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Sunday, July 12, 2015

It's Time to Be Veganized!

The Vegan Vine
Julie, Santos, Chef Ron, Annie and EL during a Saturday brunch. 
Photo from Facebook.com/VeganizedFoods

For years I've been asking the same question over and over again: when will there be a vegan restaurant in New Brunswick, New Jersey?

I spent my late teens and early twenties in New Brunswick as a Rutgers University undergrad. While I was a student, I was also a member of the local George Street Co-op, a natural foods market started by vegetarian Rutgers students in 1973. I've visited New Brunswick often throughout the last twenty years and yet, despite the spirited and diverse city life and the collegiate atmosphere, there has not been one bona fide vegan restaurant within the city's walls...until now!

The Vegan Vine
Veganized is a friendly, clean and inviting establishment located in the heart of New Brunswick. It beckons to you before you even walk through the door with its vibrant logo and rainbow of colors, which are reflected in every dish.

You can tell that Chef Ron and General Manager EL, brothers who opened Veganized earlier this year, take pride in their new restaurant. The service at Veganized is impeccable. I am not one who likes to be constantly interrupted while dining, however, the servers at Veganized seem to strike just the right balance between letting you enjoy your meal and conversation, and knowing exactly what you need and when you need it.

If you haven't already guessed by the name, all the fare at Veganized is completely vegan, but what you may not have expected is that it is also 95 percent Organic. Furthermore, the brothers use local, seasonal, and Fair Trade ingredients whenever possible. Even the table water is not your average water, but deliciously infused with real, organic fruit. They pay attention to every detail.

The Vegan Vine
Timbale
Photo by Laura Kogan
Veganized's modern vegan menu is robust and varied. Strike out with a salad, like the Quinoa Salad of mixed greens, sherry vinaigrette, tricolor quinoa, roasted beets, edamame, goji berries, and toasted pine nuts. Or start with an appetizer like the Timbale (left) consisting of black beans, sweet potato, guacamole, cashew sour cream, and tortilla chips.

I couldn't decide between the Falafull, a twist on the standard falafel wrap incorporating baked chickpea patties, hummus, cucumber tomato salad, pickle, and a side of tahini, and the Mex-I-Can, made up of brown rice, black beans, charred corn, cucumber salsa, guacamole, and cashew sour cream. In the end, I chose the delicious Falafull and made a mental note to order the Mex-I-Can during my next visit.

The food at Veganized has been described as rich and hearty, without being heavy. The restaurant also offers flatbreads, sandwiches, burgers, sides, and even a veganized version of mac 'n' cheese with pasta, sweet potato cashew cream, smoked shiitake mushrooms, broccoli rabe, and bread crumbs.

And don't forget dessert! How can you with offerings like Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte, 14 Karat Cake, and Vanilla Cheese Cake, a strawberry compote with an oat coconut crust?

The Vegan Vine
Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte
Photo by Laura Kogan
Veganized is a little pricey, but worth every dollar spent. I'm thrilled that the New Brunswick area and Rutgers University community finally have a vegan restaurant to call their own!

Veganized is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and serves brunch on the weekends. They are located at 9 Spring Street in downtown New Brunswick, just a block from the train station. For more information, visit their website at www.veganizedfoods.com

Vegan Starter Kit

1 comment:

Cynthia Cortale said...

We can't wait to go for lunch. Thanks for the info.

Cyn.