We debuted our Fast Casual Tracker with the news that Urban Outfitters had purchased Marc Vetri’s restaurant empire. It was clear that the big piece of the deal was Pizzeria Vetri and the pizza concept debuted at number one. But we have a shakeup as it is impossible to ignore the traction Honeygrow is getting in the crowded fast-casual marketplace. November saw Honeygrow open in University City. Another college campus location is right around the corner as the company prepares to open on the University of Delaware’s campus in Newark, DE. Honeygrow will also be featured in King of Prussia’s Town Center project and it has been recently reported they are opening their first Virginia location. That’s ten open and announced locations since mid-2012.
A few weeks ago, I walked into HipCityVeg and one of the lovely workers walked over to me and said “Adjua,” — because yes, we are on a first name basis — “I have some bad news to tell you.” I responded with, “If you tell me the curry tofu wrap is going somewhere, I will have a panic attack right here, right now.” And she said, “No, I’m going somewhere. I’m moving.” She looked sad, and I was sad. After all, she knew my order with all its annoying modifications by heart. And then I realized: I go to the same lunch spot and order the same thing so often that the people who work there feel like they need to tell me when they are moving.
If you haven’t heard of the Vegan Roadie, also known as Dustin Harder, it’s time you get to know him. The plant-based chef (and theatrical dog trainer!), has been traveling around the country trying all the vegan dishes he can at all the restaurants he can squeeze into his days, all so he can create a roadmap of sorts for vegans across America. So far, he’s made it to over 20 cities — and did I mention he’s been filming his travels for his web series, The Vegan Roadie? Read more »
I just trekked over to HipCityVeg in Rittenhouse for lunch, and when I got there, I found out that it’s their third birthday (Happy birthday! Thanks for bringing the Curry Tofu Wrap into the world!). And to celebrate, they’re giving away giant (and I mean giant) samples of their signature green smoothie, brilliantly named the Groothie, to everyone who stops in for food. Read more »
If you find yourself at HipCityVeg just about every day (feel no shame—I am probably waiting in line behind you Every. Single. Day), then this news should make you jump with joy: Our friends over at Foobooz say it looks like owner Nicole Marquis (who also owns Charlie was a sinner.) is set to open another spot just a few steps away from HipCityVeg, where Crumbs bakeshop used to be—and this spot will have a liquor license.
Guys, chili season has officially arrived! At least at HipCityVeg: As of today, the restaurant’s über-popular vegan chili—loaded with a drool-worthy medley of quinoa, kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, fire-roasted tomatoes and corn tortilla strips—is officially back on the menu. And in case you couldn’t tell by that description, it is basically perfection in a to-go bowl.
Just a quick redirect here: The folks over at Zagat Philly have a post this week about secret menu items (i.e. off-menu dishes you have to know to ask for) at 20 Philly restaurants. Color me surprised to find a delicious-sounding item from one of my favorite lunch spots, HipCityVeg: a vegan grilled chick’n club sandwich that apparently only people in the know have been enjoying for who knows how long. I feel robbed.