Another late entry for the 7th day of Vegan MoFo!
My “Something New” for the day was trying out a brand new vegan restaurant in Verona, NJ called Positivitea! It just opened in June and already has some great reviews on Yelp. I had an event down the street but wanted to grab dinner beforehand. I walked in and was promptly greeted by the owner (whose name I never got! shoot!). We chatted for quite a bit before even talking about food. He was SO friendly! I hated that I had to rush but I found out he just recently moved to New Jersey from Arizona and he’s very knowledgeable when it comes to food and the ingredients he uses in the dishes. He’s also ridiculous, overwhelmingly but super endearingly excited about the food. That means a lot – he even said he doesn’t serve things he wouldn’t eat himself. He’s REALLY excited about the food and you being there and life. Just get used to that when you walk in, right off the bat. It seems like a bit much at first but you really can’t get but just get sucked in to all that positivitea 😉 Anyway, the menu had teas, coffees, juices, waffles, sandwiches, salads. There was a display case of raw vegan dessert and, of course, the beauty: THE SOFT SERVE VEAGN ICE CREAM MAKER HOLY SHIT FUCK OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (More on that later.)
I especially love that he makes everything himself and it’s all organic and (for the most part) local, from nearby CSAs. How awesome is that?! So the menu will change seasonally (PUMPKIN SOFT SERVE YOU GUYS) which I enjoy.
The space is really nicely decorated all by local artists, much of the artwork is for sale, there’s mellow music playing the background and everything is just full of love and peace and it sounds so hippy dippy, I know but you just have to go in! Plenty of seating and lots of light coming in from Bloomfield Ave. Plenty of street parking, bring quarters though.
Since everything on the menu looked great and I had no preference, I asked what I should get. Based on popular opinion, I had The Big Wac – a double decker “burger” with all the fixins (pickles, lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese sauce) and some tortilla chips with a queso – was fantastic! Really tasty patty and very filling. He explained the sauce but I forget exactly what was in it, but that was definitely the special ingredient. How he layered everything and made it while we were talking is beyond me because it was really intricate with lots of layers! Another “new” thing I did while at this new restaurant was I tried my first raw vegan dessert! I’m really new to raw vegan food. I mean, yes, I eat raw vegetables but I have no idea how people make all raw foods taste like other things that are cooked. Anyway, I had the strawberry chocolate pie with raspberry filling? I might have gotten that wrong but it was delicious. He talked really fast when explaining it and, unfortunately, there aren’t really lengthy descriptions on the site so I couldn’t get it all but let me break it down: it was an amazing light, fluffy, fresh, sweet concotion. I was really impressed.
Last but not least… the vegan soft serve. I’ve never had vegan soft serve before. In fact, I haven’t had soft serve in years and it used to be one of my favorite things (plain vanilla with rainbow sprinkles, Mr. Softee, please) so I was ecstatic. Apprently, when making first trying to get the recipe down correctly, he broke the machine several times but can I just tell you that it was worth every call to the technician.
So the soft serve vanilla ice cream is plain and then he adds mix in to make groovy flavors like PB+Jay, Lemon Ginger Snap, or anything you want to mix in. First, he let me try the plain vanilla. I’m going to admit that I literally teared up. IT was that good. Per his suggestion, I had the PB+Jay and I just about died on the spot. Except that, you see, I didnt because then I Went in again the next day with my parents to get MORE. LOL. Yep, that happened. So, today, I went back to get MORE soft serve because it was so amazing.
Now let me tell you just how good it is. My mom doesn’t even really like ice cream and both of my parents think veganism is weird and the food is weird. I’m trying to win them over slowly with one baked good at a time but this was a big step. They both got the Rocky Road (YES VEGAN MARSHMALLOWS YOU GUYS) and it was (of course) DELICIOUS. My parents LOVED it!!! My mom even told the owner how much and he went on to tell her she reminds him of his mom and she’s so beautiful yada yada lol. IT was really funny and lovey dovey in there for awhile. Our three (huge) ice creams that were just “Regular” sized came to $12. I got the Lemon Ginger Snap today and WOW! What a unique combinations. It was very summery and fresh, a real zinger. The zest of the lemon, ginger sauce and crunch of the cookie = perfection. (Totally stealing that flavor combo idea for my own cooking). I’d definitely go back and get that one, probably befor eRocky Road and PB+J but I mean, there are like 7 other flavors I still need to try so who knows. I could be trying ice cream forever at this rate 😉
Okay so for The Big Wac, dessert and soft serve it came to about $22 – not the cheapest, but really, not a complaint at all. Besides, the soft serve was overboard so really entree and dessert with tip would have been about $20 – which is completely reasonable. That’s just a heads up. Again, though, for organic vegan food in suburbia? Can’t be beat.
What I loved on my first visit was that a family came in and it seemed like they were already regulars and loved the place. It was just really fun to witness the kids and everyone talking like they’d been friends for so long. Then a group of teenage girls popped in to get some coffee but didn’t’ realize everyone was vegan. They were nervous but tried it and seemed really pleased! HE said most people that go in are actually meat-eaters so that’s pretty cool, too.
I’m really looking forward to going back. Maybe I’ll actually try one of their teas? Ha! I really want a tea and waffle next. And I do look forward to talking to the owner some more! And attending one of their events – they’re hosting tastings and live music, open mic, etc. He’s super open to any ideas or suggestions. I hope to maybe have a poetry reading, it’s a great, big open space and very easy to get to/find.
He definitely told me (and my mom) that he loves and we’re beautiful Lol. My mom thought it was a little odd but I know she was loving every second of it. Like someone mentioned, you pay on an iPad which is always neat and supposedly there’s free Wifi so hellooooo, so good!!
Essentially, this place is like 1/3 of my dream. People often ask me what I want to do with my life and I (only half jokingly say): I want to own a vegan cafe that hosts open mics and poetry readings with a yoga studio in the back and a small office for me to do my nutrition/fitness counseling and then I want 19387324853875 adoptable animals running around everywhere. I’d sell my books and my friends could sell their whatevers and I’d make 14 different kinds of pancakes and we’d all chant 108 OMs every fucking day and, yeah. Really, that’s what I want to do. So, this place has the vegan artsy cafe bit down already 🙂 Gives me hope! I only wish them all the best and if you’re ever in the area, you HAVE TO GO. You’ll walk out feeling like sunshine and butterflies and happy, happy, happy!