November 7, 2014
ON A RECENT Saturday afternoon, I finally went hunting. I was outfitted to fight the elements and loaded for - not bear, but certainly hen of the woods and other kinds of wild-growing edible mushrooms. Armed with a knife and an old grocery bag, I set out with fungi enthusiast and local photographer Michele Frentrop and expert mushroom collector Felix Giordano to earn our food just like our ancestors did. Well, Felix's ancestors, anyway. I doubt mine ever had a plant-based meal that didn't originate in a freezer.
October 31, 2014
SEVENTY years ago this month, Donald and Dorothy Watson, of Britain, took "the beginning and end of vegetarian," coined the word "vegan," and with a couple of dozen vegetarian friends formed the Vegan Society. That auspicious beginning is celebrated on Nov. 1, this Saturday, as World Vegan Day. The celebration's taking a local turn this year with Philly Vegan Day. There's never been a better time to check out vegan food and vegan living, because this joint will be jumpin' with vegan activity of all sorts.
October 19, 2014 |
CHARLIE WAS A SINNER. 131 S. 13th St., 267-758-5372; charliewasasinner.com If you didn't know vegan cocktails were a thing, you will after a night of "plant-based" imbibing and nibbling at this sultry lounge revamp of a seedy old strip bar on 13th Street, reimagined with some literary pretension by HipCityVeg owner Nicole Marquis. The small-plate menu created by opening chef Michael Santoro and continued by successor Max Hosey is one of the more sophisticated vegan efforts in Philly, and strongest when avoiding mock meats.
September 19, 2014
DID YOU hear that Dunkin' Donuts has almond milk as a dairy-free coffee alternative at three-quarters of their locations? If you didn't, that's OK, because none of those locations are near Philly. "Greater Philadelphia region is not currently one of the markets" with almond milk, a representative told me, though the company does "anticipate this market will offer almond milk in the future. " When in the future? Could be, I was told, as early as "some point in 2015. " Next year?
August 22, 2014
VEGAN road-tripping can be fun, or it can be a pain. Usually it winds up a mixture. On this summer's family road trip south I took notes, for once, on what worked and what didn't. We drove from Philly through North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains, on down to Key West. Stopping at a number of interesting spots, I learned lessons I hope other vegan travelers can apply elsewhere. The first and foremost lesson: You cannot possibly plan ahead too much. Look at where you're going - and where you might go, with a slight detour, using your phone and Web connection while still at home.
August 22, 2014 |
Q. I am a vegan. I'm finding this is an issue for some women I date. Take this one girl: She brought a big, greasy cheesesteak to my apartment after I invited her to come watch a movie with me. It stank my whole place up. She sat there and ate the whole thing. It didn't stop us from getting busy, but later after she left, I wondered how to take it. Should I have said something? Mia: She knew you were vegan and brought a big, stinky meat sandwich over to eat in your presence. Dude, that was her way of giving you her middle finger.
July 25, 2014
I WAS a teenage soda jerk. Nowadays, I'm just . . . a vegan columnist. Obviously, I don't drink the cow-derived milkshakes I used to guzzle at the end of a shift. But I still love the creamy goodness of a tall chocolate shake, minus the original's sad backstory. Fortunately, as I've predicted in earlier columns, vegan ice creams are proliferating in Philly. I know, ice-cream cones are fun, but those of us who want to mainline ice-cream deliciousness know that the milkshake is the format that delivers.
July 11, 2014
PHILADELPHIA is the "birthplace of America" - and of veganism in the United States! Hyperbole? Nope. The American Vegan Society, founded in 1960 by H. Jay Dinshah, in Malaga, N.J., is at the root of nearly every major development in the spread of vegan living on this continent. And Dinshah was standing at the corner of Front and Venango streets when he decided to go vegan. A new book edited by Jay's daughter, Anne Dinshah, Powerful Vegan Messages: Out of the Jungle for the Next Generation , has the story: That corner was the location of the Cross Brothers slaughterhouse, which Jay and his brother Nosheran toured in 1957 to settle an argument about whether their vegetarianism was truly ethical.
June 27, 2014
PICTURE a billboard on I-76 with the slogan, "Philly's more fun when you eat vegan!" Or perhaps, "Philly's veg scene will ring your bell!" That day could be closer than you'd think, as Visit Philadelphia, among other forward-looking big-city tourism agencies, recognizes vegan dining as a draw. Visit Philadelphia CEO and president Meryl Levitz said that while there's no "Love, Philly" campaign targeting vegans, there may be soon. "It's not a fad," she told me in reference to the vegan trend.
June 13, 2014
SUMMERTIME, and goin' vegan is easy. Call it what you may, easing into eating more plants and fewer animal products is simple and fun in summer, with a bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables, and weather conducive to adventure. Combining these, summer vegan festivals offer everybody a chance to try new and different vegan foods while maybe learning something about the philosophy. * Saturday sees the debut of the Humane League's Philly VegFest , from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Shambles in the Headhouse Square District.