My recent trip home to Philly and NYC was jam-packed with new and delicious vegan food options, from the carrot lox at Orchard Grocer to Philly's amazing new joints Wiz Kid and Goldie. Add in all the incredible new finds at Trader Joe's and I was almost overwhelmed with vegan options, especially considering my dearth of options this past summer in Central Asia! With vegan treats coming at me from all sides, you'd think it would be hard to choose a favorite, but that was the easy part. The new (at least in my book, come on I've been gone forever) outpost of Juice Merchant, an all-vegan 100% organic cafe, on Montgomery Avenue in Narberth wins that honor. (There's also one in Manayunk.) The food, while not Landau-levels of otherworldly perfection, is solidly good, sometimes great; the menu is the exact perfect size for offering tons of options but not being overwhelming (us vegans aren't used to having such choice!); the drinks menu is flawless; the staff is insanely nice; and the desserts - guys - the desserts are from Vegan Treats. Finally a place on the Main Line with a constant supply of that peanut butter mousse!
During my latest trip home to Philadelphia, PA (how far are theyyyy), I had just enough time to try two of the city's newest and best lunch-time offerings. Rich Landau's most informal restaurant yet, Wiz Kid, specializes in a few stellar sandwiches in the grand old greasy Philly cheesesteak tradition, but veganized (and so much better). Goldie highlights the street food of another big city, Tel Aviv, with an Israeli-style falafel shop selling, well, just a falafel sandwich or salad, fries (with optional shwarma flavoring!), and the greatest single and singular item in the city right now, which we'll talk about. At the end, I'll share my pretty accurate recipe for that magical item so let's get to it.
I go out to eat often, in many different cities. I'm usually with a crowd of omnivores, so look here for tips on how to eat vegan at many non-vegan places. But primarily this section of the blog is a shrine to the fantastic and ever-increasing vegan restaurants in the world.