Why, the new South Philly gastropub that’s been blowing up the blogalicious comment board, of course! When a little birdie chirped that Taproom on 19th had a link to Django, we thought, “Oh, cool.” Then came the news Django was closing its doors, and we thought, “Juicy.” During a visit to the warm woodsy saloon with the five flat-screens and buttercream pool table, the friendly bartendress confirmed Ross Essner in the kitchen. Essner cooked at Bleu and Rx, where he formed a partnership with owner Greg Salisbury. The duo purchased Django from Bryan Sikora and Aimee Olexy in October 2005. Suffice to say, it didn’t work out. Judging from what we ate at Taproom on 19th, it seems like Esser may have kicked the rain cloud: (not) chopped salad loaded with grilled chicken and shrimp; sweet grilled corn on the cob rolled in truffle butter and parmesan; the best mussels we’ve had in recent memory, a generous bowl of PEIs mixed with roasted potatoes, spicy Italian sausage, scallions and white wine. Served in a wire basket lined with wax paper, the Chesapeake fries are definitely going to become the Taproom’s signature item: crisp, fresh-cut spuds topped with lump crab, Vermont cheddar and scallions. And Chickie’s & Pete’s dares to call their fries crab. Taproom’s are the real deal, loaded up generously and served warm. Snaps here. Ten taps include Magic Hat #9, Hoegaarden, Yards Philly Pale Ale and Lager. Bottles don’t get too crazy. Budding regulars are encouraged to make special requests for beer stock. Nice! And heads-up to the naysayers: they've amended the pay-up-front policy.