The Royal Khyber Dos Cantina crew puts out some innovative vegan cuisine and they've been doing it for some time, long enough that it's now pretty common to find seitan or tempeh at your everyday watering hole.
Alright, now I'm just being veg-cocky. We still have a long way to go with mainstreaming tempeh.
It's the mountain below that first won me over, the Tempeh Club at Royal Tavern (below), perhaps the Champion Vegan People's Sandwich of the Decade in Philadelphia. I haven't met a single person who wouldn't fancy one, right now.
This very same restaurant family (owners of the restaurants mentioned above) reopened the Khyber as the Khyber Pass Pub. Southern-style BBQ as bar food is not my swing, but as expected, the clearly labeled vegan bites were plentiful.
What I absolutely love (and a big vegan lipstick kiss to anyone who does this) is when a restaurant has different label markers for Vegan and Vegetarian items. Believe me, it'll save your servers some time, as they won't have to play Vegan 20 Questions. All of the restaurants above do this and that is why they are so well-supported amongst the vegan community (or those of you with veg friends). You clearly understand what a relief it is to just Order Stuff.
Josh tackled a Vegan Pulled Pork Sandwich with Coleslaw and Spicy Vinegar Sauce, Vegan Mashed Potatoes as his side. He thought it was very good and let me steal a few pieces of shredded seitan that spilled out so that I could agree.
The potatoes were something else. Because finding great vegan mashed potatoes is hard to do, we had to order these and they were the Perfect Mashed Potatoes. I tasted olive oil, which adds a richness to potatoes that you can't quite nail with Earth Balance.
I was in a soup mood (as I have been all week) because soups, when not loaded with sodium, are my way of staying full and hydrated in the winter (and the thick of summer, too).
The Orange Pepper, Vegan Sausage, and Spinach Soup was on the specials board, and it was warming and soulful. I would love to see tofu, tempeh, or bean-based specials, as seitan and vegan sausage are not as appealing to me.
I have to say it's my least favorite of all of the restaurants, with the Royal being my Go-To (hummus, check. tempeh? check. grape leaves? check). Simply because the Khyber Pass doesn't serve the kind of food that I'm after. That doesn't mean they aren't awesome for doing what they do.