After years of dealing with well-meaning relatives and restaurants with no veggie-friendly options but salad and gigantic Portobello mushrooms, Rebecca is excited to share her hard-won recipes, nutrition tips and restaurant dining advice with both fellow herbivorous and omnivorous Central PAers alike.
The City Tavern in Philadelphia dates from 1773, and is famous for serving such famous Americans as John Adams and George Washington, as well as hosting the members of the First Continental Congress in 1774. The menus consist of dishes that would have been prepared and eaten by Americans in the 18th century. The Tavern has won a host of awards over the years, both for its food and its preservation of history.
Eating at the Tavern is great fun. The dining areas make you feel like you've stepped back into colonial times, the waitstaff and hostess wear period dress, and the water is served in large pewter flasks. I love the ambience that history gives, but I also love the food. As a vegetarian it's often difficult to find something to eat at a restaurant that specializes in traditional recipes. Not so at the Tavern! Benjamin Franklin himself sent the Tavern's recipe for fried tofu back to Philadelphia while he was abroad, and it is delicious. Substantial slabs of tofu come fried in a light and herby crusty breading, served on top of linguine with veggies (such as zucchini) in what tastes like a light white wine sauce. Food is served with a delicious selection of breads, which this week included some spicy raisin biscuits.
It is true that unless you're a fish-eating vegetarian the only other choices on the menu are soups and salads. However, I enjoyed the atmosphere, the history, and the tofu enough to highly recommend eating at the City Tavern at least once. During the holiday season they have a series of festive and traditional warm drinks with spirits, as well as Christmas and New Year's Eve feasts. It was a delight for me to discover that some of the Founding Fathers appreciated a good fried tofu. Definitely worth the trip!