Living just blocks from the Piazza and PYT, we've had the chance to sample the menu at least a half-dozen times now. The milkshakes are straight out of Pulp Fiction, except these ones do have bourbon in them, daddy-o. Try the Jack Rabbit Slim with vanilla ice cream and makers mark, or the Causasian featuring vanilla vodka & kahula with a nod to the Big Lebowski - the dude definitely abides. Small list of beers on tap, but they always have High Life for $3 a pint, and a few local brews from either Yards or PBC. We were drinking pitchers of Walt Wit on our most recent visit, with no complaints from anyone at the table.
The onion rings are among the best in Philly, and certainly the best I've ever had. They are massive rings, and beer-battered in a mix featuring Kenzinger from PBC, fried to a light golden perfection that needs no accompaniment (don't even think about getting ketchup near these things). They are a steal at $4, and the perfect snack if you're just sitting at the bar or great appetizer to warm you up for one of PYT's burgers.
Speaking of those burgers, I've gotten the chance to try three different offerings from the grill. The Royale features two patties on a Martin's potato roll, bacon, cheddar, lettuce, tomato and onion dressed up with their secret sauce. It's a "california" style burger reminiscent of In-N-Out (or at least the closest thing I've had this side of LA). It's a juicy, sloppy taste of Americana and keeps calling me back for it's different variations - the single, sliders, and the Big Mic with 3 patties - haven't knocked that one off the bucket list just yet.
Next up was the Cheesesteak Pretzel Roll Burger. This thing is a nap on a roll - single beef patty, slice of cheddar, then a pile of cheesesteak meat, smothered wiz-wit style all on a pretzel roll that is soft and chewy but able to stand up to the carnivorous bender that lies within. Surprisingly enough, the whole thing really works well. It's not just a marketing ploy, but a great burger that represents just about everything Philly is known for. Don't plan on doing much after this one though, you're going to need to put your feet up and rest. They should really think about installing hammocks in the backroom.
Most recently, I tried the Thanksgiving Burger (featured in Food Network Mag a few months ago) with a turkey patty seasoned with rosemary & thyme on a sourdough ciabatta roll, topped with applewood smoked bacon, apple-cranberry stuffing and turkey gravy, for good measure. I had high hopes for this burger. I'd tried on two prior occasions to order it but they only carry it on the menu for a few weeks at a time. Disappointingly, mine came out kind of lifeless. The patty was bland and the roll was too chewy - making the thing hard to eat without it falling apart. Bacon was great (but really when is it not?) but the cranberry stuffing was just ho-hum. I'd rather go for a day-after turkey sandwich at home with stuffing and cranberry on a soft italian roll. But that's just me.
Of the three, the Cheesesteak Pretzel roll burger is definitely my favorite burger at PYT, and one of the tops in the city, in my humble opinion. We'll certainly be back for more beers and burgers soon. Can't wait for summer again with the outdoor seating and Phillies games on the big screen in the Piazza. One of my favorite places in NoLibs - and worth the trek from anywhere else in the city.
In the Piazza at Schmidt’s:
1050 N. Hancock St.
Philadelphia, PA 19123