Thursday, October 17, 2013

Govinda's Vegetarian Gourmet

When in Philly, you must go to Govinda's Vegetarian Gourmet.  On this day, we knew we had a lot of eating ahead of us, so we got in early enough to allow us time to unapologetically fit in a few extra meals.  You just can't skip Govinda's.

The restaurant is unassuming from the outside.

Okay, it's unassuming from the inside too. 

But, don't let that stop you!  Check out their menu:

"Your choice of regular mozzarella cheese or soy cheese"

They are completely meatless, but do carry dairy cheese.  Or, as Govinda's puts it, "regular" cheese.  Make sure to specify! 

I've been to Govinda's a number of times and, because it's so satisfying, I have always ordered the same thing: chicken cheese steak: soy chicken and rainbow peppers grilled in olive oil and hing with cheese.  Yes, "hing;" I'm not trying to be funny.  That's what the menu says and I really don't know what they were trying to say; let me know if you can decode.  In any event, the description does not say it all.  It's the unlisted special sauce that makes this sammie so grand.  And messy.  I've been known to spurt the entire contents of the roll into my lap with the first bite, so be forewarned to eat carefully.

So yeah, that's really all the information I have for you today because all of my friends always order the chicken cheesesteak too.  What good am I? 

All I can say is to trust us.

FYI: they also carry a considerable assortment of Vegan Treats.


  1. So the soy cheese is always vegan?
    I hardly know why I am asking since I never get out of NY BUT IF I DID, Govinda's would be on the list.
    Have you been to Blackbird in yr Philly times?

  2. I've been going there for years and that's the only thing I get also!

  3. foodfeud- So they tell me! As for Blackbird: YES! It was during the MoFo hysteria.

    susan- Thank you for proving my point!

  4. ANNNDDDD....always the roll never a wrap!

  5. Looks like that good kind of bread you can only get in Philly/NYC.

  6. There's all kinds of good bread you can only get in Philly. I didn't know that until I left.

  7. I can't wait to go to Philly again, we're heading there next month for a few days! I've heard about Govinda's and that "chicken" cheese steak looks really good!

  8. Hing is another name for Asafoetida, which is an herb (or spice? I think it's an herb) prevalent in Indian cooking, often in believer of Jainism and others who don't eat onions. :) I'm a cooking geek, I learned this years ago watching some vegetarian cooking show on PBS.

  9. p.s. 'hing' is asafoetida, a smelly Indian spice that comes from an underground rhizome.

  10. Susan, wrap is a dirty word!

    Shenandoah Vegan- I've never given much thought to it (other than it being far superior to a wrap), but it suits the sammie perfectly.

    Andrea- The NE does have great bread!

    veganmiam- Click Philly in my labels and there's a few more I will post soon. Have a great trip!

    Wendy, Andrea- I had no idea asafetida was aka hing; good tidbit! I have it in my pantry and have learned all sorts of interesting things since first purchasing it. Apparently it's as polarizing as cilantro.

  11. Hing is asofetida in India. Do I win a prize for knowing that? I will accept one of those sarnies as winnings!

  12. Govinda's actually makes their vegan cheese from scratch (or at least they did last year)! I've talked to them before about it, that's why it's so amazing. For those of you who haven't had it, it's more of a cheese sauce, and it's SO good. I suspect nutritional yeast and garlic powder are at work there, but seriously, it's magical. And I, too, always get the chicken cheese steak!

  13. Joey- now I'm just embarrassed I assumed it was a typo.

    Dawn Carlock- Thanks for the info; I believe I've heard this before. Whatever it is, it's amazing. Team CCS!


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