Manayunk: Don't waste your time. Food was overpriced, poor quality, owner was rude.
Never again. The owner is disgusting and obnoxious. My family friends and everyone I know will never come here again. Go to Le Bus!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Horrible. My husband and I were given two $25.00 gift cards to Derek's as a wedding gift from a cousin. We were married on 9/5/2009. We live in West Chester, so we don't make it out to Manayunk often and they have been sitting in a pile of cards since we were married. We decided we wanted to use them, so I dug them out and was a little upset to find that on the back of the cards it reads "After 12 months of non-use, a $3.00 monthly service fee will be deducted from the remaining balance." I called to find out what the balance on each card is and they say there is $1.00 on each and there is nothing they can do. I will never patronize this business ever.
Food Phenomenal - Owner and Staff Are Great - Seating Fine.
First of all I would like to say that if I lived closer to Derek's I would eat there every night.
I only eat whole organic foods and Derek's is one of the only places around that serves up meals that taste as good as they are for you.
They are also one of the only places in Philly that will serve you a truly rare piece of meat.
Other reviewers here that complain about the seating, food or the owner must be living in some other dimension than I am. Derek is probably one of coolest chefs in Philly. He is as down to earth as they come, he talks to every one that comes into his place. He is a gentle, kind person who actually listens to you when you talk to him.
If you want to talk about food Derek is full of information and anecdotes. Every ingredient he uses is the freshest and best available. Most of the ingredients are from small local purveyors and you can taste the freshness.
As far as the seating goes, the place is a bit cramped, yes. But this is Manyunk, the restaurants are all in row homes, same as Sansom St. in West Philly or Downtown. If you want to eat in a warehouse you can always head to a chain steakhouse in King of Prussia and spend twice as much money on meat and veggies that show up on an eighteen wheeler twice a week.
Derek's beer selection is tremendous, wines are superb.
The problem is Derek has taste, real taste. He is not a trend follower, he is not a poser, he is a Philly native who brings his own style and passion to his dishes. The food at Derek's is exactly the same food Derek serves to guests at his home. Its food that Derek loves himself, its not meant to impress reviewers.
His menu varies from day to day but at its core its been very much the same for years -- because its truly good local cuisine, like Chez Panice in Berkeley.
If you want to impress your date take her to some flashy new joint opened up by some restaurant developer.
But if you want to eat good food, that's good for you, that's good for the community and that's prepared to perfection by one of Philly's own great chef's then eat at Derek's
great menu!. Being new to Manayunk, a friend from school told me about this place. I ordered a burger, (I know, real classy) and it was divine! The bread they give out for starters was delish! I will def be back when family and friends visit!
Steer Clear-Owner Was Rude!.
My husband, brother in law and sister in law and I went to Derek's for Valentines Day dinner and while I can say the food was just OK, we found the owner to be extremely rude. We were sat right next to the host stand and my husband and I were taking menu's to the back all night. The host kept banging, kicking and leaning on the the back of our booth. When our food came out mine was cold, so it was sent back and for a fine dining experience I wouldn't have expeced the food to be thrown in the microwave, but it was. The portions were very small, but the prices weren't bad (approximately $25 an entree). Before we left my husband walked up to the owner (who was talking to every table except for ours even though he knew we were unhappy) and told him that he might want to ask the host to stop leaning on the booth and banging menus into the customers so the next parties experience would be pleasant. The owners response... "Yeah, I hear ya"! I wasn't surprised at all by his response.
We live in the area and will NEVER go to Derek's again, nor will we recommend it to ANYONE!
What was I thinking?. The food was horrible, definitely not worth the $$. The seating was like sitting in a shoe box, at one point i thought the person next to me was going to ask for a bite. I basically felt like I was cheated and disappointed. I will never return to Derek's for dinner again and I will make sure I tell everyone I know what a sub par establishment this place is. If you read this, do yourself a favor, go somewhere else if you are looking to go out for dinner in Manayunk.
Stay Away!!. My boyfriend and I went here for dinner the other night and I was ready to walk out the door almost immediately. It was so cold in there, I could not even take off my coat and scarf! The tables are so close together and there is no privacy. Another group of three came and sat at the table next to us and I could not believe it. Their coats and bags were all over our table as they were trying to get settled. They were literally sitting right on top of us. I had enough, but unfortunately we had brought our own wine which had already been opened. Our waiter wasn't much better. He was way overbearing and used inappropriate language. We asked to be moved, and we were brought upstairs. It was slightly better, only because we sat at a four top with only two people. The waitress at the table next to us had her rear end on our table as she was taking their order because there was not enough room to stand! The food was less than mediocre. My tomato soup was cold and I have made better Campbell's soup myself! The steak was okay, but again it was cold after a few minutes. I think it had to do with the room temp being so cold. I sat uncomfortable all night. I have had many steak dinners at Outback that were much better than this (and cheaper).! The chocolate cake I had was average, nothing to rave about at all. Overall, bad experience with overpriced food. We will not be going back and will not recommend it to anyone!!
best food in manayunk. We just left Derek's and we can't get over how great everything was. From the moment we made our reservation until the gorgeous hostess looked me right in the eye and thanked me for coming and made sure that we had a great time. First, our waiter Jim recommended some awesome martinis while he got us a platter of amazing local cheeses. My Lychee Martini was served perfectly chilled and garnished with a whole lychee, my date had the Ruby Zealander and thought it to be equally yummy. besides the cheeses all of the food was perfectly seasoned and came out timed just as we wanted it. The music here is always a treat. I'm told that one of the managers regularly programs the i-pods with a blend of progressive rock, cool jazz, indie and other timeless classics. I could sit for hours and just drink and listen to the cool sounds. What I like here is the ability to eat light or eat heavy. I usually get a melange of small plates and they are never really "too small" like at a lot of city joints. Anyway, if you find yourself in Manayunk you should check out Derek's, it's "way cool" and the food is great. Get the gnocchi and the hanger steak. My absolute favorite is the secret chicken, and the hostess!
Wonderful experience from start to finish. From the girl who greeted us to the bartender to the wait staff to Derek himself are all wonderful & treat their customers with respect. The food is amazing & they always make you feel at home. This is an old favorite, but we decided to try Coopers. What a disappointment. From the awful food to the Owner Bruce Cooper & his man/boy who handles the place who were rude & disrespectful to the customers. We left & came running back to the comfort, great food, service & friendly atmosphere of Derek's.
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