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Posted by JenInSJ on 01/24/2009
We've been to Bar Ferdinand numerous times in the past 2 years (it's a bit of a trip from our house), and have never been disappointed. The hardest thing about the place is choosing what to have, there is so much good stuff on the menu that we leave each time with a list of what to get on the next trip. We're constantly bringing new friends in to try to place with us, and it really does get better every time. Don't miss the morrocan marinated lamb, patatas bravas, and the crema catalana (like creme brulee, but better). One of the nice things is that you can manage to dine inexpensively (the sandwiches on the tapas menu are very filling, so you order much less), moderately, or go more expensive. I believe the highest bill my fiance and I ever racked up fo 2 people was a measly 75 dollars and it included wine, so for a special dinner it was definitely doable. Ordering sandwiches and patatas braves, we've gotten out for 25 total. However, as someone who has done some study on Spanish cooking and eaten in Spain, traditional Paella is not supposed to be stirred, and the rice on the bottom is supposed to get crunchy. It is true though, that paella is made differently in different parts of Spain and the reviewer below may have had an alternate version. Even here in Philly we have differences in preparation for cheesesteaks, so in Spain all paellas are not carbon copies. The crunchiness of the rice on the very bottom is intentional, and stirring would only ruin the effect and change the way the rice absorbs the broth. I've never had rude service or any trouble at Bar Ferdinand. It has been slow once or twice out of more than a dozen times, but not horrendously such. It is harder on a waitress to deal with an all tapas menu because there are many more trips to make to each table, and each table is constantly ordering more things.
Posted by AlwaysHungry on 10/21/2008
Very little room for improvement, this restaurant is a gem. This section of Northern Liberties is a treasure. The food was delicious and the service was outstanding. Our water glasses were constantly refilled, our soiled napkins quickly replaced and our waiter was completely attentive. If you go here, you must try the salad with quail, the fried pork sandwich, the mussels and chorizo, the dates/bacon empanada and the cider soaked bread. I was jealous of a neighboring table's scallops and baked cana de cabra cheese dishes....I'll be trying them the next time.
Posted by Anonymous on 06/07/2008
I have been to this restaurant three times, and the last two times the service was beyond poor. Last night my friend explicitly told the staff, and chef that she had a severe dairy allergy. Then immediately after biting into her mussels, she had a strong allergic reaction, and had to be taken to the hospital. (Apparently, to maintain freshness, sometimes seafood is soaked in milk, gross!) The manager never came over to apologize, comp the meal, or offer dessert or drinks. The rest of our order was equally poor. They brought out the wrong food, and forgot other items. At the end, they refused to split the check on several credit cards.
Posted by Josh on 05/25/2008
I would first like to start out by saying that the food was very good. Although the The service, by the wait staff and manager on duty, was unbelievably poor. I have eaten in Spain and I know that Paella is not suppose to be burned on the bottom. I found it amusing that the waiter told me that's the way it is prepared. Also to the fact that the waiter was very contrary to everything that we said. He told us how we should eat. He also told us that we might not want to order too much because we might not be able to finish. I mean, If were hungry let us order more! I don't need need someone to tell me when I am finished eating. Second,I understand that there is a mark up on a bottle of wine, but I don't think anyone should pay 52 bucks for a 9 dollar of wine. Oh, to top it all off, the manager on duty that night rolled her eyes at us and asked, "what do you want me to do"? I'm not looking for a free meal. I would gladly pay for the food that I had at Bar Ferdinand. Although, don't think I would be able to stomach the service another time. I would hate to see a new restaurant, with great potential, suffer for having a wait/manager staff that doesn't care about their customers.
Posted by Susana on 05/16/2008
I never thougth that, I could eat real spanish food near my house. Because, my daugther and I we were thinking, it is possible eating this excellent food "spanish" Tapas, in Phila.? I recommend it, if you want to enjoy a best dinner.
Posted by Bette on 09/20/2007
After having traveled to northern Spain, I was prepared NOT to have REAL Spanish food in a Philly tapas bar. Boy! Was I wrong! It's authentic as can be!! Then, I found out that Executive Chef, Blake Joffe, not only trained in a two-star Michelin rated restaurant, Akalarre, in San Sebastian, for 9 months; He also worked in a La Cuchara de San Telmo, a bona fide tapas bar! On top of that, owner Owen Kamihira spent several years growing up in Spain, as a child. No WONDER the food is great! And the full selection of Spanish wines cannot be found anywhere else in the city, and the "bullish" mosaics add class and ambience. We're making Bar Ferdinand "our" restaurant!
Posted by M on 09/08/2007
The food is yummy, and the service is great. I just want to say that the person who described the food as Mexican is an idiot. The food is Spanish.