We have seen the post-apocalypse, folks, and at least the food and drinks are good. Mad Rex, certainly the oddest restaurant concept in town, is about to open in Fishtown. Also this week, I found snack-worthy shrimp rolls in Chinatown, a surefire hangover cure on South Street West, and an elegant dining experience in a Exton beer garden — as well as a pumpkin spice latte actually worth drinking. If a regular diet of food news is what you’re after, click here and follow me on Twitter and Instagram. Email your tips, suggestions, and questions here. If someone forwarded you this free newsletter and you like what you’re reading, sign up here to get it free every week.
— Michael Klein
Camera icon MICHAEL KLEIN / STAFF
A charred and graffitoed helicopter hangs over a lounge at Mad Rex, 1000 Frankford Ave.
Mad Rex: The post-apocalypse, as a night out
Let Hard Rock Cafe celebrate music, Planet Hollywood honor cinema, and Rainforest Cafe re-create the jungle. Mad Rex, now soft-open across from SugarHouse Casino in Fishtown, pays homage to an urban-wasteland future. Post-Apocalypse now. Gimmicky? Of course. But if you just smile and embrace the kitsch, you’ll groove to the cocktail tumblers embedded with bullets, the shell of a helicopter hanging over a lounge, the tabletop cooking of fish and beef on hot rocks (tasty and priced right), the puffs of steam coming from the plane that crashed through the ceiling, and the overall party atmosphere (thumping rock music, costumed staff). Oh, and the virtual-reality chamber, where customers sit in a chair and sip drinks out of a straw hooked up to an IV bag. Sample cocktail: the Scorched Earth. Here’s further elaboration.