I had planned on doing a blog post planning out my trip to Philly, but here I am in Philly, and no nicely organized trip plan was written up. Besides a scratched up piece of notebook paper, I didn’t do much planning at all. Although I’m regretting not writing one up during last years Vegan Mofo, it’s nice to just go with the flow. Oddly enough, I’m actually doing some work here, so there is more to my time in Philadelphia then just eating great food, visiting old historical sites and art galleries. The only plan I have is to do plenty of everything.
We arrived yesterday afternoon after a 10 hour drive from Toronto. My original idea was to head through Baltimore and Washington DC, but due to Snovereaction in Toronto, my bus to Baltimore was cancelled. Luckily some friends were heading down for the Philly Tattoo Convention and let me join them on the road.
After checking into the hotel, I figured it was about time to start exploring the city with the goal of finding some food. I was happy to see the vegan options at seven eleven I had heard about, but decided to skip those in favour of some New Harmony Vegetarian Restaurant (135 N. 9th Street, Philadelphia, PA) in Chinatown. Gave me the opportunity to walk through some interesting statue gardens and old beautiful buildings.
When I walked into New Harmony, it was kind of on the empty side, but it didn’t matter. When I saw the box of vegan donuts on the counter, I knew I was home. They had a Dinner special ($12+tax) that I took full advantage of. I wish I could have done the all-you-can-eat Dim Sum, but there is a two person minimum for it. Their hours are really convenient and they will deliver, for free, so there is a good chance I might be calling on them again before I leave.
I started with a Hot and Sour soup (my favourite kind of soup) and it was totally yummy and perfect for the slightly cold day outside. Warmed me right up.
I have no idea what the other appetizer I ordered was called, but it was a type of pancake, that tasted just a little bit like hashbrowns (in a good way) and was topped with a touch of tofu mayonnaise.
Then came the entree. What an entree. Phoenix Chicken with lemon sauce. The breaded veggie chicken I’ve gotten very accustomed to eating at Asian vegetarian restaurants, with a shocking twist… it had a layer of veggie ham in it. Kind of weird, but also kind of awesome. It was delicious and at that point I was pretty much done eating, but there was more on the way.
Dessert. While I planned on ordering a piece of fried vegan cheesecake or a donut, my stomach said no more. But the dinner special comes with three little pieces of deep fried banana, which was exactly enough (or I should say, still too much but in a good way).
There are a lot of statues in this city, probably more then I’ve noticed in others, and since I love snapping pictures of statues and street art, my camera was busy. Add to that the significant amount of old buildings with Greek style columns, and I’m just in picture heaven. I left my tripod in a friends car, so my night photo taking was pretty limited, but I snapped a few of the Franklin Institute after visiting Liberty Square and the Free Library.
Friday is a day full of promise. It also happens to be the First Friday of the month, which is a special day for Old City art galleries and other participating establishments (like the Chemical Heritage Foundation). Free admission between 5pm-9pm, and special events. Sounds good to me!