Liberty Union Bar & Grill, Phoenixville, PA – A Review

by artfuldiner on June 27, 2019

in Artful Diner Review, Breaking News, Opinion, Pennsylvania, Review, Wining and Dining

Liberty Union Bar & Grill

519 Kimberton Road

Phoenixville, Pennsylvania

(484) 927-4244

Liberty Union - ExteriorIn his irresistibly witty and informative book Winning the Restaurant Game, the late, great Jay Jacobs noted that serious restaurant-goers would do well to draw up a roster of various establishments suitable for every possible dining contingency they are likely to encounter. Such a list, he went on to specify, should include one completely trustworthy restaurant in each of the following categories:

The Multipurpose Dazzler (a big, opulent operation – preferably frequented by recognizable movers and shakers – specifically designed to impress)… The Gallic Dazzler (a posh bastion of haute French cuisine)… The “Nice Little” Bistro (a decent, unpretentious French restaurant)… The Scruffy Little Chinese Joint (an inconveniently located grungy Chinese dive serving up food so original it is likely to turn the average American stomach)… The Celestial Dragon (well-patronized upscale Chinese eatery)… The Italian Dichotomy (two mutually exclusive restaurants: one a pricy, well-appointed northern Italian; the other a rollicking little Neapolitan joint)… The Land of the Rising Gorge (a rigorously authentic Japanese restaurant).

To the above-mentioned grouping, Mr. Jacobs also suggested that diners should add as many establishments of diverse ethnic orientation as they deemed necessary, along with a reliable steakhouse and solid seafood restaurant…

Liberty Union - Interior…To which I would propose one additional category: namely, that universally-popular but often-overlooked plebeian establishment colloquially known as The Local “Happy-Tappy.” No conscientious diner’s restaurant arsenal is complete, in my opinion, without the inclusion of at least one thoroughly reliable purveyor of proletarian pub grub. I mean, man shall not live by foie gras and Lafite Rothschild alone; sometimes only a burger and brewsky will do.

Liberty Union - Bar SceneMore than this, however… Maybe there are times when you’ve had a rough day at the office, aren’t up for cooking, and/or just feel like a casual meal out that doesn’t require the hassle of making reservations two weeks in advance, the donning of sartorial finery, and a major outlay of hard-earned cash… That’s when a good local happy-tappy comes in handy. It’s a spur-of-the-moment kind of place; guaranteed to soothe the stomach without breaking the bank.

As local happy-tappies go, Liberty Union fulfills its mission admirably. There’s a bustling bar scene, live entertainment several nights a week, a good selection of craft beers & premium cocktails, and a slew of TVs to keep the sports fans happy. The cuisine is a slightly upscale take on pub grub – apps, burgers, wraps, sandwiches, flatbreads, eclectic smattering of entrées – with a nod to more healthful fare in the form build-your-own quinoa bowls and an appealing array of fresh salads.

Liberty Union - Complimentary Tater TotsAmong the appetizers, the Idaho Loaded Tater Tots with house cheese sauce, crumbled bacon, scallions, and side of spicy ranch dressing, the Philly Cheesesteak Eggrolls, and the SoCal Lettuce Wraps with spicy chopped shrimp have the most going for them. On the other hand… since the restaurant serves up a mini bucket of unadorned Tater Tots with that same spicy ranch dressing (pictured) as a complimentary starter, why pay for an appetizer when you already get one for free?  The answer is: Don’t.  The restaurant’s loss is your gain.

Liberty Union - ReubenAs you contemplate what would be considered your main course, bear in mind that the sandwiches here are particularly well made. And the winner in that department, hands down, is the scrumptious NY Deli Reuben (pictured). Everything is just right… The corned beef is lusciously lean, the Swiss cheese properly melted, the sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing judiciously applied, and the marbled rye grilled to perfection. Equally recommendable is the vegetarian Cauliflower Steak. A thick slice of oven baked panko crusted cauliflower is adorned with cheddar cheese, spicy chipotle aioli, lettuce, tomato, and red onion and placed on a brioche roll… Delicious.

Liberty Union - Wisconsin Mac & CheeseThe entrées proper range from South Carolina Shrimp & Grits to Texas Rib Eye to New Orleans Pasta with blackened chicken and vegetables swimming in a spicy Creole cream sauce to oddities like Cap’n Crunch Chicken Tenders. My nod, however, clearly goes to the completely addictive Wisconsin Mac & Cheese (pictured). There’s plenty of cheese here (a trio of them), along with bacon, sautéed onions, and topping of crispy breadcrumbs… And be sure to add grilled chicken, which is well-seasoned, marvelously moist, and provides the perfect textural counterpoint to all that luscious cheese. Decadently rich; but, trust me, simply not to be missed.

I don’t mean to imply that everything here is perfect… It isn’t. My dining partner’s Liberty Union Burger, for example, was ordered medium-rare. It arrived at our table, however, nearly bleeding on the server’s socks… And speaking of servers… as many times as we’ve dined here, we’ve only encountered one bad experience with a server… a young woman who had a definite attitude problem and then proceeded to totally screw up our check, charging us for numerous items we did not order.

Faux pas of this nature can occur even in the best of establishments. And, given the many times we’ve dined here, this really isn’t a bad record at all. As noted above, for a local happy-tappy, Liberty Union does a pretty damn good job.

And bear in mind that Liberty Union Bar & Grill has a sister restaurant located at 325 Simpson Drive, Chester Springs, PA. You also might want to check out both establishments’ “Happy Hour” – $4.00 Craft Beers; $5.00 Wines by the Glass; $6.00 Flatbreads & Wings – Monday through Friday, 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Bon Appétit!


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