Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Vegan MoFo: Philadelphia

The next leg of our journey took us to a cute, small town in Pennsylvania, amidst Amish country. We actually stayed with a blogging friend (from my family/homeschool blog) I'd never "met." It was a great experience, and I loved her as much as I knew I already did. I think I may have freaked her out after she came over here and read my vegan story. (She knew I was vegan but maybe didn't realize how deeply and for how long.)

She was incredibly gracious and accomodating. (And she's weird herself, anyway because she doesn't like vegetables or fruits so we're kind of even. Right, Annette? ;) ) She sent me a dozen emails beforehand, checking and rechecking ingredients, to make sure she fed us "correctly." We had oatmeal for breakfast, pb&j's and carrots and apples for lunch, and spaghetti with sauce and black beans + salad for supper. She did great! She had even made vegan fudge for us, using this recipe.

Onto Philadelphia...I love Philadelphia!

And I love it when I see signs like this one.

I saw the all-vegan Blackbird Pizzeria on Happy Cow but was bummed because it appeared to be closed during lunch. We just happened to wander upon it as we were looking for something else, and it was open. (From what I understand, it's now located in the spot Gianna's Grill was formerly located.) It has a bit of a "hole in the wall" type atmosphere (but seemingly clean). The employees were all very friendly and helpful.

They had several pizzas ready to order by the slice, or you can place a special order, as well. It was sooo exciting. Maybe this was only my second all-vegan pizza place (also Cruzers in L.A.) I've ever been to?

My oldest son immediately zoomed in on the potato pizza. It was so intriguing and delicious. I've never had anything like it. I really want to try this at home. We all loved it.

We also ordered pepperoni, cheese, and a vegetable type.

I'm probably not the best reviewer because I'm excited enough just to be eating at the place with "All Items are Vegan" written on the wall, that my taste buds may or may not be thinking clearly. I'm pretty certain this was a great place, though. (Ryan says yes, it was.) I can, of course, make a vegan pizza any ol' day, but I have never made a crust so fluffy and crispy at the same time. And I just walked up to a counter and ordered it, ate, and left my dirty dishes behind...I love vacation. Definitely 10 thumbs up from the whole family.

They have many other items on their menu: sandwiches, garlic bread, etc.

They also sell desserts. I knew just by looking at them, they had to be from Vegan Treats, and I was right. Leave it to my funny 10 year old to pick out the kooky pretzel brownie. We all kind of shared everything.

So...I so wanted to love all of these because I always drool over the Vegan Treats pics. They were fine, but I didn't moan, "These are sooo good," with a mouthful of food, like a might if they really blew me away. I think this is why I only thought they were fine: I prefer my desserts chilled. Especially if the frosting isn't overly sweet. I'm not a huge cake-at-room-temperature person. I know that when you chill chake, it can dry it out, which is why they don't do it. It just feels like these luscious looking frostings would taste better chilled. My favorite part of all of these was the brownie at the bottom of the pretzel concoction. It was good!

There were, however, 3 other little mouths that weren't as discriminating as mine. And that's all that really matters. I felt very happy for them since they only get desserts a few times a year at restaurants, during our trips and travels.

We walked around the area surrounding Blackbird in South Philly (fun area but maybe not so kid-friendly; we had to avert their eyes away from a few different stores). We also made it to see The Liberty Bell.

Just because our hotel was so close, and we knew the route, we decided we might as well go back to Blackbird. We thought it seemed necessary to order a Philly Cheesesteak sandwich while we were in town. However, they had just used their last two pieces of bread when we walked in. Therefore...we ordered pizza again. Apparently, we were subconsciously fine with that since we plowed through it with no problem.

Tomorrow night, I might insist on a raw dinner in NYC to balance things out a bit.
I'm behind on blog reading and replying because it's harder to comment while on my phone. And I'm often needed in the car to open packages, locate missing Leapster cartridges & blankies, etc., and watch out for exits. I'll get caught up soon. I appreciate all of your trip well-wishes, and I enjoyed all of your Vegan Essential entry comments. (I will get your extra entries posted soon, as well.) Vegan MoFo has been fun, and I don't want to miss out on the "party" one bit.


  1. Missing out on the party, nah you are having one big vegan pizza party there.

    No fruits and veggies? I always worry so much about people like that and try to covertly slip veggies into their food or give them kale chips, which usually wins over almost any veggie-hater. I guess I won't be invited over to Annette's now. Oops.

    Have fun!

  2. What a fun trip so far! I've lived in Philadelphia all my life, but how about I've never been to South Philly! Just Center City, And Northeast & far Northeast Philadelphia!

  3. Sarah Lynn, oh, that's right. I don't really know my way around Philly; this is just where we happened to land. You should venture on down here sometime.

    Bitt, funny. Annette DOES eat a few fruits and veggies...apples, lettuce, and some other things. I didn't try to sneak anything into her food. For fear she'd sneak a little ribeye into mine.

  4. I loved Philly too and I think it was mostly for seeing signs just like that. I almost didn't know how to order from a menu in which everything was veg friendly. I was so overwhelmed I just stood there like a total dunce. That pizza place looks yummmmmyyyyy ;-)

  5. I've never been to Philly. I know they have a great deal of vegan eats, much better than in D.C. Looks like a fun trip!

  6. Looks like you are having fun...that pizza sure does look yummy!! :o)

  7. Don't worry, you're not missing the MoFo party! I'm impressed you're blogging from the road...it's fun to read about a real roadtrip!

    That pizza looks fantastic; I would have definitely ordered a slice of the potato pizza too!

    And, it's neat you stayed with a blog friend; she sounds like a perfect hostess. Have fun in NYC!

  8. You love Philly? I lived there for five years and couldn't wait to leave. I'll have to check out Blackbird the next time I am in town, maybe that can sway me. My favorite place is Horizons, though - that would be good if you're ever there for a date, or when your kids are older.

    Hope you are having fun in New York!

  9. I'm FROM Philly! I'm glad you got to South Street and the Liberty Bell, but the whole Historic Philadelphia area is fantastic. I especially love the Ben Franklin exhibit, and City Hall, and I've always loved the Franklin Institute. Lots of good places to eat there, too. I'm feeling homesick ...

  10. Looks like you are having a great time. I am still shaking my head that your friend doesn't eat many fruits and veggies.

    Thanks for the food reivew of Philly. Between you and Heather I feel like I need to make a quick road trip some weekend soon before the snow starts flying.

    Have fun in NYC!

  11. Hehe! Naw...I'd never sneak ribeye into your dinner, though Derek hates it when I try to make our meals healthier with flax seed, wheat flour...you know simple fixes.

    I do eat more than carrots, apples, and lettuce. I just don't ENJOY it! For fruit, it's the texture...veggies taste. Dips help...and smoothies make all fruit better (texture)...though Derek doesn't let me slip veggies in.

    It may not have been awesome food while you were here, but at least you weren't hungry...I hope!

  12. "It has a bit of a "hole in the wall" type atmosphere (but seemingly clean). "

    dirts vegan, dont worry bout it:)lol thats so fun that you met and stayed with a blogger friend! it was funny what you erote, they you ere even cuz she idnt like fruits and veggies! lol wow hen she really stepped it up to meet your needs! im happy that you know great people on the homeschooling side.

    you are so lucky to go to that all vegan place!! i cant be jealous though(well a little) because you enjoyed it so much!! i could FEEL how happy you were!

    oh i see Annettes comment above me..redeeming herself and her veggie aversion! lol

  13. I want to eat potato pizza at Blackbird someday!

    Hehe, I think that pretzel brownie looks best, actually.

    Raw dinner in NYC! YES! Pure Food & Wine, perhaps? Oh, I'd be SO jealous...

  14. Heather, we were going to go to Basic 4 because I remembered your post about it. But somehow we just didn't venture out there.

    SV, you should definitely swing by there sometime!

    Michelle and Rose, thank you! And yes, she was the perfect hostess.

    Jessica! You don't like Philly, huh? What part did you live? We definitely didn't travel around the whole city; we were pretty localized. I thought the area we were in was just beautiful. I even told Ryan I think it's my 2nd favorite big city now, after NYC...well, it would be a close tie with Chicago maybe. What didn't you like about it?

    Andrea, fun! We just loved the historic district. There was just TOO much for us to do in 1 1/2 days. We had it on our schedule to do the Ben Franklin stuff, but my daughter fell asleep right after lunch...there was just no way to get around that one. Next time, though. We did do the Congress Hall tour and Independence Hall tour...Liberty Bell...and just walked around a little more than that.

    Ali, have you said where you live? I can't remember...I'll have to look over to see if you ever say.

    Annette, I KNEW I was forgetting something: veggies with dip and smoothies. Maybe I was feeling guilty about being a troublesome houseguest so I attempted to throw you under the bus ("Well, Annette doesn't eat fruits or veggies!" said in a child-like voice.) to make myself look and feel better. :) And there are many, many husbands who object to their food being changed in any way...that is for sure; it's not just Derek. I was not hungry in the least. That's exactly the kind of food we eat on a daily basis at our house.

    Michelle (aka: dirtyduck momma), thank you! Thank you for being happy for me. For overlooking your own insane jealousies to feel happy for your friend :)

    Amber Shea, you have the food preferences of a 10 year old? :) It IS very artistic; I'll give it that. I DO plan on eating at Pure Food and Wine...it's on the list!

  15. Gauri Radha गौरी राधाNovember 19, 2010 at 5:23 PM

    The vegan desserts look marvelous!!

  16. Everything in Blackbird is out of this world! 5 stars! seriously. Wish I lived next door.

  17. Potato pizza is pretty common in Rome