Here is an excerpt from Craig LaBan's online chat:
Reader: Coming to Philly on June 14 for four days to see my actor son in Fiddler at Walnut Street Theatre. Any vegetarian organic restaurants of note in that area?
CL: Congrats on your son's part in Fiddler on the Roof. If you're looking for straight vegetarian, the nearest one might be Horizons, an inventive and very sophisticated vegan restaurant at 7th and Bainbridge. There are other spots nearby, though, that do good vegetarian things even if the restaurant is not entirely veggie-for one, I'm thinking of Bindi, the nouveau Indian BYO at 13th and Chestnut.
Reader: Several months ago I recommended that you visit Macaroni's in the NE. I was wondering if you made it up there yet. Second, since someone mentioned vegetarian food, I must mention my favorite . . . Blue Sage in Southampton. Have you visited?
CL: Many people have recommended Macaroni's to me, and we popped in there for a look, only to be scared away be the prices, which seemed rather high for the Northeast. With such consistently good words from readers, though, I'm sure I'll go back to give it a real try. As for Blue Sage, that's definitely another bright vegetarian to consider (though I didn't mention it earlier, because the original question asked for recs near the Walnut St. theater). I was disappointed to see the early demise for Thoreau, the Spring Garden branch from Blue Sage's Michael Jackson. Never even had a chance to nibble. . . .
Reader: Mama's Vegetarian is a good choice, too!
CL: Oh, yeah. For sure. In fact, I just went to Mama's (on 20th south of Market) and had one of their falafel sandwiches last week. Got mine with a little hummus and fried eggplant round tucked into the pita (plus some extra helpings of deep-fried cauliflower from the free salad bar on the side.) If there is a better falafel sandwich in Philly, I don't know what it is.
Reader: Mama's is the best falafel in Philly, period.
Reader: Food is always excellent at Mama's. The only thing that isn't are the long lines-especially at lunchtime!
CL: Wow-something we all seem to agree on!
Reader: Where does a foodie get to eat some fiddlehead ferns around here?
CL: Ingredients like fiddleheads come and go quickly with spring-they may be on the way out soon, if they already aren't. But I've seen them so far this year at Kraftwork in Fishtown and Sycamore in Lansdowne. Last year, I remember loving them at the Fountain in the Four Seasons, too. I'd be surprised if they weren't making a decadent, luxurious use of their supplies, too.
Reader: Fair Food Farm Stand in the Reading Terminal had them, as did Sue's produce on 18th St by Chestnut.
CL: Thanks, fiddlehead spotters! A quick hot olive-oil saute with a touch of garlic and sea salt (and maybe a finishing squirt of lemon) is all they need.