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Disney World as a Vegan — PART II

Detour:
Walt Disney World
Orlando, Florida

PART II

Soooo I sort of cannot stay away from Disney World.  Who can really?  This December I returned for my second trip as a vegan.  I learned a lot from my first trip as a vegan last year and felt pretty confident about this one.  However, I did do my research again.  A lot could change in a year! Thankfully my friends over at the Vegan Disney World blog opened my eyes to some new food endeavors.

In this recap, I have added two sections that I previously left out: Rants & Raves and pricing.  As a vegan, I do not feel the dining plan is worth it.  In previous years, the dining plan left me with a daily bloated feeling, as I felt the need to over indulge with desserts and too many snacks simply because it was included.  My most recent experience proved it was cheaper to do without the plan.  7 out of the 10 days, I ate breakfast in the room.  There is a Whole Foods located 15 minutes from the park.  I picked up bagels and fruit.

I present to you my experience as a vegan in Disney World for the second time.  See my post Disney World as a Vegan for my first encounter.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Lunch – Counter Service
Pizza Planet Arcade

Vegetable Pizza ($9.69)- Mushrooms, Peppers, Onions and Tomatoes served with Caesar Salad

VEGANIZED: Surprisingly, they have soy cheese here.  Order your pizza with soy cheese (it may take a little longer to make).  In place of the Caesar Salad, they will give you a cup of lettuce with Italian dressing.

Pizza Planet Arcade

 

Rants & Raves:  In my opinion,  this would have been awesome except my pizza came out cold.  I would recommend asking for your pizza well done to avoid this issue.

Dinner – Table Service
The Hollywood Brown Derby

ALREADY VEGAN — Noodle Bowl ($29): Wok-fried Coconut Tofu, Soy Beans, Sugar Snap Peas, Bok Choy, and Shiitake Mushrooms in a Red Curry Broth

(The rolls served are also vegan here and the waiter was happy to bring olive oil to the table for dipping. )

The Hollywood Brown Derby

Rants & Raves: The taste of this dish was perfect.  The tofu, was a bit small but full of flavor and cooked just right.

Epcot

Dinner – Table Service
Via Napoli 

ALREADY VEGAN — Appetizer ($7 per person): “Family Style” House Salad – Served exclusively with pizza! Leaf lettuces, roasted red peppers, marinated mushrooms, olives, peperoncini, red wine vinaigrette – (minimum 2 people)

Via Napoli 2

Build Your Own Pizza ($17)

Margherita – tomato, mozzarella, basil

Add a topping – ($3.50 each) – Eggplant, Pepperoni, Italian Spicy Sausage, Fontina Cheese, Proscuitto, Red Peppers, Artichoke, Olives, Anchovies, Mushrooms, Onions, Zucchini, Parmacotto Ham, Arugula, Chicken Sausage, Pancetta, Fresh Diced tomatoes

VEGANIZED: Hold the cheese.  Add veggies. 

Via Napoli 1

 

Rants & Raves:  I am not cheap.  This pizza, however, was overpriced.  For the individual pizza with mushrooms, onions and fresh diced tomatoes the total was $27.50.  They did not take into consideration that declined cheese.  Overall though, the pizza was amazing. The wood fire grill cooked the pizza perfectly and the flavor was not lacking.

Dinner – Table Service
Teppan Edo – Hibachi Style Dining

Appetizer: Garden Salad ($5.95) – Mixed greens and seasonal vegetables with your choice of our original ginger dressing or creamy sesame dressing

VEGANIZED: Choose the ginger dressing for the salad.

Teppan Edo Part II

Yasai ($17.95) – fresh seasonal vegetables
– includes seasonal vegetables with udon noodles and steamed sukiyaki beef rice

VEGANIZED: Mention to the manager, waitress and chef that you are vegan. In my case, they cooked all vegetables prior to cooking meat products. Opt out of the udon noodles and steamed sukiyaki beef rice and ask for white rice.  If you do not want them to use the same grill top, they will even cook your vegetable in the back kitchen.

Teppan Edo Part II 2

 

Rants & Raves:  Any hibachi in the world could provide the same quality vegetable stir fry.  The ginger dressing made the salad delicious and the vegetables were seasoned wonderfully.  My sister happens to love Hibachi’s and this was the only reason we ate here.  It is a solid meal but not a top pick amongDisney Dining.

Snack
World Showcase, ETC.
“Drinking Around the World

Every time I go to Disney, I attempt the nearly impossible, unofficial, feat of “Drinking Around the World”. For those who are not familiar, a person attempts to have one drink in every country along the World Showcase, a la “Drinking Around the World”.  I have never made the full loop though I know snacking in each country is key.  This is tough for a vegan.

Mexico – La Cava de Tequila

ALREADY VEGAN: Chips and Guacamole

Note: They also have a PHENOMENAL Avocado Margarita here. ($13.50)

Mexico

The American Adventure

ALREADY VEGAN: Pretzels ($4.29)

Pretzel

Morroco – the Tangierine Cafe

ALREADY VEGAN: Hummus ($2.99)

Breakfast – Buffet
Tusker House – Donald’s Safari Breakfast

VEGANIZED: ($29.99) The chef prepared the following items special per the vegan diet.

Mickey waffles – Also gluten free

ALREADY VEGAN: Fresh Fruit, potatoes, plantains and white rice

Tusker Hourse Restaurant PART II

Rants & Raves:  Unless you have children or are dying to see characters, this place is just meh for breakfast.  Veganized Mickey Waffles can be found at almost all quick service breakfast locations and are under $10.  These two waffles were pretty much $30.

Animal Kingdom

Dinner 
Yak & Yeti

Vegetable Lo Mein with Tofu ($18.99) — Lo Mein noodles, carrots, cabbage, green onions, bean sprouts
VEGANIZED: Substitute rice. Lo Mein noodles contain egg.

Yak & Yeti

 

Rants & Raves:  Sorry for the poor photo quality.  The meal was glorified vegetable fried rice.  Just.. meh.

Snack
Mr. Kamal’s Kiosk – Asia (Near Flights of Wonder)

ALREADY VEGAN —  Pea and Potato Samosas with Mango Chutney ($5.99)

Mr. Kamal's

Rants & Raves:  I would make an effort to try these while in Animal Kingdom.  They are hands down my favorite snack in the park.

Magic Kingdom

Lunch – Counter Service
Columbia Harbor House – Liberty Square

ALREADY VEGAN: Vegetarian Chili ($4.99) & French Fries ($2.99) (if you do not mind the joint fryer.)

Columbia Harbor House

 

Rants & Raves: I honestly loved this lunch.  At the time it was exactly what I wanted.  I would totally recommend this place.  It is pretty much the hottest quick service in the Magic Kingdom due to its omnivore options.

Lunch – Counter Service
Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe – Tomorrow Land

Vegetable Burger ($9.99)– with choice of Apple Slices, Green Beans, or French Fries

VEGANIZED: Substitute regular bun for dairy-free bun.

Cosmic Rays

Rants and Raves: I LOVE this place.  Their condiment bar is PERFECT.  As you can see I love pickles too and they are unlimited.

Snack
Aloha Isle – Adventureland (Near Swiss Family Treehouse)

ALREADY VEGAN: Pineapple Dole Whip ($3.99)

Dole Whip

Rants & Raves: Heaven in a cup! Worth the wait in line (Yes, there will be a line).

(Please note: The vanilla flavor offered is NOT vegan.)

Plaza Ice Cream Parlor – Main Street USA

ALREADY VEGAN: Vanilla and Chocolate Tofutti Cup! ($4.49)

Ice Cream

Dinner – Table Service
Be Our Guest

ALREADY VEGAN – Appetizer – Seasonal Salad Trio ($7.99): Three individual bowls of: Roasted Beet, Gold Raisin, Orange Salad and Green Bean, Tomato, Roasted Shallot Salad and Watermelon, Radish, and Mint Salad

Be Our Guest 2

ALREADY VEGAN – Layered Ratatouille ($17.49): Oven-baked Zucchini, Eggplant, Mushrooms, Tomatoes, and Caramelized Onions sliced and layered on Quinoa served with a Bell Pepper Sauce

Be Our Guest

Rants & Raves: Sorry for the poor quality photos, it is a bit dark in the Enchanted Castle.  The environment is lovely but I would not return.  The ratatouille was bland and the though the salad trio could hold its own, without an entree it is not worth it.  Also, unlike all the other restaurants, the chef would not even come to the table to talk about the vegan options.

Resorts

Dinner – Buffet
Wilderness Lodge – Fort Wilderness –Trail’s End (Featuring Chef TJ)

Chef TJ at Trail’s End in the Fort Wilderness section of the Wilderness Lodge will specially cook vegans a DELICIOUS four course meal.  I could not tell you what exactly my four courses were, exactly.  Just take my word for it that as a vegan, in Disney World, this meal was the best of the best. 

Spicy Sweet Buns with Coconut Carrot Soup

Trail's End 1

Spring Rolls with Balsamic Glaze and Arugula Salad

Trail's End 2

Grilled Vegetables & Barbecue Tofu with  Noodle Salad

Trail's End 3

Strawberry-Banana-Brownie-Ice Cream Sandwich- Ice Cream-Dessert Tower

Trails End 4

Rants & Raves:  Everything was perfect! My recommendation is to arrive at Trail’s End SUPER hungry and ready to eat.  Everything is made to order.  DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT, eat anything at the buffet before your order comes out.  You will not have room for the amount of food Chef TJ prepares.  You will regret it. That being said, a Trails End TJ Experience is a MUST for vegans vacationing in Disney World.  Make sure you call in advance though, TJ only works certain nights and you DO NOT want to miss this culinary experience.  Another plus for you pocket, Trail’s End is the cheapest dinner buffet on Walt Disney World property.

Breakfast
Polynesian – Kona Cafe

Tonga Toast ($12.99) – Banana-stuffed Sourdough French Toast rolled in Cinnamon Sugar and served with a Strawberry Compote and your choice of Ham, Bacon, or Sausage

VEGANIZED – If you find a willing chef, they will soak in soy milk opposed to egg.  If you find a SUPER willing chef they will pan fry the toast for you.   If you are a vegan with no problem with shared fryers, they can also deep fry the toast that way.  Also, request no strawberry compote, it has dairy.  Substitute potatoes for meat option.

Kona Cafe

Rants & Raves: I still dream about how perfect this toast was.  Try your best to convince the chef to make it.  They will give in, hopefully.  Another “I’m not cheap but…” annoyance.  They charged me for the side of potatoes instead of subbing them for the meat I clearly did not receive nor want to received.

And there you have it… vegan options in Disney from my point of view.  There are a few more, but these are the ones that worked best for me during my visit. Side note, be prepared to talk to managers and chefs at all restaurants.  Also, prepare wait longer than your omnivore friends/family for food.  Everything vegan in Disney is more or less made to order.  

For further vegan options, I would view AllEars.net or, the constantly updated blog, Vegan Disney World.

High Hopes Vegan Bakery

We loved sugar.  As vegans, we are never deprived of delicious baked goods.  We honestly feel vegan desserts are even better than their dairy counterparts, but that’s just us.  Recently we were able to try a few items from an Etsy, online based, bakery.

High Hopes Vegan Bakery

High Hopes Vegan Bakery is physically located in South Carolina but ships its sweet treats anywhere, to anyone looking to satisfy their sweet tooth.   This is great.  Though we are lucky in Philadelphia and have easy access to vegan dessert/treats/donuts, not everyone is.   Online bakeries are perfect for those not so savvy in the kitchen or those who do not have access to great vegan bakeries or simply those who like other people baking for them.  High Hopes Vegan Bakery, is not only delicious and fresh upon delivery, it is adequately priced.  From cinnamon buns to chocolate chip cookies, the bakery has something for everyone!  So go, get your sweet tooth on and pop over to the High Hopes Vegan Bakery.  You will not be disappointed!

Our favorite: Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cups.  Let’s just say they give Reese’s cups a run for their money.

 

Miss Rachel’s Pantry

For as far as I can remember, in my vegan life, I have always wanted to try Miss Rachel’s Pantry.  I had attended the Be Well Philly Boot Camp in 2013 and sat in on a cooking demo with Rachel.  I became thrilled that there were vegan chefs of her “vegan cutie” caliber, in Philadelphia, catering and holding weekly dinner parties. I wanted in.  Busy life took over and conflicting schedules got in the way, but finally the stars aligned and I met my Miss Rachel’s Pantry fate…

One day, last month, I received a message from Kiera Smalls of City Fit Girls asking to attend her dinner party… at… Miss Rachel’s Pantry! I jumped at the invite.  The dinner would consist of 10 like-minded, vegan, health and fitness conscious, awesome, passionate  girls from Philadelphia and its surrounding area.  The night was perfect but I am sure everyone is more interested in the menu and food for the night.

Mini Biscuits – homemade margarine, berries, walnuts

Takia - Apps

 BBQ Tempeh-Walnut Slider Trio, caramelized onions, celery slaw, mezza arugula

Kiera - BBQ Tempeh

 Savory Tofu Scramble Enchilada, bean puree, cilantro chimichurri, chipotle cream

Miss Rachel's Pantry 7

Salt-Roasted Golden Beetroot Salad, indigo rose and other exciting heirloom tomatoes, cashew cheese, basil vinaigrette

Miss Rachel's Pantry 9

Chill Cucumber Bisque, crushed pistachios, grilled jalapeno, avocado, coconut bacon

Miss Rachel's Pantry 8

Creamy Elbow Mac, Smoked Seitan Roast, caramelized kale

Miss Rachel's Pantry 2

Seared Maitakes, whipped coconut milk and horseradish butterball potatoes, garbanzo shoots, truffle jus

Miss Rachel's Pantry 1

Key Lime Pie, whipped cream, candied lime, graham crust

Miss Rachel's Pantry 4

Flourless Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

Miss Rachel's Pantry 3

In conclusion, I highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend planning a you next dinner party at Miss Rachel’s Pantry, or considering having an event catered.  The deliciousness of the food cannot be put into words.  All that can be said is all 10 girls with full bellies and extremely happy mouths on Saturday.

End note: It was very lovely meeting all the girls at the dinner party!  Everyone should go check out these fierce vegan woman on their social media platforms.  They are all inspiring!

Group(Left to Right)

Bottom:

Meagan, pastry chef at the awesome Vegan Commissary, City Fit Girls ambassador and cross fit super women. Me :), office worker by day, vegan food finder and consumer by night. LJ, vegan Twitter Queen. Kiera, half of the City Fit Girls empire and boot camp babe! Joy, New Jersey loving vegan runner.

Top:

I AM TERRIBLE WITH REMEMBERING NAME (SORRY:( ), Rachel’s sous chef and creator of our sweet desserts! Lia, cyclist, runner, and iron women for the animals. Rachel, kickass Philadelphia director of the Humane LeaguePam, webivore LARGELY responsible for that lovely Philly Veg Dining Guide oh and light bulb behind our dinner. Melissa, awesome holistic health counselor and donkey mom! Alli, vegan Philadelphia implant and super smart engineer chick! Takia, second half of the City Fit Girls empire and farmers market enthusiast! Rachel, thee Rachel of Miss Rachel’s Pantry and ultimate vegan cutie.

Vegan University City Dining Days

It’s summer, prime time for not wanting to eat in.  With outside eating areas galore and all of the many delicious eateries in Philadelphia dishing up vegan options, everyone is going out to eat.  Tomorrow,  July 17th, the island of University City begins its yearly Dining Days promotion.  For those not familiar with the concept, participating restaurants produce a set menu with a set price ($15-$25 depending on the resturant), similar to Philadelphia Restaurant Week.  This year University City boosts awesome options for us vegans, with the except of dessert…  Enjoy as many nights as you can without hurting your pockets.

DiningDays_logo_14_10th

$15 Option $25 Option $35 Option
Copabanana
4000 Spruce Street
Vegan Options:
Copa Cantina Salad
Spanish Fries
Black Bean Burger
– No cheese or mayo
Han Dynasty
3711 Market Street
Vegan Options:
Ginger String Beans
Cold Sesame Noodles
Dan Dan Noodles
Spicy Crispy Cucumbers
Garlic Sauce Style
Cumin Style
Water Ice
Pod
3636 Samson Street
Vegan Options:
Vegetable Roll
Miso Soup
Cauliflower
Okinawa Vegetable Stir Fry
Dahlak Restarant (Etiopian)
4708 Baltimore Avenue
Vegan Options:
Hot/Mild Lentils
Gomen Watt
greens, kale, potato
Beets Stew/ Okra Stew
Tikil Gomen
yellow cabbage, potato,
carrot, peas
Shuro
seasoned chickpea paste
Mushroom stew
Spinach
World Café Live
3025 Walnut Street
Vegan Options:
WCL Salad
Korean Tofu
Distrito
3945 Chestnut Street
Vegan Options:
Salsa Mexicana
Chilango Chop Salad
Jicama Salad
Arroz con Frijoles Negros
Desi Village
4527 Baltimore Avenue
Vegan Options:
Veg Pakora
Veg Samosa
Aloo Cholley
Baigan Bharta
Dock Street Brewery
701 S. 50th Street
Vegan Options:
Fresh Spring Mix Salad
Vegan Pizza
New Delhi
4004 Chestnut Street
Vegan Options:
Vegetable Samosa
Bhojia
Patata-wada
Vegetables Malai Kofta
Channa Masala
Pattaya Restaurant
4006 Chestnut Street
Vegan Options:
Veg Lemon Grass Soup
Vegetable Pad Thai
Saigon Cuisine
4000 Chestnut Street
Vegan Options:
House Salad
Pan Fried Veg Dumplings
Vegetable Pad Thai
Vietnam Café
816 S. 47th Street
Vegan Options:
Crispy Veg Spring Rolls
– no sauce
Tofu Rolls
Veggie Noodle Soup
Crispy Spring Rolls Vermicelli
Tofu Curry
Vientiane Café
4728 Baltimore Avenue
Vegan Options:
Fresh Vegetarian Spring Roll
Crispy Spring Roll
– Vegetarian
Tofu Satay
Steamed Dumplings
– Vegetarian
Green Papaya Salad
Vegetarian Naam Salad
Vegetarian (Tofu) Pad Thai
Pad-Kee-Mao
Curry
Mango Sticky

*Please make sure you confirm again at each restaurant that no ingredients are making these dishes non-vegan*

 

Map of the Philadelphian Vegan World

With the launch of Pinterest place pins today, we have compiled a map of all the vegan restaurants, markets, and cafes, etc. in the Philadelphia area that we personally tasted and favor.  This map is not complete.  It will continue to grow as restaurants open their menus to vegan friendly items. In the coming weeks, we will be spot lighting some of our these spots but in the meantime, take a look at the big picture.  

It might not make the top 10 but Philadelphia is quite the vegan friendly city.

What Came First: the Soybean or the Tofu?

Welcome.. to Philly Vegans!  A blog dedicated to delicious vegan food that even your carnivore friends love.
Before all the stomach grumbling posts begin, a quick introduction is necessary.

I’m Erin, an on, off, on, off again, on for life vegan girl living in the Northern Libertyish area of Philadelphia with my boyfriend and co-contributor to Philly VegansVinny and my dog child french bulldog, Oliver. Before my vegan lifestyle began, I was a pescatarian for 5 years.  I indulged in tons of cheese, little fishy friends and eggs galore.  In this state, I was confident that I was living in a dietarily healthy way, then a mandatory yearly physical was instated by my employer and my healthy lifestyle bubble was burst.  I, Erin Jaskiewicz, the self proclaimed healthy pescatarian, had a cholesterol of over 220 (anything over 200 is a red flag).  Long story short, I went vegan, lowered my cholesterol numbers, then had a few months of, “I can just be vegetarian, handle my cholesterol, and feel great.” NO, did not happen.  Push came to shove and now, viola, me and my dedicated cyclist boyfriend took the plunge into a fully vegan life, for life.

Me, Oliver & Vinny

So enough about us,  lets talk blog.  All the future vegan food blog fun will take place mainly in Philadelphia with the occasional excursion to international and domestic locals (and even some from New Jersey).  Posts will include lovely (and sadly unlovely) restaurant endeavors,  tasty recipes and some occasional vegan fitness talk, along with much more fun vegan related stuff! So now, with a mention in my favorite blog Be Well Philly ‘s 10 Best Fitness Instagrammers You Should Be Following and some motivation from my friend Stephen at Pyknic, here it is… The Philly Vegan blog…