February 9, 2013
City Tap House, Philadelphia PA
Abbruzzo Pepperoni Pizza
Ten Spice Wings
Thanks to the snowstorm Nemo, our dance competition was cancelled at the last minute. Thus, our after party was also non-existent; instead, it just changed to a regular old hang out at City Tap House with the rest of the team. Everyone squished around tables, chatted, and had a fabulous start to the Year of the Snake. This was my first time eating at the gastropub and I have to say, the food was better than I expected with huge portions.
We ordered a couple of items to share and the first to arrive was the Abbruzzi Pepperoni Pizza. These are made in-house, with fresh dough and also freshly baked. The crust was thin yet still soft. I loved the cheese, sauce, pepperoni, and the sliced fresno peppers combination. The fresh mozzarella was really light and thus not overly greasy. The texture was very chewy, which I loved. The peppers really added a zing to the pizza that was totally unexpected and quite lovely.
Our Jambalaya Pizza was also very good, again with a kick from the fresno peppers. There was a decent amount of brie on this but I could have gone with more andouille sausage, fresno peppers, and chicken confit. The creole shrimp sauce was good. This was certainly an interesting pizza, though. It was so fresh that it was going to be good regardless of the amount of toppings and it was very flavourful nonetheless.
The Ten Spice Wings were surprisingly good. They were cooked perfectly, so moist and tender throughout. The spice rub was really flavourful as well that I could have eaten it without the house blue dressing. The dressing itself was creamy and flavourful, with a little tang. I loved the crunchy celery and carrot sticks with the dip, though, but some grease got on the vegetables. This was just a great appetizer to share with friends.
The Elise Mussels were such a huge portion that four of us ate to our hearts’ content and there was still enough to go around. The tomato broth was very flavourful but the garlic aroma was not strong enough. I definitely could have used a stronger herb flavour, too. However, the basil chiffonade, garlic, and plum tomato chunks in the broth were lovely. The general manager even brought out extra bread at our request to soak up all the remaining broth, the best part! The mussels were a little undercooked, though. A few of them were still closed and very briny, slightly raw on the inside.
The Pancho Mussels were very similar in flavour to the Elise Mussels. The broth was pretty much the same, except this one had poblano peppers and spicy chorizo sausage. We thought this would be spicy but there was barely any heat. The sausage slices were good, though, as was the broth. These portions are so huge that they will be a full meal if you do not mind eating just mussels!
Both the service and atmosphere were great – casual, friendly, and relaxing. The vibe was so alive even after midnight, one of the pros of a pub. I was just glad to find the food was quite decent and they do not just care about their alcohol. Overall, I would definitely come back for a fun night out with friends.