Part of my Vegan MoFo 2013 is doing blog entries dedicated to each year I've been vegan.
Philadelphia (or as locals affectionately call it, Philthadelphia, Filthadumpia, or The City Where Nothing Works and Nobody Cares) may be the birthplace of American independence, but it is also the birthplace of the American imperative to eat disgusting and unhealthy food: a metric fuckton of what may charitably be called 'beef,' fluorescent cheese (Velveeta or Kraft American slices), and sauteed onions on an Italian hoagie (pronounced "heow-gee") roll. The city's two most well-known cheesesteak purveyors, made famous through the likes of Boyz II Men videos and episodes of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, are Pat's and Geno's. Jeebus help you if you show up at either establishment and have the audacity to be a foreigner or order Swiss cheese.
A taste of 215 in the 415GETTA LOADA THIS
The grill at Bender's has morphed many times throughout the years, even closing briefly (what a sad day), but it has always and consistently had delicious and unhealthy vegan treats. Today the menu is very tot-heavy but also features tried and true classics like fried pickles. Vegan options are marked with a blue dot, vegetarian options with a yellow dot, and good stoner food with a green potleaf (apparently all stoners are omnivorous). The cheese-fake comes without 'cheese,' admittedly, but the homemade seitan is flavorful with a springy texture, and comes drizzled with vegan ailoli. DELISH.
Panel of Experts
So there you have it! Hope this helps you embark on your very own vegan cheesesteak odyssey.