Philadelphia, PA - University of Pennsylvania campus has been buzzing about Chef José Andrés’ veggie-centric fast casual restaurant, Beefsteak. Inside Houston Hall, this spot is accessible to University students, faculty and staff, as well as the public. Beefsteak celebrates the unsung power of vegetables and brings them to the center of the plate in an unconventional way. But vegan and vegetarian dishes aren’t the only thing on the menu, the restaurant also features some local meat products.
The menu, developed by chef José Andrés and his Beefsteak culinary team, led by Executive Chef Pat Peterson, features hearty vegetable bowls, with countless options for customization. Diners may combine their flash-blanched vegetables with other mix-ins such as hearty grains and then top with house-made sauces, as well as other toppings.
There is also the option to choose leafy greens as the base and turn any veggie bowl into a refreshing salad. With over 20 vegetables to choose from and a variety of grains, leafy greens, sauces and toppings, the custom possibilities are endless. If you don’t want to create-your-own there are also a selection of bowls on the menu featuring the highlights of the vegetables in season. Beefsteak will work with local producers in PA, MD, and VA to source special and seasonal vegetables when possible.
The restaurant’s signature item is the beloved Beefsteak Burger (vegan) made with a thick slice of beefsteak tomato, pickled red onions, sprouts, eggless caper herb mayo, olive oil and sea salt, served on an olive oil brioche bun from Philly Bread Co. For the winter season, beets are being highlighted in the Beet Burger. This sandwich features a thick sliced beet patty instead of the traditional beefsteak tomato and customers have been truly eating it up. The beet burger is almost more popular than its predecessor!
Other winter menu items highlighted on the menu include: Oh My Squash Soup which is vegan and made with topped with broccoli, cauliflower, carrot slices, chopped green beans, lemon honey dressing and pumpkin seeds and cranberries. The Kale’d It Salad features field greens, kale and edamame tossed in soy ginger dressing and topped with seaweed salad, tomato, radish, and sunflower seeds. Our favorite new menu item was the Cauli-power Salad made with field greens, red onion, roasted cauliflower, mushrooms, and mozzarella tossed in fig balsamic vinaigrette, cherry tomato, chickpea salad, sprouts and corn nuts.
Most guests enjoy the option of making a custom bowl. For creating your own Beefsteak bowls, diners start by selecting farm-fresh vegetables (that serve as the anchor) including year-round staples and seasonal offerings. These vegetables are then flash-blanched to order (with a robotic arm for 90 seconds) and range from asparagus and cauliflower to snap peas, chard and sweet potatoes. They go through 2,000 lbs of vegetables per week!
Next come the hearty grain options such as quinoa, rice, or bulgur. Perfect for filling up on a cold winter day. But there is also the option to go lighter and swap in leafy greens like field greens, baby spinach, or kale as the base and turn your veggie bowl into a refreshing salad.
Diners love to add a bold, house-made sauce (which are all vegan and gluten-free) like cilantro, spicy tomato, or garlic yogurt. There is unlimited fresh and crunchy accents for your bowl such as radishes, romaine lettuce, crispy chickpeas, homemade cucumber salad, marinated mozzarella with za’tar, kimchi and cherry tomatoes. Avocado is an extra charge. Dressings for salads include lemon honey, soy ginger, sherry vinegar or simply extra virgin olive oil. For omnivores there is also the option of a meatier topping such as salt-cured salmon, roast chicken, poached egg, or local chicken sausage with wine and fennel (our favorite!)
Finish your meal with a fresh house-made juice or soda. Penn students are also be able to use their dining plans at this location! Beefsteak offers nourishing meals you can feel good about. To fuel busy lifestyles and the growing desire to eat well, the affordable and accessible concept executes good food, fast. It’s America’s bounty in a bowl – all cooked to perfection in front of you.