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.
May 23, 2014 |
Nicole Marquis, owner of the quick-service HipCityVeg shops, has gone all fancy and typographically cutesy for her next act: the vegan bar Charlie was a sinner. , which opened last week at 131 S. 13th St. (267-788-1736), smack in the white-hot strip of 13th Street that also houses Lolita, Barbuzzo, Sampan, El Vez, and Vintage. She had Canno Design go for a Jazz Age aesthetic: plush seating, lighting from chandeliers, candles, and the bluish light of black-and-white videos projected on a 23-foot wall covered in drapery.
May 16, 2014
WHEN I gathered breakfast ideas from Philly vegans a few weeks back, I had to back-burner some interesting brunch suggestions to fit in all the harder-to-find early-morning items. "What about my favorite brunch spot?" came the outraged cries. And since V for Veg is nothing if not responsive, having cleared the table from breakfast, we'll now relax a bit, kick back and check out some later-morning meal options. Mi Lah (218 S. 16th St.) is a quaint but often overlooked spot that boasts the most venerable vegan brunch in town.
May 5, 2014
PHILLY is increasingly known as a vegan-forward town, with places in most neighborhoods where you can enjoy an animal-free dinner or lunch. But what about breakfast? Recently, a friend staying in town overnight asked for a good weekday vegan breakfast spot, and I was stumped. Partly that's because I tend to be at my house at breakfast time, and partly it's because breakfast flies under the radar: You don't think about it that much until you really need it. I posed the question on the Web and got some great info from fellow vegans and "vegan-friendlies.
April 18, 2014
BRYANT TERRY pretty much wrote the book on vegan soul-food cooking, by which I mean 2009's Vegan Soul Kitchen (Da Capo). Not that there were no well-done guides to vegan soul food out there, but Terry's had a huge impact in mainstream and vegan worlds - and on Takia McClendon. About the book that the New York Times said "makes Southern cooking healthy and cool," McClendon related in a phone interview that "it was my first cookbook as a vegan!" Terry, she said, is "someone who really taught me how to cook," inspiring her efforts to connect her community with soul food that tastes great but omits the health, environmental and ethical downsides of traditional fare.
April 11, 2014
I'D HEARD that "Noah" was made animal-free - using no real animals - and I was prepared for a big-budget CGI-happy spectacle, which I got. But I wasn't prepared for what Darren Aronofsky's movie turns out to be - a milestone in blockbuster veganism, in mainstreaming the idea of committed nonviolence. The stakes are set in the opening seconds: Among quick clips of the Fall is one of a hand reaching for an apple - except that the apple is beating, like a heart, both visually and audibly.
March 21, 2014
THE cheesesteak question for area vegans has long been: "Who's got the best vegan version in Philly?" That's aside from the other cheesesteak question for vegans: "Why would you or anyone want to eat a vegan cheesesteak?" This week, the first question was finally and decisively answered - and maybe the second one, too! A month ago, I announced the V for Veg/ Daily News Vegan Cheesesteak contest and asked you to nominate your favorite spots. Well, more than 1,000 votes were cast for 23 Philly-area venues.