The Bishop's Collar or just The Collar is a place I have come to know well in my 8 years living in Philadelphia. In my first years of living in Philly, it was the fun place to go out with a group, meet people and watch football. Over the years, it has become more of a place to dine for a casual lunch or dinner. No matter how many times I go to The Collar, I can always count on a good meal and a great beer selection. Located on the corner of Fairmount Avenue and 24th Street in the Fairmount section of Philadelphia, Bishop's Collar has been a staple in the neighborhood since 1999. The name comes from an old Celtic phrase for a pint of Guinness poured to perfection. Nothing beats a warm and sunny spring day enjoying a leisurely lunch at one of The Collar's many outdoor tables.
To the outsider, Bishop's Collar may appear to be like any other corner bar but they would be wrong. What makes this place stand out from all the other corner bars is its menu. The Collar's menu is a spin on the classic pub fare. This menu combines satisfying standards like the classic burger, crab cakes, old bay fries, and wings with quirky comforting additions such as meatloaf, hot turkey with stuffing and cranberry and beef stew. Items like hummus and pita, chicken spring rolls, and chipotle chicken fingers add an eclectic international touch. Other Collar specialties include their flank steak sandwich with provolone, burger wrap with ranch, tomato and mixed greens and my favorite, the veggie quesadilla.
The veggie quesadilla never disappoints. For the last few years, every time I visit Bishop's Collar I must have the veggie quesadilla. I know that many other menu items are tasty and satisfying but I just can't veer away from the consistently delicious veggie quesadilla. This appetizer on the menu (hefty enough for an entree), is comprised of two large white flour tortillas stuffed with a generous mix of vegetables including roasted red pepper, fresh spinach, onion, tomato and meaty portobello mushrooms combined with oozing melted cheese. Finished off on the grill for a slight crisp around the edges, the quesadilla masterpiece is topped with the Collar's signature fruit salsa. Raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and melons are diced fine and perhaps macerated in vinegar, a squeeze of lemon or lime and a touch of salt to create a sweet, fresh touch on this hearty, savory dish. Along with generous dollops of sour cream and guacamole, the veggie quesadilla is the highlight for me at this Fairmount establishment.
Whether it is the veggie quesadilla or the burger wrap, you too will find your own favorite menu item at the Bishop's Collar. This cozy corner bar is perfect in all seasons. The deep red walls and the dark wood bar along with the old church pews used for seating along the walls exude warmth even on the coldest of days in Philadelphia while the many windows and outdoor seating make this spot perfect for warm weather. Forty-five more days until spring, when all the bitterness of icy snow melt, dirty snow mounds, and pale skin ends, I plan to basque in the warm sunshine at a sidewalk table at Bishop's Collar with a plate full of Veggie Quesadillas and a cold Hefeweisen or an Allagash White or a Bloody Mary-I can't decide.
2349 Fairmount Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19130-2515
It has been 2 months to date since I have published a blog entry. Each and every single one of those days I thought about writing; I wished I were writing; I craved the moment where I would have the freedom to focus and write. The same goes for cooking. Sometimes in life, priorities shift and in the last couple of months my priorities were set on my job and the renovation of my new home. But too much time has past and I know deep down that I need to be writing and cooking because those two things are a part of who I am. Without further ado, I apologize to my followers, friends, family and myself for not making the time to write. I apologize to all the food that has not been written about and all of the recipes that were not prepared. You deserve better! And I will do my best to write and cook as much as I possibly can.