A week visiting NJ – Highlights Only!
Last week, the blonde and I sent to visit my parents in New Jersey. Now, before all the jokes start, I grew up there, so be nice. Also, the jokes are really only accurate around Elizabeth and Newark. And Cherry Hill. And Passaic. You get the idea. . .
We headed up on Tuesday, and came back on Sunday, but in the middle, we did something that I’ve wanted to do for years. We visited Citi Field, home of the New York Mets. I’m a hue baseball fan, and I love my Mets. Yes, they’re terrible, and yes, I got to see them shut out by the hated Braves, but I was at the game, which counts for a whole heck of a lot. However, one of the things that made the trip really something that even the blonde looked forward to is that Citi Field is the 6th most veg-friendly ball park in the country, according to PETA. When you consider that last year they didn’t even make the list, I’m pretty proud.
But I digress. We had to drive out to get the tickets from our accountant, who lives on Long Island. That was about a 2 hour drive, and by the time we let his office, we were both starving. Knowing that the blonde would not want to eat a full-on meal at the ball park, I had found a place nearby, courtesy of happycow.net, called The Witches Brew, in West Hempstead. When we arrived, the rain was coming down in sheets to think, you couldn’t really see the restaurant from the road. We assumed, and got in before we got too wet.
The Witches Brew is a converted house, and it appears that the owners live on the second floor. I assume because one employee (?) kept bringing her toddler daughter up and down the stairs in the middle of the dining room. I say “dining room, but it was more like a place that hippies sit around, drink coffee, and smoke hookahs.
Not that there’s anything wrong with hippies, this place just had that kind of feel. Even the menu felt that way. They did, however, have a really good spread of vegan optins, and they were nice enough to put a star next to anything on the menu that they could make vegan, so we had quite a few options.
We opened with the nachos. While the blonde didn’t like that the nachos had olives on them, that was the only complaint. We gobbled down the rich, cheesy-and-beany goodness with relish. Not like, hotdog relish, but with relish like we relished eating. I’m almost 100% sure that they used Teese vegan cheese, both cheddar and mozzarella versions.
We also got sandwiches for lunch. We both figured that a big lunch was preferable to spending a million dollars on ballpark food, so nachos, a sandwich, and a small salad seemed like the way to go. I got their “Classic Italian,” which was arugula, tomato, and vegan mozzarella, all on homemade ciabatta.
In general, I’m not a huge fan of vegan cheese, but the Teese mozzarella is really pretty good. The texture is very close to cow’s mozzarella, and that cheese is the single most difficult thing for me to give up. This Teese was a very good approximation in this sandwich.
The blonde got a sandwich called “the Israelite.” Hers was a hummus base, with avocado, tomato, onion, and arugula. She loved it, I liked it. The flavors were good, but it could have used a crisper lettuce to off set the softness of the hummus and avocado.
Lots of concerns, right? Don’t worry, dessert made up for it. We got a brownie, with peanut butter drizzle. Well, they called it drizzle.
I love peanut butter. This was just heated peanut butter poured over a concave brownie. Needless to say, this will be coming to my home soon. As soon as I can get the blonde to make us big brownies.
Now, I’ll say it again, I love baseball. I could wax poetic about the sport, and why it’s amazing, and everything that is good and right and true in the world, or, I can talk about the food.
The options were good, but still somewhat limiting, without already knowing where to go to get the food.
The veggie dog is a dog from Yves, and it was good, not great. I made my Chicago-Style, mostly because I didn’t want to knock the blonde out with the sauerkraut breath that I would have had. The blonde also got a veggie dog, because the veggie burger, also by Yves, is not vegan.
While embarassingly overpriced, the edamame was still pretty good. And, to be honest, to call it overpriced is assuming that we weren’t paying for it at a sporting event, so, it was probably fair.
I’ll say it again, I feel the way about baseball that most people feel about air. Summer is my favorite sports time, and so to finally go to visit the Mets made me thrilled. Almost happy enough to overlook the 4-0 spanking that they took at the hands of the Braves. But tell me, what is your favorite sport, and can you get decent vegan food at your ball park / stadium? (Not sure? Look here.)