at $7 a virtual steal. The crab cakes are tasty too, and donâ€™t fall victim to the ubiquitous curse of over-breading.
The corn dogs are corn dogs. The Caesar salad is Caesar salad. And the chocolate cake is a piquant and heady rush of sublime, seductive and satanic taste-rage concocted by beautiful, naked fallen angels. Actually itâ€™s just chocolate cake.