Wednesday, October 22, 2014

v is for v street

Media preview party

"V" is for vegan; "street" stands for street food.
Last week, I was lucky enough to be invited to the media sneak preview of V Street, the newest twinkle in the eyes of plant-powered ├╝ber chefs Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby, of Vedge, Food Network and Williams-Sonoma fame.

If Vedge is a sophisticated vegan Audrey Hepburn, then consider V Street her little, spicy-but-wicked-smart, globe-trotting sister. Kate explained that V Street's menu takes its inspiration from global street food – with a vegan twist, of course. This made me happy because I know Kate and Rich love traveling and get inspiration by encountering unique flavors. Obviously, they were both genuinely passionate about this menu.

The Lima Mist

I arrived a bit late. Kate greeted me warmly at the door, as she always does. I had had a long day and needed a pick-me-up, so she suggested I try the Lima Mist: pisco and chica morada [basically, a fermented Peruvian corn beer], topped with popcorn. It reminded me of a margarita, puckery-sour from the Pisco, balanced by the salt from the popcorn dissolving into the sweetness. The popcorn cloud made me smile, especially when I realized it was a culinary pun – a nod to garua, the thick fog that blankets Peru's capital city for 4 months of the year.

Vegan Langos, inspiration via Hungary

I asked Kate what to try first and out came my new favorite thing: Langos. Smoked beets, creamy sauerkraut remoulade [really!] and fresh dill, perched upon a cloud-like pastry pillow. Listen, beet haters. The smoked beets nothing like beets; frankly, they taste and look more like ham [which confirms my theory that most people who like ham and bacon really just like smokiness]. Next time I got to V Street, I will order 3 of these. And then I'll order 3 more to take home.

I also sampled the the Korean Fried Tempeh, which comes in a soft tortilla, perfectly balanced with kimchee slaw. Delish! Unfortunately, my camera didn't cooperate, but trust me, it's a winner.

Vegan Waffle with ganache, miso caramel and sriracha peanuts.
For dessert, I sampled the Vegan Waffle with chocolate ganache, miso caramel and sriracha peanuts. Miso caramel? Brilliant to pair the cloying sweetness and carbiness with the intensity of the umami; all those layers of sweet and hot and bitter start tangoing on your palate. What I am most stoked about, though, is that V Street will be serving vegan soft serve. *** happy dance! *** They'll always have halo-halo– taro ice cream– but they will also offer a variety of luscious flavors. Kate is famous for her unique ice cream flavors [think "cereal milk" and "movie popcorn"] so I can't wait to see what she comes up with.

V Street – inviting ambiance 
The cozy space, just off tony Rittenhouse Square, is warm and welcoming, with an unfussy, industrial chic vibe.

Love the distressed metal chairs.
Even though Rich and Kate are culinary superstars, they were both as warm and down-to-earth as ever – and this easiness trickles down to their staff. They are the sweetest, nicest, best-looking vegan couple. You can't help but love them. But it's what's "inside" the food that counts – and their food speaks for itself. Go. Now!

V Street's  menu
Let me know what you think. Also, check out Vance's review.

  • 126 S 19th St.
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • 215.278.7943

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