Thursday, July 24, 2008

Vegan Dad on the Road: Horizons

Tonight I ate one of the best meals of my life at Philadelphia's premier vegan restaurant, Horizons. It is so awesome to go to a place where you can eat everything on the menu, and where you don't have to quiz the server on the ingredients of every dish and how it is prepared. I emailed for a reservation and for permission to take some pics. The owner, Kate, gave me a warm welcome, and the staff was helpful and friendly. I placed my order began sipping on my drink. I was soon greeted with complimentary focaccia with fresh basil olive oil for dipping (pictured above). It was incredibly tender with a wonderfully buttery flavour.

My first course was the Golden Beet Panzanella Salad. I have to say that my favourite part of the dish was the beets--they were tender and had a very mellow flavour. The smoked tofu was also very nice. My only complaint is that the tomatoes had a bad taste and texture; I think they may have been refrigerated.
Second course: Grilled Seitan with yukon potato mash and horseradish cream. By far, this is the best seitan I have ever had. I have experimented a lot with seitan but nothing has come close to the tenderness, texture, and taste of this dish. Superb grilled flavour that was only enhanced by the horseradish cream (which is really quite mellow with a nice tang).
For dessert: saffron creme brule. Oh, baby.

20 comments:

Jenn said...

Why can't they have restaurants like that over here - I'm not going to be in Philly anytime in the next year or so...

Where do you find out about these restaurants? Just curious as I'm driving across the US from Seattle to Florida for my honeymoon next April... I would rather enjoy the food portion then eat french fries and salad for two weeks

vegandenovo said...

oh my god, yes! that seitan dish is otherworldly! it makes me want to camp out outside of horizons forever.

Pink Theory said...

I totally agree with vegandenovo...that seitan dish looks mouthwatering. And that creme brulee!! I'll have to remember that restaurant if I'm ever in the area.

Paulina said...

I'm so jealous!

Bianca said...

Wow! Vegan creme brulee! You're kidding! Super awesomeness. I love visiting totally vegan restaurants in other towns (we don't have any full vegan eateries in Memphis), but I'm always overwhelmed by the choices.

Cyn said...

I've had that creme brulee and it is so good it's ridiculous.

John Plummer said...

This looks great - definitely a reason to visit friends in Philly! I've had their cookbooks on my wish list and maybe I should give in and buy them!

Vegan Dad said...

jenn,
There are a few places on the web where you can find out about veggie restaurants in various cities (Happy Cow and Veg Web come to mind). But my greatest resource has been my blog readers. My trip to Philly and my previous trip to D.C. was filled with good eats provided by recommendations from readers.

kat said...

The seitan looks yummy. Does anyone know if they have the recipe for it in either of their cookbooks?

Vegan Dad said...

kat,
I don't know. I did ask the server if they made the seitan on premises--they don't. One of the things that makes this dish so awesome is the texture of the seitan; tender and freakily meat-like.

Binx said...

I do so love this place-- it's my boyfriend's and my favorite place to eat when we have some extra cash and want to do something special (like once a year, hah). we have yet to be let down! also, a meal of that quality in an omni restaurant would cost twice as much!

belle dee said...

Yes, that seitan looks so delish!

Susan G said...

I would so love to go to this restaurant. I do have their cookbooks and they are wonderful (just got the new one for my b-day. Haven't tried anything yet but just reading it makes my mouth water!)

I look forward to your experiments to try and duplicate the seitan - if anyone can, it is you!

Anonymous said...

Do you know how they make the creme brulee? I've seen a recipe that uses cashews, but haven't tried it yet. Creme brulee is one indulgence I REALLY miss.

Vegan Dad said...

anon,
I'm sorry, I don't. The owner did say it was made out of coconut milk and was soy free, but I don;t know how they made the custard Coconut milk and cornstarch, perhaps?

Erin said...

That whole meal looks spectacular, especially the seitan dish!

Jamie the Foodie said...

oh my, not just a vegan restaurant, but a fine-dining vegan restaurnat! everything looked yummy! thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I ate here last year when I was in Philly on a weekend trip. It was amazing. I completely agree about being excited that you can pick anything to eat off the menu. I forced my non-vegan husband to go and he had rave reviews on everything he ordered and everything he tasted from my selections. These are some useful websites to help you find vegan restaurants around the country: http://www.vegdining.com/Home.cfm, http://www.vegguide.org/ in addition to Happy Cow.

nororu said...

think we can get the recipe?
thank you!

Joanna said...

This is really old but I just found this and have been going through old posts and drooling. I live in Philadelphia and went to a cooking demo by the Horizons chef/owner. The seitan is Ray's Wheat Meat. He makes it for the restaurant in large blocks. BUT if you live in or near Philly, you can buy the same seitan (in home size tubs) from Whole Foods. Sometimes you have to ask for them to get it out of the back if they are out in the fridge section!