The recently opened bar and restaurant opened just a short walk from Brian’s house in East Kensington (or Port Fishington, according to the peeps at the Taproom). We first passed by Memphis Taproom a few months ago when they were still working hard on renovations. The friendly owners and workers told us to stop by soon and that there would be plenty of vegetarian fare and we didn’t even tell them we were vegetarians. Maybe we had a look about us?
This past Saturday evening, we came off the 25 SEPTA bus schlepping new pillows and a mattress top for Brian’s bed when we ran into Laura Semmelroth of Flat Iron Wildcats—a local feral and homeless cat trap and rescue and adoption organization—and her boyfriend. They were heading off to Memphis Taproom and told us it would be their third weekend in a row at the place. Go, food is good.
After Laura’s endorsement, we vowed to finally head over to the Taproom for Sunday brunch and boy, was it worth the wait. Our waitress could not have been nicer or more attentive. In fact, it was she who offered to take a picture of Brian and me when she saw our camera out. The menu clearly labels what items are vegetarian and vegan (all items contain meat) and will substitute tofu scramble for any egg dish. Our waitress read us the specials, which included a tofu omelet stuffed with veggies. I eyed Brian and said, “Oooh, get that. It’s not just tofu scramble! And I’ll get the barbeque seitan sandwich and we can share and have breakfast and lunch!” So we did. I also got a beer mimosa, which is just like your regular champagne mimosa except with, you guessed it, beer. It was delicious and pretty much tasted like a champagne-based mimosa to my mostly undiscriminating booze taste buds.
When our food our arrived, the plates were heaped with crisp, thick, salty and peppery French fries. Yum.
The tofu omelet looked like an egg omelet and tasted delicious to boot. Brian also got a small cup of berry and wine jam made by Trappist monks, which really hit the tongue with sweet and sour berries and lush wine.
The seitan was slathered in tangy and spicy barbeque sauce and topped with crunchy slaw, which was perfect for me since I hate mayo-y and soggy salads. I gave half to Brian and was still more than satisfied. I’ll have a hard time trying anything else off the menu in the future because I’ll always want this sandwich.
By the end of our meal, we were stuffed and very happy. Our waitress asked if we’d like dessert, which included vegan chocolate cake with almond crust. I so wanted it but I could barely move at this point. Perhaps I should not have overdosed on the fries but I could not help but pop them in my mouth. Next time we’re there, we’re getting dessert.
Headhouse Farmer’s Market
Our next stop was the Headhouse Farmer’s Market, which was bustling even though we got there just about an hour before closing time. There were tons of green leafy vegetables and some berries and tomatoes. Other than produce, this market has lots of cheese, meat, and milk. Fittingly, one of the cheese tables was also selling ground veal. At least they’re keeping it real and not hiding the fact that veal is what all those dairy cows’ male babies become. I would have loved to have sampled and bought some baked goods but even the plain white bread had milk in it. Judging from the Trenton Avenue Arts Festival a few weeks back, I know there are plenty of Philly people making delicious vegan baked goods. I’d love to see a table or two of them representing at the farmer’s market.
After the market, we walked down South Street, got a Rita’s Ice, and sat in a park, watching some squirrels chase each other and a cute toddler relishing in her lunch. It was a nice day and over way too soon.
2331 E. Cumberland St. (corner of Memphis)
Philadelphia, PA 19125
2nd and Lombard Streets
10 am to 2 pm on Sundays