Veganish Philly Review: The Good, the Bad, and the Ok-ish

Veganish meets you at the door with nothing but vibes. Being the food enthusiast I am, I entered this new spot excited and with high expectations. Walking in, I was met with a warm yet nostalgic ambiance that reminded me of my days chilling at a semi-upscale food jawn on a university campus. The main difference was that there were no patrons which for a Saturday in a bustling neighborhood was a tad surprising. But that was the perfect opportunity to admire the details of the decor.

Speaking of decor, the tone of my experience immediately changed when I realized I had to order at a tablet kiosk like I was in a gas station rest stop about to get a disproportioned hoagie. It would have been nice to talk to somebody who knew a thing or two about the menu before the receipt was printed.

But alas, I continued to impose my ambivalence upon a tablet. As the kind of person who checks the menu before leaving the house, I noticed some items from the internet menu were missing from the in-store menu, which was a bit of a letdown. I had to improvise my selections. 

My beverage was the introduction and it told me everything I needed to know. It was masquerading as a carrot ginger lemonade, but it was actually giving vegan Chick-fil-A lemonade. Or better yet, Countrytime-lite. I missed that ginger kick, and the only evidence of carrot was in the pigment of the drink. Sadly, having ice filled to the brim watered it down. It was at that moment that I realized the grandeur of disappointment that was in store.

Let’s get into the eats. With the variety of options they boasted, I was excited to see what this menu was hitting for.

First up, the vegan burger. I got the Philly Special and my was this an absolute rollercoaster. The patty, though well-pressed and had a great texture, lacked that flavor kick— absolutely no seasoning to be found! To make matters worse, the hot peppers overpowered everything. They were at a 10 and needed to be brought down to about a 4; it was numbingly overpowering. The caramelized onions and the sauce complimented the crisp patty texture, so it was quite toothsome.

Yet and still, it was very chaotic because it was falling apart. The warm toasted bun was a hero, and added some much-needed redemption to the sandwich. It was the highlight of the night! If sauce dripping down your hand is necessary for your burger experience, then you’ll love this.

While sauce was abundant on the burger, I was sadly missing it on my cauliflower wings. This was most disappointing because Instagram had me ready for a saucy situation. The BBQ cauliflower wings I received were a true letdown. While the sauce’s flavor was a delicious balance of hickory and sweet, with perfection in its viscous thickness, it did not coat the wings enough leaving them a bit bare.

Not to mention, the cauliflower itself was a bit too well-done—singed and brown instead of that juicy succulent tender albino broccoli we know and love. Oh, and the batter on the fry? Utterly bland, leaving much to be desired in the flavor department. Overall, it fell short. If you’re not big on saucy wings, this might suit your taste buds, but for those seeking that saucy goodness, nothing to see here.

Another miss, the cod wrap. For something that had the potential to be light and refreshing, it felt a bit heavier than expected. Not heavier like filling and satisfying; heavier like baring the emotional weight of not wanting to waste money and food, but also not wanting to subject yourself to eating something inedible.

For the record, I initially wanted the salmon wrap, but it wasn’t on the menu (see ladies, this is why you should never settle!!) It was begging for a sauce to balance things out, you know? The fish itself was a mediocre frozen fillet with no personality. There was no crisp, there was no crunch, it was just fishy. A pinch of Oldbay would have done so much for this! I feel like they skimped on the fixings because of the uneven distribution throughout. Biting into a massive jalapeño pepper highlighted the lack of finesse. It would have been more sensible to toss the toppings in a bowl first, and then apply them onto the wrap.

The most unnerving lack of finesse was the chick’n cheese steak. The warm bun cradled mounds of vegan cheese with curdles of meat substitute and grilled onions and hot peppers on top. Again, too spicy to be enjoyed. My mind couldn’t compute the ratio of cheese to faux chicken, to spicy peppers The cheese didn’t have a remarkable taste, and the faux chicken was unseasoned and rubbery. It was probably tofu, considering how uninspiring it was. I couldn’t bring myself to finish the other half.

Overall experience: 2.5/5 stars.

While the ambiance was warm, inviting, and enjoyable, I couldn’t eat that part! The menu has potential and with the right amount of finesse and attentiveness improvements could be great. I highly encourage other people to try them because I’m not a hater, and I will not yuck your yum! They have locations in both West Philly and Spring Garden. Reach them at (215) 279-7321.

until next time

peace & purple 💜

disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this review are solely mine as a food critic and enthusiast. While I strive for objectivity and fairness, taste is completely subjective, and personal preferences influence my assessment. My experiences are reflective of a specific moment and may not represent consistent quality or service. Please note that the restaurant industry is dynamic, and changes in menu, staff, or management may affect the dining experience. Factors such as timing, atmosphere, and personal expectations play a role in forming opinions. This review is intended to provide insight and guidance to readers but should not be the sole factor in making dining decisions. I encourage patrons to form their own opinions by visiting the establishment and experiencing it firsthand. Transparency is paramount; while I aim to offer honest and constructive criticism, I acknowledge that each person’s individual experience may vary. I appreciate the opportunity to share my thoughts and experiences with my audience.

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