N 39.9819531, W 75.1370253
It is fair to say that someone is asking for too much with authentic cuisine and stellar service at a bar that feels like a frat party and looks like the mind of a hallucinating teenager. Don’t expect either cleanliness, attentive service or menu items that you will make you come back for more as you arrive at PYT. That might make you will relax that rigid expectations while taking in that creativity and youthfulness that is served here. I have decided to put a disclaimer here after I made a quick glance at some online reviews and found that this wasn’t made clear. Come here to chill and grab a cheap beer. After all, and no offense to the owners or the chefs, think of PYT as a couple of mile highers working in the kitchens churning out what they think are some “amazing” ideas – you will be rewarded with some impossible creations that are still edible and definitely unique, albeit you probably never want them again.
I had to check my notes twice to make sure I’m indeed ordering the “Doh! Nut” – a mad ass combination of “beef patty, American cheese & chocolate-covered bacon on a glazed donut bun”. You read that right, they basically mixed a baconator and a chocolate crème donut into one. The second note I had was to get an adult shake. That did not dawn on me that it has alcohol – I assumed “adult” meant somethings that you will regret getting. It turned out that the adult shakes are much tamer, just couple of regular milkshakes flavors with drops of alcohol, because why not? The birthday cake was very tempting because my birthday was actually in a couple of days, but I opted for cookie monster because he is, always and will be, my dearest super hero. The cookie monster is made up of vanilla ice cream, crushed Oreo cookies, whipped cream and whipped cream vodka. That, I do not understand.
Warmer weather had arrived, and most of the customers, which consist of mainly twenty year olds, were sitting outside on the porch being baked slowly by the sun. I opted for a table initially, but judging by the speed of the service, jumped onto a bar stool. There was only one bartender, who was taking care of handful of diners at the bar, mixing drinks for everyone else sitting outside, and still had time to joke with anybody who was walking by. She was amazing at her job. The two guys sitting next to me were asked to see their IDs for their drinks but she was so busy that she ignored them for good 5 minutes. It seemed like they didn’t have IDs because they only took out their credit cards, but they did not dare to touch their beer. It was both awkward and funny at the same time. Speaking of funny, this is a hipster bar because they sell Pabst’s blue ribbon by the bucket load – $10 for a bucket. (I just bought some DuPont Raison at home, and that entire bucket isn’t even worth a single bottle in value.) Someone actually bought a bucket, so it is a thing here. No judging.
Even though the front service is kind of slow, the kitchen was very quick. It probably has to do with the fact that everyone was drinking and nobody was eating. Both orders came from the kitchen – first up was the Cookie Monster, which looked like any vanilla milkshake you get at the local diner. Surprisingly, it tasted superb and the vanilla flavor was very strong. It was hard to taste the vodka and it blended very well into the milkshake. However, this is not a cocktail, and don’t expect to get drunk with these. For any passersby, I probably looked like a very gleeful 5 year old, especially with the red cherry on top of the milkshake.
The crazy burger came pretty quickly after that. It actually did not look as crazy as it sounds on first glance, but the devil is in the details. Beef patty in a donut? Criss-cut waffle fries with dessert? Yeah, this definitely fits next to one of those Salvador Dali’s or Pieter Bruegel’s creation. Many questions entered my mind – What am I supposed to do if the burger taste horrible? Do I give up on my job as a burger lover? Where should I draw the burger line? All the skepticism were wiped clean as I plunged a bite into the Frankenstein.
The burger taste is there – what I meant is, when the entree (it’s a weird choice of word, but whatever) tasted normal, it is like a pretty greasy but delicious cheeseburger. The thing is, this entree isn’t just a burger; it is also a donut. Imagine it like a conjoined twin, I got a little bit of both as I take more bits. When the entree feels like a donut, it is like a Krispy Krème donut with chocolate filling. The chocolate bacon is crunchy, and I wouldn’t had guess it was made from bacon. I had a great time eating this burger/donut combination. The entree alternated between a donut and a burger, just like Dr.Jerkyll and Mr. Hyde. I had never read the book and I imagined that’s a very good comparison. The fries were too greasy and soft for my liking, but PYT is famous for the burger, not the side kick.
PYT blew my mind, and a lot of people’s too. They earned the rights to be famous for their crazy creation. Yes, the service is slow and inattentive (I probably waited half an hour to get my check), but that’s the attitude here. You can’t get crazy burgers in a highly organized and efficient restaurant – that is just wrong. There is a Shack Shake in center city if you are up for just a traditional-ish burger and quick service. Otherwise, suck it up and wait patiently if you want to check out some out of the world experience. Somehow, the very existence of PYT is the epitome of democracy, capitalism and freedom, and that the States still have it going. I’m not advocating any of those thoughts, but think about it – can you think of another place that serve something like this? PYT summed it up pretty well, “Available now for a limited time. Only in America, only at PYT.”
P.S. PYT = Please your tummy.
P.S.S. It is located in the first floor of a large apartment complex facing inwards. Don’t bother spotting it from the main road. I found some street parking couple of blocks away.
Visited: May 23th 2015, Dinner at 6pm
Address: The Piazza at Schmidt’s, 1050 N Hancock St, Philadelphia, PA 19123