Tuesday, June 12, 2012

E-House and Fox Hunt Tavern, Bensalem PA

Eddington House and Fox Hunt Tavern are two a fun little dives, with very different atmospheres, inhabited mostly by residents of this Philadelphia suburb. Like most dives, the only thing really noteworthy about them are the people inside.

"I poked my eye today," a woman said, randomly striking up a conversation with my girlfriend a few Friday nights ago.

"Does it hurt?" she asked.

"Hell no, I'm drinking!" was the reply.

A normal back-and-forth, for a rowdy bar on a Friday night. But the next impromptu confession from the woman was pure gold.

"He hates because me because that guy's his best friend," she said, pointing to a man across the bar. "And I fuck him."

Eddington House is located at 2813 Hulmeville Rd. in Bensalem, a suburb of about 60,000 people roughly 20 miles northeast of Phila. The locals call it E-House.

Their website boasts "21 Plasma TVs... 80 Out of Market Games Weekly" and, of course, "Beer Specials During Phillies Games"

This is what we walked into that night.

Followed by this. Sorry for the sloppy camera work up until the 10-second mark. This place was packed.

That's some serious cowbell action by old girl over there. This band had numerous members. I noted three different guys playing bass throughout the night, two different guitarists and a girl who sang a passionate, but off-key version of Adele's "Rolling in the Deep."

The band is called Animal House and they get down just as hard as their adoring fans in-between sets. In fact, I'm pretty sure that's why they have so many stand-ins: so each guy can take a break after a few songs and get a drink. The drummer had no such luck, though, he played the whole set wearing fingerless black leather gloves and a sleeveless t-shirt. He looked like a guy who could just as easily have been playing with Jon Bon Jovi himself.

The drinks are cheap. After three hours and four rounds of Yeungling bottles and shots of well whiskey our tab was less than $30.

I went to Ocean City, NJ when I was a kid to visit relatives who live in South Jersey. I remember thinking 'It's water, not wooder.' Apparently, I'm not the only one who thinks that's one of the most noteworthy words in the dialect. There's all kinds of YouTube videos on the Baahstin and Noo Yawk accents, but not that many good ones for Philly. But here's a decent piece on the Philly dialect.

It may not be Broad Street but the Philly accent, which doesn't get enough credit for its uniqueness, is strong here. There was one 20-something girl who had one that was so strong (sooew strrouong) her fellow Bensalemites misunderstood her.

"Ded, yeh we're at E-Heaouwse. Yeh, come pick us up," she said, talking to her dAd over the phone.

"Yow, you talking ta Deb," a bro within earshot said.

"No, my ded."

"Yeah, Deb."

"No, my ded, my fuathaaa!?"

"Oooooooooh," the bro and his friends said, laughing.

An interesting side note: At both bars, when I gave my card to the bartender they asked me if I wanted to "roll it." Apparently, this meant not "keeping it open" - which is the general phrase for running a tab around here - and paying for my drinks right then.

E-House was filled Friday night with 30- and 40-somethings, but there were some grandma and grandpa couples there, including one guy who was a dead ringer for the dad in Rudy. He was wearing a powder blue velvet polo with elastic at the waist. He tried to get my girlfriend to dance as his wife rolled her eyes.

Taken at Fox Hunt. These coasters were at both bars. I'm glad they're glad I was there.
There was no such rowdiness at Fox Hunt Tavern, just a few miles from E-House. The crowd there was relatively subdued for a Friday night. Some biker-type guys hung out and drank drafts, all the while puffing on cigarettes at the bar. Wait, did that really happen?

Apparently in PA there's a law that allows patrons to smoke in bars if a certain percentage of their overall business is food based. A novel idea; too bad Illinois can't do something similar.

On Sunday morning I stopped into the Fox Hunt for mussels and crab fries. The mussels were good, but not spectacular. The fries could have been better with less Old Bay. There was so much of the seasoning on them it was like eating spoon-fulls of salt.
I love mussels almost as much as I do clams. Folks on the east coast don't know how good they have it. An example: When the local VFW here decides to host a dinner, it involves spaghetti or chicken. A lady sitting at the bar while I was eating this was about to head to the local Veterans' hall and down CLAMS AND SHRIMP. 
There was a few dayside drinkers hanging out, talking union shop. The Hunt on Sunday morning seemed like a nice laid back place to get your drink, and occasionally your eat, on. My favorite character from that day, who looked like he could bitch someone out something fierce, wished the bartender well as he left.

"Have a good trip, Angie," he said.

"And don't trust nobody!"

And one more thing: Pat's over Geno's for sure. I got mine widout, wit Whiz.

Here's some pics.

Fuck and yes. Pat's on the left, Geno's widout, with American on the right. After getting my sandwich I tried to grab a napkin from a stand at Geno's and was promptly yelled at by three employees there. I briefly thought about grabbing it anyway just to see what happened. I'm a coward.
In all its gaudiness.
Bla bla bla Italian brothers bla bla bla Cheez Whiz.
Cruise to the 1:15 mark to see 'em slinging meat. (Gross, not like that.)


  1. Im glad theyre glad u were there too, to me for some reason its all about the coasters that set the bar friendly atmosphere. I went to Ocean City as a child..is awesome but yes the accents killed me Quarter not Quata *sighs

  2. Yuengling!! I wish we could get that in Illinois, one of my favorites.

  3. I don't really understand why it isn't available here. Good beer at a cheap price. Seems like a deal to me!