White Dog Cafe in Philly

University City in West Philadelphia is teeming with students, faculty, staff, and community members seeking sustenance for lunch each day. Granted, many bring their lunch. I decided to try the White Dog Cafe yesterday and the best thing going for it are all the fun dog paintings.

They have a vegetarian menu to ask for and many options can be made vegan.

We ordered the sweet potatoes, fries, arepas, and Udon noodle salad. I enjoyed the sweet potatoes, but the arepas came with cheese, despite saying vegan three times when ordering, and the entrees were VERY salty.

Don’t let the pretty presentation fool you. On top of this our reception was lackluster and server clearly wanted to be elsewhere. We did get plenty of water. I guess they know their food is very salty?

One vegan cupcake out of five. Food and service not good, especially at these prices.


P.S. Kitchen in NYC

I really dislike writing a bad review. These restaurants are run by good people and support ideals that many are against. At the same time, I don’t want anyone to get sick because I was untruthful or negligent. Warning: this is not a good review.

P.S. Kitchen is located in midtown Manhattan. Just west of Times Square, but not quite in Hell’s Kitchen. It’s an area of town desperate for good vegan food. On top of being all vegan and in a good location, all proceeds are given back to animal rights causes like animal sanctuaries. We were excited to try the food and support causes we care about.

The space is cute. Open and clean with some whimsy.

We had a reservation and were led upstairs away from the noisier bar downstairs. It took 15 minutes from walking into the restaurant till a server came and spoke with us. We already needed more water by this time. Then, the server wanted to just take our order, not share any helpful information. So I sweetly asked, since this is my personality. I’m so glad I did because his explanation of the specials completely changed my order!

Food came in reasonable amounts of time. We started with Crispy Artichoke that comes with two dipping sauces.

The edible flowers are a pretty addition and the small plate is tasty.

For dinner, I ordered the Shepard’s Pie from the specials and hubby ordered the P.S. Burger. He is on the perpetual search for his favorite vegan burger.

Hubby liked this burger so much that he started dreaming up taste tests with unsuspecting meat eaters and having them pick this burger as their favorite from a lineup. It was fun. My Pie was also yummy. The potatoes creamy and buttery with the filling a nice blend of veggies and seitan. Not over spicy as Shepard’s Pie can be.

We had to ask for more water again, but the flavors encouraged us onward. The Strawberry Shortcake was ordered next.

A very nice almond flavor and not too sweet. It was yummers.

Oddly, the lights in the room got darker and darker. I’m not sure why. I think it’s important to keep the lights bright enough for people to read the menu without driving everyone around them crazy from phone flashlights.

I was excited to give P.S. Kitchen a decent review. The service was not great, but the food was yummers. That is until hubby spent the night running to the bathroom. Yikes. P.S. Kitchen gets one out of five vegan cupcakes. I do not recommend risking getting sick. Bummer.

Govinda’s in Philly

It’s been a year, so time to get back to Philly! We always enjoy this city and it’s so easy to get here from NYC.

On our last visit we came across Govinda’s, but we were already full and didn’t have room in our bellies to try more things. This trip I made a beeline!

The menu has several things that looked promising. “Comfort food” is the self-proclaimed fare.

They offer cheese made from cow milk, and thus considered vegetarian, but also offer vegan cheese.

We ordered several things to try. Hubby got the fish sandwich, Cesar salad, and a donut. I picked out a chicken quesadilla, vegetable soup, and a samosa.

The fish sandwich reminded me of the fish sticks I knew as a kid. But the food overall was just okay. It was was what vegan food was five years ago, fun because no one else was offering it. Today, the options are fresher and flavors more complex. I was disappointed.

The woman at the counter was kind. Even when there was suddenly a big rush of customers. The decor is dated, but the place felt clean.

Govinda’s gets three out of five vegan cupcakes. It’s okay, but there are better options within walking distance. I will likely not return to this restaurant.

Update: I am changing the rating to one vegan cupcake. I was sick the next day and no one needs to experience that if I can provide helpful feedback. Not yummers.

Zombie Burger in Des Moines

Zombie Burger in Des Moines, Iowa was highly recommended to me. Traveling with our rescue puppy, hubby ordered food to go. Their buns were not vegan and thus my burger was served on a bed of lettuce. Sounds good, right?

I am disappointed by my burger. A salad without dressing and a salty burger buried in it.

I would recommend skipping this burger, even with a fun name. One out of five vegan cupcakes.