Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My East Coast travels, Post One

Written whilst on journey:

I am currently on a bus, headed to D.C. No, there's no wifi, I'm just writing something now to blog later. I may get nausea from doing this, so I'll probably have to stop. All my electronics are starting to be really bad at keeping a full battery. When I turned on my computer it was at 97% and 5 minutes later it's at 88%. I am playing iTunes while I type (I forgot to charge my iPod last night so I was very low on power when I got on the bus.) so that's got a little something to do with it. But my battery has just been going wonky...

Anyways, so here's how my "vacation" has been going: Last Tuesday I got to the Portland airport at the butt crack of dawn, known to some as 6:30. I arrived in Philadephia at midnight, where my friend of 8 years, known as Niff, picked me up. Before going to her house, we stopped at Center City Soft Pretzel Company. Every night at midnight they start pumping out fresh, hot pretzels that the sell wholesale or retail. They used to be $0.10, but now they're the spendy (pick up that sarcasm?) price of $0.35. Ridiculously cheap, am I right?? Niff checked with some of her veganlike friends to confirm their veganness, which was awfully nice of her. Straight from the huge oven....mmm....salty, bready, deliciousness!

The next day we went downtown after getting latte from her favorite coffee shop (I don't remember the name...Altera, Altima? something with an A...they had one vegan sandwich option, I didn't get it, but it sounded nice). We walked around downtown, stopping in at Urban Outfitters, H & M and various stores. I was in awe of all the old buildings/churches. I love old architecture and Philly is just full of it. I could spend a lot of time, just walking around Philly and taking photos....Eventually we got to be starving and we decided to go to the Reading Market (something like that...), which is an inside market with many different booths and eateries. We came across Basic 4, which is an all vegetarian stand run by some Asian ladies. The service was slow as all get out, but I did end up getting free vegan cheese on my Philly "Steak" Hoagie ($7.76 with add on onions and peppers). You order and pay them and then you take your food to the food court area or take it to a park or something. We ate inside. My friend got the Carrot Tuna sandwich, which doesn't actually have tuna in it. It's finely shredded carrot (it looked like what you find in the juicer after you juice carrots) with lettuce, tomato, cayenne and other stuff i don't remember. I thought it was a very refreshing summer sandwich and would definitely get it if I went again. That's if I didn't get my Philly steak sandwich again. I really liked it! It was on a just-right toasted multi-grain hoagie with seitan, the added on sauteed onions and peppers and then the vegan cheese had been melted and kinda gave everything that gooeyness. I loved cheesesteaks growing up. Mom and I would go to Vandy's in Sarasota just about once a week. The mouthfeel was very reminecent of those Vandy's sandwiches. $8.50 (what it would've cost with cheese had I paid for it) is pretty steep for just that sandwich, but it is big and it is yum.

Philly Cheesesteak deliciousness...
Niff and her Carrot "Tuna" Sandwich

That night we went to South Philly Tap Room, where they have many vegan options, but, alas, I wasn't hungry after snacking on leftover pretzels. I got the fries which totes weren't worth the $5! I was pretty disappointed in them. Maybe they cost $3.....either way, they kinda sucked and I was sad. 

The next day we went again to Niff's favorite coffee shop with her friend Eleanor. Then we went to her friend Liz's house where I met Liz and her adorable 8 month old Elzie (spelling?). Liz made a tasty vegan taco salad for our lunch. Niff and I spent the afternoon just hanging out at her house, where the hot weather couldn't get us down. The day before had just about killed me with it's mugginess. It had been so gross. That night we went to Royal Tavern. I got the Tempeh Club, which was layers of bread, vegan mayo, tempeh and tempeh bacon, lettuce, tomato. It came with tots and a pickle spear, all for $8. The sandwich was really good. I had to take a layer of the tempeh and the center slice of bread b/c it was too tall.


Katie said...

I've never had a Philly Cheesesteak even before I was vegan...I am definitely going to have to try to make my own vegan version. Yours looked spectacular! Being vegan is just great because I have tried so many new foods and meals!

Tara said...

I have never been to Philadelphia and it sounds very neat! Good to know that there are many vegan options there, like super cheap pretzels!