Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Inquirer Daily News
1700 E. Passyunk Ave.
12th and Morris Streets
Philadelphia , PA 19148
Neighborhood: South Philadelphia
Parking: On street, nearby lot
Handicap access: Fully accessible
Related reviews: Craig LaBan reviews Birra
Cuisine type: American; Pub
Meals Served: Lunch - Mon. thru Sun. Dinner - Mon. thru Sun. Late Night - Mon. thru Sun.
Style: Owner Gordon Dinerman has the right idea with his fun and casual revamp of a corner pizza-and-beer concept, emphasizing craft brews (many Italian), and pizzas with unconventional toppings (pasta) and shapes. Unfortunately, the kitchen’s ambitions are consistently stifled by poor execution and less-than-stellar recipes, leaving the lively central bar and sidewalk seating as the best reason to visit this latest East Passyunk hot spot.
Specialties: Spreads and breads; salumi; cheese; wild mushroom salad; roasted porchetta; scampi prawns; meatballs; spaghetti and meatballs pizza (birra bowl best); gabagool pizza; strawberry-white chocolate tiramisu.
Alcohol: Under the guidance of beer guru Jessica Fox, Birra has assembled a broad and surprisingly large collection of craft brews for such a small place, with 9 drafts and 40-plus bottles (and cans) ranging from West Coast IPAs to Michigan stouts and a nice starter collection of pricier Italian ales. The handful of other Euros (Dupont saison; Ayinger brau weisse) are worthwhile.
Weekend noise: A boisterous 92 decibels. (Ideal is 75 decibels or less.)
Hours: Menu served Sunday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to midnight.; Friday and Saturday, until 1 a.m.
Prices: $$