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Philly2Philly Hop Stops: Pub on Passyunk East, Lucky 13 Pub

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In South Philly, cannolis and good pizza are not hard to find, and neither is a good local brew. This week, the Hop Stops made a visit to two bars on the southern end of Passyunk Avenue.

Pub on Passyunk East, or POPEThe Pub on Passyunk East

1501 East Passyunk Avenue

(215) 755-5125

www.pubonpassyunkeast.com

When you step into the POPE, its hard to tell if everyone lives around the corner and have made this their favorite local spot, or if people - like myself - have journeyed through the city to check out their extensive beer list.

Either way, it was worth the visit and many more, seeing as this is probably one of the best, or better beer-bars in walking distance on Passyunk.

The pub is rather unobtrusive, with a dark recessed door and a carved wooden sign hanging above it. We stepped in early on a Friday night and the place was packed, with plenty of people sititng at the spacious bar, and just enough room against the wall to find a ledge to rest our beers, once we narrowed it down.

The beer list here is one of the best around with some 80 bottled beers scrawled out on a chalkboard above the bar, listed by type. Another chalkboard off to the side lists the 14 beers on tap that are ever changing. Cleverly, they also include a photo of the beer glass its served in.

On draft most recently, that list included Sly Fox O'Reilly Stout, PBC Kenzinger, Dogfish Head India Brown Ale, Sly Fox Phoenix Pale Ale, Arcadia Hop Rocket, Southampton Double White, Terrapin Hopsecutioner, Anderson Valley Stout, Dark Horse Raspberry Ale, Lagunitas Cappucino Stout, PBC Kilty Pleasure, Yards Philly Pale Ale, and Green Flash Hop Head Red.

Clearly, a good beer isn't hard to get, and neither was a table, although we had to wait about 20 minutes — not bad for a Friday night.

The restaurant part of the bar is spacious, with two huge wooden tables that seat six or more with benches, and plenty of two and four-top tables extending throughout the back.

Exposed brick arches and plenty of beer-themed decor give the bar a comfortable, neighborhood hang-out feel. And the menu gives plenty of reasons to stick around for a few more beers, even if you're vegan-friendly.

The Trinity appetizer offers crustini and flat bread, and small portions of an "eggplant caviar,", hummus and spinach artichoke dip for $8. A basket of nachos for just $4 is above the bag of Tostitos - these chips come hot out of the fryer with a homemade salsa.

 

Lucky 13 PubLucky 13 Pub

1820 South 13th Street

(215) 336-8467

www.lucky13pubphilly.com

Are you feeling lucky? How you feel may sway your perception of this fairly fresh neighborhood bar on the corner of 13th and Passyunk.

Much smaller and still less crowded than the POPE, Lucky 13, which opened in 2008, likely only appeals to the locals. No need to journey to this end of the city to find good beer, but if you're in the area, it could be worth a visit.

The bar is narrow with a few flat screens hanging above and more tables in the back. The walls are painted a pale, minty green and random toys and beer decor attempt to decorate the walls.

There's about 10 to 12 bar seats to chose from, plus two booths and a couple hi-top tables. Or, if you're lucky enough you can land the video game table that offers up Pacman and other classics.

The beers on draft make an OK attempt to entice you in, but pale in comparison to other competitors. Only six beers are offered on tap, and most recently included Bell's Two Hearted IPA, Oarsman Ale, Victory Prima Pils, PBC Kenzinger, Founders Porter, Summit Stout, and a cask-conditioned Yards ESA.

And if you have bad luck, or maybe bad decision making skills, you may be fooled into drinking a Leinenkugel or Dark Horse Raspberry Wheat, which were advertised right by the beer list.

Food offerings include interesting items like mac and cheese, crab cakes, Mexican wild shrimp and sausage and peppers (hey, it is South Philly after all), all for under $10 for the small plates.

And there are sandwiches like smoked trout on a baguette, chicken with fresh mozz and prosciutto, and a deconstructed meatball - slabs of mozzerella covered bread with a bowl of meatballs.

Get a buck off during happy hour, or $3 mimosas during brunch on the weekends from noon to 4 p.m.

Jessica Beym can be contacted at jessicabeym@gmail.com