Square Peg is a casual, new American bar/restaurant that took over Marathon Grill's spot at the corner of 10th and Walnut in Philadelphia. Under the direction of chef Matt Levin, formerly of Lacroix and then Adsum, and whom we thoroughly enjoy bantering with on Twitter, Square Peg has a different kind of menu that makes you go, hmm... this looks like fun!
The fried chicken tacos and cheesesteak pot pie were both a hit with Bradd. The latter was more like a bowl of creamy, hearty meat and cheese soup, with the "pie" part represented by a flaky crust sitting on top. Deconstructing two common dishes into this presentation made it fun and easy to pick off the non-mushy crust; scoop up the cheese, steak and veggies; and eat it in small bites.
I loved the mac n' cheese grilled cheese. Combining three of the greatest comfort foods on earth, it's literally mac n' cheese inside a grilled cheese sandwich, served with tomato soup for dipping. It was enough for me for a light dinner. Highly recommended.
Other dishes make use of unique ingredients like Fritos, Kool-Aid pickled watermelon, and bacon butter. Oh and there's breakfast all day (like bananas foster French toast). Almost all the food is under $20 a dish, with several starters like the grilled cheese around $9.
Sounds trite but I was thrilled that the waiter left a big glass bottle of ice water on the table — key for a perpetually thirsty girl on a warm night but a rare perk from restaurants. Cocktails were light and refreshing, though more exciting are the spiked milkshakes...
We returned to Square Peg recently on a Foodspotting Tour of TastyKake-inspired menu items and got to try the apple pie shake with Jim Bean, White Tail caramel Whiskey, apple tie Tastykake and apple vodka, topped with cinnamon and hunk of pie crust. The drink tasted true to its named but get ready for a strong sip of the Pucker vodka. I'm not sure I would enjoy this alongside a meal, but certainly as a dessert drink. Other spiked shakes include banana split, cherries jubilee and strawberry cream pie.
Square Peg's diner-inspired menu adds a fun twist to traditional dishes. It has a casual, welcoming atmosphere worth checking out. If you walk by and it looks packed, don't turn away because there is a large second floor with another bar that looks fun to hang out at for spiked milkshakes or just regular drinks.