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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Devil's Den | South Philadelphia

I remember almost two years ago I was planning on going to Grid! Alive one May evening (May 10, 2013 to be exact) and I was looking for a new place to have dinner. I was in my Latina Chick Lit class one day and decided to ask one of my classmates. I knew he was from Philadelphia and I decided to ask him for a restaurant opinion. That was really my first time talking to Louis - he suggested Devil's Den.

On May 10, I arrived at Devil's Den at around 3:30 pm and I was so happy to see absinthe on the drink menu. I remember ordering the absinthe and a Buffalo chicken sandwich. The bartender gave me the little water jug and sugar for the absinthe and I poured it over the absinthe spoon  with the cubed sugar (because that's what you're supposed to do). The sandwich was really good. The guy bartender at the time was also really nice and I met a really nice patron that evening. He was older and we talked for a good 30 minutes before I had to leave for Grid! Alive. I really liked my first time at Devil's Den.

I went again on June 15, 2013 with Louis. We had small finger foods because by that time it was around 9:30 or so. I remember the finger foods being really good and I had white sangria that night, which was also delicious. It was my first time having white sangria with peaches - I usually drink red sangria - and although the white wasn't as sweet as the red, I really liked it.

Yesterday I decided to have lunch at Devil's Den because it had been a year and a half (okay, 21 months to be exact) since I've gone there. I wanted to get some pictures of the place and try some other foods because last year when I tried to write a review, I had limited experiences. I really had liked the two other times I've gone and I wanted to go back.

After finishing a commintment in Center City (15th Street), I walked to City Hall and went down a flight of stairs to take the Broad Street Line to Ellsworth-Federal Station. Devil's Den is located on 1148 S. 11th Street, which is 11th and Ellsworth Sts. It was only a 10 minute ride, then another 10 minute walk.

I arrived at about noon and at that time I was the only patron. I chatted with the bartender, who introduced herself as Sam. She was really friendly and nice. I ordered an absinthe, but it was made wrong. I didn't get the little water container or sugar. I told her it involves sugar and water, but she made it almost like an Old Fashioned. She mixed the water and sugar together inside of the absinthe instead of with the spoon. That's alright - it still tasted good.

I ordered the Falafel sandwich and that was tasty, though a bit spicy. I like Middle Eastern foods and I thought it was made better than some of the Falafel sandwiches I've had in different Middle Eastern restaurants. I ordered the French fries instead of the salad and the French fries were hand cut. I love fresh food and I was so happy that the French fries were fresh. They were cooked perfectly and spiced to perfection.

By the time I was ready to go, more people were coming in for lunch (closer to 1 pm). Devil's Den has a really homely atmosphere and it's very welcoming. They also have a fireplace and logs stacked - I love the scent of fresh wood and the smokiness when a fireplace is burning. There was a slight scent of that and I just loved it. Yesterday was also chilly; Devil's Den was comfortably warm.

The next time you visit Philadelphia, I'd recommend going to Devil's Den. I've never had a bad experience there - the food is awesome, the staff is friendly and attentive, the atmosphere is warm and welcoming, and it's not too badly priced.

They can be reached by the following:

Website: Devil's Den
Twitter: @DevilsDenPhilly
Phone: 215-339-0855

Address: 1148 S. 11th Street | Philadelphia, PA 19147


  1. Hello Jessica! I'm almost off to sleep, but I thought I might like to check on how you have been doing.

    I've heard of Devil's Den but never visited.

    Let's talk about felafel. I have heard it is good, but the first time I tried it I couldn't stand it. Perhaps it depends on who makes it? I also essentially can't digest baklava, but I may just be trying to eat it wrong.

    South Philly, the website says... *tries to figure out where it is from the map* Oh, it's southeast of Haverford, the University of Pennsylvania and the Benjamin Franklin museum. Okay.

    I've been romancing an economics graduate student as of late, who invited me to Eastern Mediterranean University in Cyprus. "To study international relations with him." I sense this could get dangerous fast, even if he is this hot Turkish boy who agrees with me religiously.
    Honestly Jessica I have no idea what happened! It was just a stupid atheist friendship meme.
    But now it seems I am having international relations with Oğuz Eray this fall.
    ??? At least he makes me feel better - my parents treat me like I'm a waste of space these days, which is rather awkward.

    1. I really like Devil's Den and want to go back with Louis next time - just to catch up since it's been 7 months since I've seen him. Maybe you can come too. :)

      I think it depends on who makes it. Devil's Den's falafel was spicy, as is the Mediterranean restaurant in Devon. The one food truck that used to be open in front of WCU, their falafel wasn't spicy. However, their food made me sick. The restaurant my Arabic class and I went to in Manhattan, their falafel wasn't too spicy either. Maybe it depends on what part of the Middle East or Mediterranean the cook is from.

      Falafel is made from chick peas and fava beans. I know it's dry, especially since it's served on pita bread. I just make sure I have a lot of drinks handy because I need it. Besides falafel being deep fried, it sounds like it could be healthy if it wasn't fried.

      Be careful, but have fun. I think you'll enjoy Turkey. My cousin went last fall for a few days and the pictures she snapped looked amazing!

    2. Perhaps! I've been having doctor's appointments all over the place @_@

      I've been introducing my stomach to pita bread so that I won't have as many problems. (Regarding spice, I am rather fond of Hunan cuisine...)
      Or maybe it depends on what you're used to eating...

      Yes, I know. It's all my sister will eat.

      Thank you for the advice! I'm trying not to feel like I'm sticking my hand into an asp's nest... (Before Turkey it seems like I'm hitting Cyprus for international relations and other studies. But who knows! I'm just trying to make sure everyone around me's healthy and happy so I can pursue fun stuff later.)

    3. I'm not a big fan of spicy. I prefer mild. :) Pita bread is good and it's good for the stomach too.

      Just let me know. Good luck!

  2. I do recall the name "Devil's Den". :)

    1. It's a really friendly place, despite the name. ;)