Mad Rex Philly's Post-Apocalyptic Restaurant and Bar

Fishtown's Mad Rex Restaurant and VREX Lounge

Photos: Amaris Pollock

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Philadelphia, PAPhillyBite Mad Red - For a little over a week each year I am given the opportunity to take my youngest cousin out of his rural bubble and experience more of the world. As such, I like to come up with new plans every year; and since he is a gamer and I’m a foodie, I found the perfect match for our latest adventure in Philadelphia’s Fishtown area: Mad Rex.


Mad Rex is a post-apocalyptic themed restaurant, and as soon I drove up my cousin was fully engaged, asking me if that is where I was bringing him. To my delight, he looked just as excited about the restaurant as I have been.

Outside you already sense the atmosphere is different, and immediately upon entering your intuitions are met with a dazzling display of futuristic survival outfits, gear, and demonstrations of what growing your food might be like. From the reception area, you can also see where Mad Rex holds their Virtual Reality Lounge (VREX)—the surprise I brought my cousin there to enjoy.

We started our interactive adventure with him patiently waiting to play in the VREX Lounge while we ate. Enjoying a starter of Forager’s Flatbread, which was heartier than I had expected. The Forager’s Flatbread was earthy in taste, with its potato and celery root puree and topped with mushrooms, asparagus, and rounding its mild flavoring by using shaved manchego cheese. This dish is filling enough to have as a light meal, or a shared plate for an appetizer.

MAd REx steakThe Survivor Menu NY Strip steak with Mac and Cheese

Of course, whenever you are fighting for survival in the post-apocalyptic future, you need to make sure you get enough protein. I ordered the Black Lava Rock NY Strip steak (12oz) from Mad Rex’s Survivor Menu, which came with a choice of one side; I ordered their Mac and Cheese (made with a four-cheese combination of melted decadence). As for my strip steak, they sear the outside of their proteins before plating and bringing it to the table (think Chicago style) for health and safety precautions. Once in front of me, my server explained what each condiment was and the proper technique on how to cook my delicious Angus beef on the lava rock.

I watched as the meat sizzled away to a perfect medium-rare, happy that I could control the way it turned out and obtaining that ideal pink in the middle. Of the options presented to flavor the meat, I preferred to use their in-house steak rub as it cooked; the rub was sweet, smoky, and a little salty with a hint of Creole. Then I either dipped my steak into their house-made BBQ sauce or their garlic aioli with horseradish.

My cousin is less adventurous with his pallet, and so he ordered the Chicken Strips with a side of House-Cut Fries. And for dessert, he opted to have the Himalayan Salt Brownies with Ice Cream. However, what he was looking forward to was the VREX Lounge.

mad rex ice creamHimalayan Salt Brownie

After indulging in their food menu, we browsed the VREX Lounge menu choosing which adventures we wanted to immerse ourselves. He chose to play a zombie-fighting game; being an avid gamer, this drew his attention more than what I decided on. I decided to experience “BLUE” which brought me alongside a day in the Mesozoic Era with a Velociraptor.

Then I submerged myself in the universe that surrounds us, traveling through space before plunging through Earth’s atmosphere and exploring the depths of the Ocean. I ended my virtual reality experience by chasing down and capturing a criminal in a world where our every-day vehicles can fly.

It was a fantastic time, between the delicious food they offer and the VREX Lounge—I cannot wait to go back again! Moreover, I may go back sooner because Mad Rex is participating in Fishtown’s Night Out Restaurant Week this week (Aug 10th through Aug 19th), so for $35 per person, you can get a 3-course meal!

Mad Rex is going to host the first-ever Brunch on August 25th called the Sisterhood of Survivors Brunch. For $20 and they are going to have a 3-course set menu, or if you want to make it a boozy brunch (for an additional amount) you can indulge in a Mimosa Bar! If you are interested in that event, you can purchase tickets by clicking here.

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