First Sip: Percy Street Barbecue
BY VICTOR FIORILLO
In case you missed it, there’s a new BBQ restaurant on South Street, from the folks who brought you Zahav, Marigold, and Xochitl. The team visited a disgusting amount of ’cue joints in Texas to get their meat right (a story expertly told here by food editor Ashley Primis, who accompanied the carnivorous lot on their research trip). But a man can only eat so much meat. He needs something to wash it all down. So I paid a visit to Percy Street to sample their drinks.
I was immediately put off by the short cocktail list, since, as I think I’ve stated a million times before, I don’t go for sweet drinks, and Percy’s list is full of things like sweet tea, lemonade, and cherry liqueur. My dining (really, drinking) companion, also apparently not a sweet fan, went straight for a gin martini, a little wet, with a twist. But I had a job to do, so one by one, I ordered damn near every cocktail on the menu. And the verdict? I liked them! Whoever was making the drinks understood the often crossed line between a touch of sweetness and alcoholic candy.
My favorite was the Half-N-Half ($9), Percy Street’s boozy twist on the Arnold Palmer, and I give them credit for mixing the sweet tea and tart lemonade (both homemade) with Philly’s own Bluecoat Gin, since most other bars would just throw in some vodka and call it a day. The sweet tea turns up again in the FM 423 (named for a road the Percy group got lost on in Texas; $9), which pairs the tea with peach juice and Tito’s Handmade Vodka. I also particularly enjoyed the Cherry Cola ($8), a combination of Jim Beam Rye, amaretto, cherry liqueur, and cola.
As I was too full for dessert (after pork belly, chicken, and brisket, you’d be too), someone please go in and try the Root Beer Float – made with Yards’s new nonalcoholic Root Beer, developed specifically for Percy Street – and let me know what you think.
South and Percy streets (between 9th and 10th), 215-625-8510; percystreet.com.