Bell Hall - Allentown, PA

Located in the heart of Allentown, Pennsylvania, Bell Hall offers gourmet burgers, innovative cocktails, and a wide selection of craft beers.

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Now that I'm working, it's much easier for me to meet friends for dinner during the week. And working downtown makes it easier for me to check out the new restaurant scene in Allentown. So many restaurants have opened since Caroline was born, and I'm glad I finally have a chance to try some of them.

Among the restaurants on that list is Bell Hall. Located in a historic building, everything about this gourmet burger joint just feels modern. The industrial design and decor are cozy and welcoming, and the spacious patio area has a chill vibe to it... And that's where my friend Shannon and I opted to sit when the host asked us whether we wanted a table inside or out.

The evening started as a chance for Shannon and me to catch up over drinks, to fill each other in on our respective new jobs. But as we talked, time passed quickly, and we transitioned into a second round of drinks over dinner.

Since we were sitting outside during one of the final weeks of the summer, I ordered the Moscow Mule ($9). Made with Tito's Vodka, Reading Draft Ginger Beer, and lime juice and garnished with a sprig of fresh mint, this light and refreshing cocktail hit the spot. It was just the thing I needed after a long day at the office.

Of course, it wasn't long after we ordered our first cocktails that we decided to order appetizers, too. I was tempted by the Wonton Nachos ($10) and the Jalapeno Poppers ($7), but then something else caught my eye -- the BBQ Bacon Shrimp ($10). The dish combined so many of my favorite things -- barbecue sauce (which is made in-house), bacon, and shrimp -- that I couldn't ignore it.

The shrimp was satisfying in the moment, as anything wrapped in bacon should be, and I loved the tangy flavor of the barbecue sauce, but I'm not sure I'd order them again. At least, not for ten dollars.

There were a bunch of items on the menu that sounded good. But Bell Hall is known for their burgers, and I had to see what all the fuss was about. With more than ten different burgers to choose from, though, I had a difficult time choosing which burger to try.

Thankfully, our server was more than willing to offer some guidance, and I placed my order for a Bell Burger ($13), Bell Hall's sophisticated take on a bacon cheeseburger. The ground beef burger is topped with cheddar, lettuce, tomato, and onion and placed on a brioche bun slathered with bacon jam.

Unfortunately, when my burger came out of the kitchen, it was under. I wanted to ignore the fact that the burger was closer to rare than medium rare and that the bun was soggy, but, after a few bites, I wasn't enjoying my meal at all. I ultimately asked that my burger be cooked a little bit longer, and the kitchen did an excellent job of sending another one out.

The second burger was perfection. Though... I wouldn't have complained if it had come out with a little more bacon jam. ;-)

We should have stopped there. Shannon and I were full and happy... and we should have just asked for our check.

But we didn't.

Our server managed to convince us to look at the dessert menu, and before we knew it, Shannon and I were each ordering something sweet to close out our meal. My choice? The Pecan Pie ($7) was served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and drizzled with a bit of caramel sauce. I was pleasantly surprised that the pie wasn't cloyingly sweet and the caramel sauce didn't overwhelm everything else on the plate.

By the time I put my fork down, I was stuffed... and a little uncomfortable... but it was worth it.

Bell Hall
612 West Hamilton Street
Allentown, PA 18101
(610) 437-1825 | Online Reservations | Map


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