Experience | Philadelphia, PA: Vedge + The Dear Hunter at Union Transfer

Monday, December 18, 2017

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."- Friedrich Nietzsche

Dayv and I had a super magical Thursday evening when our favorite band, The Dear Hunter, was playing downtown. We decided to be super fancy and go out to dinner beforehand. 

Vedge | If you are vegan, you most likely have heard of Vedge. Vedge is a small plate, vegan restaurant that centers its dishes on the beauty of vegetables. The owners, Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby, have been well-known in the Philadelphia vegan community for years, first gaining recognition with their original restaurant, Horizons. However, Vedge has garnered international attention since it first opened a few years ago. Dayv and I have dined at Vedge a handful of times, always on occasions that we want to make a little more special and fancy.

The concept of Vedge is that there are three menus: The Vedge Bar (appetizers), The Dirt List (vegetable side dishes), and The Grill (closest to a main course). Typically, each person orders an item from each section. Since the servings are pretty small, you can always order more, but three dishes is a pretty safe bet. Before our dishes were served, we received complimentary little glasses of butternut squash soup. It tasted so delicious, I could have easily slurped down an entire pitcher. 

Since Dayv and I have been to Vedge on several occasions, we both have our favorite dishes. Dayv ordered the rutabaga fondue, which comes with a loaf of soft pretzel bread, and the wood roasted carrot. If there was anytime I wish I could eat gluten, it would be to experience this fondue. Dayv loves it so much, and devoured the entire soft pretzel loaf. Our waiter offered him another half a loaf to finish the fondue. If there was one item on the menu where you get a large portion, this dish is it. The carrot dish is essentially a halved, gigantic carrot on a hummus/mustard/carrot hash with pumpernickel bread. Dayv always exclaims that he's never tasted a more perfectly prepared carrot. He was so full after his fondue that he could not finish his carrot dish and left behind some pumpernickel bread and hash.

I wanted to mix my order up a bit and ordered two out of three things that were new to me. My first dish was the stuffed avocado, which sat on a large rice noodle and was surrounded by a delicious sauce. Since I find the portions small and difficult to satisfy my appetite, I loved this dish. The half avocado was creamy and filling. The flavor was light and subtle allowing the sauce to really shine. My second dish was the nebrodini mushrooms, which our server suggested since its texture imitates pasta. The mushrooms were thinly sliced and covered in a tomato basil sauce. Once again, the sauce was my favorite part. Although I enjoyed this dish, I wouldn't order it again. My final dish was the seared maitake mushroom. I have had this dish on several occasions and it never fails. I love that the flavors imitate seafood. Primarily, the fritter mimics the taste and texture of a crab cake, which I used to absolutely love in my pre-vegan days. The sauce is also incredible. I ate this dish, as with my other dishes, as slowly as possible, to savor every flavor.

Vedge has amazing service and your dishes are quick to arrive after placing your order. I have enjoyed nearly every menu item. However, I find The Dirt List to be the most hit or miss. What I find so hilarious about Vedge is that my super picky, vegetarian husband, who typically hates vegan food, loves this restaurant. I enjoy Vedge, too, but struggle a little with feeling satisfied from the small plates. It is also very expensive, so I only feel comfortable visiting once or twice a year. However, it is definitely a restaurant everyone needs to experience for themselves.


The Dear Hunter at Union Transfer | Dayv and I were super excited that our favorite band, The Dear Hunter, was going to be in Philly again this year. Dayv got tickets as soon as they became available and I was particularly excited since they were the headlining band. Neither of us had been to the Union Transfer, so we weren't sure what to expect.

The Union Transfer is a standing room with a balcony. It also has an entryway with a merch table and bar. The bathrooms are on the other side of the standing room, and are large and very clean. The acoustics are very wonderful.

The Dear Hunter had two opening bands, Vava and The Family Crest. I had never heard of either, and am typically not interested in opening bands, but these two acts totally blew it away. Vava reminded me of Fiona Apple. She sang with so much soul and played her guitar effortlessly. The Family Crest is quite the experience, with tons of band members playing a variety of instruments. Along with the typical guitar, bass, drums, and keyboard, there was a violin, cello, and flute. Their stage presence was incredible and I danced to every song.

The Dear Hunter is my favorite band for so many reasons. They are true musicians with incredible lyrics, abd they always put on an amazing show. Dayv and I were lucky enough to spend a week with them at their Music Masters Camp over the summer, and they are also the friendliest, caring, helpful people ever. I loved every second of their performance and was especially excited when they played two of my favorite songs, Waves and Red Hands

On a side note, I meditate to this song every morning when I get to work. It helps center and clear my mind, and keep things in perspective.



  1. I just looked up the Dear hunter band because of your blog. They are really talented!

  2. The food in philly is the best! next time you go be sure to check out reading terminal. they have great baked goods and more. looks like this was fun! slip trip fall pictures


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