steve's Reviews


Kind of the same thing as Vedge

entered by steve on Dec. 14, 2014

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The food here is excellent, as can be expected from Landau and Jacoby.

Don't believe the hype about edginess, or the 'street' part of the name. This restaurant basically the same thing as Vedge. Small plates, lots of flavor, big prices. It would have been nice to see them change up the format, but I'll take what I can get.

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entered by steve on Sep. 24, 2014

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I went here once when I first moved to Philly a few years ago. It was a beginner mistake. I returned recently after forgetting the experience.

The food here is nothing more than run-of-the-mill mock meats, bread and condiments whipped together using a cutting board and a microwave. The vibe isn't bad, but it's large and has been empty both times I've gone, making it feel deserted. I'm not sure what the cause, but I also had to wave off at least three insects that were flying around while I was trying to eat. I had to keep waving a napkin in the air pretty much the whole time.

Also, beware that they advertise as a "Vegan and Vegetarian restaurant" but serve fish. The staff is friendly, I just wish they'd get the facts straight and make some more interesting food.

They Stepped up Their Dinner Game

entered by steve on May. 14, 2014

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I used to go to POPE a lot for brunch until Vegan Commissary opened. Now I only go for brunch when VC is closed or I'm with an omni crowd that isn't into an all-vegan brunch (sigh). The brunch remains great, but VC is just too hard to compete with, food-wise.

I used to avoid POPE for dinner because they were catering more to vegetarians than vegans, with a lack of tasty vegan fatty/juicy sauces. For example, their old vegan cheese sauce for the cheesesteak was super gross, and the sandwich was dry otherwise. However, I'm happy to report that they've totally stepped up their game and started making a cheese sauce using cashews that is delicious. I ordered the seitan nachos, no sour cream, and subbed cashew cheese for regular cheese. It was awesome.

One final note: like many restaurants, they've started carrying a non-vegan alternative to Huy Fong Sriracha sauce. I almost ate hot sauce with fish in it, which is a bummer, but it was my bad. Apparently they always have a vegan hot sauce on hand, available by request.

No Reason to Go Here

entered by steve on May. 14, 2014

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I've been to Sabrina's about a dozen times. A lot has been said about the atmosphere, and you won't hear me complain. For a cozy, nostalgic meal, they pretty much can't be beat.

But if, like me, you actually want your vegan meal to taste good, Sabrina's is a tough sell. They occasionally offer really nice vegan brunch specials, but if those are not available and you have to fall back to the regular menu. Look forward to dry, low-fat food, a lack of vegan condiments, and expect to receive some non-vegan condiments instead. I ordered the tofu scramble recently and I had to take it home and re-cook it to add flavor to it. I also ordered a pricey side of fruit, which turned out to be a big pile of unripe cantaloupe with 3-4 pieces of tasty fruit on top.

If you're eating with omni people and you want to take one for the team in exchange for a nice brunch atmosphere, enjoy. Otherwise, do yourself a favor and go to Vegan Commissary or even POPE.

my favorite restaurant

entered by steve on May. 02, 2014

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I've eaten at Vegan Commissary about a half dozen times now, and I have no interest in slowing down. In fact, I wish they had more hours, so I could go there on Monday or Tuesday.

The food is exceptional. It is second in quality only to Vedge, but at a much lower price point and with a casual atmosphere that makes dropping after work more practical.

When I'm feeling like eating healthy, I swing for one of their imaginative salads or the refreshing gazpacho, but I'm usually interested in one of the heartier entrees or the totally indulgent brunch choices. I think they offer the "Best of Philly" in several categories. Their cheesesteak has a homemade cheese-wiz style sauce that no one else can replicate, with thin and tender slices of seitan, slightly better than Blackbird's cheesesteak. For French Toast, I used to prefer the (vegan) thick-cut Texas toast with crusted nuts and coconut at P.O.P.E., but Vegan Commissary stepped up the game with their sweet creamy filling and reduced berry sauces. While not every dish is a slam dunk, I've yet to order something I didn't like, wouldn't order again, or didn't have at least one aspect that is unique and delicious.

I hate to give a (2) for atmosphere, because the service is outstanding. The servers are attentive and knowledgeable about the menu, and the management is warm and inviting. It feels like a family restaurant. However, the paint, the lighting, the tables, chairs and music leave a LOT to be desired. I think this is intentional, because they want to focus on the food, but I hope to see them improve in this area in the months to come.

So maybe not the best place for a first date, but if you want to eat the best vegan food in Philly at a price that supports repeat visits, Vegan Commissary is the best game in town.

Not a fan

entered by steve on Jan. 04, 2014

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Went for the lunch special. Standard veg. chinese food offerings, but with an emphasis on mock meats. Hard to get a lunch special with just tofu and veggies.

Not as good as Veggie Lovers, around the block.

healthy and delicious

entered by steve on Aug. 03, 2013

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The menu is full of delicious, mostly (all?) organic and gluten-free mediterranean fixins to choose from as you build up your meal. I ordered a weekly special veggie burger not featured on the regular menu and it was delicious. This place does a great job with simple, high-quality food.

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entered by steve on Apr. 18, 2013

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This past weekend I finally took some time to hack on VegPhilly at Philly's only all-vegan coffee shop. I only wish I'd done so sooner. Grindcore House is charming. Good coffee, easy to get a table, the wifi is stable and there are tons of vegan snacks.

Some of the same people were hanging around two days in a row, which, coupled with the friendliness of the staff, makes this place feel really comfortable. I like the music, but sometimes it was loud enough to feel like a music venue. Otherwise I'd give 4 stars for atmosphere.

The food is good enough for a coffee shop that doesn't have a kitchen. The Greenwich was light and delicious, perfect for "trying to concentrate and not get grease on my keyboard" eating.

Overall, Grindcore House is an awesome vegan business that's great for hanging around or trying to get some work done.

Mellow and Delicious

entered by steve on Apr. 14, 2013

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Ordered the vegan french toast today and it was awesome. Thick-cut "Texas" toast with crispy edges and rich, gooey centers thanks to its coconut-almond batter. Lightly crusted with some kind of crushed nut (I think), coated with powdered sugar, and served with a side of high-quality maple syrup. Nicely done!

I normally prefer to go straight to the Essene hot bar on weekends for french toast, but lately they've been skimping on providing condiments. I'm glad I can get something a little more thoughtfully prepared at POPE.

I rated the atmosphere as 3, but be warned, it is dark and dingy in here. It's calm, there's not usually brunch lines, and the staff is friendly. If you've got a hangover and want to enjoy food in peace, you're in for a treat. If you want to enjoy some sunshine, or get hyped on weekend brunch excitement, Sabrina's has you covered.

Awesome Lunch Specials

entered by steve on Apr. 04, 2013

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I routinely go here for the lunch specials and I always get the same thing: General Tso's Tofu, Brown Rice, Miso Soup, Spring Roll. The total price is $5.50, that's tough to beat.

The food is very savory and covered in brown goey goodness. The tofu is fried and crispy. Despite being called "Veggie Lovers", more than 75% of the meal is grains and proteins. Do not bring your yoga friends here.

It's a little cleaner than some of the other restaurants I've been to in Chinatown, the staff is friendly (if a little slow -- don't come in a hurry!) and the experience is consistent.

One word of warning - like many vegetarian asian restaurants, it is often unclear whether they are 100% vegan or nearly vegan. Veggie Lovers is definitely not 100% vegan. As of this writing, there are eggs in the fortune cookies.

Kitschy, but delicious

entered by steve on Mar. 15, 2013

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I was a little skeptical, but my food was awesome. I ordered the "Seitan Special" sandwich which was a Garlic Harissa Seitan hoagie with grilled peppers. It was really savory, delicious, dripping with garlicky oil. A little pricey, but worth it.

Good Food

entered by steve on Feb. 18, 2013

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They've got some delicious vegan options, most of which center around vegan mayonaise.

I love this place because I've got some relatives who aren't interested in much besides American food and at the Royal Tavern, everyone can find something they like.

I've given a 3 for food instead of 4 because, like most bar food, everything is super salty. Maybe 3.5 would be more appropriate - the food truly is great.

Vegan options clearly marked

entered by steve on Feb. 13, 2013

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I was pleasantly surprised that this place is a fast food Indian joint. It's nice to be able to get Indian food without the price and time commitment of table service. In fact, the prices here are AWESOME.

I give this place a lot of credit for how diligent they are about labeling vegan options. It is nice to see that there are two vegan options available daily, plus rice.

That said, the food was a little disappointing. I've had fast-food Indian that tasted a lot better than this. The lentils that are served daily left something to be desired.

Still, you'll probably find me there often because they offer Indian food without that "I'm probably eating ghee right now" feeling, are affordable, and there's nothing terrible about it. With the dismal competition in the area of Philadelphia Indian food, this is enough to earn my patronage.

Golden Rings are unique!

entered by steve on Jan. 31, 2013

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The Golden Rings here are really interesting. Mashed potatoes wrapped in sheet tofu and fried. Comes out resembling a donut crossed with a dumpling. I wouldn't go to Su Xing without ordering these.

That said, I wouldn't eat an entire entree of Golden Rings because they are really heavy and they can get a little old. Split the Golden Rings with a friend and order something with greens in it too!

Above Average Falafel

entered by steve on Jan. 30, 2013

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The falafel here really is fantastic. I do love to support Maoz for being all vegetarian and having a huge salad bar, but their falafel balls don't compare to Falafel Bar.

I've given them a 3 instead of 4 because the vegetables, especially the lettuce, leave something to be desired.

Good For Studying/Working

entered by steve on Oct. 26, 2012

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I haven't had the food here. However, I dig how many vegan options they have.

It's a good place to study. In fact, a number of key features found on VegPhilly were designed here!