Pick Two at Cooperage, Make One the Short Rib Sandwich
Last April, Cooperage opened inside the Curtis Center. I had never been inside the impressive Curtis Center before, but choosing the wrong entrance allowed me to look around. The Cooperage has a disjointed, cowboy decor that at the very least, gives your eyes different things to focus on, whether it be the disco mirror wall panels or the wood chandeliers. For lunch, sandwiches, soups, and salads are on the agenda with a pick 2 option for $10. Whenever given the choice of sticking to one thing, or picking the combo- I am going to go for the combo. All of the lunch menu was available for the pick two except the burger and the crabcake, since a half version of those would look pretty weird. I had to look no further than the first sandwich listed on my clipboard menu- short ribs!
The braised short rib sandwich came with mushrooms and a blue cheese mornay on a ciabatta bun. The meat was tender, with soft softer pieces and some crispier parts, which I like. It reminded me of brisket. The cheese sauce made it pretty rich, so the halfie version was perfect. The mushrooms also had a rich, red wine braised flavor.
Tomato basil soup made up my other half, and I have no complaints, it was neither thin nor very creamy and went nicely with the sandwich.
The Citrus and Spinach salad is another nice half choice to accompany the short rib sandwich. This salad is pretty ambitious with blood oranges, grapefruit, meyer lemon, jicama, spiced pistachios, and a smoked citrus rosemary vinaigrette that fell a little short of the oomph we expected it to deliver. Other than that, with all the extras it is a good alternative to your average or even boring side salad.
Coop’s Caesar salad, here with the chicken club, was served in a chunk, rather than chopped, which didn’t have any real benefits except adding an extra step. The different colored cherry tomatoes were a nice touch, someone in the kitchen must appreciate color.
One last point to mention, the service was really scatter- brained. The place had a decent crowd, given that so many people do take out for lunch rather than sit down these days. I am sure the location helps. But there were many free tables, so the fact that we had to wait to be seated was strange. What was worse is that our meals were served before our silverware, and even then I had to get up to get my own spoon for my tomato soup. Luckily, I was won over by the short ribs, and my feelings regarding good service during a casual lunch are much less critical than at dinner time.
THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)
- Really great short rib sandwich
- Good amount of food and a decent price for a sit down lunch experience
- Both the salads and the bathrooms are pretty
THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)
- Not so great service
Cooperage, 601 Walnut St, (Corner of 7th and Sansom) 215 226-2667