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Cheap Date: Kegs & Eggs at Distrito

Cheap Date: Kegs & Eggs at Distrito
Bloody Marys and mimosas are the traditional hair-of-the-dog hangover cures, but recently my date and I discovered weekend brunch at Jose Garces’ West Philly cantina Distrito, where it’s beer to the rescue instead! $10 per person brings your choice of a bottle of beer and one of three breakfast entrees. Brews on offer include Dos Equis Amber or Lager, Negra Modelo, and Dock Street Rye IPA, all solid day-drinking options.

On our visit, I paired the lager with classic Mexican huevos rancheros, served in a personal skillet with smoky black beans.  My date paired the amber ale with hurrache de tomate, a sandwich of roasted tomato, fried egg and baby arugula topped with smoked bacon lager vinaigrette. The dishes weren’t huge, but they were rich and complex, and – bolstered by the beer – ended up being the perfect midday meal.

The best part about Distrito was the decor. No matter how rough the night before may have been, when you arrive for brunch you can’t help but be cheered by the exuberant interior. Somewhere between a Mexican-themed tiki bar and a lawn party, every detail reinforces the fiesta feel. Bright pink walls surround deep wicker benches covered with colorful pillows, alternated with strappy neon deck chairs and candy-colored bar stools. Hundreds of fanciful lucha libre masks line the stairway, and there’s a one-of-a-kind “taxi dining booth” at front.

My date followed as I bounced between the two floors, delighting in every detail, from the Mexican floral print tabletops to the scorpions lacquered into the bar. By the time we left, the headaches we came in with had miraculously disappeared, and we wandered through University City with fantasies of being at a resort in Cabo instead.

How cheap we talkin’?:  $10 per person, plus tax and tip.

Why this will impress your date: Distrito is a Jose Garces restaurant, a group that includes the splurge-worthy Amada, Chifa, and Village Whiskey. Kegs & Eggs is a great way to sample the Latin cooking Garces is known for, without breaking the bank.

Inside game: While not always open for brunch seating, definitely go upstairs to check out the cool lucha libre mask wall and porch swing seats.

Score extra points: By asking your server to snap a picture of you and your date for their photo wall (if you’re not too bleary-eyed, that is).

Next date: Distrito’s Kegs & Eggs menu is available Saturday–Sunday from 11:30 AM–2 PM as a sub-set of their regular brunch offerings.
 
Photos by Cheap Dater
 
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