A Sandwich a Day: Fried Chicken Po-Boy from Khyber Pass Pub in Philadelphia
In this great country of ours, one could eat a different sandwich every day of the year—so that's what we'll do. Here's A Sandwich a Day, our daily look at sandwiches around the country. Got a sandwich we should check out? Let us know. —The Mgmt.
Po' boys in Philadelphia? I was skeptical too, but the crew behind Khyber's Pass Pub has done nothing but win at sister restaurants Royal Tavern and two Cantina locations, all packed to the gills seven days a week.
The first good sign was the real-deal Leidenheimer bread shipped from New Orleans. No "thoughtful updating" or "Philly twists" here, just the classic po' boys assembled with care (although roast pork with greens on this bread would be amazing). Light, super flaky rolls dressed with mayo, mustard, lettuce, tomato and pickles. Then double layers of fried chicken liberally smothered in "debris gravy" made with the jus and leftover bits of their homemade roast beef.
Until recently, the Khyber was one of the city's best rock venues. It's a bit surreal to eat dinner by candlelight in the same tiny room where one Halloween I watched a fistfight between Superman and a guy in a Scream mask while the band set things on fire and strippers sprayed silly string into the crowd.
But aside from great food and a lack of stale beer/filthy bathroom dive bar aroma, the vibe is not all that different.
The Khyber has a full Southern inspired menu but good luck making it past the po' boys. There's grilled ham and roast beef, a fried oyster and shrimp combo, Surf and Turf, even a vegan version of fried chicken. Try one with a side of Cajun bacon grease popcorn and anything from their massive beer list, full of local and craft breweries, with a heavy emphasis on the Belgian style.