Last few days in Philly – More Walking and food heaven at Horizons.

My trip to Philadelphia wouldn’t be complete without visiting the Philadelphia Art Gallery, to satisfy my inner art nerd, and taking a trip over to Horizons, to satisfy my inner vegan foodie glutton, and luckily, I was able to do both.

On Saturday a friend from New York came to visit me in Philly. It always amazes me how easy it is to get around on the east coast. I showed him Sweet Freedom Bakery, it was a great excuse to visit again, but the main reason he came other then to walk around Philly with me, was to go to Horizons restaurant. It wasn’t exactly an ideal day for exploring. The city was at about 96% humidity and covered in a warm (to me) mist, so I didn’t take many pictures of our galivanting around the city for fear of camera destruction. Though we probably walked over 10 miles just because we(I) felt like it.


Eventually we walked over to Horizons (611 S. 7th Street Philadelphia, PA) and I couldn’t help but say to myself… this isn’t where I expected this place to be. But it didn’t matter. We walked in, excited, salivating, overjoyed, it’s hard to live up to the hype, but I think for the most part it did. The Host was friendly and sat us  upstairs and onto the side. It was night time, and the restaurant is quite dim and intimate, so conditions weren’t ideal for picture taking. I apologize in advance, I did the best I could with what I had.

The menu offered a really decent selection, not so many options to be overwhelming, but enough to satisfy nearly anyone (with the exception of an adamant carnivore). Both of us had read over the menu days before on their website, but it was still hard to decide. Eventually we decided on appetizers. The Purple Potato Pierogies were just a given, because we just HAD to. For some reason, we expected them to actually be purple on the outside, but instead we got two fluffy pastries stuffed with purple potato. The pierogies were sitting on top of a bed of cilantro, avocado and pickled red onion, and the combination was delicious. There was an aji amarillo crema and a sliced olive as a garnish.

Salt Roasted Golden Beets

We also ordered the Salt Roasted Golden Beets, a dish that reminded me a lot of smoked salmon, probably because visually, the pieces of faintly red paysanne cut beets, looked a little like it, and the smoked tofu did not taste like the usual over smoked tofu I’ve eaten in the past. It was quite good It was topped with a few slices of thinly sliced pumpernickel bread, and surrounded with a creamy lightly salty cucumber dill sauce. All of the ingredients complimented one another. It was a complete pleasure to eat both of these.

Grilled Seitan

Then it was time for entrees. We took forever trying to decide on which ones to order, eventually, it came down to three choices. But it wasn’t easy. I had heard that the Griled Seitan was delicious and highly recommended, and then the Porcini “Shepherds Pie” just sounded divine. We got a side order of Shaved Brussels Sprouts (with truffle mustard!)

Shaved Brussels Sprouts with truffle mustard

Both dishes were beautiful. The Porcini “Shepherds Pie” had layers of black trumpets, truffled celery root puree and a bottom layer of  a juicy portobello mushroom top. It was surrounded by a pool of grain mustard sauce. I didn’t really get the truffled flavour of the celery root, but I definitely enjoyed the flavour and texture of the black trumpets, it was such a good combination with the celery root combo.

Porcini "Shepherds Pie"

Then we switched dishes and I tried the Grilled Seitan. It was interesting. The first piece of seitan I had wasn’t very yummy, it was a little on the dry side and I thought… what was everyone talking about? This is like every other piece of seitan I’ve eaten. BUT, I grabbed a piece from the center and it was absolutely perfect, not spongy, but instead it had an interesting and tender texture.

Chocolate filled beignets covered with powdered sugar.

Dessert though. Oh dessert. We were already full, and my dining companion isn’t much of a dessert person, but we decided on the Chocolate filled beignets covered with powdered sugar. I think what really made it win the dessert contest was the side of hot chocolate an marshmallow fluff. Many loud and inappropriate but hilarious ball jokes were made that night. Horizons was all around a great time. It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to eat there.

The next day I went to the Philadelphia Museum of Art(2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA), on their pay what you can Sunday. It’s fun to seek out the free museum days, because nearly every city has them. I feel pretty happy about taking advantage of those days, even more so when they serendipitously happen on the day I want to go.

This museum holds one of my favourite pieces of ridiculous art. One of the reproductions of Duchamp’s “Fountain” and a piece called Bride… also by Duchamp.

I spent my last night in Philly watching the SuperBowl and eating delivery from New Harmony (because really, the novelty of ordering vegan Chinese food delivery was too much to pass up… since it’s something I can’t do in Toronto) in preparation for a 3am bus trip to DC.

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