And so begins the second installment of the Philadelphienne where I basically eat every burger in the city that has at one point been dubbed the “best of Philly” until I die a slow and painful death at the hands of saturated fat.
Parc, located at 18th and Locust, is Stephen Starr’s tribute to the classic Parisian brasserie where on any given spring Sunday morning, you can find most residents of Rittenhouse Square spending hours sipping Kir Royale (or in my case, the Hummingbird: an effervescent concoction of Marquis de la Tour sparkling wine, St. Germain and club soda) and feeding hangovers with traditional French fare such as beef bourguignon, moules frites and salade Lyonnaise (I need bacon right now just even thinking about it). Due to the “see and be seen” atmosphere and insane brunch crowds, I usually prefer Parc prior to 1pm on weekends before Friday night’s heavy drinkers come out for quiche Lorraine and egg white omelets. (It may also have something to do with the outdoor, street-facing, Euro-style seating, affectionately nicknamed “the Catwalk” by Philadelphia Magazine, where you can literally feel tens of eyes on you as you just try to walk by as fast possible in sweaty gym clothes while carrying seven grocery bags and I know, I know I’m wearing spandex way too late in the day and my hair is atrocious but I’m just trying to get home…). But I’ll be the first to give Parc credit for having one of my favorite brunch menus in the city (and their cranberry walnut bread is right up there with the pretzel rolls at Blackfish).
In typical American-in-Paris fashion, I usually get the burger at Parc. Last weekend found me at brunch with my aunt and uncle, once again (actually, it was for the third day in a row, but who’s counting) ordering a burger with sweet grilled onions, creamy raclette cheese and pommes frites (which I don’t trust myself around because they’re ridiculously good) and considering that maybe I should start making better decisions like my aunt, who ordered Parc’s light and tangy spinach and goat cheese omelette. The carbs take center stage with Parc’s burger and don’t disappoint because in addition to unbelievable Belgian-style pommes frites which can transport you to Les Deux Magots or Café de Flore, the burger is served on buttery sesame brioche which I actually finish every time instead of my usual mastication of burgers by using a fork and knife.
Location: 227 S. 18th Street; Phila. PA (southeast corner of Rittenhouse Square)
Take Note: Reservations available on OpenTable. Book early for weekend brunch.
TLDR: Anything and everything accompanied by pommes frites.