Gianna's Grille

Philadelphia Metro, Pennsylvania


Image for Lola

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Gianna's is a hole-in-the-wall pizza joint with impressive vegan options. At first, I was intimidated by the signs that explain how to order ("First, decide whether you are an omnivore, vegetarian or vegan... Order vegan items using their exact names. No substitutions or refunds for items that you thought were vegan/vegetarian but aren't labeled as such"). However, the employee who took our orders was really nice and was more than happy to tell us which items could be made vegan.

I was a somewhat disappointed by the fact that Gianna's was out of mock chicken when I was there, but the quick service and reasonable prices more than made up for it. No more than 3 minutes after ordering, I had a plate of cheese fries and a vegan philly cheese steak in front of me. The cheese steak was very authentic-tasting. It was so large that I was only able to finish half of it. I was a little less excited about the cheese fries, mostly because the vegan cheese was runny.

I've ordered desserts from Gianna's on multiple occasions and I've found that they range from incredible to mediocre. I absolutely love the peanut butter bomb, but I have been a little less than thrilled with the cupcakes (the icing tastes like whipped soy margarine). The cheesecake has a wonderful texture and the flavor is pretty decent compared with other vegan cheesecakes.

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I don't like Gianna's food. That being said, I like the atmosphere, and my husband likes it there, so we go once in awhile.

I find all of their mock sandwiches to be BEYOND salty. This is not something I am normally picky about, but its like they take some kind of soy stuff that tastes like crap and cover it in some salty sauce to make it taste *okay*. Just...gross.

My husband has gotten their cheesesteak and their burrito. I always end up with the "chicken", so maybe that is my problem.

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I will never eat here again.

I waited over two hours for a vegan pizza, a vegan chili dog, and a side of cheese fries to take home for dinner.

I don't care how busy you are, two hours is entirely unacceptable. Had we not already paid, my husband and I would have left without a word.

Each inquiry as to where our food was and when our order would be ready was reciprocated with an "it's almost done" or "i'm sorry but we're really busy, just a little while longer"...

I've done food service and customer service before, and I realize it can be hectic and demanding and things can pile up, but again--- two hours? Come on! We thought we'd at least give them the benefit of the doubt, hoping their food would be their saving grace, but it was not.

It was absolutely horrible.

Okay, the jumbo vegan hot dog underneath the funky chili tasted okay.

But seriously, what was most frustrating was that I could've (and do so on a daily basis) done much better cooking at home, I just didn't feel like it that night.

The chili was tasteless and looked unidentifiable.
The cheese on the cheesefries was also tasteless, and scarce. The cheese sauce seriously looked like pale yellow gravy and tasted nothing like cheese.
The dry, lukewarm pizza was the biggest disappointment of my vegan life. After eating it, I was left with the impression that they didn't care WHAT it tasted like--- because after all, we're vegan, and we're used to bland and tasteless things, right?

Save your money and your time, and go nine blocks down the street to Govinda's.

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The rumors about Gianna's shady vegan past are all true! The food isn't good enough to risk it. Pass!

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each time i've eaten there, i've felt sick.

and with govinda's down the street, i can't comprehend how this place still gets good business.

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Good vegan/vegetarian junk food. Can leave your stomach hurting sometimes, but it's junk food after all. Their desserts leave a lot to be desired, but their vegan pizzas are usually pretty good. With their history of inexact-vegan-knowledge, I'm always left worrying, though...

Image for Cass Danger

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I've been here a few times and I keep coming back because I love the idea of vegan pizza and cake but I'm consistently let down. The food is mediocre and the staff is completely clueless. The cheese, the BBQ chicken, and the red pepper and artichoke pizzas (vegan varieties) are all pretty good, but they always seemed dried out.

I tried the Philly cheesesteak, and I have no idea what sort of faux meat they use, but it seriously looks and tastes like puppy kibble. Gross. It's like chunks of flavorless soy with an unidentifiable sauce over it. Yuck.

The desserts have been hit or miss--the cannoli is always good--but I had the blueberry cake last time and it was hard and tasted like baking soda. I also think they copied all of Vegan Treats cakes (out of Bethlehem, PA) and don't give them credit. Not cool.

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There's many non-traditional veg. food items here that are vegan, including vegan cheesesteaks. The cheesesteak I had was good, but nothing I would brag about. The desserts here, however, were amazing. They have a huge selection of all kinds of vegan cakes as well as other bakery items. The chocolate chip cookie dough cake was my favorite.

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Booooo! Booooo! Giannas deserves some nod for serving veggie food. However the lied for years about casein in their "vegan" cheese. The service is horrible. Rude! I last ate their back in 2004. I will never go back. My name is Morty McNutt and that is what I have to say.

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Gianna's is over-rated. Their desserts are not that good and the food is marginal. Also, they make their meat dishes right next to their vegan dishes and don't seem to be very careful about cross-contamination.

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Gianna's has been a mainstay of my diet since I discovered this new (at the time) south st location a few years ago. They feature vegetarian and vegan versions of regular south philly food. All of their mock-meat "cheese steak" sandwiches have clever names to help differentiate them from non-veggy menu items such as The Freebird, a vegan chicken cheese steak, and the Fighting Dog, a combination of the vegan chicken and the vegan sausage. In addition to sandwiches they also carry pizza, hot dogs, burgers, nachos, the occasional mac-n-cheese and DESERTS!

There was a situation regarding their "vegan cheese" not actually being vegan at all. There was a period of a couple months where the owners stopped using the cheese in question and did not offer a vegan alternative. Thankfully this soon ended and they now proudly use Follow Your Heart brand cheeses. There was a lot of drama and speculation caused by this mistake and that is what the whole situation was. A mistake, but the owners did apologize for it and have been moving forward with their new vegan cheeses.

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In 2004, it was uncovered that the soy cheese that they have been putting on their pizza was in fact not home-made, nor was it vegan. They did not bother to apologize to the vegan community. I do not want to support a restaurant that lies to its customers, and acts as if it's 'no big deal'

the whole ordeal has been recorded here in the Philly Veg Out Livejournal Community

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The food here always ended up making my stomach really really funky after eating there, before I learned that the stuff wasn't really vegan. I haven't been back since then. Even if there are vegan options now, the food is too greasy and unhealthy to be enjoyable IMHO.

Image for Dave Rolsky

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Yum, vegan cheesesteak.

Basically, Gianna's is vegan junk food heaven. The Strawberry Paradise cake I tried had a wonderful light icing, and the cake was moist and rich. The Chocolate Cookie Dough Cake was also good, though the icing was a little too oily to be perfect.

The most annoying thing about the restaurant: no free water. The only drinks they have are for sale, so if you want water you have to buy a bottle. That's just weird. And I could've done without the radio tuned to a station that played Guns'n'Roses, though I guess there's a certain nostalgic "charm" there.

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