JERRY’S BAR, 129 West Laurel Street, Northern Liberties

Who doesn’t love a friendly corner bar with an adventurous beer list, a friendly bartender carefully mixing Old Fashioneds between anecdotes and a better-than-expected menu?

We found all that at Jerry’s Bar, a one-time shot-and-beer corner bar that has evolved into a cozy Northern Liberties gastropub with a marble bartop and neighborhood clientele. The Old Fashioned was excellent. So were the meatballs.

Order the $12 “Meatballs and Toast,” and you get a cast-iron pan filled with six soft, velvety and piping hot little delights smothered in marinara and sprinkled with pecorino. They’re the traditional mix of tender pork-veal-beef rounds, and there’s nothing unique in the spices. But the soft texture of the meatballs tells you that the chef knows exactly how to cook them.

And those four slices of garlic bread are perfect for sopping up all that extra bubbling marinara. It all makes for a great bar snack or affordable dinner. You’ll leave feeling nourished and fulfilled.

Score: 83/100

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