{Philadelphia: This is a long drive for dinner.}

{Philadelphia: This is a long drive for dinner.}

Ever since I saw the Philadelphia’s Memphis Taproom on Diners, Drive-ins & Dives and learned it had a couple of vegan options, I’ve been wanting to go. The draw? Their vegan “bacon”. Not a packaged meat analog but coconut. Smoked coconut, smoked in a smoker. This ingenious creation is used in their vegan B.L.T. and graces the plate on their tofu scramble, along with vegan blood sausage. And one gorgeous day, CandyPenny and I were there to give it a try.

The Vegan Rooster. A moist tofu scramble, two chunks of the deceivingly light vegan blood sausage, a pile of smoked coconut bacon, some potato wedges and toast. Spot on! Though it may look like any other scramble, the Memphis Taproom does it much better: with housemade accompaniments and extra points for creativity. I cleaned my plate. After all, we had a bit of a drive and were hungry. I was a bit concerned the portion would not satisfy at first. But it was the perfect amount of food.

With some time to kill before our dinner reservation, the gorgeous unseasonably potent sun out and the guise of coming to Philadelphia with any other reason other than eating stripped,  we took a quick detour to Bethlehem, home of the famous Vegan Treats!

There was so much to choose from. A slew of adorable personal cakes, danishes, cannoli, cheesecakes–My goodness! I have never seen a more impressive bakery case. Vegan or not. Hands…down.

I got the gorgeous and nostalgic Funfetti mini-layer cake and had a quick photo shoot with it before my first bite. It was nice to see other patrons snapping pictures of their beautiful selections as well.

More fun on the inside. Vegan Treats sure can whip up decadent delights in many shapes and forms. The delicious treat hit the spot and helped us through the hours until our next meal.

This was it. The reason for our trip: Vedge, Philadelphia new vegan fine dining spot from former Horizons owners (you remember Horizons, don’t you?) The vegetable-based menu looked downright heavenly and, though we were stuffed with sweets and scrambles, we were ready.

Firstly, Vedge sells plates and the house recommends 3-4 to make a full meal. It would save the wait staff a good portion of time if the menu and website indicated this. That being said, the plates are assembled to perfection, shaking your taste buds’ hands at first and then leaving them panting and lusting for more in the end. Vedge knows food. Knows how to combine it to produce pleasure. Wow. Did I mention my first plate? Layers of gold beets, smoked tofu, avocado and capers next to a puddle of cucumber dill sauce and a toasted wedge of pumpernickel. My only critique was that the capers were too many. An easy fix.

My second plate was one off of “The Dirt List”, their farm vegetable sides: Brussels, shaved and grilled with smoked mustard

This was my main plate: a tender and light grilled seitan in black lentils and mushroom topped with a creamy horseradish sauce and garnished with a pickled kohlrabi, a type of turnip. Utterly fantastic. Vedge, I will return. And next time I will be getting dessert.