Monday, October 26, 2009

Vegan Brunch: Philly

Most things are fairly easy to replace in a vegan form. Now that Vegan Brunch has taken the world by storm, its even easy to replicate a lot of your favorite breakfast dishes, like the formerly elusive omelet. However, one of our favorite pastimes has always been going out for breakfast. With most diner offerings no longer being options, and our not wanting to pay $8 for a bowl of oatmeal, what is a vegan couple to do?

Well, after a quick search for vegan breakfast venues in Philadelphia, we just ate at home. Kind of a no-brainer. But then, when I was least expecting it, a place serving vegan brunch came onto my radar. Excuse me? I thought I had thoroughly researched this?!? A quick Google search told me that I was horrifyingly wrong, and hence, we had to go. ASAP.

Enter Mi Lah Vegetarian Restaurant, which is vegan, and on Saturdays and Sundays they serve up a fantastic vegan brunch.

We started out with a cup of coffee, with a sweet little plate of seasonal fruit. I love that its apple season, by the way. The decor in this place is perfectly sweet and modern, I really loved it.

It was very hard to make a decision because so many things looked so good. Okay, everything looked so good. The menu on their website it outdated, it used to be a Prix Fixe, but now they have a larger variety of entrees, and also encourage making yourself a meal out of their side dishes. (If you're curious about the price, now that it is not prix fixe, it was actually cheaper for us.)

I settled on the dish I had heard raves about, the omelet. Not really an omelet fan in my pre-vegan days, this was completely perfect.

My three fillings were red pepper, vegan sausage, and cheddar cheese. I was hesitant about the cheese, because as I've said here and again, I hate almost all vegan cheese (yes, even Teese, yes, even Daiya), but this was good. Altogether the omelet was amazing, crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and plenty of filling. On the side were some red bliss and sweet potato home fries. All incredibly yummy.

Nick had the Yard Beer battered seitan with Belgian waffles. They ended up being chocolate waffles! He seemed fairly pleased with his, although he said he wanted an omelet next time.

As I mentioned, they have a wide variety of sides, not least of which is French Toast. Nick had to try the French Toast, so we split it, was divine. On good crusty bread, it was wonderfully sweet with just a splash of their organic maple syrup.

All in all, I can't wait to go back. I'm not kidding, I wanted to go back for dinner (we didn't). There are quite a few vegan restaurants in Philly, and many of them are Chinese. New Harmony and Singapore are two we've tried and are both very good. But sometimes you want brunch, and sometimes, you don't want Chinese food! So I'm happy that when this place is done with their delicious vegan brunch, they break out a very local, seasonal, menu. Think: brussels sprout and butternut squash gratin. Granted, they have this at Horizons, but this is less expensive.

The moral of this story is, be sure to go here. Don't even think twice, if you're in the Philly area, or within driving distance, you must go. Oh, and you don't even have to get up that early because, in true brunch fashion, they serve until 3. You will be happy, I promise!


  1. Sounds delic.! Too bad I am never in Philly that early... usually for a concert or Flyers game in the PM. By the way, so glad to hear you got to try Singapore! Did you have the General Tao's?! I plan to make the trip soon, I'm starting to jones for it and the New Year's soup.

  2. I never liked omelets pre vegan, they were just plain gross. But vegan omelets are DELICIOUS! Your brunch looks SO good, I would love to try everything.

  3. i started reading your blog about a month ago, and it makes me homesick (i'm from philly but in grad school in ohio) in a good way :)

    it's certainly not brunch, but i'm wondering if you've tried capogiro? its gelato - i think they have three locations in the city now, and i believe most (if not all) of their sorbetto options are vegan (for the record, i'm a a vegetarian who eats vegan a nice chunk of the time), and they are absolutely delicious. i had a nice chat with the owner a few years ago when i tried to travel with some, and they use organic and local ingredients, and make everything fresh daily.

  4. Oh how I miss eating brunch at diners and restaurants. Your brunch experience looks really fantastic.

  5. Great review hun!

    It got me salivating with every sentence!

  6. Yay! You found a vegan brunch spot. Awesome!

  7. I have been meaning to go to Mi Lah for brunch for weeks now. I'm so glad to see a review, and that its positive! Govindas used to have a great brunch. But alas, no more :(

    Thanks for the review!

  8. That looks delicious and wonder its healthy too.With the progress of civilization,man has become divorced from nature but one must realize that real and natural foods has many disease fighting compounds to prevent ailments.Learn some new insights on Guide to Healthy Eating

  9. I love it! And I would really try that one! I always get so excited on your everyday post, so great reading your blog.

  10. I like to send this link to my husband because I'm sure this should be very helpful to him and he would be happy reading this. Keep posting!

  11. Love love LOVE Mi Lah at every meal, and brunch is a special treat. What I'd really like to find is a good weekday spot for a vegan breakfast in old city or south Philly (not too south...) Had the suggestion of Sabrina's cafe. Any others?