Wednesday, April 4, 2018

A New Love: Vegan Philly Cheesesteak

All in red for Philly Love Run

Before and after a long run, carbs are your friend. For the first time, I traveled for a race, the Philadelphia Love Run. This half marathon starts near the iconic "Rocky' steps. But unlike Rocky, I don't drink raw eggs as part of my training.

Vegan cheesesteak from Wiz Kid
We drove to Philly, since taking the train or bus involves lots of walking. What I didn't factor in was how many tourist things we'd want to do in the city. The day before the race, a day where I usually try to rest a bit, I walked over 12 miles.

I stayed at the Kimpton Hotel Palomar, which just so happened to be within blocks of 5 places where we were planning to eat.

Kimpton stays the same

Kimpton welcomes runers
This was my first time staying in a Kimpton since the chain was acquired by IHG, but the hotel still retained its individuality. Everyone at the hotel was exceptionally friendly, and dogs are treated like royalty. Each canine guest has its name written on a chalkboard, and there are treats and a water bowl at all time.

In the morning, there was coffee in the lobby, and wine in the evening. [Sadly, no wine when you are running a race]. Best of all, the morning of the half marathon, there was a bowl of fruit, plus Gatorade and water bottles. I always drink a water on the way to a run, so this was perfect.

And everyone running - there were at least 30 of us in the hotel the morning of the race - got a late checkout.
Triple threat (for your waistline): triple chocolate donut

Federal Donuts

One of those places was Federal Donuts. The carbs in a donut are negated by a 13.1 mile run. And even if you aren't planning a long run, the donuts are worth the splurge. The mini chain is owned by the same geniuses being Zahav, a fantastic Mediterranean restaurant. [We tried to get a reservation a month earlier but were shut out].

After the Love run, Philly bling
There are only a few choices at Federal Donuts, but we loved our selection; a triple chocolate and a peanut butter malt.

Lose a toe nail? Check the Mütter

The Mütter Museum specializes in the human body, with actual skeletons and specimens. You can see what gangrene does to a foot, or tumors preserved in liquid. Since runners have grotesque food oddities - we share tales of toe nails that fall off and strange foot lumps. X-rays of runners' bodies would fit right in at the Mütter.

The Impossible Burger at Wiz Kid
Photographs are not allowed at the Mütter Museum.

Sense of the city

The walkable city map at the History Museum
The Philadelphia History Museum deserved a visit because it has a huge walkable map of the city. I figured it would be fun to walk over the race route. We also checked out artifacts like photographs from the Saturday Evening Post. The magazine was published in Philly, and the museum owns a complete collection of Norman Rockwell covers for the magazine.

That vegan cheesesteak

"Cheesy" sweet potato fries
After the run, we walked two blocks to Wiz Kid, a fast casual off shoot of Vedge and V Street Kitchen. You don't want to wait a long time for your food after a run.

We had the gooey, messy and utterly delicious Wiz Kid Philly, made with seitan, mushrooms, onions and 'wiz' sauce made from rutabagas. Believe me, it worked.

Since there were three of us, we also got the KFT - Korean fried tempeh with kimchee and sriracha, and an Impossible Burger special.

The back up camera on the Toyota C-HR, incorporated into the rear view mirror
The Wiz fries, smothered in that vegan cheese sauce, were a must. In a nod to health, we had sweet potato fries.

The wheels - a Toyota C-HR

We drove this sharp looking Toyota C-HR. It has an aerodynamic design, but a pretty large blind spot Luckily, it also has a blind spot monitor. You have to train yourself to rely on the tech.

The car has Toyota Safety Sense P, which includes pre collision alert, pedestrian detection and lane departure alert.
The swooping roof looks great but reduces sight lines

My favorite feature is automatic high beams; you can see clearly at night, but when another car approaches, the lights dim.

The C-HR [which stands for coupe high rider] is sexy and eye catching. The Ruby Flare looked great, even though a flock of pigeons christened it early in the drive. I also drove a teal C-HR in Florida in early March.

Most important, the Toyota C-HR was quite comfortable. After all the walking and running - and eating - I needed to relax.

Note: Toyota loaned me the C-HR and Kimpton provided a complimentary room. Opinions expressed are my own.


  1. I considered the Toyota before I purchased my recent car. I like the look of it too. (And that vegan Philly looks simply divine!)

  2. Glad you got to try Federal Donuts, one of my favorites in Philly - though I always get the fresh hot donut that's not made until you order it. So good!