November 11, 2011
Frankford Hall Gets Ready For Cooler Temps With A New Chef, A Delicious New Burger Menu, A Roaring Outdoor Fire Pit, Happy Hour, Ping Pong, Jenga And Lots Of Amazing Beers
How do you take one of the best new summertime bars in the city and improve upon it for the winter? Try bringing in a new head chef, adding some ridiculously delicious burgers to the menu, installing enough auxiliary heating to comfortably warm 200 outdoor seats, and making sure to keep the awesome happy hour deals flowing. Yep, try that — it will probably work.
Frankford Hall, Stephen Starr’s eminently enjoyable Fishtown beer garden, is getting ready to welcome the cooler fall weather with open arms.
Not only are there 18+ heat lamps outside, complemented by an awesome new fire pit, the ping pong tables are still in full effect, as are the perfect-for-groups card and table games like Jenga and Uno. Seriously, playing cards with friends, while having a few beers outside, while sitting around the fire?? That’s a rare and awesome find.
But the real coup: Starr has brought in Chef Jim Davidson to oversee a delicious new fall menu featuring six brand new, seriously impressive burgers.
Davidson, who got his start in the Starr Restaurant Organization at Barclay Prime, followed by a stint at Butcher & Singer and another at Granite Hill at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where he ran the entire catering program, has taken the reins at Frankford Hall, which had been flying head chef-less until now.
Some highlights from the new burger menu, all of which are served on Hudson Bakery soft buns with crispy French fries: there’s a turkey burger, a Colorado lamb burger, a tomato tartare vegetarian raw “burger,” a sustainable Atlantic salmon burger and three awesome dry-aged beef burgers made from custom LaFrieda blends. It’s the same blend that The Dandelion uses, a combo of 3/4-inch grind dry-aged meat, fine-ground Colorado lamb and medium-grind turkey, a mix of white and dark meat.
The Ultimate Poutine burger, what Chef Davidson calls “Death on a Plate,” is an open face dry-aged beef patty topped with fontina fries and foie gravy, a creative take on the traditional Montreal dish. The inspiration for including poutine on a German menu? “Why not? Blow ‘em away,” says the chef.
We have a lot more info below, including a photo of said Ultimate Poutine Burger, the details on Frankford’s excellent sausages, and when you can find Frankford’s happy hour.
Frankford Hall is still offering nine taps of excellent draft beer, featuring a mix of traditional German beers like Franziskaner Hefeweizen and Spaten Octoberfest, as well as a few craft options, including local Oktoberfests from Sly Fox and Stoudts.
Happy Hour hits every Tuesday through Friday, from 4-7 p.m., when you can pair any half liter of beer with any sausage for the ridiculous deal of $8. Other happy hour deals include $3 fries and $10 liter drafts.
And speaking of sausages, while the new burgers are destined to get plenty of attention, don’t forget about Frankford’s excellent selection of wursts. The Frankford Hall culinary team did an extensive tasting of sausages from a variety of purveyors, and ended up selecting Bucks County purveyor Illg’s Meats, a third-generation local sausage maker. All seven sausages on the menu are available at Illg’s, except the Spicy Bauernwurst which is made exclusively for Frankford Hall, specially blended with cayenne and chili peppers for an extra kick.
As Chef Davidson puts it, “Everything gets extensive thought and follow-through.” Even the price points are perfect (the most expensive dish on the menu is the $15 Jagerschnitzel, and the priciest burger is $12).
He’s used to that exacting approach to food, coming from big-time Boston steakhouses (think Grill 23). Davidson was born in Camden, and is glad to be back home after spending the bulk of his career up North. Testament to his hometown loyalty: he’s been an Eagles season ticketholder since age 6, and has only missed 13 games in 31 years.
And what he wants to bring to Frankford Hall? “Really, really kick-ass food.”
Plus, expert ping-pong playing. Frankford Hall’s G.M. claims the chef is “the world’s second best ping pong player.” Six foot+ Chef Davidson adds, “And cutest.”
The fall menu is included in full, below.
Frankford Hall Beer Garden
1210 Frankford Avenue