Monthly Archives: June 2009

Pub and Kitchen

Old Bay Potato Chips

Old Bay Potato Chips

If it seems like all I’m doing is eating out, well, it mostly is all I’m doing. A steady stream of house guests and celebrations will do that you. I was pleased to finally make it to Pub and Kitchen. I worked with Johnny Mac back in the first year of Marigold Kitchen, and was eager to visit his spot. Initially I went for the bloody mary, of which I’d heard good reports. I said spicy and gave the waiter a meaningful, seriously look and dammit, it was. With a delicious pickled hot pepper. I also went for some eggs, be they boiled or deviled, but sadly, they aren’t on the menu anymore. Never mind. I found other things to gorge myself on, like the above hand-cut potatoes, fried crisp and dusted with Old Bay. Yes please. These were just right in their cute little cream and brown crock.

Vegetable Bruchetta

Vegetable Bruchetta

Vegetable bruchetta with roasted eggplant, onion, and red pepper, perfectly diced and mounded on just-crisped bread. A little bland, flavor-wise.

Mustard Green Beans

Mustard Green Beans

For some reason, perhaps just because I was in a pub, I thought these green beans would come fried. Nope. But they were perfectly still-crisp steamed, and topped with a shallot/grainy mustard and I suspect white wine vinegar sauce. I ate them with my fingers.
Beets and Feta

Beets and Feta

I love beets! That’s just what this little dish was, with a few chunks of good salty feta, a sprinkle of parsley, and a dash of olive oil. Close to perfect, and a generous size for the price.
Fries with truffle dijonaise

Fries with truffle dijonaise

By now, it should be obvious to you that I was on a sort of small plates binge. I love small plates, and side and appetizers, and I certainly didn’t need to eat as many as I did, but I saw “truffle dijonaise” on the fries description and it was a done deal. The fries are pretty classic – good pub style but nothing to write home about – but that sauce, with actual flecks of black truffle in it, is a killer.

I enjoyed feasting on all of Pub and Kitchen’s tasty sides. They had some salads that sounded nice, but I wanted something more substantial, and sadly, they don’t offer any vegetarian sandwiches or mains. Hope that changes!

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Kohlrabi Puree – suprisingly delicious

Kohlrabi Puree

Kohlrabi Puree


File this experiment under “things that don’t look like they taste good, and then exceed all expectations.” My grandmother loves kohlrabi – so much that my mother claims she eats it right out the garden, like an apple. Me? I have no idea what to do with it. It’s the latest addition to an embarrassing list of CSA goodies that I’ve never actually eaten before being forced to find a recipe for them. Sleuthing about on the internet, it seems that outside of roasting and a few curries, kohlrabi remains a bit of a mystery.

I stumbled upon this recipe on Farmgirl Fare admit to feeling a bit doubtful about her rave reviews. But I had all the ingredients in the fridge, so I gave it a shot. I used local green onions instead of the white, and had to add a few extra tablespoons of rice milk to achieve a smooth consistency. And you know what? It was delicious, especially topped with a healthy dollop of Earth Balance. Earthy, cabbage-y, even a little potato-y, it was a revelation. Just don’t skimp on the pre-peeling. Even boiled and pureed the hard outer skin of kohlrabi makes for woody little chunks in your otherwise perfect puree. It may not be pretty, by my is it tasty.

New Harmony: All you can eat vegan dim sum

Hot and Sour Soup

Hot and Sour Soup

When my friend Jeremy comes to town, we have a tradition of visiting Chinatown for all-you-can-eat vegan dim sum. Over the years the prices have gone up a bit (what used to be $10 is now $12) but we still pick-up a 6 pack and go have a great time. Bridget and Gus, we missed you this time!

The last time he was in town we went to Kingdom of Vegetarians, perhaps the most famous of all Philly vegetarian Chinatown joints. But in the last two years, the owners of Kingdom bought New Harmony, decided to focus just on that restaurant, and sold Kingdom to new owners. What to do? They were both new to us, so we decided to try New Harmony.

What you see above is some very lackluster hot and sour soup. Push it the side, and save your tummy room for something better.

Scallion Pancakes

Scallion Pancakes

Like these scallion pancakes. Yum! Hot and crispy, they could have used a few more scallions, but started the meal off on a nice foot.
Steamed Tofu Skins

Steamed Tofu Skins

Unlike many vegan dim-sum places, New Harmony lets you order from a menu, and keep ordering. This means that you can order all the things you love first, and if you still have room, try new things. I love steamed tofu skins, and these savory rolls came stuffed with shredded vegetables.
Fried Bean Curd

Fried Bean Curd

Fried Bean Curd was a bland disappointment floating in tepid sauce. I requested some chili oil, which helped.
Vegetable Dumplings

Vegetable Dumplings

These lightly fried vegetable dumplings were also a little so-so. More chili oil!
spinach dumplings

spinach dumplings

Filled with mushrooms and spinach and wrapped in a steamed spinach dough, these dumplings are some of my favorites.
Dragon Dumplings

Dragon Dumplings

But it’s hard to hold a candle to these dragon dumplings stuffed with peas, mushrooms, carrots, etc.
Steamed Roast Pork Dumplings

Steamed Roast Pork Dumplings

Hmm. I don’t even know if I ate one of these. Must not have been that interesting.
Turnip Cakes

Turnip Cakes

These turnips cakes are a sleeper hit! They taste like butter but with an almost doughy consistency.
Fried Buddhist Style Rolls

Fried Buddhist Style Rolls

Another winner! Like little egg crepes, stuffed with shredded vegetables and fried.
Shrimp Dumplings

Shrimp Dumplings

Eh. Pretty dull.

Seseame Chicken

Seseame Chicken

A bit hard and very crunchy, but alright dipped in sweet and sour sauce.
Sesame Balls

Sesame Balls

I love these little dessert sesame balls, as they remind of of Indonesian late-night street food. Hot little donuts!

We actually, somehow, did not stuff ourselves sick, and were able to walk out the door. While not all of the the dim sum were hits, I appreciated the clean, sunny restaurant and the really great service we received, as well as our ability to choose our favorites off the menu. Thanks New Harmony!

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One Local Summer: Thai Cabbage Slaw with Grilled Tofu

Thai Cabbage Slaw with Grilled Tofu

Thai Cabbage Slaw with Grilled Tofu


I love cabbage slaws – all kinds of cabbage slaws – except those that involve mayonnaise. This slaw has some asian flavor, and I topped with a few wedges of very basic grilled tofu, marinated in lime, peanut oil, garlic, and just a dash of soy.

I have to admit that this meal wasn’t entirely local. The cabbage, green onions, basil and tofu were. The peanuts, well, I have no idea, since I found them in the back of my cupboard and gave them a quick roast in my toaster oven. The jalepenos – I really doubt it. But it was quick dinner that utelized my CSA. Slaw leftovers were delicious the next day on baby spinach with some black beans and a lime and yogurt dressing.

Thai Cabbage Slaw
serves 4

6 cups thinly sliced Savoy cabbage
4 green onions, sliced
1/3 cup roasted peanuts
1/3 cup basil, torn

1 Tbs. peanut oil
1 Tbs. rice wine vinegar
2 Tbs. lime juice
zest of one lime
1- 2 jalepeno peppers, finely diced
1/2 tsp. sugar

Thinly slice the savoy cabbage into narrow ribbons. Place in a large bowl with the green onions. Mix together the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and pour over the cabbage. Mix well with your hands until the cabbage wilts slightly (30 seconds to one minute). Add the peanuts and basil. Toss. Top with grilled tofu and serve.

Sprouted Chickpea, Greens and Pesto Salad

Sprouted chickpea, greens and pesto salad

Sprouted chickpea, greens and pesto salad

One more sprouted chickpea recipe and I swear, I’m done (for awhile). They really did grow on me, though. This is a simple little salad I made with sprouted chickpeas, sliced grape tomatoes, “massaged” turnip greens, and a healthy dollop of pesto. Not only was it delicious, it lived in my bag, unrefrigerated , through a morning conference and a two-hour co-op shift, and was still and tasty.

Chickpeas Romanesco, Garlic-Saffron Rice, Roman Broccoli

Chickpeas Romanesco

Chickpeas Romanesco

In an effort to utilize a vat of sprouted chickpeas leftover from the “raw experiment” I made a big old La Crueset of the Chickpeas Romanesco from Veganomicon. I followed the recipe entirely, with the exception of using the sprouted peas and adding some extra crushed almonds. Served on top of the Garlic-Saffron Rice (also from Veganomicon it made a tasty, comforting meal and I love the crunch of the raw chickpeas! I was a bit surprised about how long both recipes took me to make. They both seemed so easy, and yet had some extra steps (roasting the red peppers, pureeing them with the sauce, toasting the rice with the garlic and adding two different liquids, soaking the saffron) that added cooking time. I was a bit disappointed, too with the rice. All of that garlic (5 cloves!) and saffron and yet, it just didn’t have all that much flavor. Not bad, certainly, but not quite worth the time.

Roman Broccoli

Roman Broccoli


Because my CSA gave me so much broccoli this week, I decided to continue the them and served the Roman-Style Broccoli from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian alongside the chickpeas. I’m not a fan of broccoli in general, but I DO like broccoli with lemon zest and parsley and crushed red pepper. Yum! I added a green salad, and we finished dinner off with some Rice Dream and homemade rhubarb syrup!

Mi Lah Vegetarian

Awning at Mi Lah Vegetarian

Awning at Mi Lah Vegetarian

A vegan place downtown, that makes asian-inspired dishes at reasonable prices? Count me in. I’d been wanting to make trip to Mi Lah since it opened a few months ago, and finally I made it in for lunch. And then I made it in again. One time with a good camera, one time without. I think that you’ll be able to tell the difference.

Mi Lah is a cute, modern -chic decorated restaurant with real baby tomatoes and orchids growing on the windowsills. Though it only seats about 30 downstairs, Mi Lah also has an upstairs floor, open during the evening. Their cuisine is based more on Buddhist vegetarianism than “health” food, so you can still get fried “meat” products on big crusty rolls, if that’s what you’re in the mood for.

Mango Avocado Salad

Mango Avocado Salad


One afternoon I had the mango and avocado salad – firm bites of mango and a generous helping of avocado on baby greens with a citrus dressing. The salad was fresh and delicious. At $9 (for the large size) it was a bit pricey, but the quality of the ingredients was excellent.
Soup of the Day

Soup of the Day


Alongside the salad I ordered the “soup of the day” – tiny cubes of raw firm tofu, mushroom, carrots and daikon in a simple broth. I have to say, it was pretty bland, and could have used some spice!
On another visit, I was able to convince someone else to dine with me, and therefor, could try twice as many things.
Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup


This cup of butternut squash soup was just perfect. Creamy and full of flavor, beautifully and simply garnished with black sesame seed.
Green Papaya Salad

Green Papaya Salad


I also love that green papaya salad. Fresh, crunchy, and just a tart, it was perfectly mixed with tamarind sauce, crispy fried and shredded tempeh.
Coconut-crusted mushroom

Coconut-crusted mushroom


Sadly, I don’t remember what kind of mushroom this was, but it was as big as my fist, breaded in coconut with a twist of lime, and fried. It was delicious, though perhaps not quite worth it’s $5 price tag.
Buffalo Tofu sandwich

Buffalo Tofu sandwich


This sandwich was a beast. As a lover of buffalo sauce, I continually snuck pieces off of my partners plate. Chunks of tofu marinated in hot buffalo sauce, deep fried into crispy little pieces, served in a big hoagie roll with lettuce, and with a chili ranch sauce on the side. A delicious idea.

Overall, I’ve been very pleased with my lunches at Mi Lah. A few of the dishes are hit and miss, but most of them really deliver. The restaurant and the staff are very pleasant and the prices are reasonable. Their dinner menu is a tad fancier, and from what I hear, delicious. I’m also excited to try their pre-fix brunch sometime, which comes with fresh breads, fruit, and a mixer. Did I mention that they were BYOB? Huzzah!

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