Things that seemed outlandish, nay, impossible, when I lived in Seattle are actually within my grasp on the East Coast. Case in point: I can get from New York City to Philadelphia on a bus in two hours! What?!? Jesus, I am ignorant.
Anyway, I’ve been spending a fair bit of time in (mostly South) Philly and really loving it. Here are three spots, two vegan and one with options sans meat/dairy, I dig. I’m like 90% vegan now. (But it’s a hell of a 10%. Mostly alligator and emu.)
A Trio of Philadelphia Places from Breakfast to Dinner (or Vice-Versa or in Whatever Order)
This all-vegan spin on street food is kind of the rambunctious younger sibling of Vedge. (Yes, they are related for real.) I sat at the bar late on a Friday night and ate some really great food. I am loathe to sound like some clichéd Yelp reviewer, but if you brought your meat-eating friends here…OMG THEY WOULDN’T EVEN MISS IT. LOL.
What I ate:
- Peruvian Potatoes with aji amarillo, cilantro, dried olive, and peanuts
- Trumpet Mushroom Shawarma with za’atar, whipped lemon tahini, harissa, and fattoush salad
- Sweet Potato Turnover with sweet kraut and cream
The stunners were the turnovers with kraut (!). What made them even better was a pairing with a great Marsala. I feel like this is the next fortified wine to get rehabilitated. I don’t remember the producer, but it was rich, toasty, and zippy. The last part is critical. Otherwise, it’s a gooey mess of sweet in your glass. Well, that zip along with some complexity (non-sweet flavors) really made this wine a joy to drink.
This vegan coffee house plays, yes, a lot of Grindcore music. Which I had to look up, as I am old. (Kind of heavy metal meets punk, according to Wikipedia.) Though the music is a loud genre, I’ve never been in there when the volume was excessive. Frankly, I’ve heard louder music at places where you pay $20+ dollars for a glass of wine and suffer the ubiquitous “small plates meant to be shared” consisting of three pieces of something for four people or similar janky f’d up math. (ALSO IF THEY ARE SMALL PLATES WHY ARE THEY SHARED? WOULDN’T YOU SHARE A LARGE PLATE OF FOOD?!?!)
Anyway, they’ve got a great back room for enjoying coffee, pastries, or a sandwich. Why not one of each? LIVE, FOLKS! Grindcore House also boasts a most impressive array of non-daily milks, even the legendary oat variety. It’s a really nice walk from my friend’s South Philly abode, so I go there like every chance I get.
Grindcore House is also a way station towards a pre-afternoon MegaBus departure blunch, getting me closer to the stop at Independence Hall:
I think I found this bar the way I find all bars in new cities: I needed to go to the bathroom and I was only halfway to my destination. Thank you, bus ride and small bladder! It’s not vegan but they have interesting choices. My most recent visit involved a tempeh club, which was very good.
It’s an unassuming, dark bar with interesting stuff on the two TVs with the sound off. Solid beers, and I like the Royal Sour (Maker’s Mark, honey-ginger syrup, lemon, bitters).