Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Toasting Toast

I live in Montclair, NJ, home of a huge assortment of amazing restaurants. Of course, I choose to dine in the ones that are most veggie-friendly (and how cool that we can walk to most of them). Today my hubby and I decided to treat ourselves to lunch out, and headed to the local vegetarian Indian restaurant, which offers a lunch buffet. On the way we spotted a chalkboard sign outside a relatively new and trendy cafe called Toast.

The sign read, "Check out our new veg menu!" Well, say no more. We headed in and were wowed by the new vegetarian menu (which identifies the vegan choices as well). Now, I'd given Toast a try in its infancy, and enjoyed their veggie burger, but I never thought to return because of their relatively small vegan selection. Well, all that has changed, thanks to the brilliance of owner and founder Amy Russo Harrigan, whom we got to meet and chat with this afternoon. Amy told us that the vegetarian menu is doing well, and that people are especially excited about the tofu scramble.

I adore tofu scramble, and I almost ordered it... couldn't choose among that, the Mediterranean wrap, and the Mexican Salad (pictured here). I ended up with the salad, as well as the vegan "air fried" sweet potato string fries. They look and taste like deep-fried fries, but they're air baked to perfection. The salad was extremely fresh and light, with a hint of lime and cilantro in the dressing. The rich, perfectly ripe avocado paired beautifully with the crispy jicama. The black beans gave it just the right "staying power" while the roasted corn and red peppers finished the salad with a summery, decadent flavor. Yum. DH ordered the vegan caesar salad and shared my fries. He was equally delighted.

I didn't intend for this to read like a restaurant review, but I'm just so thrilled that restaurateurs are really starting to get it and offer vegan fare. Toast also serves up a nice Sunday brunch, so you can be sure we'll be back again and again.

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