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 Post subject: new to philly (art museum)
PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:28 pm 
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Wears Pleather Undies
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hi! i'm new to philly (and not new to PPK, but i just read more than write). i just moved to the art museum area (south of fairmount) from nyc/detroit. i work in west philly at Penn and my husband's working at CHOP. so far we're still unpacking and getting settled, but we're excited to check out the vegan offerings in town and meet some local folks. :-) any tips for stuff around art museum? we know about mugshots on fairmount, and at least one tofu dish at the belgian cafe. it doesn't seem like there's a ton up here in the way of vegan food though. to be fair we moved from greenwich village, so we're a bit spoiled. we did find our way to blackbird when we were apartment hunting and thought it was the best pizza ever.

anyhow, any tips welcome, and look forward to meeting you!


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 Post subject: Re: new to philly (art museum)
PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 4:04 pm 
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Yay welcome! Yay Penn! What are you doing there? (you can pm me that).
xstartxtodayx is the West Philly guru (at least to me) but I know a few things. For lunch during a workday, the Magic Carpet food truck at 34th and Walnut is vegetarian and is pretty decent. All the omnivores from school would go there for lunch. For my favorite favorite burritos, Mexicali at either the storefront at 40th and Sansom or their truck on Penn's mainer campus, I think like at 38th. On Sansom row, like 34th-36th Sansom (outside the law school), there are a few things. White Dog Cafe, which is fancyish and organic and all 'humane' about their animal products, always has at least one vegan option for lunch and dinner. I hate the dinner there but I remember liking lunch. Next door, the bubble tea whatever restaurant has Asiany vegan options. I always liked it there (can't you tell by how much I remember about the name and the cuisine) but the service can be iffy. But the worst service award goes to the one at the end of the row, Mad Mex 4 (or as some dorks will say Mad 4 Mex (I refuse; WE ARE!)), which actually has pretty decent food. All the different dishes almost can be made with portobello or tofu, and it's an extensive menu. Just full of undergrads drinking colored drinks and the service sucks. But you should definitely go sometime. I might when my law school friends visit just for old times sake, haha. So those are some options and I definitely am not the most knowledgeable person.
More Westerly in West Philly, there are AMAZING things. The famous Fu-Wah tofu hoagie, Vientienne Cafe, Dock's Brewery pizza (I think that's what it's called?) so many more. Elli help me out.

When you come into Center City and want to eat, let me know!

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 Post subject: Re: new to philly (art museum)
PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 4:54 pm 
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Hi Branch! Welcome to Philly!

When I used to work at Penn, my lunch spots were:
-Hanan House of Pita (blue truck on 38th between Sansom and Walnut) - AWESOME, cheap falafel, great owner! I believe this falafel is better than Magic Carpet
-Hummus on 40th and Walnut has a pretty good falafel and other platters that are vegan friendly
-SITAR!!! UGHH I LOVE SITAR! There buffet is great on a good vegan day. I usually call ahead and ask "What at your buffet is vegetarian and does not contain any dairy, including ghee?" and when it is more than 3 veggie items, GO! The naan at the buffet doesn't have ghee, so it's great! Last time I went, there was channa masala, baingan bartha, aloo gobi and a dal! PURIS! NAAN! BEST SAMOSA IN ALL OF PHILLY! I take my Indian food VERY seriously, hense the caps haha.
-If you're on the east end of campus, Mad Mex is okay like Randi mentioned. They have a tofu appetizer dish that is actually really good.
-Pod for expensive sushi
-Mizu for inexpensive sushi
-Tampopo is on the far west end of campus (it's actually off campus, on 44th Street, but they deliver) for rice bowls.
-Ed's pizza has daiya, they will deliver, but their pizza is not that great.
-a couple chain burrito places, if you are into that (Chipoltle, and Qdoba)
-Local 44 (off campus, but close, also on 44th street, right next to Tampopo) has good beer and more than half decent vegan food (including brunch options)
-Thai Singha on Chestnut is also pretty good.

There's a whole west philly section in the Philadelphia thread, maybe one of the first couple pages. But I included a bunch of west philly proper places, this is a more "university city" friendly list.


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 Post subject: Re: new to philly (art museum)
PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 5:10 pm 
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Oh my goodness. I really wish I could do school over again. Sitar has vegan naan?? There's a falafel truck?? Oh man alive.

Also, I adore Local 44 and they do a Sunday night quizzo. My friends and I were West Philly quizzo champs for like a year, every week (mostly at Blockley though). Can we do it????

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 Post subject: Re: new to philly (art museum)
PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:08 pm 
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RandiJM wrote:
Oh my goodness. I really wish I could do school over again. Sitar has vegan naan?? There's a falafel truck?? Oh man alive.

Also, I adore Local 44 and they do a Sunday night quizzo. My friends and I were West Philly quizzo champs for like a year, every week (mostly at Blockley though). Can we do it????

I am always up for Quizzo. I'm terrible with team names though. What was yours??

Hope to meet you soon, Branch!


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 Post subject: Re: new to philly (art museum)
PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:20 pm 
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Blackbird IS the best vegan pizza ever, you are correct!

West Philly is also home to the Satellite Cafe, which has decent sandwichy stuff and bagels with vegan cream cheese and usually a couple Vegan Treats items. It's at 50th and Baltimore, in the old firehouse building - also home to a bike shop and Philly Community Acupuncture. I come to West Philly whenever I can afford acupuncture (they have a sliding scale! $15-35! and I'm supposed to come twice a week). I know there are a couple other places too...I usually go to Satellite 'cuz it's right there and I can get a bagel sandwich for $3.

Is "Art Museum" the name of the neighborhood? That's so weird/cool that the neighborhood is named that.

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 Post subject: Re: new to philly (art museum)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 6:11 am 
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choirqueer wrote:

West Philly is also home to the Satellite Cafe, which has decent sandwichy stuff and bagels with vegan cream cheese and usually a couple Vegan Treats items. It's at 50th and Baltimore, in the old firehouse building - also home to a bike shop and Philly Community Acupuncture. I come to West Philly whenever I can afford acupuncture (they have a sliding scale! $15-35! and I'm supposed to come twice a week). I know there are a couple other places too...I usually go to Satellite 'cuz it's right there and I can get a bagel sandwich for $3.


Cool, I might have to check out Philly Community Acupuncture! I used to get it in Texas but haven't really known where to go here.

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 Post subject: Re: new to philly (art museum)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 6:55 am 
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thanks folks! yes, 'art museum' is the name of the neighborhood - it's north of center city, east of the museum/schuykill, and west of broad street. i think technically it goes up to girard or something, but we are between spring garden and fairmount. i think some call our area 'spring garden', but i've also seen that used for further east by northern liberties, so not sure!

so sounds like you guys don't know much up here either?! the west philly tips are good though. honestly i bring lunch from home usually, but we'll have to splurge occasionally in the name of culinary exploration.

as for what i'm doing at penn - i'm a visiting scholar there for the year, doing research in linguistics. we might just be here for one year, as i'm a professor back in michigan and i'm just on a one-year leave. we may find permanent things in philly though, who knows.

now i'm craving a bagel with vegan cream cheese, even though i don't actually like it that much! i wish all bagel places had hummus for bagel sandwiches. definitely need to seek out the tofu hoagie (which is a banh mi sandwich, right?) soon!


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 Post subject: Re: new to philly (art museum)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:40 am 
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RandiJM wrote:
Next door, the bubble tea whatever restaurant has Asiany vegan options. I always liked it there (can't you tell by how much I remember about the name and the cuisine) but the service can be iffy.


The bubble tea place closed and has been replaced by a BBQ restaurant. Boo.

I recently discovered Manakeesh (http://manakeeshcafe.com/) at 44th and Walnut. It's "Lebanese Fusion" and has several items clearly marked vegan on the menu. The main thing they have there is manakeesh which is a Lebanese flatbread sandwich. I like the Zatar with added veggies (cucumber, olives, tomato). It's a pretty big piece of flatbread for $3.75 so definitely a bargain. I got tabbouleh the first time I went there because I wasn't sure how filling the flatbread would be, and it ended up being too much food. The tabbouleh was really good though. Haven't tried the falafel yet.

Aside from Mugshots and Belgian Cafe I don't know of any other places in the Art Museum area of interest.


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 Post subject: Re: new to philly (art museum)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:43 am 
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the only thing else in the art museum area is Fare Restaurant, which is alright.

best thing in that neighborhood is Belgium Cafe.

also once its closer to Halloween your area will become packed with people going to Eastern State.

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 Post subject: Re: new to philly (art museum)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:07 am 
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Oh that's sad about bubble house. I had so many awkward as asshat lunches with professors there. Good times.

Really want Manakeesh! And Local 44 (for quizzo). Yes please??

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 Post subject: Re: new to philly (art museum)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:21 am 
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i'm so hungry now for manakeesh and it's only 10am and i've brought my lunch! oh well.

in principle i'd be up for quizzo, though i'm not usually in the west philly area on the weekend, so it would depend how lazy i'm feeling on sunday evening. that's usually prime lazy time. :-)


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 Post subject: Re: new to philly (art museum)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:39 am 
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The thing about Satellite is, if you're on Penn's campus (lets just say 38th and Walnut), unless you have a bike, are you really going to go to 50th and Baltimore for a bagel? Don't get me wrong, I like Satellite but there is a clear distinction between university city and west philly. And west philly has been thoroughly discussed on this board.

Manakeesh is pretty good. I got the zaatar manakeesh and foul beans. The beans were bland and loaded with oil. Abyssinia rules for foul beans, very hard.


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 Post subject: Re: new to philly (art museum)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:48 am 
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i do have a bike (that i ride to work), but it's true i don't think i'll often bike out just for the bagel. :-) my office is near spruce and 36th. so i guess i should say i work in university city? i thought west philly referred to everything west of the river, and included uni city. still learning the local lingo though!


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 Post subject: Re: new to philly (art museum)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:47 pm 
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West Philadelphia basically includes "University City" (which as far as I can tell is sort of a marketing term used for the general Drexel/Penn area to make it sound less scary to prospective students and their parents.)


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