Smile Politely

Philo Tavern is hometown comfort

If you are looking for a cozy atmosphere to have a drink, chat with a friend and maybe grab a bite, Philo Tavern might be the place. Located at the corner of Washington and Harrison, in downtown Philo, the tavern is sincere in its hometown comfort. It’s nothing fancy, and it doesn’t pretend to be.

I stopped in with my 13 month old son, and my husband to give the tavern a try on fried chicken Thursday. The atmosphere is just what you might expect for a small town bar. Comfortable and clean, lots of light coming in from the large windows, a front and center wooden bar and stools, and several televisions showing the evening football games.

Every table was filled when we arrived, yet we only had to wait a couple of minutes to be seated. This is a place where you might like to wind down after a day at work, have a beer, or a glass of wine, relax with friends, and take in some of the game.

The waitstaff and patrons were all pleasant and friendly, and the service was good.  I have to admit that the food felt like somewhat of an afterthought. The fried chicken had really good flavor, but was a bit on the greasy side, and not as crispy as I would have liked. You have your choice of white meat, dark meat or a mixed plate. I ordered a mix with a baked sweet potato. The baked sweet potato was good, cooked well and served with brown sugar on the side. Dinner rolls and a trip to the salad bar comes with the meal. The salad bar was basic; a mix of lettuce, choices of ham, cheese, egg, potato salad, pasta salad, sunflower seeds, croutons and essential salad dressings. It was nothing fancy, but perfectly fine. The dinner rolls were warm and had a hint of sweetness, which I enjoyed.

My one true disappointment was the absence of any vegetables on the menu. The only green was the lettuce on the salad bar. My son would eat his weight in green beans on a good night and I was surprised when there was a dearth of vegetables on offer. In the end we ordered the stock chicken fingers and fries. The chicken fingers were okay, the fries were good. My son didn’t eat either one, but he is a picky 13 month old.

If you’re looking for a drink and a basic meal then the Philo Tavern is your place. Grab a deck of cards and go have drinks and a plate of fries (they are crispy and delicious.) I’m told the tavern has a prime rib special on Saturday nights, but I wasn’t able to check that out for myself. It might be worth a visit if you and your friends like prime rib, good beer and a table to play cards on.

Philo Tavern is located at 101W Washington, Philo, and open Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. 

All photos by Jessica Denhart. 

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