First Impressions: Bud & Marilyn’s (Plus A Video)

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Bud & Marilyn’s–the new/old very American grandpa-themed bar and restaurant from Marcie Turney and Val Safran–has a couple of week’s worth of services in the rearview now. They’ve been eventful weeks (with menu tinkering and all the normal opening-month jitters) and busy weeks (they’re doing a booming business already), and seeing as we’ve already dropped in on the place a couple times, I figured it might be time to round up some first impressions.

1. Every restaurant in the entire city should serve fried cheese curds as good as the fried cheese curds served at Bud & Marilyn’s. This should be easy, considering the cheese curds at Bud & Marilyn’s taste roughly the same as every cheese curd that has ever been fried anywhere. What’s special about them is simply that, in a city like Philly where fried cheese curds are not exactly ubiquitous, Bud & Marilyn has them. And they’re so good I kinda never want to stop eating them.

2. Happy hour here? Killer deal. They’ve got three or four of the best dishes on the entire menu (cheese curds included) on offer for reduced prices, in reduced sizes that are perfect for pairing with a couple cocktails at the end of a long day. Or the start of a long night.

3. The bar here is comfortable for reasons I don’t particularly understand. I mean, other than being a horizontal surface behind which stands a man in a button-up shirt who will trade me gin for money, it is not a lot different than a lot of other bars around town. But here, it’s the little things–the hooks under the bar for bags and jackets, the dimness of the lights, the spacing of the comfortable, high stools and the quickness of the bartenders when they see a fella badly in need of a couple ounces of Hendricks and some tonic water. Details like these matter, and the accumulation of them (plus a decent selection of liquors, an eponymous beer on tap and some interesting cocktails) make this the kind of bar I’d be perfectly happy killing an entire evening at.

4. Portions are LARGE. Don’t be a hero. Make time in your schedule after dinner for a nap.

5. That said, Bud & Marilyn’s is not a cheap place. Happy hour is great, but once you’re looking at doing a full dinner, with apps and a couple drinks, this is not the kind of place you’re going to get out of without dropping around a hundred bucks for two people. So yeah, don’t let the meatloaf and chop suey on the menu fool you. This ain’t no roadside diner. But then, it doesn’t taste like you’re eating at a diner either.

6. Hey, you know what? Bud & Marilyn’s has its own trailer. Which is…weird, right? A trailer for a restaurant? But check it out and see what you think.

Bud & Marilyn’s [f8b8z]