124 S. 19th St. Philadelphia, PA 19103
All photos and content by @jameslharper
Over the past weekend I got to travel to Philadelphia for work. When deciding to stay for an extra day with my girlfriend, the main priority quickly became a search for a Philly cheese steak. Since making some changes to my diet, I am no longer able to eat this classic food item. So what better alternative than VEGAN!!
I have had some amazing vegan food before, some of it, better than the real deal. After much research, and upon several recommendations Blackbird Pizzeria was the number one choice.
However when we arrived the establishment was closed due to an unsafe building structure. SO BUMMED!! SOO HUNGRY!! SOO HUNGOVER!! At this point I was desperate, we stopped in the vegan donut shop next door for a snack. The stoned cashier proceeded to recommend Whiz Kid for the best vegan Philly cheese steak.
This place was in the heart of Philly with a great location near a beautiful park. It has a pop modern approach to atmosphere and branding which is eye catching. I found the staff to be friendly and helpful. The food was served to us in a timely manner as well.
Whiz Kid takes a lot of pride in their food, claiming to make everything by scratch. Homemade cheese and seitan was the specialty. It seemed like a great idea, as its important to support local businesses. So we ordered their classic WK Philly and cheese fries as pictured above.
After a few bites and letting my taste buds explore, my first reaction was where is the cheese? The Philly steak had little to no cheese on it. A one out of four bite ratio and I might find some. The vegan cheese did not even taste similar to real cheese. I noted that it had a taste and texture relatable to honey mustard.
Not only was the cheese a bummer, but the seitan mix was also not that great. They had prepped the seitan with a mixture of mushrooms, that seemed to only be mushrooms. I love mushrooms, but not as a filler replacement for meat.
My opinion is that they have this sandwich backwards. It needed more cheese and less mushrooms.
I preferred the fries over the Philly steak sandwich. This was a huge let down!! I did not even finish my sandwich after paying over $25 for both including the fries. It was too expensive for what you actually get in taste. Homemade or not, if it doesn't taste great, then you haven't perfected it. If you haven't perfected it then don't sell it.
Whiz Kid has a lot of potential in a great location, but needs work in flavor and ingredients. Homemade means flavor, and flavor was definitely not in the extraordinary category for me. No matter how hipster or modern you make an establishment out to be, I pay for the food to be amazing. I can say for sure I won't return to Whiz Kid because of the food. ©