By Samantha McGuire
I first stumbled upon the Silk City Diner in one of those free magazines they hand out on airplanes. As luck would have it, the highlight of this issue of Delta Sky was Philadelphia and its various trendy neighborhoods and hotspots.
I chose to make the trip to Silk City over other seemingly impressive Philly staples like Johnny Brenda’s and the Rocket Cat Café, and was not disappointed.
Admittedly, the trek to Silk City is a little daunting—but figuring out how to get there was the most challenging part. I didn’t want to deal with the stress and expense of driving and parking in the city, so my boyfriend and I decided to take the Septa R5, which leaves from West Campus.
Arriving cold and hungry at the restaurant, we were happy to be seated immediately and greeted with friendly service.
It must be said that the best thing about Silk City is undoubtedly the atmosphere. Offering much more than the average restaurant, Silk City is made up of three parts: diner, beer garden and lounge.
The original dining car, built in 1952, aglow with neon lighting and decorated with quirky art, has a vintage feel with a modern twist. This section of the restaurant is quite family friendly, serving up some classic favorites including homemade baked mac and cheese, meatloaf and a variety of sandwiches.
The beer garden, although closed for the winter months, seems like the perfect place to hang out on a summer night. Similar to the diner and lounge, although beer is the specialty, people of all ages are welcome to eat and enjoy the pleasantly lit, colorful courtyard.
The dining car was packed, so we chose to take a table in the lounge. Darkly lit with art on the walls, sporadic neon lights and a full bar, the lounge had the perfect atmosphere for a late dinner on Saturday night.
With a steady soundtrack of music from Jay-Z to Alt-J, the mood was perfectly laid-back. The lounge boasts an impressive list of foreign and American draft beers as well as Sangria and cocktails, so it’s probably best enjoyed after one’s 21st birthday. If you are underage, however, the lounge includes the full menu, with food that will more than satisfy you.
Being the kind of person who loves anything covered in molten cheese—-but really, who isn’t?—-we ordered the cheese fries for an appetizer. With homemade cheddar sauce and chipotle ketchup, they were a standard comfort food with a gourmet twist.
For our entrees, I ordered the Silk City prime Angus burger and my boyfriend ordered shepherd’s pie, the special of the night. My burger was satisfying, but a little bit dry—–good but not great.
On the other hand, the shepherd’s pie was delicious even by my boyfriend’s insanely high Australian standards.
For dessert, we shared the homemade pumpkin ice cream, which was so delicious that we polished it off even though we were way past full.
Even for a three-course meal like ours, the prices were reasonable enough for college students, which was further demonstrated by the hordes of young people present.
Although the food was good, I think it’s fair to say that food is not the only focal point of Silk City. With live entertainment including bands, DJ’s and comedians nearly every night, Silk City seems to be first and foremost a place for young adults to meet up with friends and hang out. Indeed, as time went on the place filled up with groups of people eating, drinking and dancing.
If you’re underage and looking for a good quality meal in a cool spot, this is the place for you. Similarly, if you’re over 21 and need a trendy, relaxed new spot to spend a Friday or Saturday night with friends, Silk City will no doubt be a new favorite.