8/29/2012

twisted tree café in asbury park

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Our quick stop into the Twisted Tree Café came after another long day of new-apartment-stuff-shopping. Coming up empty-handed so far, and quite a distance from home, we wandered into Twisted Tree on a whim after reading about their vegetarian and vegan specialties. As well as their made-in-house baked goods.

The staff was ultra-friendly as soon as we walked in the door. They offered to help us with any questions we might have, and directed us to the specials written above us, just in case we hadn't seen. Even though I already knew what I wanted (the wrap on their menu is what swayed our decision to visit Twisted Tree in the first place), cute Colin went for the special soup, a coconut curry, that also came with a small (though not so small!) side salad paired with homemade ginger-miso dressing. Super tasty.



My veggie wrap had: tomato, onion, cucumber, olives, sprouts, carrots, lettuce, and avocado, all wrapped up with a sun-dried tomato pumpkin seed spread. AMAZING. We're always saying how it's super tough to find a vegetarian wrap with fresh ingredients; usually, most places want to fill them with roasted red peppers or portabella mushrooms, not really giving the wrap any sort of texture or crunch. As everyone knows by now, my favorite wraps have raw vegetables and tons of flavor. This wrap was perfect all on its own, but it also came with a side salad that I happily and hungrily enjoyed.





 Ready to hit the road again, we decided that we had to try one of Twisted Tree's signature treats: either a baked good (all vegan!) or a smoothie. Even though the PB&J smoothie sounded too good to pass up (banana, strawberries, peanuts, oats, hazelnut milk, HELLO), we went with a chocolate peanut butter granola bar for later and a chewy ginger snap the size of my face for the ride home. So, so good.


8/22/2012

blue sage vegetarian grille

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On August 3rd, just a little over two weeks ago, we went out to celebrate cute Colin's 28th birthday! Though we have a handful of go-to vegetarian places to visit in our area, we decided to (re)try a location in Southampton, Pennsylvania: Blue Sage Vegetarian Grille.

We had visited Blue Sage once before--tucked away, across the street from a (much) bigger and brighter Mexican place (pretty positive you could see their "MARGARITAS" sign from the moon), Blue Sage is a tiny nook of a place, a one-room eatery with a pretty diverse menu.

All of their dishes are available to be prepared as vegan or not, and all portions are enormous. The appetizers look like entrées and the entrées look like two dinners on one plate. Not that I'm complaining--for the prices you pay, the huge platefuls are more than generous.

We began cute Colin's birthday dinner with the Buddha tacos: three crispy corn tacos with avocado, peanuts, cucumbers, onion sprouts and what they refer to as a "special Asian sauce." My guess is that it has a secret ingredient or two, but the result is definitely awesome. My favorite dish of the night, no doubt, this crunchy, sweet, salty, creamy combo was super satisfying in terms of flavor.


 Even though we already knew about the big portions, we also decided to share a salad before the main events arrived: thinking we'd stay light (though this salad literally looked like an entire bag of lettuce on the plate before me), we went with Blue Sage's House Salad--spring mix, pepitas (pumpkin seeds!), sunflower seeds, chile lime dressing and dried berries.


Nearly too full at this point already, our actual dinners arrived and I knew I would take one bite (or two) and be done. I went with the Whistle Stop Sammy (Ah, sammy. Is Rachael Ray planning their menu or something?): fried green tomatoes (by far the best part of this dish), red onion marmalade, roasted yellow and orange peppers, green goddess dressing, all on toasted pumpernickel bread. It came with a side salad (again, huge) of arugala, sunflower seeds, matchstick green apples, and maple mustard vinagrette. I must admit, I was a little let down by this dish. Not because the Blue Sagers did anything wrong, but just because my personal preference for sandwiches is a bigger contrast between fresh and cooked ingredients. If there was a little lettuce, maybe, or the tomatoes weren't fried--I don't know. The flavors were there, but the textures weren't my favorite. Still, that maple mustard vinagrette was perfection.



Cute Colin went for a dish called Satay: brochettes of cipollini onions and baby bliss potatoes in sticky orange balsamic glaze, peanut sauce, and sesame salt. This was served with a (again, entrée-sized) side of chilled black rice noodle salad.

Even though we were too full for it to matter, their tempting desserts couldn't sway us anyway: back ar home, I had snuck in a cake from Whole Food's bakery section, chocolate ganache with peanut butter buttercream.


8/09/2012

to-may-to, to-mah-to.

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Summer's almost over. One of those sad but true things, and a super-duper motivator to make sure I get all the best summer produce I can before the autumn months start closing in. Can't even think about it yet. Jackets, wearing socks again, finding where I've stashed all my jeans for the last ten weeks. Nope.

I came upon one particularly beautiful selection of tomatoes on Sunday at the Stockton Farmer's Market. Open Friday through Sunday, this market has a huge variety of vendors from teas, to fresh bread, to produce from various farms, artisan chocolate, etc. These tasty tomatoes, however, came from the Milk House market table. Located in Newtown, PA, this farm holds their own market daily as well as participating in Stockton's weekend hours.

Bought by the pound, Milk House has pint and quart containers that you can fill with any combinations of these summer fruits, all varying in color, size, shape, and OH MY HEAVENS, taste. The Sungold Cherry Tomatoes, about the size of a marble, were my favorite of the bunch. And with this crazy-good bounty in hand, the first thing I should have reached for would be: basil, fresh mozzarella, olive oil. You name it, I know it. But a lot of these cuties, perfect on their own, didn't even make it back to the car.








8/01/2012

jersey girl cafe

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Doing a lot of running around lately due to moving and, well, life, cute Colin and I have found ourselves eating out quite a bit. In between trying to find a kitchen table and a shower curtain that is the perfect mix of not-too-girly cute, we realize, tummies rumbling, that we really need to eat some food before we brave another visit to Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

Which leads us to our (pleasant!) discovery of Jersey Girl Cafe. Located in (Jersey, OBVIOUSLY) Hamilton on Route 33, this little lunch spot is the perfect place for quick, easy, fresh, affordable food, and super-sweet customer service to boot. With several vegetarian options available to us, we both settled on the Garden State Green Salad. This salad, with your choice of organic mixed greens, organic spinach, or chopped romaine, comes with apples, blueberries (in season!), dried cranberries, crunchy toasted ramen (a weirdly awesome unexpected touch!) and almonds. And who's going to say no to a side of croissant? Certainly not THIS Jersey girl.

Looking cute, with his cute iced tea.


Let's not forget our much-needed side of fries.