Brown Bag Lunch Delivered with a Smile: Miss Rachel’s Pantry
This week, Luncher JR is giving us a peak at what you can expect from a Miss Rachel’s Pantry delivery. Read about it today, order tomorrow, enjoy on Wednesday.
My mom never had much talent for the paper bag lunch. My elementary school years were littered with soggy PB&J and mealy apples. And I do mean littered — it all went right into the trash. But my paper bag lunch experience has been totally redeemed by an exceptional, yet little-known Philly lunch option: Miss Rachel’s Pantry’s Wednesday vegan lunch deliveries.
Did I lose you on vegan again? Stay with me. (Deliciousness ahead!)
On Wednesdays, the vegan chefs at Miss Rachel’s Pantry, which recently opened up a vegan café on Passyunk Avenue, deliver bagged lunches to University City, Center City, and Temple. The $11 price for a hearty meal includes delivery, though you will need a friend: minimum order two.
On Tuesday, the menu for each week goes up on the website and gets emailed out to subscribers. Orders must be placed by 5pm. There are always three options, including one gluten-free. Every meal includes a sandwich or meal salad, soup or side salad, and dessert. The food is “homestyle” and the portions generous. No, there’s no meat or dairy, but you will not walk away hungry.
Most often, the lunches are delivered by the criminally adorable chef/owner Rachel Klein herself, who calls or texts when she’s on her way. I met her in the lobby of my building around noon. She handed me two lunches with a big smile and a friendly, “Hope you enjoy it!”
Challenge accepted. I retreat back to my office and empty the paper bag onto my desk. I ordered the Chippie, which the menu described as “a chipotle hummus wrap with cukes, sprouts, and smokey seitan .” It also came with a quinoa salad and oatmeal raisin cookies.
The hummus had welcome hints of spicy and smoky. I found the seitan enjoyably toothsome and meaty, while my minimum-order-two friend found it rubbery. Potato, po-tah-to, I suppose. But the combo of crunchy cucumber, creamy hummus, chewy seitan, and sprouty sprouts worked well in the soft wrap.
The lunches are often so filling that I save part of it as an afternoon snack, and so after a taste, I gave the quinoa a raincheck. The combo of diced yellow peppers, yellow beets, onion, and (camera shy) red peppers was savory and paired well with the still-warm quinoa.
Miss Rachel’s lunches always include a dessert, and frankly, when I first ordered many months ago, I had written off the dessert as trashable. In lesser hands, vegan desert, with its various oils and mock ingredients, have left me feeling queasy. So I was all the more delighted when Rachel’s desserts were legitimately tasty. If you weren’t told it was vegan, you wouldn’t know. These oatmeal raisin cookies were like mom’s, chewy and oaty with a hint of spice.
With each passing order – and I’m on my sixth or seventh — my second grade lunch traumas fade. Some of Miss Rachel’s sandwiches are bigger hits (tofu banh mi, seitan reuben) than others (chick pea “tuna”), but the variety and the delight in tearing into that bag and discovering new foods more than makes up for it. Sorry, mom. Miss Rachel just knows how to do a bagged lunch right.
THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)
- It’s like mom bringing me lunch, except this mom is too young to be my mom.
- It’s healthy, cruelty-free, and crave-worthy. Win-win-win.
THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)
- I like meat and cheese.
- Only once a week, and minimum of 2 orders required
Miss Rachel’s Pantry, 1732 W. Passyunk Ave., 215-798-0053