Philly: heaven for veggies with meaty friends! »
Me and my sis decided to try the re-done Khyber Pass Pub in Philly and once again, I was impressed with the mix of über meaty meat and clearly marked vegan food on the menu at a Philly spot. I have a lot of meat-eating friends and in SF and New York; when we go to dinner, it’s kind of a struggle to find a place where I want to go AND they can get meat (because OMG what if they don’t eat meat for a meal). Usually either we all go to a veggie place that only I want to go to, or we go to some meat-loving place and I try to figure out with the waiter what I can eat. In Philly, however, they are really good at having places that are heaven for meat-eaters and vegans alike. It kind of rules! Here’s a sampling of the Khyber menu, these four items really appear on the menu in a row:
**Vegan BBQ Pulled Pork spicy vinegar-ketchup barbecue sauce, coleslaw
BBQ Brisket barbecue sauce, fresh horseradish
Fried Green Tomato BLT Benton’s bacon, mayo, tabasco peppers remoulade
**Grilled Vegan Sausage our seitan sausage patties, lettuce,
roasted poblanos, red onion, pickles, creole mustard, vegan mayo
See that mix? Crazy. Do you know what I had at Khyber? A vegan po’ boy! I am not even kidding! I couldn’t get a pic because it was very dark but trust, it was good. It had vegan fried chicken, vegan mayo and then just kind of hoagie toppings. Honestly, I prob wouldn’t order it again just because it was kind of plain but I’m definitely glad I tried it at least once. A vegan po’ boy! Imagine that! And then while I’m eating that, my sister gets this crazy BBQ brisket sandwich. What a world.
There are several other places like this in Philly. Khyber seems to be affiliated with this other place my sister and I like, Dos Segundos Cantina—in fact we were there a few nights ago and I got these INSANE vegan chorizo, vegan bacon and butternut squash tacos! INSANE. At the same time, you can get crazy meat-filled tacos at Cantina as well.
Then there are these other places that are all related to eachother, Monk’s Cafe, the Belgian Cafe and a few other spots, and they all have good vegan options alongside crazy meat stuff. Check out a piece of Belgian Cafe’s menu to the left, where else can you get salmon frenchstuff AND seitan meatballs?
Oh and let’s not forget my favorite place, the POPE (Pub on Passyunk East). Their seitan fingers are out of control! Then at the very same venue, you can get chicken fingers. You know, if you like dead chickens. But see what I’m saying? Everyone can be happy! You don’t have to drag the omnis to some veggie place they will resent! And you don’t have to order a side-salad! You can get actual vegan food.
And another great part about POPE and these other places I’ve mentioned? They have all kinds of awesome BEER. The Cantina even has a crazy tequila menu that I will never become familiar with because I hate tequila. At all these places, the food is great, the beer is great, they are super casual pub-type places AND you can get great vegan food while satisfying your omni pals! What’s not to love? We need more places like this in SF and NYC! Do you know of any good ones?
[Top photo is the vegan cheesesteak from POPE, from my cheesesteak round-up!]
The Washington Post lets its vegan flag fly in Philly! »
On the Washington Post website, one writer chronicled her weekend of vegan eating in Philadelphia, and about her roadtrip to Vegan Treats! I JUST told my sis we have to make a trip out there next time I’m in Philly! Vegan Treats is all the way in Bethlehem, PA. It’s a regular pilgrimage.
The writer, Melanie D.G. Kaplan, is not actually vegan; she eats a “largely vegetarian diet.” I largely congratulate her on going vegan for a weekend though! However, I must warn you about the ending, as it almost took my heart out: “if I ever felt hungry again, maybe I’d eat a small green salad. With goat cheese.” Um, fuck you very much. But the rest of the piece is pretty good, as she covered some real vegan ground! She and her vegan pals went to Blackbird, which I just visited myself, and they went to Grindcore, which many of our lovely commenters recommended to me. They were pleased with both—they must have good taste! (My Taste = Good Taste.)
There is one point they seem to have missed, it doesn’t look like they went to Horizons? Maybe they’d been there before? Still, to cover vegan food in Philly and skip Horizons, that’s kind of criminal. Horizons is off the chain! It gives Millennium a solid run for its money.
All in all, it’s a very positive review. I think this is all a part of the vegans-are-dominating! trend. I feel like we have officially cornered the market on baked goods—the people have bowed down to the vegan cupcake! NOW we have to get them on board with the vegan savory boat! Ideas? I’m always just like, “Hey! Heard of vegetables? They’re grrrreat!” Or I go with the whole, “Milk is totally half-pus” thing. JK, no I don’t! Because I don’t like to think about it either. Gross!
In conclusion: let’s all move to Philly for the weekend! I’d say forever but the hipsters get tiring. But for a weekend? Let’s DO THIS!
Road trip: Blackbird Pizzeria in Philly! »
I was in Philly again, because it seems I’m always in Philly again—it’s that dang Bolt Bus! So cheap and easy! I like my buses like I like my women. On the other hand, I like my men like I like my sandwiches: vegan and cheesy. Lucky for me, everyone in Philly was talking about this new vegan pizza spot Blackbird! And Blackbird, it turns out, has one of the best vegan cheesesteaks in the city. And you know I’m an expert.
My sis went to Blackbird with me and she got the chickpea salad sandwich (pictured left). She was totally into it! She said she might have to get it even when I’m not around—high praise from an omnivore. Back to the cheesesteak! In the parlance of my youth, it was BANGING! It comes with peppers, onions, and mushrooms so if you are crazy and don’t want that stuff, say something. Lately people in Philly keep serving me mushrooms that are clearly from a can! WTF? Don’t they know who I am?! Blackbird is not using canned mushrooms, I can tell you that. The seitan is sliced very thinly, like a real cheesesteak would be (or at least a quality one). And the cheese is Daiya,* which I have been down on lately, but this sandwich revitalized my taste for it! The Daiya was all up in there; it was a gooey delicious mess. I loved this sandwich! It gets 5 out of 5 Veganstaurs! I almost went back that night and got another but I took the bus to New York instead: WRONG DECISION.
Things I want to do next time: try their yukon gold pizza! It’s pizza topped with potatoes! PIZZA topped with POTATOES. Did I stutter?! Amazing. They also had vegan whoopie pies—pumpkin and chocolate—I’ve GOT to get one of those next time. And next time I will not let bus schedules dictate my dinner! Vegan cheesesteaks all around!
*Has everyone else heard this rumor that Daiya is releasing a pepper jack next month? Exciting!