I can imagine a time when being vegan meant that home cooked meals every single night were a necessity. A time before Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. A time before Uber Eats, meal delivery services, and before the rest of the world caught on that there was a true market for vegan restaurants, food trucks, and cafe’s. This might still be the case in a lot of rural areas, but it’s not the case in the city.
In the mood for fried food? Chinese? Pizza? Street food? Diner classics? Philly has it all, and it’s all vegan.
More and more vegan establishments are popping up every year in Philadelphia, and a relatively new one is The Tasty.
You can find The Tasty nestled on the corner of 12th and Reed in South Philly, where you can sense the hustle of the nearby Passyunk Square, and less than a mile away from the famous rival cheese steak joints that bring travelers in from all over the country. As soon as you walk through the door, you may feel like you stepped back in time with the 1950’s style turquoise diner counter tops and matching bar stools, cake stands for their mouth-watering desserts, and stainless steel backdrop. But then, you’ll notice the rainbow flag proudly displayed on the back wall and remember you are (thankfully) in 2017.
Their menu screams all-american diner. Ranging from their Fried Chik’n Sammy to their Chickpea Tuna Salad, everything on the menu emulates a true diner experience. They even created vegan versions of some Philadelphia favorites. Seen below is the Dirty Jersey. This sandwich contains some sort of sorcery with the “porky roll”, cheez, and tofu egg. I truly was impressed with the flavor of this cruelty-free version of the popular Jersey pork roll, or “Taylor Ham”. This sandwich had all of the right flavors to keep you coming back for more.
Missy went a different route than I did. Sweet and savory chikn and waffles.
9 times out of 10, I am finished my entire meal before she is even halfway through hers. There are occasions, however, when I will notice a strange quietness about her, just to look over and notice that she is so engrossed in her meal that she’s finishing well before me. This was one of those times. After she was finished, I made sure to ask how it was, even though I knew her answer already. She was, for lack of better words, blown away by the flavor. This is coming from someone who had never had “chicken and waffles,” the carnivorous or herbivorous version, and she was quite impressed.
When it comes to diner food, which is strewn out all throughout the United States, usually on interstate highways and in small towns, vegans really can’t eat much of what is on a typical menu. That is what makes The Tasty so special; because there is an inbred American craving for diner food, and they’ve made it accessible to us.