Wednesday, September 27, 2006

What I did on my summer vacation!

I returned early this week from my trip to Philadelphia, PA/King of Prussia, PA and Long Island/NYC. I was KOP for a business conference, right next to the big ole mall.

First thing after a red eye flight into town and a bit of wandering, I went to Morning Glory diner for breakfast. It was recommended on the PPK boards and was warm, filling meal..Tofu scramble with spinach, roasted red peppers and mushrooms - wheat toast, cinnamon apples and roasted potatoes. Very good, but the tofu was silken cubes. What gives? I couldn't bring myself to eat the spinach. Soybean coffee shake and my friend Erin's coffee from The Bean Cafe on South Street. One of those rare, rare, rare occasions I consume caffeine purposely.From Kingdom of Vegetarians in Chinatown, Philly - wonton soup.Hot & Sour Soup.Erin and I split a Kung Pao chicken lunch special. The gluten was too squishy for me.
Well, I was trapped mallside and all with my company credit card - Portabella burger and fries from...The Cheesecake Factory, King of Prussia. I had one meal here, two at the California Pizza Kitchen, conference 'fancy' dinner at the California Cafe and a salad from the food court. FYI, all pastas from The Cheesecake Factory contain eggs. I feared the bun.My sister, Jennifer, and her boyfriend, Mike drove down from NY to spend time with me during the conference. They even cut class! He's Mike sampling some edamame at The Cheesecake Factory.We went into Philly for the day on Saturday after the conference had ended. We went to the highly recommended New Harmony Vegetarian restaurant in Chinatown and had the most delightful meal of the trip. Pictured below are spring rolls and dipping sauce. Wonton soupMy sister and I both had hot and sour soup. I have to give KOV the honor of best hot and sour, this one didn't have any bite.
Dragon dumplingsyea yea yea ! Sesame tofu with broccoli, slightly spicy. This was my main dish.Mike's Kung Pao chicken. The vegetables were so fresh!Jenny's General Tsao's chicken. This dish rocked my tastebuds like No Name from Grasshopper used to. Same texture!We had dinner at Maoz. I'd only been to them in Amsterdam previously, where yeah, the fries were 800x better, but the falafel from this place in Philly ranks as the second best I've ever had.Falafel sandwich with pickle, cauliflower, hot peppers, tons of tahini, hummus and fried eggplant. aka THE WORKS. From Gino's of Tuscany in my hometown of Islip, NY - Penna Puttanesca, minus the capers because they creep me out. This restaurant does not have anchovies in their sauce.We took my grandparents into NYC for the day on Sunday. This is from Ferrara's in Littly Italy, NY: two mini cannolis and a cream puff type dessert. Nope, none are vegan. I got to sit and watch my grandma find the pastry she had described for awhile that we had no idea what it was..."the cross on top"
My grandparents, both had the pastry my grandma mentioned: Pasticciotti Ricotta.
On the to-do list: a veganization. Even the coffee was snazzy.My grandparents, Gloria & Harry <3 Last dinner on Long Island - Peninsula Restaurant. Spicy fried tofu and mixed veggies in garlic sauce - the classic. Basically, I'd been craving chinese like crazy in Oregon! Lots of good Thai food but not the Chinese I'd missed.

And finally Zelda, packing herself for the next trip.
Expect a restaurant review celebrating our 2 year Portlandversary and a couple PPK testing photos this weekend~

17 comments:

Just call me Orangie said...

Wow, that is a lot of pictures! Everything looks so amazing (especially the sesame tofu with broccoli *drools*) I'm glad you had so much fun, I wish I oculd go somewhere cool *sighes* We (me and my mom) have too many animals that seem to think that we can't leave, because there's nobody to feed them :) (I live on a farm with the works)

Wiebke said...

oh wow. i wish i could have made it to new harmony with you. i miss that place!!!
don't worry about scratching up your knife a little bit, you mean on the side of the blade, right? i was concerned about that, too. but was told that it is a tool and not a mirror. ha!

Shananigans said...

You went to Kingdom of Vegetarians! I wanted to go there last time I was in Philly because I heard they had $10 all you can eat veggie dim sum. Sadly we didn’t have time, we were just in town for a short weekend for a wedding. All that food looks so good, I love eating out at places that cater to veg*ns. The puttanesca and falafel look especially delectable. Your kitty is so cute! I once sat next to a woman on a plane that claimed to have a cat in her carpet bag. This was neither confirmed nor disproved during the flight.

EatPeacePlease said...

What a load of photos. Great stuff Jess. I laughed when you said you had your company credit card! Thanks for all these reviews. Portlandaversary... great!

Anonymous said...

Oh man, all that food looks so good! I'm so sad to hear about the pasta at The Cheesecake Factory. Thier "Evelyn's Favorite Pasta" is my favorite thing ever. Unfortunately, last time I was thier I asked about thier breads and buns and the waiter confirmed that they're made with eggs and/or dairy. So that sucks... That restaurant is way veg unfriendly :(

Johanna3 said...

Wow so much food . so much photos.
looks like you have a great summer vacation!

celine said...

zelda is so pretty, and so are your grandparents. needless to say most of the food is making me drool my head off.

Vivacious Vegan said...

What an awesome company sponsered veggie eat out! Hooray for you. I loved seeing all of your photos and will keep this in mind when I (if I ever) head to Philly. Zelda is too cute. Bailey also loves to hang out in our suitcases! She either wants to come or she's begging us not to go. Cats are so adorable!

Melissa said...

Holy, all that food looks incredible, I'm so jealous! I agree, capers are freaky!

Kathryn said...

holy cow. i'm living in portland now, but i'm from the east coast originally and contemplating a move back to philly... and good lord. i've been to all of those places, i love them to death, and it just makes me want to go back even more. harmony's gluten is the best thing ever. mmmm. thanks for making my night (hooray for visuals of my home state's dining)

Kate said...

This reminds me how much I love food, not that I can forget that fact for more then a few seconds. You are so lucky to have the chance to visit all these great restaurants. The other vegan place by me is a Chinese restuarant. It's still really good, but I would die for the variety that you have.

bazu said...

Wow, you got to hit so many places, and the food looks so good. (Thanks for the heads up about Cheesecake Factory- who would guess pasta would have egg in it...?)
Thanks for transporting me to Long Island for a while- I used to live there and I miss it!

Maria said...

Does Zelda miss me?

Food looks great. I'm not a fan of silken tofu... I like it, but I prefer extra firm tofu a million times more.

Jody from VegChic said...

Man, I've got to visit Philly. I used to be there for work at my old job, but I wasn't veg then.

Cheesecake Factory... I actually contacted them awhile back. I'd also get the thai lettuce wraps with tofu instead of chicken. Then one day, they stopped stocking tofu. My letter told them that they have a huge menu with tons of potential veg options, but they don't do anything to make it accessible. I also suggested they they let their master chefs make up a few GOOD vegetarian/vegan dishes. The mushroom burger and salads are generic, we could get those almost anywhere.

Anyways, Zelda is such a cutie hiding out in the suitcase. Oh, and I look forward to veganizing cannolis. I was just talking with one of my friends about that.

Taylor said...

I'm in the Philly area and that Maoz falafel is damn good. It's good to see that you managed to hit up a bunch of good places. I usually strike out in an unfamiliar town.

Urban Vegan said...

G;ad you had fun and good food in my city. Those Chinese restos are about a 10 minute walk from me--and we sneak in for dinner every once in a while.

Next time, give me a call :)

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