Vegan Gastronomy Weekend – Philadelphia

Blackbird Pizza

photo from Blackbird Pizza

For our ongoing Vegan Gastronomy Weekend series we decided to keep it local and explore the vegan-aware region we live in. This was an extra special weekend with a birthday and a wedding anniversary so we decided to start hitting our favorite vegan spots on Friday instead of Saturday. If you’re ever in the Philadelphia area, and want to explore surrounding counties, we have quite an itinerary for you.

Day 1

James kicked off our weekend with lunch at Sprig & Vine Pure Vegetarian (100% vegan by the way), in New Hope, PA (full review coming soon).

Mauro and I opted for a quiet dinner at Kindle Café (an itinerant supper club that operates only on Friday nights at Rojo’s Roastery and every other Monday for a Soupçon Salon at Manon Restaurant, both in Lambertville, NJ. The Friday night dinners are a five-course vegan meal (sometimes they’ll have the option to add cheese to a particular dish but the base dish is always vegan). The menu for the dinner we had was as follows:

Ravioli
Sweet Potato with fennel cream sauce
Soup
French & Green Lentil with salsa verde and toasted pan di ceci
Appetizer
Spring Rolls – rice paper filled with marinated carrots, beets, cabbage and fennel, served with tahini-sunflower sauce
Main
Polenta Torte layered with fresh herbs and soy-ricotta, served with broccoli rabe, portobello mushrooms and jersey devil sauce
Dessert
Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwich “al Cenzo”
Herbal Melange Tea
Herbal tea served with dessert

Everything was absolutely delicious and quite hearty, we were pretty full before we even got to the dessert. My favorite course of the meal, though, was the ravioli. The sweet potato filling was so rich and creamy and married well with the fennel cashew cream sauce, so tasty.

Day 2

On Saturday, Jim, Chris, their daughter, Mauro and I all headed into Philly for an afternoon of theater hopping and dinner. Since we got there early enough we decided to stop by Blackbird Pizzeria for a quick bite. Blackbird’s owner, Marc Mebus, is a long time acquaintance of ours but we hadn’t seen him since he went to NY for culinary school. It was great to see him again and try some of his vegan pizza before we ran off to our shows. The slices we tried were tasty and hit the spot. Our only complaint, which has nothing to do with Blackbird, is that none of us care much for the taste of Daiya cheese. The gooey texture is great but that’s where it stops. We’ve all tried it in varied dishes at restaurants and at home but still haven’t found one we really like it in. One huge plus for Blackbird is that their pizzas have so much flavor that it overpowers the Daiya. We definitely need to go back in the near future to try their cheese steaks.

After our plays were done (coincidentally the play Mauro and I went to was called Superior Donuts, quite fitting) we regrouped at Horizons, the ultimate vegan dining experience. Horizons can, without a doubt, compete with any top restaurant in NYC or San Francisco. Since we have so much to show and tell about Horizons we decided to write a dedicated review about it.

Day 3

Day three of our extravaganza took us all the way up to Bethlehem, PA where we briefly attended the Lehigh Valley Green Home & Building Expo, had a quick vegan lunch at their food court (did I mention how we love that green expos always have good vegan eats) and then headed out to Vegan Treats. Oh, how we love Danielle Konya and her staff of vegan dessert goddesses and gods. We’re so fortunate to be close enough that we can make a special trip up there on a weekend but not too close to be tempted to go there very week. Every time I walk in that shop I want one of everything — but I’ve never actually done that, yet. My one recommendation, the item you must try especially if you like chocolate and peanut butter, is the chocolate peanut butter mousse bomb. Trust me, it is THE BOMB!

Read Chris’ full review from a couple of weeks ago and check out more pics from this week’s visit posted below.

How sweet it is! What else can I say?

If you have something you’d like to say, add a comment below.

About Lydia Grossov


Lydia has been a passionate cook since she was 13 years old, a vegetarian/now vegan for a over 21 years, a graphic designer for over 18.... read her full bio or send her a message here.

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