I had an appointment in Philadelphia the week of March 20th, which translated to opportunity to revisit the epic vegan food scene happening in The City of Brotherly Love. I was feeling disappointed about missing the final judging of the Vegan Cheesesteak Contest, the brainschild of Vance Lehmkuhl.
Since I’d been reading rave reviews of PS and Co., Andrea Kyan’s organic, vegan, gluten-free bakery and cafe, and was in need of a green drink after a hectic few hours, I stopped into the Rittenhouse Square shop. On the menu are raw choices, healthy salads, beet burgers, soups, and much more, plus a good choice of organic vegetable juices in glass bottles! Andrea has not forgotten desserts, and knowing her skill as a vegan pastry chef, I wasn’t surprised. My timing was spot on as I walked in just as Andrea was ready to leave. We hadn’t seen one another in ages, in fact, not since Andrea completed Costigan Vegan Baking Boot Camp® years ago. She insisted I take a slice of her gluten-free chocolate cake, a cupcake, and green drinks. My lunch was that green drink, and for dessert later I devoured the excellent moist and impossibly scrumptious gluten-free chocolate layer cake. The cake was one layer chocolate, one layer coconut vanilla, filled and iced with creamy chocolate. Brava Andrea!
Later on I met up with my friend Char Nolan. Char, the unofficial mayor of Vegan Philly, wears many hats. She is the Plant-Strong Connector at Engine 2, publicist to Jane and Ann Esselstyn, and vegan food writer at The Town Dish. Since it was time to eat again, Char suggested Zahav, a stylish Israeli restaurant serving modern Israeli food. Chef Michael Solomonov was the 2011 James Beard Award winner for “Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic. There are many vegan options on the menu. We ate and ate, starting with the vegetable salad sampler, the ultra creamy hummus topped with vegetables and mustard seeds is made with Philadelphia’s Soom Tahini. It was served with the fluffiest pita (laffa) I’ve even seen. Not shown, but enjoyed, was a dish of maitake mushroom with freeka, tehina and smoked cinnamon
I thought I’d end my day with a drink at Charlie was a Sinner but I was knackered, in a good way, and decided to skip it, for now.
I’ve got some questions for you. Please help me out with your opinions. What are your favorite vegan Philly establishments? And, as a New Yorker, I’m wondering if Philadephia is overtaking New York City as the vegan food capital? What do you think?