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Critic: Spring Garden’s Stockyard is Sandwich Heaven

And Harp & Crown is good, but trying a little hard

Stockyard’s “Whole Pig” banh mi
Stockyard Sandwich Co.

— Courier-Post critic Emily Teel visits Spring Garden scratch sandwich spot Stockyard Sandwich Co, open since October from ex-Morimoto and Kensington Quarters chefs Will Lindsay and Mike Metzger, who aimed to bring “rigorous” culinary techniques to a more casual, hand-held setting. They do so successfully, it seems, with Teel dubbing it a “sandwich nirvana”. The house favorite, bourgignon-esque beef with mushrooms, onions, and cheese sauce is in a whole other realm to the cheesesteak it evokes, and a pork banh mi ticks many boxes: “warm and cool, creamy and bright.”

Even though sandwiches are center-stage, the sides like a quinoa-farro salad, are not afterthoughts, and just as well executed. There’s only one bigger flaw, the vegetarian sandwich option, something of a “one note” entity with brussels sprouts, mushrooms, tofu spread, fennel, apple, and shallot. The food is a clear highlight, earning four stars — coupled with two-and-a-half stars for atmosphere, it’s a three-and-a-half star rating overall. [Courier-Post]

Inside Harp & Crown
Hillary Petrozziello

— Over at the Inquirer, Craig LaBan is at new Center City pub de luxe from Michael Schulson partner Nina Tinari-Schulson, Harp & Crown, finding that the décor comes closer to perfection than the food and drinks, although it’s by no means a bad review. The issue, writes LaBan, is that the big venue (in both space and concept) might be trying to check too many boxes. “There's an overambitious urge at Harp & Crown, however, to try to be too many things to too many people, and the inconsistencies can chip away at its potential.” The wine and craft beer options are well-considered, but the cocktail list is a big symptom of this box-checking: “overthought”, LaBan says. Ex-

Tria chef Karen Nicolas’ menu offerings end up a mixed bag: a hefty two-pound pork shark with smoked chestnuts, turnips, and pickled pears is braised perfectly, a “memorable centerpiece”, and lamb meatballs in shakshuka also please. The pricey Niman Ranch rib-eye is also worth the $68, and Nicolas’ seafood offerings also get thumbs-upped. But pizza, pasta, and burrata all veer off-course: dull, bready crusts on Neapolitan pizzas, and the pastas, a mixed bag, particularly the duck ragu fettucine. LaBan also seems a little weirded-out by the use of a bouncer at the front door; but on the whole, it’s a passing grade with two bells. []

Stockyard Sandwich Co.

1541 Spring Garden St, Philadelphia, PA 19130 215-977-9273 Visit Website

Harp & Crown

1525 Sansom Street, , PA 19102 (215) 330-2800 Visit Website