Tag Archives: New Jersey

storefront

Seed to Sprout

410 Main Street, Avon by the Sea NJ 07717
560 A River Road, Fair Haven NJ 07704
*Note: the Fair Haven location is in the ACME shopping center and isn’t visible from River Road*
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Finally, I have been able to visit Seed to Sprout. This place has been on my radar for awhile. Back in the day, I had the cool vegan places to visit, while Alexa had slimmer pickings. I remember scoping Happy Cow to try and find new vegan and vegetarian restaurants to eat at near Alexa. Seed to Sprout was one of these places. Then as time went on, their popularity grew. They aren’t massive by all means, but still they are growing. Terry Hope Romero has mentioned them in her Protein Ninja Book, they opened a second location in my hometown, and they are now selling some of their food at local Whole Foods. 

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Alexa is a pretty big fan of this place since they have a location across from her work (their Fair Haven location), giving her a vegan and healthy option on the go. Seed to Sprout is a vegan restaurant that models around the trendy healthy vegan movement. The foods are very light and veggie heavy. The store made me think of P.S. & Co in Philadelphia and Heart Beet Kitchen in Haddon Township. There are some raw options, salads, bowls, and grilled sandwiches. They also have a large selection of desserts to choose from, and prepackaged meals to grab to take home or to the office. And like any “healthy” restaurant there are lots of liquid options- fresh juices, kombucha, hot drinks, smoothies and shots.

The restaurant keeps expanding their options. They do a Friday Pizza Night serving both traditional pizza and raw ones. Note that the regular pizza you order by 12 inch pie, raw pizza you order by the slice (at a steep $7/8 per slice.) They have two featured pizzas each week, so you can always switch it up. They also do brunch Saturday and Sunday, where you can try their banana bacon pancakes that Terry Hope Romero talks about in her book. They also offer catering services for parties, and it seems their cakes are popular item.

So what did WE get?

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burrito

Jen: Well I got the cashew collard wrap because I figured I could use the veggies (but didn’t want a massive salad.) Even though I always see collard wraps and think about how small they look, this was rather filling. I can only assume it has most of it’s calories are from the cashew pate. What I like about this wrap is that it is super healthy but eat to grab on the go. It won’t get soggy, but still something I wouldn’t make at home. Instead of getting a smoothie I got their Live Soda Kombucha, because I love that stuff. They had my favorite flavor- root beer.

scrambletoast

Alexa: I ordered the Mexican Omelet breakfast sandwich! I love the millet & flax bread as well as Seed to Sprout’s tofu scramble. The scramble is always packed with flavor and the Mexican omelet version had added coconut bacon and fresh chopped tomato. It was delicious and the perfect amount of food for a light meal during the summer. It’s been so hot out that the idea of eating anything more than this has made me feel like forgoing food altogether. 

asksalexaAlexa’s note: I normally enjoy getting the salads from Seed to Sprout as they are HUGE and for a pretty decent price. While they normally range around $11-$12, I find that I usually have enough salad to split between two meals whereas every other place in Fair Haven has way smaller salads for about $9-$10.

While it is right across the street from work and only about a 10 minute drive from my house I try not to eat here too often because it is a bit pricey. I understand I am getting good food that is environmentally conscious and animal friendly but it’s a bit much on my wallet if I venture in more than once a week.

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asksalexaAlexa’s note: I did get to go and have breakfast with my friend and fellow vegan from out of town and I tried their daily special breakfast sandwich as well as one of their kombucha mojitos.

I have been craving this kombucha drink pretty much all summer but stayed away from it because it’s $5. I figured that since I was on a lovely breakfast date I would break and give it a try. My only gripe is that it isn’t in a bigger glass because it is SO refreshing and delicious (and definitely non-alcoholic). The breakfast special I got was a fig melt which included spinach, figs, cashew cheese and caramelized onions. I got this specifically because I’ve never had anything like it and I’m always intrigued by the endless options in vegan dishes. It did not disappoint!

rootbooch

The biggest competition with Seed to Sprout is Good Karma. Sure Good Karma has some hippie-granola crunching decor, but both places offer an all vegan menu, raw food, gluten free options, and brunch. As Alexa mentioned, Seed to Sprout can be a little pricey, especially when compared to the portions to Good Karma. It is worth noting that Seed to Sprout is all organic, Good Karma is not (probably the cause for price differences.) Overall Good Karma is more stick to your ribs good, but Seed to Sprout has the best carry out options out there. 

Do yourself a favor- go to Seed to Sprout and grab their salad or raw burrito to go. Maybe add in a baked good or drink. Then drive out to Sandy Hook. It’ll be bliss- eating something tasty on the beach.


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Cookman Creamery

711 Cookman Ave, Asbury Park, NJ 07712
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I’ve been dreaming about coming here. I am a little more inclined to visit Alexa and the “shore” during the off seasons- Fall, Winter, and Spring. I don’t like summer, and I don’t like traffic. But I do like Alexa and I do love food (Alexa’s Note: I’m so pleased to see that as much as Jen may “like” me she “LOVES” food. I’m feelin’ it.), so it is very frustrating when places are closed for the off season. This is one of those places. I’ve been wanting to check it out, but during the colder season the store doesn’t have as many hours.

Cookman Creamery isn’t 100% vegan. They carry regular old ice cream and vegan ice cream. And not just vanilla and chocolate, like good flavors. As you can see from the photo above, they have many flavors, and when we went there was a little more than usual. Heck they even have vegan soft serve in vanilla OR cookies and cream. Is this a vegan’s dream ice cream shop or what?

icecream

Our favorites? Well, Alexa got the Twisted Tree ice cream, which used ginger cookies from another local vegetarian/vegan cafe and restaurant Twisted Tree. We also tried the pistachio ice cream, which was yummy and super natural tasting. I am sure some people have had the problem where the pistachio flavor becomes so intense that it doesn’t quite taste, well, like pistachios. Alexa and I really loved the Blue Lavender ice cream, but I recently made purple basil ice cream, so I passed on it. I went for the balsamic strawberry ice cream (another favorite of Alexa’s). The balsamic flavor is very subtle, which I personally like a lot. 

Their website says their ice cream base is coconut cream, which makes them super creamy and rich. Truthfully that is what I want in my ice cream when eating out. I don’t think I picked up on ANY coconut flavors in the ones we ate. But I am sure other ice creams like the Almond Joy and Pina Colada they will play up the coconut flavor. My only complaint, is that the vegan ice cream is a whole dollar extra compared to the normal ice cream. A little bit of a bummer, but still worth the price I think.

asksalexaAlexa Here! I also love this place and luckily have been able to visit it somewhat regularly this season as opposed to last summer when I too dreamed of the establishment. Something I noted on when I went for the first time was all of the different flavors, like Jen mentioned. I expected some cookie-based flavors, but never thought of seeing something like the Blue Lavender or Strawberry Balsamic. I’m always adventurous when trying ice cream but honestly a little naive when it comes to the massive amount of (good) flavors there could possibly be. I also think Cookman Creamery tries to switch out different flavors depending on the week – I know that at one point they had a vegan matcha flavor but I haven’t come across it when I’ve visited so far and it honestly makes me cry inside. That being said, everything I’ve had so far is amazing. 

Jen also mentioned the coconut cream base for all of their vegan flavors, and I think this is a huge benefit for their ice cream versus something you’d buy in a store. While the new vegan Ben & Jerry’s is very good they’re all almond milk based and you can definitely tell. As someone who is a connoisseur of vegan – and sometimes – non-vegan ice cream I can usually tell when it’s not a milk or cream based flavor, but with Cookman Creamery you wouldn’t even notice. I only say this because I could even convince someone who is a non-vegan to try some of these and they wouldn’t even have an excuse not to! 

I think my only gripe about Cookman is that the prices are a bit high. I understand when you’re using vegan and ‘organic’ products that it’ll hike the cost up a bit more, but I almost can’t justify buying one of the pints of vegan ice cream from them because the pints run around $8.50, whereas I can go and buy a pint of Ben & Jerry’s or *insert vegan ice cream that can be found in Whole Foods/Wegman’s* for $3-$4 less. However, if that’s my only complaint then I would still consider it an amazing experience! The staff are all really nice and are very knowledgeable of the product, I recommend making the trip if you are in Asbury!


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Cardinal Provisions

514 Bangs Ave Asbury Park, NJ 07712
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I remember when I first started the blog, Alexa usually came to me because I had more vegan options in my area. Flash forward to today, now it seems like Alexa is sitting in the suburban vegan mecca. There are so many places I want to visit near her, but they are usually closed on the day I come to visit- Mondays. So Alexa suggested Cardinal Provisions, a brunch and lunch based restaurant. She had went before and thought I would dig it.

asksalexaAlexa’s note: Visiting Cardinal with Jen wasn’t the first time I had been there. I had actually gone on Valentine’s day with Mr. Ian, and on that day I had one of THE BEST waffles I have ever had. It’s definitely on my list of Top 5…because apparently I have that sort of list now. I believe it was a special for that weekend, but hopefully it will pop up again. The waffle was covered in caramelized bananas and thin mint crumbs. 

That’s right…THIN MINT CRUMBS. 

I loved the dish because 1) it was vegan and 2) it’s not something that I have see anywhere else yet almost resembled something that I might make for myself (and think “Alexa, you are cray cray.”) I was slightly hesitant about the mixture of banana and mint flavor, but it was fantastic. I had also had the nitro infused coffee with my food that morning and it made everything even more delicious.

She was right, I loved the place. If you have ever been into New York City for brunch and enjoyed it, you will love this place. The store is very small but has a lot of personality. I am not sure how common this style of restaurant is, but you are seated, and waited on, but you pay at the end at the cashier. There are some baked goods and juices that you can grab and take with you, making it a spot to actually get a breakfast “on the go”. There are adorable vintage tiled floors, cute metal backed seats, and vintage salt and pepper shakers at all the tables. Yup, they pretty much nailed the setting.

hawt-chick

Just wanted to point out that Alexa wore the exact same shirt when we went to MOGO– GET YOUR BLOGGING SHIT TOGETHER!

So is the place vegan? Uh… no. But the menu is very vegan friendly. There are only about two dishes listed as vegan on their breakfast/lunch menu, and three from their brunch menu but they have little Vs next to items that can be made vegan. This is a dream come true for vegans who love breakfast foods. It even looks like about half of the kids menu is vegan as well (mostly nut butter or jam sandwich combos and some veggies) If you are looking to grab a quick breakfast, you can get their vegan croissants and some fresh juice up at the counter. Oh you heard me correctly. Vegan croissants at a non-vegan restaurant. Although this might not happen every day, when we went they actually have a daily special that was vegan. Let’s face it, how often does that happen?

A word of caution. If you want to do the traditional brunch thing and do some day drinking, you might have to bring your own booze. Cardinal Provisions does not have a liquor license, so call ahead of time to see if it is okay if you bring your own champagne for mimosas. They also have nitro infused coffee and I fucked up and missed by chance to try freshly tapped nitro coffee. Also on the menu that would quench your cocktail thirst? Kombucha, bitters and soda, green, grapefruit, and orange juices.

register

So what did we get? Well, the day we went they have a special- a vegan burger on a either a roll or vegan croissant. It originally came with fries, but we were both in the mood for a side salad. The burger was topped with a pickled carrot slice, cauliflower, and artichoke. Let me tell you, it has been a long time since I’ve had a croissant, and this was much better than the ones I had in the past. The croissant was super flakey and buttery. The burger was also the best vegan burger I’ve gotten in a non-vegan restaurant. The burger was very solid, and didn’t smoosh out like most vegan burgers. The outside was charred beautifully giving a nice contrast to the flaky croissant.

asksalexaAlexa’s note: Since I love the place so much, I visited again without Jenny. The other dish that I’ve gotten here also involved waffles (I’m not sure if anyone else is picking up on a theme here or if it’s just me?), but it was the vegan version of Chicken and Waffles. In place of chicken they subbed in a mushroom that they were calling “Hen of the Woods”, which I believe is just a fried maitake mushroom. I loved the texture and taste of it, and as a vegetarian I can get pretty tired of mushroom consistency and flavor. It came with a jalapeño cashew remoulade layered on top and then syrup to go on top of all of that. Again, it was another dish where I could have been a mad scientist playing in my kitchen but it magically tasted fantastic once on the plate. This dish is (luckily) on the menu all of the time. I highly recommend it. 

I also love the atmosphere like Jen pointed out. Not only is the decor really adorable, but the employees are super nice and are always willing to help you find a way to make whatever you want into a vegan friendly version of itself if it isn’t already. I haven’t had a bad meal there yet and I don’t expect I ever will.

burger

If you check out their website you might notice that they have both the restaurant and catering services. If you are looking to do a wedding shower, work event, wedding, baby shower, etc, they will work with all your requirements. I’ve been following their instagram account and have seen some photos of some all vegan catering jobs. Thinking about when Jon and I were planning out wedding, this would of been a great options. At the time he wasn’t vegan and I was trying to be. Cardinal Provisions would of given us a nice 50/50 menu of vegan and non-vegan options.

asksalexaAlexa’s note: Last note! If you are in the market for a birthday (or any celebratory) cake, they do that as well! A friend of mine ordered a cake from Cardinal for her birthday and it was actually the best cake I’ve ever had. And it was vegan!! The cake was moist, the frosting was delicious and didn’t taste overly sugary…it was sublime. 

So we would both recommend this place if you want a fancy lunch out. It isn’t a 4 star restaurant, but not quite the place to go for a cheap meal either. If I was staying for vacation in Asbury Park I would recommend checking this place out at least once for lunch or brunch. That being said, for the price range for a lot of the nicer restaurants in this area it isn’t that much more. 


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Papa Ganache

106 Main St, Matawan, NJ 07747
website | facebook | instagram | twitter

It is weird that I get so excited about vegan bakeries but always get reminded that I don’t actually liked them much? I think it has to do with the fact I grew up with home baked goods. I never really got the prepackaged cupcakes or cookies, so maybe I lust after bakeries since it was something my friends always did. Or maybe it is because I grew up in a very heavy Italian area and just never liked those cookies? Or that I am super specific about what I want from a baked good? Who knows, but what I do know is that we need someone else to bake a cake for special occasions from time to time. When I had my wedding, I remember trying to find a place to bake our cake, I wanted to go with a vegan only bakery. There wasn’t anything nearby so we went with a regular bakery that was happy to make a vegan cake, and it was awesome. But if this place was open at the time, I would of been super happy to have the cake made by them.

tins

Papa Ganache is located in Matawan New Jersey near one of Alexa’s favorite bars, so you could always plan a dinner of cupcakes and grab some beers afterwards. The store participated in Cupcake Wars, and have won! It is the People’s Choice Awards episode, if you are wondering. The bakery does catered events, special orders, and sells wholesale baked goods as well. They also make some gluten free goods, though they are not an exclusively gluten-free kitchen. Not into baked goods? There is a small selection of savory foods you can pick up at the store. There are some soups that you grab and go, and their website lists other meal options. We personally didn’t see many options but we came later in the day, so you might have to get there closer to lunch time or special order them.

cremebrule

They have a huge selection of different baked goods to choose from, including an apple pie pizza. But seeing how they won cupcake wars we figured we should stick to their classics. They have a massive amount of cupcakes to choose from but we narrowed it down to two- the creme brulee and s’mores. The frosting was super whipped and kept it’s structure. We were pretty excited and ate the cupcakes fast, but if you are eating there, I would recommend letting your cupcakes sit for a little bit so the frosting softens up. 

smores

I personally liked the creme brulee cupcake the best. I like the frosting to cake ratio. They also put a small layer of sugar on top and melted it, so you get a delicious burnt sugar topping. Alexa was a little bit bias with the s’mores cupcake since it is her favorite flavor for everything. We both thought there was a little too much frosting on top, but still super yummy. We also got a sandwich cookie for Alexa’s mother, which she seemed to enjoy a lot. 

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And if all these baked goods didn’t put you in a sugar coma, they offer lots of vegan candies. Getting a stomachache yet? I actually liked this idea because they carried Premium Chocolatiers, an all vegan candy shop based in New Jersey. They are very allergy friendly, having nut and gluten free factory. You might of seen some of their candy from Vegan Cuts but if you want to buy it person, this is a place to go. I personally find their chocolate too sweet, but are great for little kids. 

Overall, I don’t see myself going to this bakery often since I am not a sweets sort of girl. But they do know what they are doing and have classic all American baked goods. I always love the idea that bakeries give a person the option of just buying one cupcake instead of making a batch of 12. I also know where to go for my next cake for a special event.


I love hiking. As much as I love working up a sweat by running or lifting weights, there is something relaxing about walking for long amounts of time. I personally love hiking up a mountain since you get the visual confirmation of seeing how far you really walked. But there are two problems I face. One is that I live in South Jersey, and it is FLAT. No mountains near by. And to get to the trails in North Jersey it is a 2 hour plus drive.

My second problem is finding information. Hiking maybe free to do, but detailed information that doesn’t involve buying a book can be hard to get. It is definitely a hobby that is mostly written about in books rather than shared freely on the internet. I am not saying the information isn’t there, you just need to search a little. It isn’t as if I could just google “hikes” and common trails are going to come up in google maps in the same way as I could for book stores. Part of the problem are funds for government protected parks. Unless parks are as big as Yellowstone, they tend to have trouble in the publicity department. So I was really happy to find a personal blog called NJ Hiking. They have tons of great trails, and detailed information about them. I would recommend reading the whole description about a hike before a setting out, as I always find it helpful in the end.

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NJ Hiking helped me find out about Wharton State Park. They listed this park as one of their top favorite hikes, and thought it wasn’t too long of a drive. So we went, and found out that the park was quite huge. In fact Wharton State Park is the biggest park in New Jersey, and is pretty much the largest park in the area (around Philadelphia, Delaware.) It provides lots of different activities, like biking, fishing, boating, off roading, and camping. 

Also when we arrived at the park, we became aware that there are lots of different options for hiking. We planed on traveling in a loop, but there was a clearly marked hike from Atsion to Batso, which was only 9 miles one way. So we are hoping to have another trip where we go early in the morning and hike a total of 18 miles in one day. That’s the joy of hiking, you can pretty much do any length as long as you plan ahead.

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We planned to take the Atsion to Quaker Bridge Loop found on the NJ Hiking website. We arrived at the parking lot and I immediately noticed how organized everything was. There were a few buildings, some were falling down, some were in use. One was an information center, which can help if you have any questions about camping grounds, fishing, etc. There is an outhouse that you use (yey!) and a small box full of trails guides, which you should grab regardless how confident you are about knowing the trail. Once you start down the trail you’ll find more abandoned buildings, a church, and even a graveyard. Eventually the path becomes more forested, and you don’t see any structures that remind you of the human population.

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Wharton State Forest is part of the Pine Barrens, a stretch of land in New Jersey. These forests are still largely rural, probably because the ground is very sandy, making living conditions difficult. Because of the ground there are some unique flora. There are dwarf pine trees, carnivorous plants, and orchids. Aside from the pines, I didn’t get to see any of the pitcher plants or pink lady slippers yet. It is still too cold. And there are naturally the stories about the New Jersey Devil, which are always fun to read about.

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Pros:

  • Although we went during early spring, the walk was beautiful. There many patches of water that are nice to stop the hike to admire. There were also many spots that you could stop to rest or grab a bite. It should be even more interesting in the summer when all the plants are growing.
  • Aside from the plants, the buildings and rails are pretty cool. There are tours of the mansion at the beginning of the trail, but I think you need to plan ahead for that. There are also old train tracks that are being taken over by plants. There is even an old cemetery you can explore as well.
  • The trail is flat and easy. There might be a few trees and logs to walk over, but in general the ground is level. If you are worried about a long walk, you can rest easy that it won’t strenuous.
  • There are lots of options in the park. If you want a challenge, just extend the trail. You can plan for a hike and camping, just hiking, just camping, whatever. Part of the trails we used are actually used to connect one trail to others, making it easy to create your own hike.
  • It’s a long hike. There are lots of little parks closer to where I live, but they only keep us busy for maybe 1 to 2 hours. So it is nice to be able to drive a little out the way and be busy for the whole day, or several more if you are interested in backpacking.

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Cons:

  • Ticks and Mosquitos! I read the warning on NJ Hiking, and thought they might be exaggerating. But when talking to other hikers who’ve been on the trail told me that they consistently find ticks on them from the trail. So spray up with something. Heck, I even got bit by something during the hike, even though it was early spring.
  • Cars and off-roaders have separate trails, but you can see and hear them from time to time. It kind-of sucks, but it makes sense for people who want to camp or kayak. I wouldn’t say it ruined the hike, but is something to be aware of.
  • Speaking of cars, if you taking the loop, it is really hard to see the green trail. The trick is if you cross a bridge, you went too far. My husband and I got confused because the trail can lead to another green car trail… so we spent 3 miles on the wrong trail in sandy road. I could go on a rant, but I will spare you the boring details. Just look carefully for the green trail marker. (Note: We went down the yellow trail, walked down the pink/pastel purple trail then to the green trail, back to the yellow. This is the same direction as on NJ Hiking, but you can reverse it.)

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Helpful Links:

Wharton State Park Official Site: gives information about the historically significant aspects of the park, and gives information about boating, hours, etc.

Batsto Village Home Page: Contains information about Batsto Village if you plan on taking a tour of the historic village.

Atsion to Quaker Bridge Loop: NJ Hiking page for the hike that I talked about in this post. I totally recommend reading the whole walkthrough.

Batso Lake Trail: Another trail in Wharton State Park with details on NJ Hiking.

Apple Pie Hill Trail: This is (according the Wikipedia at least) one of the most popular trails in Wharton State Park. There is a tower you can climb and get a sky view of the park.

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Good Karma Cafe

17 East Front Street, Red Bank NJ 07701
website | instagram | facebook

I’ve been wanting to check out this Cafe for a few years now, but every time I went to visit Alexa, the store always seemed to be closed. What a bummer! But we kept being persistent and waited till one day we could go and have it still be opened. Alexa has visited this restaurant on several occasions without me and is quick to note that this place is usually very busy. When we went we came during off hours and had the place pretty much to ourselves. 

Bahn Mi Sandwich

Bahn Mi Sandwich

Good Karma serves a completely vegan and partly raw menu. The set up is more for grab and go cuisine, which keeps the price points cheaper for the meal. They divide the menu by snack/apps, salads, sandwich/wraps, entrees, raw foods, kids, smoothie/juices, and desserts. There is a lot to choose from, but some dishes overlap. For example there is a salad and wrap that both use BBQ tempeh. This keeps prep work to a minimum but gives customers lots of options. 

We sadly, didn’t try any of their juices or smoothies but their juicing machine looked impressive and would deliver a great juice. Important? Yes, I’ve been to many restaurants that have juicers that leave pulpy drinks and charge an arm and a leg. In fact I thought their drink prices are fairly priced considering pre-made juice from Starbucks is pretty much the same price.

Barbeque Tempeh Wrap

Barbeque Tempeh Wrap

By the time Alexa and I got in we were pretty hungry, so we got a sandwich and a wrap respectively. Alexa got the Bahn Mi sandwich served with seitan instead of beef, pickled veggies, sprouts, and a delicious jalapeno aioli. This was Alexa’s first Bahn Mi sandwich so she couldn’t compare it to anything, but it was delicious regardless.

asksalexaAlexa’s note: I loved this sandwich. Everything tasted fresh and the sauce on the seitan was delicious. I’m usually more partial to tempeh but this item seemed too good to pass up. I think the only thing I would do next time is maybe request it on a wrap. This may sound sacrilegious but if there is too much bread then I get distracted from the rest of the food. I also have a very small mouth and cannot fit a real bite in…the bread was really good, but I personally would have preferred it to be all wrapped up together. I also loved the use of the sprouts – which may sound odd, but dishes that I usually happen to order have sprouts as a garnish. Let me tell you, those lil’ guys are a really refreshing addition to this item!

My main go-to dish at Good Karma is the Pineapple Mango Tempeh. It tastes great even as a takeout dish (and I would like to mention that I’ve never had a bad take-out experience with Good Karma), which is normally how Mr. Ian and I get food from here in the first place. That dish is a great mix of savory and sweet and includes coconut crusted tempeh in a pile of brown rice with seasonal veggies. The sauce on this dish is a creamy coconut Thai sauce and it’s almost like a curry. I feel bad because I want to try pretty much everything on their menu but this one just keeps reeling me back in! I also think it’s a good jump-start for anyone who hasn’t had vegan food before. 

I got the BBQ Tempeh Wrap, which had tempeh, lettuce, cabbage and carrots wrapped up with BBQ sauce and a chipotle aioli.  This was an amazing wrap full of flavor and a great protein to veggie ratio. The wrap held together while I ate it so no sauce covered my hands.

Both sandwiches came with a side salad where you can pick your dressing. We both picked the carrot ginger dressing. I personally found the dressing tasty but hard to toss in the salad since it was more like a puree. It probably would of been better pre-tossed, though I understand the reasons why they don’t.

rawbrownie

After we ate I picked a dessert to go home with. I picked their raw brownies since I didn’t get a chance to eat any of their raw foods. They were pretty amazing, and well balanced between sweet and bitter chocolate. The brownie also had a nice occasional crunch from the walnuts. It was also nice to bring home a dessert to eat the next day.

asksalexaAlexa’s note: I once brought home a raw macaroon from Good Karma and that was really good as well. I am always interested in trying out their baked goods but am always too full after eating and can’t even think of putting anything else into my tum-tum. While they are not normally my favorite desert I would definitely recommend the macaroons as well.

Overall I have to say that Good Karma is great for no-fuss eating. If I lived in the area I probably would order take out often from the place. The prices though, might seem a little high but are probably average for the area. So keep that in mind if you are visiting from out of state. It is also worth noting that I am pretty sure their prices have changed from the menu listed on the website. There might be a change from the drinks they serve as well.

What should you eat when you go? Well here is the list of favorites from Alexa and Jen

  • Raw Brownies
  • Barbeque Tempeh Wrap
  • Bahn Mi
  • Pineapple Mango Tempeh 

capemaybrewing

Labor Day has come and gone, which means that Summer is making a swift exit. With the last “real” summer weekend going by, we all decided to go on a day trip down to Cape May to see the beach and the Brewery.

The night before we left my friends Jon, his brother Matt, Keith, Mr. Ian and I all went down to the Stone Pony in Asbury Park to see The Gay Blades play! I haven’t seen them in quite some time and they really put on a great show. I was first introduced to this band by my boyfriend and long-time-companda Mr. Ian. They are a local rock/alternative group (but on their facebook page they describe themselves as “Genre Trash pop”…I’ll take it) that reside in Brooklyn, NY. Their first two albums are excellent if you’re into that genre of music, and their concerts are like one giant party so I’d also recommend seeing them live if you ever get a chance!

stonepony

Here’s one of their most recent music videos off of their second album.

The next morning Keith, his wife Jenine, Mr. Ian and I got up nice and early to drive down to Cape May. I had been to Cape May a bunch of times when I was younger, my family would go with all the kids and make it into a fun day trip or a nice long weekend. It is a really pretty beach town with a lot to offer, and since it had been a while since any of us had gone it was all very new and fresh. We also decided that it would be a really nice wrap up to summer to hit the beach and be kind-of “shore tourists” for a day. Our first stop was a little restaurant called George’s Place. We stopped there on a whim and came to realize that they had an AMAZING breakfast menu (not too sure if it was very vegan friendly, but I remember it being veggie friendly). Whenever I get the chance to go out to eat for breakfast I always tend to lean toward the sweeter side of the menu — which lead to one of the most delicious waffles I think I have ever had.

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smackdown I had the pleasure of going to another live wrestling event a few weeks ago and it was just as amazing as the first few times I’ve been. I know I’ve said this before guys…but…man oh man do I love wrestling.  We saw on TV that WWE was advertising a taping of their Friday night show “SmackDown” in Newark NJ, and since it’s so easy to get to we decided that we probably had to go. Sadly – I didn’t get a group selfie this time, I’ll have to make that a tradition from now on.  We hit a bump in the road on our way to the Prudential Center this time, the train heading that way which we had planned on taking was CANCELLED. At first it had been delayed and we figured it wasn’t a huge deal but once the announcement came over the loud speaker we knew it was too late. Mr. Ian and I couldn’t just hop into my truck and go – mostly because we were meeting Billy on the train and we would have to find parking for either us or him until after the show. The next train ended up coming on time, thankfully, we met up with Billy on said train and got to Prudential in one piece. It was then that we also met up with my friend Vinny! I got to know Vinny through working at Old Navy a year or so ago – and it wasn’t until after we both stopped working there that I found out he also loved wrestling. We both happened to be going to the same live event (also at the Prudential Center) and met up briefly during the intermission. I was just super happy that he could make it to SmackDown with us this time!  The trouble with being late to a taping though is that you miss some of the “dark matches” that may or may not happen before the show officially starts. We missed out on a match between two really awesome tag teams – The Ascension, who they seem to be bringing up from the developmental program and show NXT, and Goldust and Stardust. Mr. Ian was pretty bummed, he wore his brand new Ascension shirt and everything! I felt so bad but let’s be real, we were all just happy that the second train wasn’t cancelled too. 

Left: Goldust & Stardust      Right: The Ascension

Left: Goldust & Stardust Right: The Ascension

 If I could just gush about the two men in black and yellow (urm…gold) for a moment. They are definitely two of my favorite wrestlers on the current roster – Cody Rhodes (Stardust) is a chameleon when it comes to wrestling in the ring. He’s had several different gimmicks within the last few years, and his newest one does not disappoint. He changed his move set slightly to mirror that of his (real life!) brother’s, Goldust (aka Dustin Rhodes). I don’t want to rant on and on…but I love them SO much. They are both very talented and I love watching them work!
Highlights of the Night!

Damien “Bruce Springsteen” Sandow

damien-springsteen

Damien Sandow’s regular gimmick has been known as the “Intellectual Savior of the Masses”, he would come out in a blue robe and hold the microphone as if it were a snifter while telling everyone in the audience about how much smarter he was. It was a great character! He has currently been coming out as different people to try and confuse his opponent…part of me thinks it can be clever and funny, while the other part is just frustrated that they seem to be dropping his original persona. I don’t want Damien Sandow to turn into one of the wrestlers who just wears black trunks and gear and has almost no personality. I will admit though, this was hilarious! It was the week before 4th of July (…I told you this was a little while ago!) and WWE was in New Jersey – what better way to get a reaction out of the crowd than to have Damien come out as The Boss?

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First off – yes, I definitely missed last week’s Tea Time Tuesday!! Shame on me! Moving on though, this week’s review is about one of the new teas that Rook Coffee Roasters has to offer, just in time for summer! 

I just want to start off by talking about Rook as a company. They are based in Monmouth County, NJ with shops set up in Oakhurst, Long Branch and Little Silver. The company was started by two childhood friends (Holly Migliaccio and Shawn Kingsley) who have a passion for specialty coffee. The brews that they make in shop range from fair trade, organic and water processed (a chemical-free way of decaffeinating their coffee). 

I usually frequent the one in the Little Silver Train Station as it is on the way to dropping Mr. Ian off at work. The location for it is great, and the staff are really wonderful people! They always make you feel welcome when you walk in the door, and if you are not used to their different roasts they will happily explain them to you. 

I decided to try the Berry Tea this week, I have had the Black Tea that they offer and it wasn’t really what I expected. It was just more of a regular “Iced Tea” than an “English Breakfast” blend. 

The Berry tea was extremely refreshing! It wasn’t too sweet, and not very bitter. Just perfectly tart after you finish taking a sip. The flavor tastes like there are a few different berries in the blend – raspberry being the most notable (to me anyway…I can’t say for sure what’s in it). I would definitely recommend it on a hot day if you are not feeling like grabbing coffee, but need a little pick-me-up.