Vegan Morimoto

Yesterday the BF and I celebrated our 1 year date-aversary (which is actually today) at Morimoto. For our first date we went to a little Israeli joint for falafels and shawarma. He joked that he didn’t want to do anything too crazy (read: expensive) until he knew he wanted to “invest.” Judging by the $$$$ rating on Yelp for Morimoto, I think he’s ready to invest. HA!

10426661_10152450500352867_8632157653139039244_nMorimoto is one of those places I’ve been meaning to go to FOREVER. Tons of friends have told me it’s fantastic but I found my groove with places like Buddakan and Sampan. However, after last night’s dinner, Morimoto will definitely be added to the pan-Asian rotation. To start, we both had the lychee cocktail… divine AND lethal. I could each vodka-soaked lychee all day. It’s like the adult version of vodka-soaked gummy candy…. right?

To start, I had two vegetarian rolls: shiitake mushroom roll and the seasonal veggie roll. They were great but nothing outstanding to set it apart from other veggie rolls I’ve had. Luckily, the price was pretty reasonable for the rolls: $6 and $5 respectively. The waiter was also kind enough to bring out vegetarian soy sauce without asking, stating that their house soy sauce was not vegetarian. The spicy veggie tempura roll sounded appealing but alas… not vegan. Does vegan tempura exist? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? The highlight among the starters was the shrimp tempura my BF ordered. He stated that it was the best shrimp he’s ever had… and let me tell you the boy loves his shrimp. The shrimp came in a huge portion (easily could have been an entrée if served over rice) and melted in his mouth like butter.

For my entrée I had the Ishi Yaki Bop, which reminded me a lot of Bibimbap. It was served in a hot stone bowl with lots of tofu, nori, veggies and rice. This was an off-menu vegan interpretation of a meat entrée and at $16 it was incredibly satisfying. A server prepared it table-side by searing the tofu on the bowl and mixing the veggies around in the sweet and salty sauce. I love how crunchy some of the rice gets when cooking in a hot stone bowl! I was a little nervous that the absence of egg would make the dish dry and bland but it was flavorful and very enjoyable. My boyfriend was visibly jealous of my dish (he ordered some rolls as his entrée). However at $42 for the kobe beef version, I suggested we just hit up the new bibimbap place on South Street, appropriately named BAP.

sorry for the crazy lighting!

sorry for the crazy lighting!

For dessert, the restaurant comp’ed us a bowl of their micro-batch ice cream. To me, this was really the only hiccup in the otherwise impeccable service. I was clearly ordering vegan dishes (even had a convo with the server about it) and there was a sorbet dessert available. I even fawned over it when he mentioned it to us with the daily dessert specials. I wish they provided that instead! Oh well, it was free so I can’t really complain.

Overall, would I come back? Definitely! They cater well to dietary restrictions and allergies (this was one of the first questions our server asked us.) I’d definitely get the Ishi Yaki Bop again but would probably save the sushi for my regular sushi joints.

-B

 

Brunching at High Street on Market

brunch

Last weekend, I went out for brunch before picking up my Broad Street Run bib. I met up with my roommate, Victoria, from a leadership conference way back during my junior year of high school. We had kept in touch over Facebook, but we finally made time to meet up in person after all these years. Victoria went to L.A. for college to study at USC but moved back to the area after graduation. I remembered her as a big runner, she was that girl who got up an extra hour early to sneak in a run before the day’s activities. Overachiever! Now that she’s (finally) passed all the sections of the CPA exam, she’s excited to get back to running. I really enjoyed talking about running with her now that it’s something that I love too!

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Anyways… onto the good stuff! The food!! Let me tell you High Street on Market [308 Market St.], did not disappoint! We dined at the semi-awkward time of 2pm, but that meant we had both the breakfast and lunch menu to choose from! Also, no waiting for a table! It just so happened that we both ordered from the lunch menu. I got the ancient grains salad sans goat cheese. It was phenomenal. Ancient Grains Salad included farro, puffed rice, cider pickled cranberries, celery root, arugula, seeded toasts and topped with maple mustard vinaigrette. I’d get it over and over again if I could.  Don’t be deceived by the picture, the salad was HUGE and very filling!

Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 10.17.30 PMVictoria got the eggplant sandwich which came on the most beautiful bread. By removing the cheddar, that dish could easily become vegan too! Speaking of bread, we ordered the daily bread selection to split. (p.s. I have a carb problem… acknowledgement is the first step right?) So freaking good. I didn’t even mind skipping the homemade butter and eating the bread plain! I would definitely recommend the bread no matter what you order. You can even order loaves to go!

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Seeing that High Street is owned by the same people as Fork, I had high expectations. They were vastly exceeded. The interior was quaint and the food presentation was beautiful. Between the chef, Eli Kulp, being named Best New Chef by Food & Wine magazine and Craig LaBan (who I follow religiously) giving it a very respectable 3 Bells (out of 4), you know this place is onto something!  I love this short video showing the creation of the restaurant.

Final word: if you haven’t been to High Street on Market yet, GO! If you have and want to go back, call me!

-B

Images 1, 2, & 4 + video via

Healthy Eats: Roots Cafe

Roots

Last night, we went out to eat with another couple in West Chester, Pennsylvania. West Chester, is known as college-town due to its eponymous university. Having never been to West Chest before, I was delighted by the charming downtown area that seemed to blossom out of nowhere. Upon the suggestion of the other couple, we dined at a charming BYOB café called RootsContinue reading