Oktoberfest Specials at McGillin’s include Cheesy Beer Bread

How is it October already? While I am not excited about having to put pants on, fall food is something to warm my chilled bones. McGillin’s Old Ale House is serving up some Oktoberfest meal specials and I went to check it out.

Good Old McGillin’s. Oldest operating tavern in Philadelphia, Philly bar staple, brew their own beers, blahblahblah, you know all this- but let’s cut to the chase. How is the food?

One of the Oktoberfest meal specials is the quintessential German sausage plate. What could be more of a perfect hearty fall meal than sausage, potatoes, and cabbage? Two grilled sausages, a knockwurst and a bratwurst, are good, but more filling than outstanding. But the sides took on the role of bringing up the taste factor. I liked the lightly dressed German potato salad. I love when cabbage has been cooked to oblivion; McGillin’s must have been cooking their red cabbage since last October, it was was soft and tangy. As I fitting last touch, cheesy beer bread comes on the side. I love cheese, I love beer, I love bread, and lucky for me, I love them combined. All this for under $8.

On the regular menu, but also appropriate for these cooler days, is the shepherd’s pie. This is the absolute gut bomb lunch choice from a menu featuring mostly sandwiches and fried seafood. It is some sort of rule that shepherd’s pie is a safe bar food choice, and this rule was not disproved. Crusty tufts of mashed potatoes gracefully sat on top of a ground meat swamp, with a pool of dark gravy to moisten the mixture. Wait, that description doesn’t make you hungry? The concept of shepherd’s pie is just a little gross,  because there is just so much food and it mixes into an ugly blob, so- gross in a good way, really. I guess I am just mad at the pie because I could finish so little of it. Maybe I should be mad with myself. After all, while it wasn’t amazing, it had all the requisites for a decent shepherd’s pie, it was well seasoned, not too dry, not too wet, and HUGE. And only $6.99. It came with garlic bread, but I wanted more of that cheesy beer bread.

2 other points worth mentioning:

I am not sure if it is a lunch time thing, but the beers I had were insanely cheap. Both the McGillin’s 1860 IPA and the seasonal Jack’s Pumpkin Spice Ale were UNDER $4. Ridiculous.

Also remember that if you contact them during your birthday month, you can get a buy one entree get one free for lunch time!

McGillin’s really loves us and wants us to be happy. On a related note did Ben Franklin really say, “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy”? or is that just a cool myth?

THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)

  • This food was made to go with beer
  • which is perfect, because there is a huge beer selection and it is insanely cheap
  • Sometimes you are in the mood for that hearty, cheap, and not so gourmet food

THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • I don’t like eating in such darkened lighting
  • The opportunities for light, healthy eating are few
  • I like my food more refined

McGillin’s, 1310 Drury  St (btw Juniper and 13th St), 215 735-5562



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