PROFILE: Philly Luncher “Erin”

As is customary at Philly Lunch, every Tuesday we turn over the site to a different lunch’er for his or her recommendations for the best lunch in Philadelphia. This week it’s Erin, who loves veggies and cute cats.

Name: Erin

Age: 23

Occupation: Law Clerk

Where in Philly do you Work?: A law firm, around 16th & Walnut

Favorite Kind of Food:Various vegetarian fare. Most Asian cuisines (shout out to my Filipino mommy) and potatoes in any form (and my Irish pops). Mexican, Italian, & Ethiopian cuisines. Pizza, sandwiches, mac & cheese, fruit, DQ blizzards & marshmallow sundaes, Bomb Pops, CPK’s Mediterreanian Salad, tuna on toast, my mom’s cooking, cheese, candy, pie, and sweets in general, pretty much.

Least Favorite Kind of Food: Sundried tomatoes. Sick.

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Philly: These are in no particular order because I love them all dearly. The Foule or the Vegetarian Combo from Almaz Cafe (20th Street, just above Walnut) – these Ethiopian delights are absolutely must-try, if you haven’t already. The vegan cheesesteak from Mi Lah Vegetarian (16th, just below Walnut), or a vegan chicken cheesesteak from Govinda’s (SW corner at Broad & South). Any lunch special from Su Xing House (Sansom, between 16th & Broad), with miso soup, brown rice & a spring roll. Tampopo’s fresh tuna bi-bim-bob (more about that in a moment). On days I don’t feel like anything big, I’ll just get a pear from Sue’s Produce Market or a chocolate croissant from Le Bus (both on 18th St. between Walnut & Chestnut).

“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often? I’m usually a lone wolf on my lunch hour, but I share an affinity for Maoz with one of my co-workers. Joe’s Pizza and Saladworks seem to be popular destinations around the office. For office luncheons, Pietro’s and Bellini are the go-tos.

Place you discovered thanks to Philly Lunch (if any) I saw a picture of Tampopo’s fresh tuna bi-bim-bob on Lunch Links a little while back and it looked delicious, so I went to Tampopo (104 21st Street, just below Chestnut) for lunch the next day and discovered one of my favorite lunches.

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? My parent’s house in Michigan, maybe Amsterdam because of the variety of fresh baked goods (ha ha) available at any time. Honestly, Philadelphia isn’t so bad. Anything I would want to eat for lunch is within a few blocks of my office. Except for New Harmony (9th & Cherry) – I wouldn’t mind working at New Harmony with my buddy Ming because I could eat their food and drink their homemade soy milk forever.

Is there anything you’d like to ask the Philly Lunch readers? Is there a solution for my weekly weekend mental breakdown deciding WTF are we going to go to dinner? Picking somewhere is the most difficult part of my weekend. Also, tell me your most secret of all secret (meatless) dishes that I’ve never heard of that are must-try.

To answer the dinner question, at least for what to cook, I think you better click on this link.

As for my bestest secretest veg dish in Philly, I absolutely love marinated gluten. I wrote about Sakura’s version a while back. So good.

If you would like to be next week’s Profiled Philly Lunch’er (or know somebody you’d like to nominate), email me at



  • I was just reading about that Tampopo dish the other day. It looks sooooo good!

    If you’re ever in West Philly, we have 2 food trucks called Magic Carpet (36th and Spruce/35th and Walnut) that serve a variety of really delicious vegetarian food. I particularly like their “magic meatballs” over rice and vegetables with hot sauce and cheese.

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      You need to try it. It is as delicious as it looks.

      I rarely make it to West Philly, although I’ve been there twice in the last month, which is more than I’ve been in the last year. Magic meatballs sound mysterious and delicious. Thanks for the suggestion!

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    oh, I just looked at Magic Carpet’s website and saw their hours – I am at my desk the entire time they’re open and no weekend hours! wtfff

    • Yeah… they serve the UPenn lunch crowd… on schooldays… but what can you expect from a food cart right? Only like 4 trucks that do stay open on the weekends on campus.

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    what about the rest of us… what about the rest of us!!!!!!

  • Amsterdam LOL! Those cakes taste like Sh*t! They do work though…real well. 24 hrs plus well.

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    @Goats: haha, well I meant literal baked goods – pastries, tarts, fresh bread, etc. but I had a chocolate hazlenut space muffin while I was there that was also delicious.

  • My usual thought process, when choosing dinner places, goes something like this:

    Am I hungry?

    Do I want Japanese?

    Is it cheap?

    Have I been there before?

    Do I still want Japanese?

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