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The Best Thing I Ate This Past Weekend in Philadelphia: Blackbird Pizza’s Philly Seitan Cheesesteak

I spent the vast majority of this past weekend holed up in a hotel at 18th and Market in downtown Philadelphia for the annual National Lawyers Guild Convention. You know who we are. We’ve been around since the late 1930s—the radical alternative to the American Bar Association—but now you see us on CNN wearing fluorescent green hats while legal observing at the Occupy protests throughout the country. (We also run the Green Scare Hotline—1-888-NLG-ECOL—among a larger menagerie of projects.) So, yep, a bunch of vegan lawyers, legal workers and law students spent our days in panels and workshops and nights relaxing with (many) adult beverages. Little sleep was stolen. But, somewhere amid this panoply of activity, I found time to ride my bike every day to Blackbird Pizza on South 6th near South Street to consume their pitch perfect Philly Seitan Cheesesteak.

What makes this vegan version of the city’s namesake sandwich so appealing? First up: UPTON’S SEITAN! The seitan is just damn good. Now imagine it sliced incredibly thin and generously piled in ribbons on a chewy baquette. Add strings of grilled onions and green peppers, the cheese (it’s Daiya) and mushrooms, and you’ve got an incredible sandwich.

Here’s a pictorial that documents the evolution of my love for this sandwich (and Blackbird) over the course of three days:

Friday (I was so enthralled I almost forgot to take a picture.)

Saturday (Oh, the pizza is amazing, too!)

Sunday (I was so sad to leave Philly and my close proximity to Blackbird.)

Blackbird Pizza is located at 507 South 6th Street, Philadelphia.

Make it a point to learn more about the National Lawyers Guild and its support of the Occupy movement! In NYC, Guild members have been providing mass defense and other legal support (all FREE of charge) to activists since the late 1960s. Know folks who have been arrested at Occupy Wall Street? Tell them to visit or call 212-679-6018.

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