Thursday was bright and sunny - the calm before the storm. I wanted to spend the warm, pre-Spring day in Philadelphia before heading back to work and before all the snow (can you believe it? Snow on the first day of Spring?!) on Friday. I exited the Academy of Natural Sciences and boarded the el at the 15th Street station to head to 2nd Street (Old City) station. I wanted to go to Die Bier Stube, a German restaurant that sits above the 2nd Street (Old City) station.
However, once I entered the sunlight from the underground station, I walked over to the menu hanging up on one of the windows of Die Bier Stube to look at prices. I decided to go elsewhere since the prices were a little too high for lunch. I remembered a bar I went to at the end of January while I was on the hunt for Faygo; I went in on a whim because I wanted something to drink. I decided that I would try their food since I only had a shot the last time I was there. From the menu posted outside, it looked like Sto's Bar had a pretty good food selection.
When I walked inside of Sto's Bar, I didn't want to sit at the bar. I looked to the back and saw that in the center of the establishment, the tables were for four or more people. To the side there were high top tables for two and I grabbed one of those. As soon as I jumped up onto the chair, the waiter; who introduced himself as Mike, handed me a food menu and a drink menu. He let me get situated and I noticed the drink menu was only beer. When he came back I asked him about the shot I had last time because I couldn't remember the name, but I described it to him. Mike wasn't sure either; I ordered a Jack and Coke instead. He gave me extra time to look over the food menu.
While I pondered the fried pickles or the tacos, I decided to look at how Sto's was decorated. I really like the lighting of the bar - they reminded me of Christmas lights. It made an interesting lighting effect and added to the ambiance of the bar. I also liked the walls - where the TVs were hanging, the walls were brick and had chalk writing scribbled all over. The other walls were covered in paper (I assume).
Mike came back and took my order - I had decided on the fried pickles. After I placed my order, I introduced myself and told him I'm a blogger; explaining to him from time to time I travel blog about different places. He was interested and we chatted for a bit. I asked him when Sto's Bar opened because in the times I visited Old City before 2013, I had never seen that restaurant. Mike explained to me that Sto's opened on Memorial Day weekend in 2013. They're a relatively new restaurant in Philadelphia and you could tell by the atmosphere as I described above -- I don't mean that in a bad way, however. As mentioned, I loved the ambiance of the lighting, but Sto's also has a lively atmosphere with three TVs and music playing. The TVs are on mute, so classic rock plays over the shows. It was interesting watching Family Guy with Jimmy Page singing over Stewie's voice. However, you can still hold a decent conversation there. I really liked talking to Mike and I liked how attentive he was - Mike was a nice guy and cute too.
When Mike brought out my fried pickles, it came with a bourbon aioli sauce. The fried pickles were really hot, but the aioli complimented them. I liked the bourbon aioli better than the ranch that comes with the fried pickles at Texas Roadhouse. The fried pickles themselves were awesome - they were dill, but not too dill. The tartness made my lips pucker a bit, but not too much like overly dill pickles. They were just really hot. I ended up taking half of my fried pickles home because I wanted to run to the Dream Garden before it closed for the day. I should have stayed, though, at Sto's to finish the pickles because the Dream Garden at the Curtis Center was closed for renovations until Memorial Day weekend. Ah, well.
The next time I go back to Philadelphia, I will be sure to go back to Sto's Bar to try the rest of their menu. I would definitely recommend Sto's Bar, which is located on 236 Market Street, to anyone who is visiting Philadelphia. They are a friendly bunch of people, their drinks are reasonably priced, and the food is delicious. They're reasonably priced and fits most budgets. I'm glad I stumbled upon Sto's Bar in January and I think you should stumble upon it too if you're in the area. You can visit their site: Sto's Bar or call: 267-687-8653.
I had my fried pickles for lunch today and they re-heated well. The drink I also had (have it saved from an earlier blog post) was called Fluff & Stuff or something like that. It was rum, schnapps, and cranberry juice.