Thursday, August 30, 2007


I am a poser-vegetarian. Meaning, that when trying to decide between the cheeseburger and the black pinto bean burger, nine times out of ten I'll go with the veggie option. This is primarily for health reasons and to rationalize the ice cream that I had eaten for breakfast. I say "poser vegetarian" because I sometimes get the urge to transform my (admittedly preppy) self into one of those skinny-jeans-wearing, tofu-loving hipster chicks that frequent my West Philadelphia 'hood.

So, where do the vegetarian hippies and hipsters go when they crave a hoagie, one of the staples of the Philadelphian's diet? They flock to the Fu Wah Market, located on 47 th and Baltimore Ave., where they can purchase one of the famous tofu hoagies for a mere $3.00 and change. Personally, I have been dying to go to this place for ages. It's cheap, quick, and convenient, but some of my die-hard carnivore friends bemoan the bastardization of their precious hoagie when I beg them to join me in my quest.

Last night, however, I got my chance. When I sat down to unwrap my hoagie, I discovered a pleasantly spicy and fresh cilantro smell wafting from the wrapping. Thanks to the Vietnamese-influence of the Fu Wah owners, the spices were incredible. Sweet onions and tiny slices of carrot garnished the top of the hoagie roll. I had never tasted such sweet onions in my life! To compliment the sweetness, a few lone jalapeƱo peppers lay hidden under the layers of fried tofu, which made for a tantalizing combination of sweet and (very) spicy. Of course, one could ask the hoagie-makers to hold the peppers, but I do so enjoy living on the edge. The tofu itself had been marinated in some type of cilantro-Asian/fusion mixture and then fried, but the firmness of the tofu had not been ruined by the marinade.

The only caveat that I have with the "tofugie" is that the bread was sub-par. The white bread (I usually prefer wheat) was too crusty and mundane for my liking. Bread can definitely make or break a sandwich and this hoagie roll sadly didn't do the tofu justice. But for a mere $3, I'd return to this vegetarian's heaven again and again.

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