I totally thought that “The Institute” was like, a museum, cultural place.
Nope. It’s a bar. With an old orange tabby cat who slept on a set of stairs or chilled at a table and burgers that are so darn yummy!
To back up…last week (from the time of this post) someone on my Facebook feed marked that they were “interested” in attending an event called Boozy Shakes and Burgers at this place called “The Institute.” I showed The Librarian who was totally down for going. Real talk…I am not ashamed to admit that ideas for my social life comes in part from Facebook events. Hush. Don’t judge me. Some of these events are what’s up.
Any who, we were thinking that The Institute was like some museum or some, well, institute in which we would be getting shakes and burgers along with some education about the science of why burgers taste better with boozy shakes. We contemplated taking The Bee with us but she informed us that she had other plans (which worked out because, BAR) and we headed on over.
The Institute is in the Spring Garden section of the city and although we knew we were headed to a bar, we were surprised to see a little neighborhood place. Since The Librarian and I are not bar hoppers in any sense of the word, we are not really sure how to gauge what to expect. This place sits tucked away, unassuming and quiet but we were greeted by a such a positive vibe. There is Franklin the cat who was asleep on the stairs (which leads to additional seating upstairs). There were TVs everywhere so we could catch the latest ep of Game of Thrones. Board games are tucked into a shelf on the corner.
After taking our order, the staff left us to relax and eat. When we arrived, there was not a huge crowd so we did not feel like we had to hurry to finish our meal. Even as we were leaving there were a few people just sitting and sipping and not being rushed out so I get the feeling that if we do return we can sit and sip and hang for a while.
I ordered from the special menu, a burger called “Sweet Heat” which is a burger made with house made candied bacon, sweet pepper jelly, pepper jack cheese and jalepenos. The combo of sweet and spice was so satisfying! I will fuss: I ordered my burger medium well and it was well done. That aside, the burger was delicious and even well done could not distract from the flavor.
The Librarian went for a burger from the regular menu, the Stoner Burger. Hot cherry peppers, cheese sauce, bacon and fried pickles. There was a lot going on with this burger and I mean this in the best way possible. Each bite was like a cheese explosion and the pickles and peppers made for a salty and tangy combo.
My boozy shake selection was the “I’m Going to Regret This but Who Cares” which is coffee ice cream, Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey, Vanilla Vodka, Whipped Cream and Cinnamon Sugar Topping and so, so, so creamy and filling and delightful.
The Librarian went for the Keying the ex’s car Lime pie. This shake is vanilla ice cream, lime curd, tequila, whipped cream drizzled with lime curd.
Honestly, I was thinking that I would not be full and part of me balked and a price tag of $14 per burger, but these were filling and we were satisfied with the amount of food received.
Later I found out that The Institute is known for whiskeys and beers. I am not a beer drinker but would be down with trying the variety of whiskeys. I’m already plotting a return!
When you go:
The Institute Bar is at 549 N 12th Street, Philadelphia PA 19123 but it may be easier to think of it as “12th and Green”
Late night Happy Hour 10 pm until Midnight Monday through Thursday
Parking: Street parking. We were able to find a spot across the street but it’s a neighborhood place and a little tight. Make sure you bring money for the meters if you find yourself parked a few blocks away.
Payment: Credit Cards and cash are accepted.
Visit them on the web: http://www.institutebar.com/