All Reviews by funchy
611 S 7th Street, Philadelphia, USA
a must-visit for anyone in the area
LOVE this place. Finally a taste of fine-dining menu items without all the horror of meat. EVERYTHING is vegan!!!
I brought non-vegan family along, and they found things they liked.
Decor was pleasant. Staff was helpful, though a bit slower service last time I was in. Location is convenient, walking distance from all the action of South Street. Menu was very extensive. Wait staff VERY understanding of vegan diners -- what a nice change from other restaurants! :-)
The killer is the price. The four of us had lunch dishes and I think an appetizer or two and it was over $150. While I understand they're catering to a specialty audience and have the higher overhead of being in Philly, their prices are out of line with similar [non-vegan] restaurants in the area. We were joking that I guess only the very rich can afford to be vegans in Philly.
It is not huge, so be sure to get reservations if you're coming at peak dining times.
They did have limited outdoor seating last time I was there.
It is a must-see. I'd visit more than 1-2x a year, if they offered more affordable options.
Does not have its own parking lot, but there are lots within walking distance. Tip: if you don't mind walking a few blocks, there is a wonderful Whole Foods Market on South Street nearby.
126 E Main St, Newark, USA
I love the place. The mere fact that almost everything on the menu comes in a vegetarian/vegan version makes me love eating there.
Some of their food items have been home runs and some have fallen a bit short, but to be fair what restaurant doesn't have things on the menu you don't prefer. In some of the dishes, you can even chose between tofu, mock-chicken, mock-beef, or sometimes a mushroom or other item. They're trying hard to meet the needs of us vegetarians.
I will say the place is not the cheapest place in town, but you can still get entrees around $10-15. They even offer meat-free sandwiches for lunch, which are less expensive.
One thing I did not like is that you cannot order entrees during the afternoon, even if you're hungry for an early dinner. This limits us non-meat-eaters to a smaller selection.
Their menu offerings do change regularly. This is good if you like to try new things, but I was VERY sad to see their "BBQ (meatless) Wings" disappear.
They do have a nice dining area outside. Inside I give them credit for trying to liven up the place, allowing local artists and musicians in. Last time I was there were some wild oil paintings of famous horror characters. I never stay around late enough for the live music, but I think it's after 9 or 10pm on weekend evenings (not sure).
I feel this place is worth visiting. So far I've never had a mix-up of any accidental meat items. The waitresses seem to be meat-eaters, but they try to clarify when they're confused on something. I like how they also clarify what can be made vegan and what is only vegetarian, since this is very important to some of us.
Tip: plenty of parking if you take the driveway just before it (corner of Panera Bread) into the Newark City lot, which is conveniently just behind HomeGrown. Ask for a parking validation towards your parking fee.
230 E Main St, Newark, USA
good but clearly not run by vegetarians/vegans
Good independent food source for any unusual, ethnic, vegan/vegetarian, some raw, some macrobiotic, diet, and other foods.
They DO have some things my local grocery store can't get. They will happily order anything you don't see on a shelf. Staff is always helpful and easy to find.
Drawbacks is that although they're running as a not-for-profit venture, their prices are always higher, even on more common items. I like the idea of patronizing an independent food store, but it's hard when sometimes the price difference is 20% or more.
I've also been frustrated at selection. They have room for tons of organic meats (which can be bought anywhere) but their refrigerator case of tofu/setian/mockmeat is smaller than my local grocery store's. Most of their meat-replacement items are common (mainstream, corporate) things I can buy in any grocery store. Staff tries to be helpful but they usually don't seem to 'get' us vegetarians. Too many meat and dairy products on the shelves. And we're back to the problem I have in any grocery store: I've got to carefully read the ingredients labels on most items because so few are labeled "vegetarian" or "vegan". I'd love it if someone put stickers on veg-friendly products to encourage us to buy more.
I also wish their produce section was a little more affordable and varied. It's summer right now and I can buy organic, local produce from farm stands for sometimes half of what they're asking.
Their bulk food and bulk spices sections are very nice, with items I can never find anywhere else.
Check their calender. They do try to bring in guest speakers.
Tip: do bring along bags or check up front for donated bags, since they don't provide their own.
You do not need to be a member, but members do get a small discount.