blackbird pizzeria


Located on 6th Street just a block north of South Street is Blackbird Pizzeria. Blackbird serves up vegan pizza, sandwiches, and salads. I’ve been meaning to try this place for a while, but I’m just never in the area. Since I was off last Friday and still vegetarian for Lent, I made it a point to go.


I got to try a lot of food. Slices of seitan pepperoni and bbq “chicken” pizza were ordered in addition to a seitan cheesesteak and a roasted eggplant grinder.


I’ve never had daiya cheese before so I wasn’t sure what kind of flavor to expect. Although not the same as regular cheese, I found nothing wrong with these slices of pizza at all. The pizza was made well and tasted great. The crust was also thin and crisp. Since I ordered slices, they were from the pizzas on the counter. I bet they’re even better when you get em fresh from the oven.

Several people have told me that the yukon pizza is the best. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much choice up front for those ordering slices. I’m definitely going to come back to try the yukon pizza. Anyone down to split it?


seitan cheesesteak

The sandwiches were both served on vegan Baker Street rolls. The eggplant grinder tasted good but the seitan cheesesteak was even better. The seitan was sliced thinly and did a great job resembling a cheesesteak. Daiya cheese, mushrooms, peppers, and onions accompanied the seitan on the roll.

Also, a lot of their desserts are suppled by Bethlehem’s Vegan Treats!


roasted eggplant grinder

I wish I was around this place more often. The food was great and even though Lent is over, I’m definitely looking forward to my next time back.

Blackbird Pizzeria
507 S. 6th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147
215.625.6660

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the abbaye


It’s been almost a year since I’ve visited The Abbaye. I had a great time last year when I went even though it was just for a drink or two. There is no good excuse for why I haven’t been in so long and after last night’s dinner, I will not forget about this place again.

One of the reasons I chose to come here last night, besides the fact that it’s been too long, was that they have some great vegetarian/vegan food options. Some of my friends have raved about their vegan wings in particular. That being said, vegan wings were ordered for our appetizer (pictured above). They were delicious. The Abbaye makes these in house! The wings were full of flavor and had a crisp outside, a texture almost dead on with fried chicken skin. These were some of, if not the best, faux meat experiences I’ve ever had! After Lent is over, I’m still going to order these…they’re THAT good.


seitan cheesesteak

In addition to the wings, I ordered the seitan cheesesteak. I’ve had other sandwiches made with seitan before and enjoyed them, however, this was the first time I’ve had a vegetarian cheesesteak. The cheesesteak is served on a roll with melted gruyere, grilled onions, grilled tomato, and a roasted garlic aioli. I haven’t had other veg cheesesteaks to compare but this was delicious as well. The chopped up pieces of seitan were tasty and not dry at all. The cheesesteak came with a pickle, frites, and a dipping sauce.

The menu is pretty huge. Even though I could easily eliminate the meat options, I still read through everything and started to wonder how some of the stuff would taste once Lent is over (ex. Abbaye Burger, Smokey Chimay Wings). I NEED to come back to try those. Seriously had an awesome time last night. I’d like to apologize to my stomach for ignoring this fantastic place in NoLibs for almost a year. Hope to be back soon!

Also, I got to try one of their pâtés at this year’s Brewer’s Plate and it was great! Looking forward to trying the non-vegetarian ones!

The Abbaye
637 N 3rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19123
215.627.6711

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pyt


Last night was the March Foodspotting eat-up! Tommy Up, owner of PYT was awesome enough to set up a special menu for the eat-up featuring mini versions of the burgers he serves. This gave us a chance to try a couple of different ones.


Since I’m vegetarian for Lent, I luckily sat with two others eating vegetarian friendly burgers so we got to share the three veg burgers offered! We had the Calibunga burger – white bean, basil, garlic, tomato & breadcrumb patty and topped with avocado, lettuce, tomato, and caramelized onion; Portabella goat cheese burger – portabella topped with red peppers, caramelized onions, goat cheese, and a balsamic reduction; black bean burger – topped avocado & lettuce.


mini portabella burgers

It was quite an awesome time. There may have been some pickleback shots taken as well as some “adult milkshakes”…


cereal killer shake – vanilla ice cream, frosted flakes, vodka

Some thoughts at the end of the night…Is that black bean burger gunna stay on the menu? That was effing good. Also, when did PYT start serving tots? Did I just never notice that?!

Thanks to Tommy Up and Dan for setting this up!

Stay tuned for April’s Foodspotting eat-up!

PYT
The Piazza at Schmidt’s
1050 N. Hancock Street
Philadelphia, PA 19123
215.964.9009

Some other photos taken last night:


mini calibunga burgers


special menu


mini black bean burgers


foodspotters!

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cooking: fried tofu w/ spicy ginger sesame sauce


I’ve had bad luck in the past trying to fry tofu. It just never came out how it was supposed to. I now know how important it is to blot out as much water as you can!

I’m a F&W subscriber and when I saw this in the pages of the December 2010 issue, I knew I had to try it. This was my chance at fried tofu redemption.

Redemption was accomplished. The dish came out great! Definitely going to make this again.


Fried Tofu w/ Spicy Ginger Sesame Sauce
adapted from Food & Wine
serves 2

-2 1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
-1 tbsp sugar
-2 tsp crushed red pepper
-1 clove garlic, minced
-1/2 tsp sesame oil
-2 tsp ginger, grated
-1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
-1 package firm tofu (14 – 16 oz.)
-veg oil, for frying
-1-2 scallions, thinly chopped
-white rice


Slice tofu into 8 even slices. Place on paper towels and blot with extra paper towels until most of the water is gone.


In bowl, whisk together soy sauce, sugar, red pepper, garlic, sesame oil, and sesame seeds. Set Aside.


Heat around a 1/4″ of vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet until shimmering. Place tofu slices in pan and fry until golden brown, flipping once (about 4-6 minutes on each side). Once done, drain on paper towels.

Stack 4 slices of tofu on top of each other. Top with sauce, then scallions. Serve alongside white rice.

Enjoy!

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cooking (fail?): five-spice pan fried tempeh


I have never cooked with (or eaten) tempeh, so last night was a whole new experience for me. I’m warning you now (in case you follow the recipe), I don’t think it turned out that well. Totally open for suggestions and/or comments on what I may have done wrong here or what I should do differently.

Five-Spice Pan Fried Tempeh
serves 2-4 w/ rice

-8 oz. package of organic soy tempeh
-1 tsp five-spice
-1 2/3 tbsp light soy sauce
-1 tsp mirin
-1 tbsp sesame oil
-2 tbsp peanut oil

Steam tempeh for 15 minutes to allow it to “swell” so it absorbs marinade better.


In a large bowl, combine five-spice, soy sauce, mirin, and sesame oil. Once tempeh is finished steaming. Toss tempeh in marinade until coated on all sides. Let sit for a couple minutes.


Heat a skillet over med-high heat and add the peanut oil. Once hot, fry the tempeh for about 3 minutes on each side, until browned.

Serve with rice. (Try to?) enjoy.

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