I had to go into Philly today for an appointment at Penn Medicine. Years ago, the only dining option within walking distance to CHOP and Perleman Center was a McDonald's. Well, Philly Medicine, you've come a long way, baby! We had an hour to spare, and we happened to discover a little gem called Gio Pronto. This place impressed me. The concept is still similar to a Panera or Corner Bakery but with no many more options, including many types of soy, and the added benefit of knowing that you're eating food that is unprocessed, organic, and chemical/hormone free. This is a vegetarian's idea of "fast food" with flair.
A vibrant bustling cafe, adjacent to the Perelman Center at Penn, Gia Pronot is divided into distinct sections for Salads, Soups, Coffee, Pizza, and Panini. There were fun little chalkboard signs all over the place letting us know that our food was Fresh, Organic, and 100% Natural. This was no McDonald's.I couldn't decide what to order there were so many choices. If I wanted to order meat, it was guaranteed free-range and hormone-free with no Chemical additives or preservatives. Create your own salad, vegetarian pizzas and sandwiches, and more vegetarian soups than I have ever seen on a menu, this place gets my nod of approval before the first bite. The mushroom pizza looked fabulous, the tomato basil panini looks amazing, but the Panino Gia Pronto called to me with Grilled Portobello Mushrooms, Fresh Mozzarella, Tomatoes, and a Basil Pesto.
I didn't think I'd ever finish it, it was so big. That did not stop me from ordering a side of the 10 Vegetable Soup.
The sandwich was the BEST Portobello Mushroom sandwich I have ever tasted. The soup was excellent. I finished every last bite. The other soups on the menu sounded amazing....Tomato basil, Wild Mushroom Barley, Sweet Corn Chowder, Classic Black Bean.....it was a vegetarian's dream. The salads were made to order. There was Grilled Organic Marinated Tofu, Quinoa, Organic Sprouts, Grilled Portobello Mushrooms, every nut you can imagine, Lentils, Chick Peas, Edamame.....The coffee station served Soy milks, and there were baskets of fresh fruits ready and waiting by the checkout. I want a Gia Pronto in my neighborhood!