Without any planning, or prior knowledge, we found ourselves outside of the Tattooed Mom in Philadelphia, PA.
Instantly my eyes where drawn to the illustrations on the front of the building, but little did I know what I would find inside.
As I held my passport in my hand ready for an ID check, the door swung open, and the loud rock music from within drifted out into the night.
Before me stood a nice enough looking bar with tables, a couch, and enough twinkly lights to make it feel homely.
Honestly, it didn’t seem as though ‘Tattooed Mom’ was the right fit of a name for this calm downstairs abode that seemed just like any other bar decorated for the Christmas season.
However, looking back on my first impression of the place is rather humorous now that I know of the secrets within.
Just to the left of the picture above there is a staircase leading to a second floor, and that is where my life would change.
The rock music seemed louder as I approached, with my husband leading the way, and I noticed that the green walls had been replaced with an almost graffiti/scrapbook kind of theme which was too good not to love.
My heart was beating, and I wondered what would await me upon the next level.
The narrow staircase was a single file mission, allowing patrons to either go up or go down, but I did also notice that later in the night – as the beverages began to flow – that most people just pulled up and down in any order they damn well chose, hugging those graffitied walls as though it was an old friend they had the pleasure of reconnecting with.
At the top of the staircase my husband disappeared towards the bar, walking as though it was just another day in the life of the Conley’s.
I, however, stopped in my tracks; I felt as though I had gone back in time to my youth when all I cared about was how many studs I could fit on my clothing, and how many parts of my body I could use black eye liner on to compliment my resting bitch face.
It was fascinating, and yet I too felt extremely at home; the punky vibes it gave off where pleasant vibes, and I realized that although most people would think twice about visiting this unique establishment, here within these walls we would meet some of the most sincere and awesome people to date and have the time of our lives.
As I turned to join my husband at the bar, I dropped a glove onto the floor, and right there before my very eyes was a decal of my exact thoughts…. ‘YOU belong here.’
With my beer on the way I took a moment to sit down in a bumper car that had been added as, in my opinion, an epic form of alternate seating.
Little did I know that these bumper cars where dotted throughout the second floor, and as I enjoyed my time in it thoroughly, so did everyone I happened to see sharing the same experience.
The second floor was deceivingly big.
At the top of the entry staircase sat a big room with a pool table, a sofa area, high tops against the walls, and another washed up bumper car.
In the middle of the floor, down a short couple of steps where I originally had my bumper car experience, was the main bar which was also surrounded by high tops up against the wall.
And lastly, a room I almost missed but discovered later in a wild adventure, (more to come) a small performing area, with many seats facing a make shift stage, and the bathrooms. Here, I’ll take the opportunity to post a bunch of photos of all of the stuff I just rabbled about.
This whole place was truly a goldmine of adventure for the eyes and senses. No matter how many pictures, stickers, or posters I read on the graffitied walls I still found myself ignoring my husband and our friends to simply read more.
I felt free; I felt like nobody else in that bar judged me or I them, and I know from talking to other patrons that I am not alone with those thoughts, and I believe that somehow it brought everyone together.
Now, before I go any further, let me get to an exciting point that I think my lovely readers will appreciate as much as this Hangry Wife…
Tattooed Mom has already proved itself to be an outstanding grungy bar that I now loved, but it also has a great little menu to soak up the good stuff which was totally unexpected to me.
As my belly button seemed to shake with hunger I decided it was time to get some grub on my Hangry radar, and funnily enough my husband had the same idea as a menu appeared before my very eyes.
It was to the point. It was simple. And before I even had a chance to question my wants and needs, my eyes darted to the sure winner.
POUTINE TOTS, WITH BEEF GRAVY, AND CHEESE CURDS!
Can I get a hell yeah?!
You know me, and I know that you know me, and we ALL know this Hangry Wife loves her poutine.
I could barely contain myself with excitement as I tapped my husband on the arm, pointing like a crazy person towards the menu item, to which he laughed and shook his head.
Little did I know another shock of the night would be when my husband, a man I have never in our life together seen eat gravy of any kind, decided that he too would have the poutine.
I swear in that moment I could hear the church bells ringing all over again when I realized that THIS was my husband, and I couldn’t wait to romantically destroy poutine together in blissful unison!
As I stared at my husband a little crazy-ish in love, the poutine came drifting to our table like a ghost of times gone by – a friend we had loved dearly and hadn’t seen for quite some time – or alas a sign we had begged for over and over again until it was finally received.
Heaven was here, and I wasn’t in the mood for leaving.
It looked GOOD.
The cheese was spread out in clumps across the top of a crispy tater tot mountain that had gravy land-sliding its way down every side.
As I sat staring at the pools of gravy forming on the sides of the tray, my fork raised itself for a kill, and dove straight into the heart of the whole bowl.
The rest of the tater tots rolled away down tater hill, as though trying to escape from my jabbing fork in terror, and I pulled it away with a beaming smile as it steamed aggressively with strings of cheese creating a connection to their previous residence, and a lump of tots covered in gravy.
In all honesty, the fork was probably overloaded for the usual amount of food I can fit into my mouth, but that didn’t stop me in the slightest.
After a few fast blows to cool down the molten gravy I pushed the whole clump into my mouth.
It was deliciously good in the most simple way.
The tater tots where soft, but not soggy from the deliciously rich beef gravy, and the cheese curds threw me back to a short time I’d spent in Milwaukee surrounded by all kind of yummy curds; they where mild, they where salty, they where stringy, and yet they still carried enough of a bite to cut through the flavors of the gravy and tots to hold their own.
Now, I know that there’s not a lot you can do to really fancy up a tater tot, but add some homemade beef gravy and some cheese curds, and it’s pretty hard to do it wrong. Tattooed Mom had brought together two favorite comfort foods – tots and poutine – and made them into one epic drinking snack that I could have happily dove into every night.
I can’t tell you how fast I ate the whole bowl of poutine, but I’ll tell you that it was in less time than R.E.M’s ‘It’s the end of the world’ song playing in the background, and I think that’s something I should be proud of.
With my tater tots a thing of the past, my stomach full, my jeggings stretched at the seams, and a fresh beer in my hand I noticed a lot of people heading towards the back room, and this is where the night really reached its peak for this Hangry Wife.
As my husband and I followed the crowd we realized we had stumbled into a heavy metal drag show. At first we had no idea what to expect, but I can honestly say it’s one of the best/most fun evenings I’ve had in a long time.
I’d also like to point out that I joined in with a heavy metal screaming match.
Oh yes, you didn’t read that wrong!
This Hangry Wife is the Queen of screams!
As my husband left to get more beer from the bar, he came back to see me on stage like a deer in headlights looking very out of place with my green plaid shirt, my autumn scarf, and cowboy boots.
Little did I know I’d end up winning the screaming competition and receive free drinks for the rest of the evening!
Who knew that such a sound could come out of my body? I certainly didn’t, but oh boy am I glad I found such a talent.
This night was one of the most delicious, fun, and exciting evenings we’d had in a long time and I couldn’t have been more impressed with Tattooed Mom.
I can’t wait to go back one day and hopefully re-win my title as ‘The queen of scream’.
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Until next time,