Phoenixville, PA: Spiedie Bistro’s “The Darbie”


100 North Bank Street
Phoenixville, PA
(610) 983-4300

Today I broke one of the “cardinal rules” of roadfood (when the name of a joint is an item on the menu – order it, it has to be good), but as we walked past the windows of this new restaurant located in an alleyway in downtown Phoenixville the first thing that jumped out at me was the listing for  ‘Organic & Grass Fed Bison” which they use for their burgers.  The smell wafting up the street sealed the deal and with barely a second of conversation my wife, daughter and I decided we’d be eating lunch out today.

We try to eat healthy as best we can and “organic” and “grass fed” are usually buzz words I can count on to help convince my wife to give up on her life long dream of becoming a vegetarian.  She would have succeeded for another meal today, but they were out of the portobella mushroom burger.  I have no such designs on casting away my carnivorous traits, so it was just a question of which burger I would get.


I ordered “The Darbie” which at one time came with guacamole, but today was served with “marmalade.”  I asked what was in it and was told it was a combo of “red peppers, sugar and onions.”  Perfect.  They were out of round rolls so mine came on a spiedie-style 10″ long roll.  The bison was cooked medium all the way through and then cut up lengthwise and mixed with the marmalade, lettuce and chopped tomato.  I normally avoid cheese on burgers but when I do I like how it kind of ties together all the parts of the sandwich.  In this case, the marmalade did that job perfectly.  The bison had a peppery taste to it that countered the mild gaminess you can sometimes get from bison.  This was a great burger, one I know I will be enjoying again the next time we get to Phoenixville.

Having spent a portion of my life living in the Southern Tier of New York, I am a huge fan of spiedie’s (meat marinated in italian oil and spices that is then skewered and grilled over a spit) and we have found a decent amout of success recreating the taste at home.  They do up the ante a ton here by crafting their own version of a Philly cheese steak using speidie (chicken) meat.  My wife ordered ‘The Felson” and it was easily one of the best steak sandwiches either of us have had.

We had a side order of the air-baked french fries which were heavily seasoned and tasted as good as anything deep fried.

Opened in March of 2008, this restaurant bills itself as “Fresh, Health & Grilled to Order!”  We found all of that and more.  The guy who waited on us and cooked our food was extremely friendly and you get the sense that this place can attract a big crowd every now and again (it is BYOB, too).

By the way, we were in Phoenixville to go to the Colonial Theater.  This 1903 movie house was featured in the 1958 movie The Blob starring Steve McQueen and today shows a mix of art house flicks, classics and the occasional live event.  Catching a burger (or Spiedie) before a show would be perfect, check their listings here.

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