#SCBDReview: In Heaven at Veggie Heaven in Denville, NJ

scbdreview

 

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I decided to try this restaurant I pass by all the time in Denville, NJ. It is called Veggie heaven. It is a 100% natural vegetarian cuisine restaurant. They pride themselves to being super healthy and vegetarian. They cook with pure olive oil and other healthy oils that all have positive nutritional value. They are an Asian inspired place as well. They create their dishes with vegetables and vegetable derivatives. They even quote on their menu that “our ‘meat’, ‘poultry’, and ‘seafood’ are made from ingenious blends of bean curd, taro root, wheat gluten, mushrooms, yams, and other vegetables.”

They are located right on the main street in the center of Denville. They start out by giving you water and a dish of a cabbage mix. It was sweet and so tasty. A great start to the meal.

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For my meal I decided to go with a lunch special. It costs $6.95 and included a choice of soup or spring roll. The main dish had a choice of white or brown rice. I decided to start with the spring roll. It came with sweet and sour sauce to dip it in. The taste was so fresh. It was delicious and honestly was the best spring roll I have ever had. The crust was flakey but not super oily.

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For the main dish I ordered the sweet and sour ‘chicken’ with brown rice.

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This was outstanding. I asked if it was fried, and she said it is lightly but can be cooked without it being friend, so I took that option. Everything was delicious. The rice was soft and good, it came with broccoli and mushrooms. These were soft and fresh. The sauce I got medium spice, it was the right amount of kick to enjoy. The ‘chicken’ was delicious. It was better than chicken, it was full of flavor and was a cool consistency. It was soft but not too soft. It had a consistency similar to tofu, but more hard. It was outstanding. I even had a little left over that I brought home. It was a good portion for lunch!

I also ordered the house tea. They do have other flavors but I was unaware of this when I ordered. It was similar to Chinese tea but not as strong. It was a delicious combination to accompany my meal. This was also no additional fee for the tea.

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The meal finished with the bill and a fortune cookie. I love finishing my tea with a fortune cookie; the combination of the two is delightful. My fortune cookie read ‘solid gains are possible today, but with a headache.’ I can relate to this. It has been a long day, but one where I accomplished a lot of difficult things. I love fortunes.

Finally my bill was under $10, it cost $7.44 with tax. Then I left a tip on top of that. It was a great deal for some amazing food. Even the average meat lover would love this place. I love a good steak, chicken, or pork dinner, but this place is outstanding no matter what type of eater you are.

I rate this place an A plus. Service was outstanding and alert, really friendly too. The food is beyond outstanding and the atmosphere is so relaxing and pleasant, it is like a getaway. Please try this place, a must go in Denville.

 

http://www.veggieheavennj.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Veggie-Heaven/106379826139652

They do have other independently owned locations, listed below.

Veggie Heaven Teaneck: www.veggieheaventeaneck.com

Veggie Heaven Montclair: www.veggieheavenmontclair.com

Veggie Heaven New City: www.veggieheavennewcity.com

#SCBDEventRecap: Grand Opening of .@Thefreshmarket

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I had the opportunity to attend the opening ‘cutting of the cheese’ ceremony of the Fresh Market grocery store in Bedminster, NJ. They had a ceremonial crack of the wheel of Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese.

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I was very excited when I found out I had the chance to attend this occasion, I had breakfast made fresh in the store and got to see this uncommon ceremony. For those of you that do not know what the Fresh Market is about or what it even is, it is a Market or Grocery store. This market started in Greensborough, NC in 1982. They go with the concept of having everything fresh, have the experience of the customer be more than a chore and to be an experience of relaxation and enjoyment. To share the smells of the fresh made breads and food, and hear classical music surrounded by a warm and friendly environment. The products are all high quality, and not high price like some other markets. You can find a variety of items, common and uncommon all under one roof. This market is the second in New Jersey, and the 151st store in the United States.

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Pulling up to the store, I was so excited! The outside is beautiful and so welcoming; I walked right in and walked to the welcome table. They handed us our complimentary reusable shopping bag, jelly beans, and a bag of their coffee. The bags are really nice, thick and durable and the coffee was delicious! The breakfast that we went to included fresh made products from the store. We had some fruit and breads, the breads included pumpkin bread, banana nut bread, and date nut type bread. They were absolutely delicious and tasted homemade. On the same table there was Orange Juice, it also tasted so fresh.

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There was a hot food station with two chefs. They were cooking bacon and French toast with maple syrup. This was also so good; they gave us little slices of the French toast so we could dip it in the syrup. Finally, they had a few coffee samples to try, I tried the one and it was pretty good, especially since I do not drink coffee.

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I walked around the store a bit and was shocked to see all that they offer. They have a candy bar, fresh nuts and dried fruits and vegetables that you can serve yourself, and coffee section. You can grind your own peanuts and almonds, and get fresh made sushi. There is fresh made breads, and fresh packaged spices.  The desert section was also great, with tons of choices.

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We got to sample the Apple Pie; this pie tasted homemade and was outstanding.

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There is also a whole cheese counter with every type of cheese I know of, over 200 to be exact. They had a meat and seafood as well as cold cut counters. We also got to taste some samples and walk around and get to know the store

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One of the things I really liked about this health market is that it included products of organic and ‘healthy’ companies as well as the companies your find at your local grocery store. It is a one stop shopping place with a really warm and elegant feeling. There were wood floors and beautiful signs, and the workers were outstanding. All the workers were willing to help and very knowledgeable of everything in the store.

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I found out that all the meat is also fresh, whatever is not sold that day is froze and then either sold to restaurants or donated to the Food Bank Network of Somerset County.

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The cutting of the crack of the wheel of Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese started with the Regional director of operations in the North east, Sandy Glatter, speaking.  She explained about the store and how they have great customer service and dedicated workers to help your experience. They also have samples for the opening so the customers can try some of what they offer. She introduced Ben Burton, the store Manager. Everyone was fabulous there!

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This was an awesome thing to witness, Sandy Glatter explained how it is a time honored tradition and it is ‘cracked’ using five tools. This specific wheel of cheese weighed about 86 pounds. She also said how it can take up to 24 months to be made and for it to be ready to sell. It starts with 150 gallons of milk and they age it around 12 months, check it if it is the right cheese. Then they let it sit again until it gets the seal of approval. We got to sample and take part in eating a slice of this tradition, and the cheese was delicious!

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I am so happy I could experience this, and now I have a new store to go to. It is a bit of a distance away from my home, but it is worth it to drive there for all the selections and good tasting food. I am so excited to incorporate my holiday cooking with this store, it gives me so many more fresh options and help from the staff!

More Pictures:

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http://www.thefreshmarket.com/

https://www.facebook.com/TheFreshMarket

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjKCk5IMZ7E&feature=youtu.be (my video- sound is not the best)

 

Fusha Asian Fusion

Hi readers! My name is Jill, I go to SUNY Albany. Since I have been home from school for winter break, I have been trying to find some good pescetarian friendly restaurants to go to. After hearing about a sushi place where all the sushi is always 50% off, it sounded too good to be true, but what was even better was how delicious it was.

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Some of the sushi rolls at Fusha

Fusha, located in Freehold, was a bargain for their fresh quality fish. I got an order of shumai, the fire dragon roll, and the red dragon roll all for 20 dollars! They also have some Chinese food dishes on the menu which makes it a unique concept!

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Chow Fun

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The Yummy Yummy Roll

I have been back since than with different friends, and everyone is always pleased with their dish and the price. I definitely recommend this place to anyone who loves Japanese food, and is looking for a good deal.

Christian & His Shumai

Parents are often dissuaded from taking their young children to restaurants and justifiably so… Trust me, I understand it all too well. What is the mom of an energetic 3 year old to do when she wants a great meal out with no babysitter in site? The right restaurant choice, a smart reservation time and a small bag of tricks for your child can make a drastic difference between an enjoyable dinner and a disaster in the making. My son Christian sees a speech therapist 4 nights a week right after his pre-school program. Most nights we don’t walk in the door till 6-63:0 and its a nice treat to eat once a week.

Lucky for me, Christian has developed an affinity for Japanese food. Since Bay Ridge is much closer to his school, we would often travel in to Fushimi Bay Ridge. We would get there relatively early and the staff was very friendly… However, once it hits 6:30, the staff was quick to move you and attend to the VERY crowded bar space that begins to fill as early as 6pm most days of the week. Not to mention the blasting mega mix booming at the highest volume possible. Don’t get me wrong, I love loud music as much as the next but this was pumping at a club-like level.

Earlier this year, Fushimi opened another location in downtown Brooklyn, Williamsburg. Since we live in Carrol Gardens, we were thrilled. I was nervous to try it because we LOVE the food at the Bay Ridge location and we were afraid to be disappointed. I decided to go with Christian alone… For those of you who have a 3 year old, taking them out to dinner in a new place on a Thursday night at 7pm, you can understand my trepidation. Sometimes when you enter a restaurant with a small child you get “the look” from the wait staff. This was NOT the case with Fushimi. They approached Christian before they even greeted me and sat us immediately in a large booth in the front corner. Even though I came prepared with my usual kit of coloring book, crayons, water colors, paper and playdough, they offered Christian paper and pencil anyway.

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I decided to order what Christian knows and ask the wait staff for a recommendation or two. Christian wanted the Shrimp Shumai which was the perfect amount of pieces of shrimp and dumpling taste, light and airy and perfect for him to practice his chopstick technique. I ordered the American Dream roll (Rock shrimp tempura inside, topped with spicy kani, spicy creamy sauce) which was amazing. I ordered one roll for fear that Christian may lose patience and begin to act up. I was grateful for my 45 minutes of sitting already! When the waiter returned to ask if I wanted to try a new roll, I explained that it might be pushing it… He told me I needed to try the Aquarium Sushi. I looked up at all the fresh fish in the prep area and gave in. An enormous tray of 12 pieces of assorted Sushi came out and like clockwork Christian became restless. I was just about to ask for the check and ask for it to be wrapped up, when the waiter came over with the hostess, took Christian by the hand, and walked him over to the sushi prep station… I was in shock. The hostess returned back to my table, winked and told me to enjoy my food. I will forever appreciate their hospitality.

The Aquarium Sushi

The Aquarium Sushi

The Sashimi was unbelievable fresh and the presentation was amazing. I ate as much as I could and walked over to Christian who was now dancing in the entrance to lounge/bathroom area with our waiter. Think Mace and Puff Daddy: Mo Money, Mo Problems music video. I laughed the whole car ride home and even now, I’m cracking up at the memory.

Christian at Fushimi, Williamsburg.

Christian at Fushimi, Williamsburg.

Delicious food, gracious wait staff, hustling atmosphere, reasonable prices and patience for my 3 year old makes Fushimi Williamsburg one of our favorite places to eat. We will be back soon!

I have to mention that there is a Prix Fixe 4 Course Menu – $27.95: Sunday – Thursday! Check it all out at, here.  Become a fan of Fushimi on Facebook!

There is only one…IKKO!

So this past week I had off for the holiday and spent most of my week at the Jersey Shore better known as my home. I ate great meals here and there (some places I may speak about speak eventually) and then before I knew it, it was Friday and I would be heading back up to North Jersey during the weekend. So I made sure I ended my stay at the Shore right and ate at my two favorite places and had food & possibly drink comas that day & night.

Since my plan was to go out with my former roomie and best friend that night (my next post) I decided to sacrifice not having a cocktail with lunch in order to stuff my face with Japanese goodness. It was a lunch date with my mom and since I wouldn’t know the next time I’d be home I thought it was worth it to go and have a hibachi food coma and have her experience my favorite place as well.

Steak hibachi at Ikko Steakhouse & Sushi Bar

IKKO HIBACHI STEAKHOUSE & SUSHI BAR (107 Brick Plaza, Brick, NJ 08723)

Customer Service: 5- I’ve never had bad service at Ikko. They are super attentive and the guys behind the sushi bar are always nice and personable. My boyfriend and I know some of their names because we were such loyal customers when we lived closer. The wait is never too long and they run the business very well.

Atmosphere: 5- The atmosphere is fun, traditional and maintained well. You have plenty of your own space too.

Food Quality: 5- Their sushi rolls are nothing short of amazing, when I go with my boyfriend he usually gets the spicy tuna roll, we split a California roll, and my personal favorite is the Shrimp Asparagus roll. They also give you a complimentary small plate/appetizer so you’re not starving before your sushi is served. I’m always intrigued by their dishes. The hibachi is just as good and it’s a huge portion. I always have leftovers and they taste even better the next day!

Price: $-$$- Two hibachi lunches was less than $25 dollars when I went with my mom. If you love hibachi it’s a huge bang for your buck. The hibachi lunch includes soup, salad, rice & noodles, your hibachi of choice with veggies, and ice cream. My boyfriend and I have never spent more than $30 on our sushi dates which usually include: 1 miso soup, 1 green salad, and 3 rolls with soft drinks. The hibachi dinner is a bit more pricey but it includes everything from the lunch and a shrimp appetizer but it’s totally worth the money. It is BYOB which isn’t a bad thing, especially because you’ll be stuffed– I always have hibachi leftovers!

Final Score: 15/15- As mentioned above– the food is on par and prices are great. Why worry about alcohol when you can have a food coma? Lunch is definitely more of a bang for your buck so if you’re taking a beach break check it out or go there for a post beach dinner.

If you’re down the shore let me know if you agree! :)

Ikko is a hometown favorite of mine and has a huge place in my heart and stomach, there is only one IKKO. Ugh, now I’m craving a Shrimp Asparagus roll!

Happy Eating & stay cool! :)

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