The clatter of colliding pool balls rings out. You don't know how many games of nine ball you've lost, but your friends haven't forgotten your tab. You're down. Way, way down. "How's about you start working it off with a pizza?" your pal suggests. The vote is for the veggie ($13): a crisp-crusted pie scattered with woody artichoke hearts, mushrooms, peppers, black olives, and goat cheese. But when you reach for a slice, your hand is promptly slapped away. "This ain't yours, man," your foe interjects. "This is your payment." And so it goes. You don't see one shred of rib eye off the South Philly cheesesteak ($10) nestled in a puffy Amoroso bun flown in from the city that birthed the Republic. You can't even have one crunch of the spicy pickle ($2), brined in-house and the perfect chaser for whatever shot fits your fancy at 4 a.m. Maybe next time, you'll actually be able to sink a shot and get something to quiet that gurgling gut.
Readers' choice: Bodega Taqueria y Tequila