Trying to decide on a place to eat is hard enough on your own, but in a group, it’s even worse — especially when dietary preferences abound. Being vegan in a group of meat-eaters is a drag mainly because you end up eating a lot of sad salads in non-vegan restaurants and being a meat-eater in a group of vegans — well, you get the idea.
Vegans and meat-eaters alike can eat happy at this new Philly restaurant
Luckily, Philly restaurants are embracing vegan cuisine in exciting new ways and at The Fairview, which opens Thursday in Fairmount, stellar vegan cuisine stands alongside meaty options, providing delicious food without compromise for eaters of all kinds.
Formerly The Belgian Cafe, The Fairview thrives under the ownership of Fergie Carey (one of the original owners of The Belgian Cafe) and his two new partners, David Dollinger and Shane Dodd.
“You can walk in here and not recognize the place. This is not The Belgian Cafe,” Carey says. “In a massive departure for me, we hired a designer named Raymond Haldeman. We totally brightened everything up: put a big new window in, new ceilings, murals, a trippy light job.”
Carey adds, “The Belgian Cafe was beautiful, but it was time for a change. It was dark and now I wanted it to be bright. We got what we wanted.”
And the transformation extends to the menu. At The Fairview, chef Beth Fox puts an imaginative spin on American comfort food, with menu items like a pho French dip sandwich, green chile cheeseburger empanadas and tikka masala flatbread.
“There was an argument with my friends on whether the green chile cheeseburger empanadas were vegan or not — it was unbelievable,” Carey says. “Beth is an incredible chef.”
For the record, the green chile cheeseburger empanadas are vegan, but that shouldn’t deter you from trying them if you’re not.
“People still have this misconception that vegan food tastes like cardboard or it’s just a salad,” Fox says. “Just because something is vegan doesn’t mean it’s necessarily healthy or bland. I want to give my vegan friends the opportunity to come out and eat some fun things that they might not necessarily be able to enjoy regularly.”
Other noteworthy vegan dishes include a vegan version of their signature burger as well as the smoked carrot dip and mushroom pate.
But for the non-vegans out there, the menu does not disappoint.
The pho French dip sandwich, for instance, includes braised beef, mushroom pate and pho fixin’s. And how about the grilled pork chop with the side of cheesy jalapeno grits, smoked broccoli rabe and red chili gravy?
There’s definitely something for everyone at The Fairview — and then some.
“The goal is for people to think about what they want to order on their next visit before they leave,” Fox says.
The Fairview is located at 601 N. 21st St., for more information, visit: thefairviewphilly.com