Friday, July 3, 2015

Veganized in New Brunswick NJ

After a nearby NJ restaurant recommended the then brand new restaurant Veganized for dessert when they couldn't deliver, I was there within ten minutes for a takeout slice of their chocolate peanut butter torte: oat coconut crust, peanut butter whip, vanilla sauce, raspberry coulis because that's how I roll, my friends.

 

It turned out that my inaugural visit had coincided with their soft opening and, in the month since their grand opening, I've done my best to sample as many things as possible on the menu. For you.

 

To start, I want to mention that it's within walking distance from the New Brunswick train station on the NE Corridor line. So convenient!


You can order at the counter and have a quick bite at the window bar, where you'll find some Evolve for Animals literature.

 

Alternately, you can dine upstairs for full-service.

 

The decoration throughout is colorful, quirky, and meticulous.


A week after my cake run, I returned for a sandwich- also to go: righteous reuben: tempeh, russian dressing, sauerkraut, cashew cheese, sauteed kale, house bread, as well as a side order of sauteed kale with toasted hazelnuts and lemon. It was flavorful and hardy with great proportions.

 

Finally, I dined in (!) with two omnis shortly thereafter. We shared the rawvioli: raw beet ravioli, herbed nut cheese, pesto, saffron cream. I never would have chosen this on my own, but it was phenomenal and fresh.

 

For dinner I had the mackin cheese: elbow pasta, sweet potato cashew cream, smoked shitake, broccoli rabe, bread crumbs. It was certainly reminiscent of this version, but with its own twist.


Then I visited again with a friend to cap off a day of being very vegan. We shared the timbale of black beans, sweet potato, guacamole, cashew sour cream, and fresh tortilla strips. It was top notch.
 

We sampled their fries; baked sweet potato wedges with cashew sour cream for my friend.


Real crispy fries triple cooked, organic ketchup for me.



I had the Roma grilled flatbread with cashew cheese, slow roasted roma tomatoes, caper kalamata tapenade, pesto, and arugula. This puts pizza TO SHAME! I want to eat this combination all the time.




For dessert we shared the vanilla cheese cake with oat coconut crust, strawberry compote, and strawberry coulis. 



Because they were working on an upcoming dessert, we got to try their vegan version of Nutella, "notella." The samples were generous, but we both left wanting a whole bowl.


I couldn't wait to try the completed dessert, so I brought my parents there as soon as it was up on the menu.


VM was all about the Roma flatbread; I can't blame her.


OD had the deluxe lentil mushroom burger: smoked eggplant, charred onion, special sauce, lettuce, tomato, pickle, sweet potato bun with real crispy fries. That bun! Those onions!


I, however,  won the whole table because I had the weekend special of pasta casserole over nomato sauce (guess what it is: not tomato!) with grilled eggplant roll stuffed with roasted fennel and carrots, topped with pesto. It was one of the top entrees I've ever had at an upscale vegan restaurant.


For dessert, OD had the 14 karat date pecan carrot cake with vanilla sauce.


But enough about that; I had the coffee cake with crumb topping, house made notella, and vanilla sauce. I have dreams about this dessert! Not only was the cake the perfect texture to be paired with the exquisite notella, but it was sitting in an almost invisible pool of vanilla sauce whose sweetness ideally complemented the subtlety of the cake.


Overall, I'm thrilled by the addition of Veganized to the northeast, vegan restaurant landscape. Thanks in no small part to the chef's experience at renowned vegan establishments in and around New York City, the menu pays homage to dishes that have become somewhat ubiquitous while managing to maintain originality in both execution and flavor. I'm already plotting my next visit; if they had outdoor seating 89 and I would be there every day. Best of luck to Veganized!

Friday, June 26, 2015

The Amazing Green Vegetarian- Vegan in San Antonio, TX

While we were in San Antonio we ate at Green Vegetarian more times than I can count. Green has three locations and they are all 100% vegetarian and kosher.


There are many noted vegan items on the menu, as well as a clear indication of what vegetarian items can be made vegan- most breakfast items and ALL meals on their non-breakfast menu. Their desserts are all vegan by default. Not too shabby!

 

I had been forewarned that it was an amazing place, but I'm not sure that I was prepared for the very first thing that I saw upon entering. I am a dessert professional, but this all vegan line-up really caught me off-guard.


As if all that wasn't enough, when I looked up there were TWINKIES! How was I supposed to concentrate on a menu of savory food when there were twinkies mere feet away- in danger of selling out?


Not to mention Hostess as far as the eye could see...


Our first meal here was breakfast, during which tables receive complimentary biscuits. It took me a minute to figure out that they contained fennel seeds; is that a southern thing? Totally unexpected!


Since breakfast tacos were my new thing, I ordered the recommended Migas (gf): tomatoes, onions, bell peppers & corn tortilla chips scrambled with tofu and served with refried beans, breakfast tots, and corn tortillas. It was a fine and hardy start to what was going to be a marathon of eating at Green in the coming days. Also, TOTS!


On the way out I noticed something I hadn't seen previously: snowball cupcakes! I was taken back to my youth where racks of colorful snowballs spun jovially in the supermarket.


They even had lemon meringue! I'm not particularly in to lemon meringue, but look at those elusive vegan peaks! But, I digress.

 

I managed to resist these impressive offerings in order to hold true to my original choices; a twinkie and a "Hostess Who?" came with me as takeout for lunch. This is a true story; everyone else got protein salads (gf): kale, fresh spinach, chickpeas, quinoa tabouli, flaxseed, pecan hummus, carrots, tomato, avocado, and roasted tofu.


Suckers!



When we returned for dinner (yes, really) the first thing we chose to share were fried pickles: panko breaded, deep fried, kosher dill pickle spears.


Despite this non-committal expression, they were the hit of the table.


As I embarked upon my third meal of the day from Green, I had a chance to appreciate the aesthetic of the space. Lots of fun and inventive repurposing; it took us a few minutes to place that this wall installation was made up of vintage light fixtures.


Also lots of adorable chalk work.


 

 

Just a beautiful and inviting atmosphere over all.

 

For my entree, Cece's Stir Fry (gf): an epic mix of popcorn tofu, broccoli, bell pepper, celery and carrots. Served with chia seed brown rice and kale salad. I could not have made a better choice; my dish was the envy of many in our large group.


Oh and guess what?

 

Vanilla soft-serve cones for dessert? Don't mind if I do.


Also, while 89 wasn't traveling with me, check it out:


Another lunch consisted of grilled cheese and tomato: toasted multi-grain bread with basil and sun-dried tomatoes.


I had tomato soup on the side because that's how ya do.


And, on my final meal of the trip, the sweet potato pancakes with blueberries.


In parting, I left a card on their community board so everyone would know I'd been there.


If you're in Texas, it's certainly not to be missed. I think I did a pretty good job of researching all aspects of the menu for you.