So, it's like this: I'm trying to go vegan. There, I said it. The "V" word. Or, in this case, the "other" V-word, I suppose. So imagine my surprise (and excitement) when I Googled "Vegan Restaurants in Philly" and a place called, "Memphis Tap Room" was on the list.
(CUE THE HARP MUSIC- start the wavy flashback dissolve): There I was. Uber-Dad that I am...Cheerfully helping my Bassoon-playing, Temple University-going, carnivore-of-a-son move home for his winter break. An herbal guy works up quite an appetite lifting bales, toting barges and climbing two flights of stairs of a pre-war tenement walk-up thirty or so times (on the plus side, I have since donated my "BUNS OF STEEL" DVD to the local Senior Citizen Rec Center) . So where was I? Oh, yes. Working up an appetite. That, and stuffing a semester's worth of dirty laundry into gigantic steel reinforced garbage bags.
We decided to grab some lunch before hitting the old Jersey Pike and the Memphis Tap House was geographically desirable and seemed to cater to meat-eaters and Vedge-heads alike from what I could tell from their website.
We found a parking spot right outside the Taproom's door. Upon entering, we were greeted by a long bar stocked with exotic beers both local (tap and bottled) and foreign (Dos Equis - woohoo) and a very pleasant bartendress.
We were promptly seated in the rustic themed dining room and decided to pass on the brews in favor of some hot and hearty Gastro-pub food. And what fine fare it were, tripadvisor peeps!!
I was, at first, intrigued by the vegetarian potpie but instead, opted for a triple decker vegan sandwich on wholewheat at the recommendation of our well-informed server. She did not steer me wrong! It had layers of firmly sautéed and tasty tofu with tomato and some baked coconut stuff that had the satisfying consistency and crispy crunch of b-b-b-bacon.
The musician went for a lovely looking corned beef Reuben, which had the leanest, nicest looking beuf this author and former carnivore has seen. No fat at all! It was downright er... ah...um (here it comes; brace yourself) - Reubenesque!
My son had an andouille sausage and crawfish bisque appetizer which was delish (okay, so I'm not a devout vegan - yet. What can I say? Had you seen just how gorgeous this crock of piping hot soup looked, you would have stuck your spoon in as well. Harrumph!)
I washed my meal down with a fresh brewed unsweetened herbal ice tea which was served cold and minty.
If we had dessert, I've blocked it from my memory. But I did have a cup of very tasty coffee. Black. Piping hot. Just how I like it.
We are going back. Memphis Taproom is a crowd pleaser with reasonable prices, ample portions and friendly service. Don't know when we will be back, but I'm looking forward to it. Give it a try. Tell 'me Family Guy from NJ sent ya.
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