Living a balanced life with lots of creative food, exercise and exploration!

Philly Part 2 – Much delayed!

on July 8, 2012

So, we left off near City Hall, my favorite building!

Just in case you forgot – Gorgeous.

After doing a bit of a historic tour, we headed down to University of Pennsylvania to see the campus, then back to check in to our hotel.  We stayed at a Crowne Plaza again, and were once again disappointed.  Bad service, screwed up the reservation, just a general annoyance.  Only plus they got was strawberry and cucumber water…so I filled up my water bottle and took my attitude upstairs to relax 😉

We cleaned up and got ready for dinner.  The Boy wanted to drive the bike course, and we didn’t necessarily want to venture back into the city, so I hit up Google for some good veg places to eat nearby.  I found a couple places north of us, and we decided that was a more relaxing choice.  Choosing between Mexican and Pizza, we decided to go for a pizza place with a vegan option.

So glad we did!  The restaurant was up in a neighborhood/area called Manayunk.  It’s a super trendy, seemingly young professional/up and coming vibe.  We were fortunate enough to catch a street fair on our way to dinner.  It was gorgeous.  Hand made crafts…everything from wood work to jewelry to beautiful works of art. Really fun area, such a gem!  I’d describe it like Dupont meets Eastern Market with the diversity of restaurants of U Street, but, it really was its own thing.

I thought I had taken more pictures, but here are just a couple:

We found The Couch Tomato (definite points for creativity and naming) and ordered two different pizzas with a salad to share.  We got the “Where’s Waldorf” Salad, which was super yummy – mixed greens, spinach, dried cranberries, gorgonzola cheese and – the most important part – candied pecans.  The sweet of the pecans mixed with the salty cheese was delicious.  For Pizza, we both chose from the rather impressive, 8 option vegetarian section of the menu (which was in addition to vegetarian options all over the rest of the menu).  I got the Florentina, a garlic oil based pizza with ricotta, spinach and tomato.  The Boy went traditional, with the Margherita with Mushrooms.  Both were pretty good, but the ambiance and vibe were really the top seller.

P.S. Had we had more time, and hopefully on a different trip, I REALLY want to try Vedge, a vegetarian restaurant which I discovered over at Choosing Raw, a super informative and fun blog.  The idea behind the restaurant is to really focus on vegetable and plant-based dishes, instead of attempting to make meat replacements or substitutes.  This sounds like a fabulous restaurant concept! She posted about this restaurant way back in April, and I made a mental note.  It didn’t fit into this trip, but I hope to make it back soon!  In the meantime, check out her review here 🙂


On to Sunday Morning – race day!  I wanted to get my own workout in first, so I set out on my LSD – a 9 miler.  It’s actually fun to do these in new places, distracts you from how horrible the running part is 😉

First, I passed Boathouse Row.  Unfortunately I wasn’t able to take a great pic from the east side of the river, but here’s what it looks like:

Image Credit:

For the rest of my running recap, including proof I was actually there, check out my workout recap 🙂

After the race, it was Philly Cheesesteak time, round 2.  I went back for a vegan version from Basic 4 Vegetarian cafe, and then we went downtown to Geno’s for the Boy.

Mine, cooking it up:


Verdict:  Mine was awesome, his was kinda dry and he didn’t like it as much as Tony and Lukes. For my recipe, which in my humble opinion even beat this delicious fare (though isn’t vegan), click here.

I’ll leave you with some pictures of the AMAZING murals that are just all over the city.  Random sides of a building over a canvas for incredible art.  It really added a special feeling to the city and really gave it a unique character.  Enjoy!

Love this one – the blend of the modern and the Victorian style was really interesting and creative


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