Friday, February 26, 2016

Top Five: Lunchtime Lenten Friday Non-Fish Meat Substitutes in Philly

Photo Credit: Who the fuck knows? I found it by Googling "Lent."

In an attempt to reconnect with the religion bestowed upon me by my parents, I gave up drinking for Lent (during the week, except last Wednesday and maybe this Monday for Zahav's Lamb Shack). I'm also trying to hold fast (straight edge reference!) to this whole "no meat on Fridays" thing, even though someone told me that the concept was the result of shilling for the fish industry back in the day. Still, it's a form of sacrifice because I eat meat most days. For example, today's calorie massacre would typically start with a sausage, egg, and cheese burrito, then a fried chicken sandwich for lunch, and probably a burger for dinner (wow, that sounds awful when you put it down on paper). Instead, because it's Lent, I'm gonna eat some dumb instant oatmeal after I type this dumb list about the best things you can eat on Fridays during Lent in Philly that are neither meat nor fish. From worst to first, here are the definitive* rankings:

5. Bullshit Salad, assorted locations: Whether it's SaladWorks, Jake & Max's in the Comcast Food Court, or Devon & Blakely, you can be certain that your lettuce/mixed greens/spinach will be unwashed, your tomatoes will be unripe, and there will be entirely too much dressing all over this cold mess of an attempt to be healthy.

4. Falafel from the dude on the corner of 16th and JFK: Does anyone know how long this guy has been here? He's definitely a relic of the "food carts before food carts were cool" era. He's also super nice and his falafel is cheap and excellent. I recommend getting two because they tend to be small.

3. Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup from Meltkraft: You can get a three-cheese classic or opt for something more elaborate like their Melter Skelter (raclette, pickled green tomatoes, jalapeno, bbq potato chips, and watercress). The soup is made daily from roasted tomatoes. Doesn't taste like mom's, but then again, it's not wonder bread, pasteurized processed cheese product, and a condensed glob out of a can**.

2. Margherita at Pizzeria Vetri: If the pizza is good enough for Urban Outfitters to back a dump truck full of cash into Marc Vetri's driveway to acquire the company, subsequently causing the termination of some of his undocumented workers due to the parent company's e-verify requirements, then it's good enough for you and your quest to be closer to God. To be honest, eating the pizza sometimes feels like a religious experience because it's so Goddamn good.

1. Hummus at Dizengoff: Everybody's talking about King Georges at the moment, but I'm all about Prince Solomonov. When it first opened, I had my doubts about hummus being a meal in itself. Then we shot an episode of Camila Eats Food there and I was literally full for a good 36 hours after. I also know a dude who eats it exclusively for lunch 5 days a week. It's hale and hearty and impossible to stop eating from the first bite until the bowl is licked clean.

Buen provecho.

*Not Definitive
*Gotta love the nostalgia of the original, however

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