A lazy, sunny summer afternoon perched next to an open window on the second-floor dining area overlooking Locust Street is a great way to get acquainted with Misconduct Tavern. The aptly named spot at 15th and Locust streets will do delightfully sinful things to your diet.
But let’s get back to the vibe of the place because they really do nail it.
Watching the foot traffic streaming below, with a nice breeze and the house sound system pumping out a classic soul playlist featuring Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin and The Temptations?
Why, yes, we do believe we will have a drink!
And then there’s the food.
Yeah, there’s a tiny sliver of the menu’s real estate dedicated to salads, but good luck prying your eyes away from everything else to focus on it. The majority of the menu is dedicated to comfort-food bar fare: burgers, sandwiches, sliders and appetizers designed to hit you hard in the softest, “hangriest” parts of your soon-to-be-bloated and sleepy soul.
The appetizers at Misconduct are ridiculously good. The cheesesteak empanadas ($7) have a perfectly crisp and flaky outer crust and a nice mix of steak and melted cheese inside. A pleantly spicy ketchup seals the deal. The beer-battered pickle chips ($7) are exceptional. The pickles are house-made and sliced thick so when you bite through the hot batter crust, you still feel like you are eating a fresh pickle because the inside is still cool, briny and juicy.
One of the specials the day we visited was the mako shark taco ($11), which was a slight and relative reprieve from the decadence of the rest of the menu. The grilled shark nicely complemented the jalapeños, avocado crema and pickled red cabbage that rounded out the dish.
Another special was the chickpea burger ($9). Slow your roll, vegans! This isn’t your dance. In an effort to reduce the environmental impact of raising beef, Misconduct has a few burgers on the menu that mix ground beef with other ingredients. In this case, it’s chickpeas. The burger is topped with hummus and preserved lemon bits, which both give the dish a distinct creaminess and zing you wouldn’t normally find in a burger.
Back in 100-percent-beef country, the pepperoni pizza burger ($12) could have been a bit harder on the seasoning but it still hit the right notes with a generous amount of mozzarella cheese and pizza sauce making it worth the trip.
As if Misconduct didn’t have a big-enough devil on your shoulder jumping up and down, whacking you on the head with a pitchfork and screaming about where you can shove your responsible food choices, there’s also mac and cheese ($6 small, $10 large). It’s pretty much what you dream of: hot, creamy and abundantly cheesy noodles with a nicely broiled crust of cheese on top. But you also have the option of loading it with extras like bacon, onions, red peppers or basil pesto, to name a few.
If you have a cheat day coming to you, be bad and make a beeline for Misconduct Tavern.