First Look: PS & Co.

Just steps away from Rittenhouse Square, PS&Co has opened and owner Andrea Kyan is working to create offerings to “win over even the most diehard cheesesteak and soft pretzel guy.” A righteous challenge to the indulgence of Parc, the caffeine of la Colombe, the gluten-temptation of Metropolitan, and the siren song of Shake Shack, everything at PS&Co is vegan, gluten free, kosher, and organic.

And whereas Hip City Veg swaps animal protein for plant-based chick’n and seitan steak, PS&Co’s approach relies more heavily on creating appealing texture, flavor, and color combinations using whole ingredients. Trade in your roast pork ramen for a forbidden rice ramen salad. Sub out spicy tuna maki for an avocado nori roll sauced with wasabi cream instead, get the idea?

Good. Because we’ve got the pictures. Check ’em out (along with some early impressions) after the jump.

A sprout, tofu, and carrot filled summer roll ($6.75) would be better with an extra squirt of the bangin’ apricot almond dressing served alongside it, but a garden pad thai bowl ($12.50), kale salad topped with a tangle of tasty rice noodles and a rainbow of carrot, kiwi, goji berries, and edamame proves a robust lunch that will likely be a favorite of the Rittenhouse crowd.

Also sure to be appealing to the stroller set is Kyan’s line-up of smoothies, nut-milkshakes, teas, and interesting, fresh-squeezed juices. There’s the Bangkok (pineapple, lime, lemongrass, peppermint), and the Mohegan Bluffs (beet, lemon, orange, ginger), as well as fresh young coconuts that Kyan will cleave open for you to order, handing you a straw to sip the juice and a spoon to scrape the meat out.

With an ambitious 7-to-7 schedule, breakfast at the cafe means house-made breads, museli, coconut yogurt, and porridges. The chia porridge, seeds bloomed in coconut milk and served with a nutty house-made granola ($5.75) feels light and crunchy, a formidable opponent to a croissant, the only trouble being that the 1/2 cup portion seems a little too lean of a way to begin one’s day.

Before Kyan opened up the cafe she sold coconut macaroons and other sweets (at Pure Sweets & Co., hence the name) to coffee shops and cafes, so its no surprise that the winner of our first visit was a dessert. The dark chocolate and berry tart with a cocoa, nut-flour crust was sweet enough to be a treat, but not so sugary as to provoke the crash-and-burn effect.

PS&Co. is ambitious, but it still seems to be working out whether it wants to be a grab-and-go eatery, a restaurant, or something in between. Yes, there’s a printed menu, but stop in at lunchtime and you’re choosing from the pre-packaged offerings in the case, not the menu itself–and creating a pile of disposable (but compostable) packaging in the process. On the other hand, Kyan’s Thursday evening after-hours dinner series (five courses and unlimited cold-pressed juices and cocktails for $58) is definitely restaurant-y. Either way, since Michelle Obama is pretty clear on the fact that we should all be eating more vegetables, now you know where to go.

PS&Co. [Official]