Vegan Variety Where You Least Expect It


Vegan dining at the Jersey Shore? Sounds like a contradiction. When I think of going out to eat Down the Shore, I think of the boardwalk and all of the options- fried dough and Oreos, pizza, soft serve ice cream, and sugar infused lemonade.

Every year, the kids were always happy with the options the boardwalk. No need to plan, there was always something someone liked. This year it became a bit more complicated , my older daughter became a vegan.

Usually when we are at the beach, I worry if it is going to rain while we are there. However, instantly my focus went from weather to food.

Would I have to plan and cook every meal? Where would we eat? Do they have vegan options at our favorite places?  What is Claire going to eat for the week?

Before we left, Claire consulted with the website HappyCow. You search the city, zip code , or region and the options pop up.  It was a good starting point but not  a comprehensive list.

We were fortunate that we rented a house Asbury Park N.J.  Whenever I describe it to friends I call it Brooklyn on the Beach. Cool shops, music, and most importantly a wide variety of dining options.

According to Forbes Magazine, sales of plant-based alternatives to animal-based foods including meat, cheese, milk and eggs grew 17% over the past year, while overall U.S. food sales rose only 2%, according to data from Nielsen and the Good Food Institute. The market for such foods totaled more than $3.7 billion.

Thank goodness the restaurants in Asbury Park took notice of the data and added vegan options to their menus. Here are some of our favorites:

Porta-In addition to pasta and sides of vegetables, there were four vegan pizza options. We enjoyed the RITA & MARK  made San Marzano tomatoes, vegan mozzarella, vegan parmigiana, garlic, dried oregano, basil, and extra virgin olive oil. At first I was skeptical, vegan mozzarella?

However, it was delicious, and reached for a second slice. I found out the chef used Dayia cheese, and will remember to get it when we go home.

Pop’s Garage– Located on the Asbury Park Boardwalk. Claire had Pop’s Potato Burrito. Roasted and diced potatoes with black beans, ruby rice, tomatoes wrapped in a flour tortilla topped with guacaverde, and fresh pico.

There was also a vegetarian taco on the menu. The taco was a mix of sauteed kale, white beans, zucchini and squash.

Twisted Tree Cafe-A vegan, and vegetarian  restaurant with gluten free options. The ingredients were fresh and all the items on the menu sounded delicious.
My younger daughter enjoyed a Warm French Toast Muffin which was dairy free, and vegan. It was made with vegan oat-bread, maple syrup, pumpkin puree, coconut and almond milk.
Claire and I had the Veggie-Full Burrito which was vegan, gluten free, and dairy free. It had fresh tomato, spinach, avocado, sautéed onions, peppers, mushrooms and red spread (sun dried tomato pesto) with tofu scramble.
Not a vegan? Not a problem, my nephew had organic eggs, over easy, with a side of oat bread toasted with butter.
Looking for options to make a homemade vegan meal?  Wegmans in nearby Ocean, NJ is enormous with many vegan ingredients to make your favorite vegan dish. My brother in law made a hearty portobello salad with Jersey fresh produce.

Since everyone was well fed, and happy with the variety, I was free to go back to worrying about the weather.


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