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At the Henry James Saloon: Try the Signature Sandwich

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Henry JamesPhiladelphia is a city of neighborhoods. And every neighborhood needs a good bar. And every good bar needs something to stand out from the pack.

The Henry James Saloon is one of those bars. Tucked away on a side street in Roxborough, the Henry James Saloon first appears to be nothing more than your average dive bar. And, initially, the inside also looks like the same way; a Phillies game is on the TV while locals discuss Roman Catholic High School football games from a few decades before.

However, the Henry James Saloon serves wonderfully great food. And, in a city where nouveau gastro-pubs regularly serve everything with aioli, it’s refreshing to see a place that has a proudly unpretentious menu.

The usual Philly bar food – cheesesteaks, burgers and the like – dot the menu. But a few more complex concoctions – a Chicken Cesar Sandwich and a Chicken Florentine Sandwich – are worth your time.

But what demands your time even more is the Hank Jim, the best sandwich you’ve never heard of. It combines chicken fingers, pepperoni, sautéed spinach, roasted peppers and provolone cheese on a basic roll. Philly’s known for its specialty of unhealthy meats; the Hank Jim ranks up there with The Schmitter from McNally’s Tavern in Chestnut Hill or anything from favorites like Tony Luke’s or Chickie’s and Pete’s.

The Henry James Saloon takes its name from where it’s located – right off the corner of busy Henry Avenue and quiet Jamestown Street. And the Hank Jim is just a shortened from of both Henry and James. And, the sandwich came together from the imagination of Linda Falcione, who co-owns the joint with her husband, Dave.

Dave said there was nothing fancy too it. Linda was in the kitchen one day and threw those ingredients together. She served it to a few different people and the Henry James Saloon soon had its own signature sandwich.

For foodies who like to discover the latest fancy Gourmet Magazine macro gastronomical experiment, please stay away. But for those of you who love hitting up the most out-of-the-way, little known food destinations and discovering hidden gems, then the trip to Roxborough is more than worth it.

The Henry James Saloon is located at 677 Jamestown Street in Roxborough. To get there from Center City, take 76 West to the exit for Lincoln Drive. Stay to the right and follow signs for Ridge Ave. West. Go up Ridge Ave. for approximately two miles and make a right at Jamestown Street, located right next to Roxborough Memorial Hospital. The Henry James Saloon is located at the top of the block.