In the New Year we make lots of resolutions, so why not make it a point to go outside of your comfort zone when it comes to dining out? We’ve got just the place to add to the top of your list. Mad Rex is a meeting place, locally sourced dining haven, and watering hole for revelers from “all walks of life.” This urban outpost decked out with graffiti, weapons displays, mannequins in survival wear and other “artifacts” treats its guests or “survivors” to indulge in a truly one-of-a-kind atmosphere. Experience the virtual reality chamber along with many more surprises in this post apocalypse land where food, culture, community and ART still thrive. Mad Rex truly aims to transform you to another world with its 8,500-square-foot space, seating up to 225, including dining room, bar, stage, lounge, private event space and outdoor patio.
Inside, Mad Rex is decorated like a shrine to apocalypse survivors with so many Instagram-worthy touches. There’s graffiti, weapons displays, mannequins in survival wear, skull light fixtures, and a pilot’s ejector seat for selfies and other “artifacts”.
What is one of the most unique experiences is the Virtual Reality Lounge. Mad Rex is the first restaurant to fully infuse VR technology into their concept in Philadelphia. Survivors can escape their normal life and immerse themselves in augmented reality. The more private Virtual Reality Chamber is also available to rent and comes equipped with a lounge throne, private locker, and table service. For hands free drinks check out the cocktails served in an IV bag!
When you’re looking for something to quech your thirst we’d recommend the Mad Mehmet made with Woodford bourbon, apple cider, apple cider vinegar, cinnamon simple syrup, dash of hot sauce, bitters, and macerated apple slice. This drink has got a great seasonal flavor. Both the bar and kitchen at Mad Rex pull from locally sources. Beers from Evil Genius, Victory, Southern Tier Brewery, Flying Dog, and Yards are served on draft and by the bottle. Hard liquor is provided by Philadelphia Distillery, Dads Hat, and Stateside. We love the Hunter cocktail mixed up with Stateside vodka, citrus liquor, fresh lime, passion fruit puree, jalapeno simple syrup, and garnished with a lime twist. And of course we had to try the Flame Thrower, because a drink with a name like that can’t possibly be passed over. Its made with vodka infused with pineapples and cucumbers, mint, lime, pineapple juice, and to finish it off a flaming lime.
The kitchen at Mad Rex is run by Chef Brandon Ferrio is focusing on fresh ingredients, including meats from the neighboring George L. Wells Meat Co. and a variety of small shareable plates. The menu at Mad Rex is a variety of Modern American cuisine based around classic world techniques with new and old world flavors. The focus is on high-quality locally sourced ingredients; fresh vegetables, highest grade of organic meats, and spice blends from our neighborhood Italian market.
Some of the newest additions to the Mad Rex starters include the massive Rex’s Table appetizer including two Rex Ribs, chicharrons, five wings, and two pig wings. This dish is easily an entree portion for one person and great for sharing with a larger group. We also loved the Lamb Lollipops this is a more delicate plate with two lamb ribs, and mushroom asparagus risotto. This small plate is ideal for a date night.
We also enjoyed the Lobster Fetuccini this pasta dish is large enough to be an entree and can be prepared with marinara or alfredo sauce. It is topped with a lobster claw, baby spinach, and cherry tomatoes. For sandwich lovers or lunch time guests the Prosciutto Sandwich with basil pesto, focaccia roll, sliced prosciutto, fresh mozzarella and Surf and Turf Sandwich are very popular. The Surf and Turf has fried onion straws with flank steak and a crab cake and smoked gouda mac and cheese.
The lunch menu is served the week from 11 am to 3 pm and be sure to check out the signature Mad Rex Burger which has a 8oz short rib, chuck, & sirloin blended meat patty cooked to your liking and topped with caramelized onion, bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion, cheddar, house made pickles, and garlic aioli, on an onion poppy seed bun.
When you think of Mad Rex Restaurant it’s sure to be the dishes on the “Survivor Menu” that everyone is buzzing about. This section of the menu allows guests to select a protein and cook it themselves on a pre-heated 500 degree lava rock to finish seasoning their food tableside. Believe us when we tell you- this rock is HOT! Even though we wasted a lot of time melting butter and squeezing lemon juice onto it, you could feel the heat radiating off the stone till long after we were finished cooking our meal. Protein options for the hot rock include a 24 oz. Bone-In Vigilante Cut Ribeye, 14 oz. Boneless Ribeye, and 8 oz. Duck breast. Seafood options also include Salmon, Tuna, Swordfish, and Scallops.
Homemade sauces accompany each entree including: Guts and Glory with Mad Rex hot sauce, tzatziki sauce, Romesco sauce, and Rex spice rub. Grassland includes grilled lemon, soy oil, Rex pesto, balsamic reduction, and Sriracha for some heat! Wasteland sauces are hot pepper relish, horseradish creme fraiche, Mad Rex BBQ sauce, and Rex spice rub. This method of searing your meat on a hot stone combined with the juiciness of taste, and health benefits of simply grilling on the stone ensures that each guest has an unforgettable culinary experience.
Mad Rex is also now offering a variety of vegetarian and vegan dishes. Some of the hot rock options include: Nightshade Hot Rock with zucchini, eggplant, squash, and tomato. Rutabaga Hot Rock with rutabaga, tri-colored carrots, parsnip purée, and saffron sauce or on the Himalayan Salt Block- Mushroom Medley Rock Hot Rocks with portobello, shiitake, and oyster mushrooms with jumbo asparagus. Found in only one part of the world, Himalayan Pink Salt is a pristine form of salt containing over 84 minerals. This salt is known to have magical healing powers such as balancing your body’s PH, stabilizing your hydration levels, and improving digestion. The salt provides a complex and amazing flavor without being overbearing.