I never considered stepping foot into Devil's Alley until Burger Club Philly held a meeting there. Don't know why, but it just looked like a college douche bar. I still can't tell you who frequents Devil's Alley, as I haven't been back since Burger Club and we were sequestered in the back part of the upstairs, but I will say that the two-story restaurant and bar in Center City didn't seem nearly as douchey as my imagination made it out to be. The downstairs dining area looked kinda classy, actually.
Before Burger Club, I sidled up to the upstairs bar alongside a handful of downtown suits for a happy hour sangria that was sweet with a low class maraschino cherry as the fruit and not nearly as alcoholic as I'd like.
I switched things up and went with one of their many interesting sounding specialty cocktails. Above is the Zypher with Hendricks gin, muddled cucumber and jalapeno. The drink had just enough spice to be interesting, but I played bartender by dumping two sugar packets in the drink to take the bitter edge off. Better!
A side of grilled sweet potatoes are just that. Piping hot would have been nice, instead lukewarm going on cold.
Everyone knows that I'm not the kindest to restaurant-style mac and cheese, especially with weird toppings like the sweet tomato jam (tastes like really sweet ketchup) that Devil's Alley uses to top their mac and cheese, but I somehow didn't mind the small portion of bland and creamy noodles. Order the large portion, and I might complain a little louder about wanting sharper, more pungent cheese and no weird toppings.
Devil's Alley makes their own veggie patty with a blend of grilled vegetables held together with Goldfish Cracker crumbs. Spicy with lots of flavor, the not overly-mushy nor too-thick patty with crispy edges is definitely on par with, if not better than most in-house made veggie burger patties. What won me was the sweet and savory red onion marmalade — more like a confit — on top of the burger. Big flavor! The lettuce leaf and pale tomato (it was February, so they get a pass on the tomato) were skipped. The bun was mysteriously crunchy at the edges, like it was left to toast a little too long, although other diners did not have such bun issues.
In eating my way through more than a few veggie burgers in Philly, I'm finding that locking down a good veggie burger, much less one that trumps all, is difficult. Unlike meat burgers, there are a wide range of ingredients used in veggie patties, varying textures, and flavors that cover the entire spice rack. Ultimately, veggie burgers are highly subjective. I subjectively liked Devil Alley's burger. Who'd a thunk it?
1907 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19103
Sat & Sun: 4pm-close
Sat & Sun Brunch: 10am-3pm