to be or to adobe

last week em and i met up in south philly to check out a potential house (we moving south, ya'll) and decided to grab some dinner while we were at it. we went to the adobe cafe on east passyunk. we were REALLY excited. for a multitude of reasons.

the most important reason being that last time we went there, we completely and utterly failed at getting dinner. yes, even we sometimes fail. apparently the kitchen stops serving food at 11pm, which isn't unheard of. what IS unheard of, however, is when i asked for a menu at 10:45pm and you (the bartender) don't tell me (the hungry customer) that the kitchen is closing very, very soon. after some chit chatting and some beer drinkin, we finally decided what to order and armed with our choices, i headed to the bar to place our order only to find the kitchen was CLOSED.

confused? who cares. that was then, this is now. this time we were victorious. we think. well, we did order food, but we're not quite sure about the accuracy of the vegan title of said food. let's start at the beginning. the margaritas: definitely vegan, definitely boozy, really good:

the menu had a ton of veggie/vegan dishes so much to the point that we were happily overwhelmed with options. our first order of business:

em: is the soy cheese vegan?
waitress: ummmm, i'm not really sure if it's vegan. i think we might have a vegan cheese separate from that one. wait, let me ask this one guy that works here, he's vegan he would know.
em: well maybe you could just ask the chef?
waitress: this guy will definitely know better than the chef.

she comes back a minute or two later and tells us the resident vegan went on a delivery but she'll check with the kitchen. after a few minutes she passes by the table with a platter of food balanced on one hand and calls over her shoulder to us "it's vegan!"

well, that seemed a little sketchy, but we trusted her and the chef and went with it. i mean, they had tofu sour cream, vegan jalapeno aioli and so many seitan/tofu options, we figured they knew what they were doing. we decided to split an order of the vegan nachos, topped with vegan cheese, guacamole, pico de gallo and tofu sour cream. sounds good? SOUNDS GREAT. i haven't had nachos in a really long time and i immediately knew this was the app(etizer) for us.

see how the cheese stretches. IT STRETCHES! that's awesome, but also a bit puzzling. i've never seen vegan cheese stretch before. but guess what, we ate the whole damn thing, and it was worth it.

for an entree, i ordered the skillet seitan tips sandwich with a side of spicy french fries and a jalapeno aioli. em got a vegetable and "cheese" chimichanga and we went halfsies.

unfortunately, the sandwich was missing the zesty coleslaw that made this dish seem extra appealing. the seitan was done really well so it didn't matter, and although it was piled on a roll modestly adorned with lettuce and tomato, i slathered some aioli on there and went (half-way) to town. the fries were amazing. they nailed the fries and that's all there is to say about that.

after eating half the nachos and half the sandwich, there wasn't much stomach space for a deep fried bundle of fake cheese and vegetables. i somehow forced myself to have a few bites. the dish came with salsa verde and salsa roja, both a bit watery for my taste. the guac was good, simple and no frills, but not bad by any means. the spanish rice left a lot to be desired, pretty poorly spiced and bland. em pointed out that maybe alongside the punch packing chimichanga, the rice is supposed to be a plain counterpart. to this i say: meh. it wasn't very good and that's just a bummer. the chimichanga itself was deep fried to a golden brown crispy exterior with some cheese and peppers and onions oozing out when cut into. yes, i did say oozing. after a few bites i couldn't really go much further, but it was amazing.

all in all we were insanely full and very satisfied. the food was amazing and decently priced if not a bit on the high side. the margarita was just what it should be. the cheese.....the cheese. sigh, the cheese stands alone.

editor's note: i just called to sleuth out an end to this mystery and after holding a few minutes (worth the wait!) the kind gentleman on the other end assured me they have both a soy cheese AND a vegan cheese. well hallelujah, somewhere, somehow, a good vegan cheese exists.

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