La Colombe Philadelphia, PA
Oddly enough, just a week prior, outside the streets of Manayunk, PA, I had the opportunity to sit in on one of those City Food Tours - and in this particular case, they started to discuss the history of La Columbe and it's founders.
Todd Carmichael, one of the founders, has actually hosted two Travel Channel Series (Dangerous Grounds and Uncommon Goods), visited nearly half of the world's countries and finds fulfillment in taking on some adventurous treks! Todd is even one of the first Americans to solo trek Antarctica in a record breaking speed of 39 days, 7hours and 49 minutes - wow! I wish I could sit down with Todd and just learn from him. Seriously, think about what a day following Todd around would look like?
With a cause so near and dear to Todd and his family's heart, he decided to create an "around the world" coffee and tapas menu for the event - sharing with all attendees all of his favorites from around the world.
Prior to the event I reached out to the catering manager, Erica, just to check in and see if it was at all possible that any of the dishes would be gluten-free friendly and if at all possible, a vegan option.
To my surprise, Erica said, sure thing! "The whole point of this event is to be able to enjoy the food and engage with all."
I was informed that the entire menu would be gluten free and they would alter the vegetarian option to be vegan.
Each station was accompanied by a corresponding country's coffee delight. Sadly, I opted for sleep that night and skipped on all of the coffee offerings - although some of them seemed rather captivating.
While I was so wrapped up in the gluten-free vegan option, I forgot to review where each stations origin was - silly me, I should have been paying attention more, but maybe that has something to do with the open bar ;).
From Ethiopia, I recall there being a brisket wrapped on a gluten-free injera (which I did eat and it was delicious. I may have had two or three...) with a side of cucumber salad.
The Caribbean dish was a tuna ceviche and what appeared to be homemade tortillas.
Africa was showing off a coconut based seafood stew. WHICH I wish would have been one of the vegan options, it smelled full of flavor and the color was eye catching!
All of the dishes smelled amazing and were well received by the attendees.
While attending the event, I had the opportunity to speak with a number of the staff and became well educated on what they can and can't offer for their gluten-free patrons on a day-to-day basis.
An honorable mention goes out to the gluten-free fruit plate, topped with coconut for dessert!
Lastly, check out Lutana rocking her Teal!
Head on over to La Columbe and maybe you will get lucky enough to chat with one the owners, take part in one of their workshops, and enjoy some enticing coffee delights! Then, don't forget to make a donation (anything you can) to the Sandy Rollman Foundation!
Lastly, a special thanks to SpotMyPhotos for not only capturing such amazing memories, but integrating a new technology that allows for tracking facial recognition that recognizes your photos and sends them via text directly to you!