A Vegan-Friendly Restaurant | Veggie Heaven Teaneck
It was a sunny, summer Saturday evening.
A 30-minute drive brought me to the main strip of Teaneck, NJ.
I parked in a large open lot and walked across Garrison Ave. Veggie Heaven sat on the corner lot on the right-hand side of the street, facing Cedar Lane. It was a large building with green awnings and signs.
Veggie Heaven Teaneck
There isn't much history available about Veggie Heaven Teaneck.
As you may know, there is a Veggie Heaven in Montclair, and according to my research, one in Denville and Austin. I believe the first Veggie Heaven originated in New York City by a mother-daughter team but has since closed.
I first tried Veggie Heaven last summer in Montclair. I wasn't a fan of their food, so a friend recommended that I try the one in Teaneck.
This review will be my third visit to Veggie Heaven Teaneck, and their food has not disappointed!
Veggie Heaven's Interior
The Teaneck location is a large building with three dining areas. When you first enter the restaurant, there are booths lining the walls nearby the windows.
There are more detached tables in the back of the restaurant. Another room near the sushi area provides more seating.
We sat in a booth in the main area. To my left, plants and varying color Buddha statues sat on the bright windowsill. A dessert fridge in the foyer was within my view. To my right, a glass-bubble chandelier dressed up the room. White fans circulated the non-AC air.
Veggie Heaven | Their Unique Menu
Veggie Heaven's menu is what makes it a special restaurant to write about. Their food is vegan, vegetarian, kosher, and non-GMO. They also try and use organic produce as much as possible.
Veggie Heaven's menu is giant. They organize their dishes not only by category but by main ingredients. There are sections for tofu, steamed entrees, noodles, soups, classic Asian dishes, sushi and more.
If you know me or have gathered my dining style from these blog posts, I like to read the entire menu before I order.
I know, I know. It drives the waitstaff crazy.
So trying to read through an entirely vegan menu is no easy task.
Not only was I trying to identify dishes that (I hoped) I would enjoy, but I was trying to see what ingredients Veggie Heaven used to make classic dishes like Seafood Taro, Mongolian Beef, and Ginger Chicken.
How was it even possible to use entirely vegan-kosher-non-GMO ingredients to make protein dishes that actually taste like the protein?
(But we'll get to that).
A small bowl of pickled cabbage is placed on the table when you're seated. At Veggie Heaven Teaneck, you also get a metal pot of black tea.
The cabbage is vinegary and comes in thick slices. It's enough for two people to share while you look over the colossal menu.
Yam Fries | $3.95
Jamie recommended this one. As an Italian-Polish American, potatoes are a favorite, so I was happy to start with them as an appetizer.
These yam fries were a filling portion. They were cut like steak fries, denser, sweet (since they're like sweet potatoes), with the classic orange duck sauce for dipping. It was enough for two to share (and we took some home).
Spicy Hunan Dumplings (10) | $5.25
I dream about these dumplings. They are to die for.
The "dough"/wrapper is thin and tender, dissolving when you eat it. I think they were briefly browned in a pan before being placed in the sauce.
The sauce has the element of spice. It is a slow-burn in the back of your throat, but not unbearable.
Veggie Heaven's Hunan dumpling sauce is more like a broth to me. According to Google, most Hunan dumpling sauces have peanut butter, honey, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, fish sauce, ginger, etc. I'm not sure what Veggie Heaven puts in theirs, but it has amazing depth of flavor.
I could eat the bowl of dumplings myself. They're not heavy or filling the way Chinese vegetable dumplings/gzoya are. Since they're light, you may want to order 2 orders for the table.
Wonton Soup | $7.50
I believe I ordered the "big bowl" of Wonton soup to pair alongside my entree.
Wonton soup is one of my favorites, so I was surprised that this one had sliced mushrooms and greens. The broth was great, not overly salty.
I'm not sure what kind of vege meat was in the wontons, but the texture matched normal wonton soup dumplings.
Vegetable Lo Mein | $7.50
Tender noodles, light soy sauce, crunchy vegetables like carrots, mushrooms, beans, cabbage and broccoli. This was a familiar lo mein since it used traditional ingredients.
This lo mein portion was more than enough for one person as an entree.
This is where the adventure begins.
Imagine, these are standard and specialty sushi rolls. They're made with vege meat that tastes like and has the texture of meat.
It was a crazy experience.
Dragon Roll | $7.95
As you've read in my previous sushi posts, I've ordered Dragon Rolls before.
These were standard size. The hard part about the "crab" and "eel" being vege meat is that it's hard to distinguish one from the other. The teriyaki flavor and fresh avocado were great.
Overall, it was a fresh, handmade roll.
Chicken Teriyaki Roll | $4.25
I was more impressed with the flavors and textures in this roll. It's strange to think of "chicken" as the protein in a sushi roll. However, I liked its texture as it was probably tofu.
When eating sushi rolls, not only do you enjoy the pure flavor of the proteins and the intricacy of the sauces but the textures overall. The crisp cucumber in this roll, topped with the teriyaki sauce, and the cold rice made for a multi-textured experience.
Coconut Shrimp Roll | $7.50
The Coconut Shrimp roll was crispy shrimp with avocado and organic coconut on top with mayo and teriyaki sauce.
Since I love specialty sushi rolls, this already caught my eye as the waiter crossed the room. This was a larger roll and included around 8+ pieces.
This has been my favorite sushi at Veggie Heaven so far.
First, the "shrimp" was fried in a batter that reminded me of tempura. It was nice to have a crunchy texture for the protein.
The avocado was fresh and the coconut was amazing. The teriyaki sauce was more of a sweet sauce and it was on the bottom of the plate, to anchor the roll.
On top was the "mayo" but it wasn't as oily as traditional mayo, more like a whipped topping. You can see how much is on top of the roll, but it was sweeter and lighter than the mayo you're probably thinking of, so the amount worked well.
I also like the addition of the fresh ginger in between each roll to cut the sweetness and clean your palate.
Of course, I had to try some of these vegan desserts.
As a hard-core fan of butter, I was skeptical about dessert, especially the cakes. (I've yet to find a vegan cake anywhere, that I love.)
Almond Bark Ice Cream
I recommend ice cream for dessert! The Almond Bark didn't taste any different from dairy-ice cream. It wasn't too sweet and had hints of almond and pieces of dark chocolate.
Black Forest Cake
The Black Forest cake had pleasing components to it.
The cake was slightly dense (more like a pound cake). The icing was great, and this was a good size piece to share with two people.
I took a bite of almond bark ice cream as I ate it to add some more sweetness. With a hot cup of tea, it was a great way to finish the meal.
I also tried the carrot cake (which I didn't get a picture of). It also had a denser cake. The icing was delicious and overall the cake had a cinnamon flavor.
One for the books...
As a home-cook and foodie, I love butter and protein, so Veggie Heaven Teaneck was an out-of-my-element dining experience.
It was a great adventure to see how ingredients transform into new flavors and textures. I have a lot of respect for the chef and team at Veggie Heaven Teaneck.
My favorite parts of the meal were the amazing appetizers and my special Coconut Shrimp sushi roll. Classic Asian entrees are some of my favorite dishes, so I look forward to trying more traditional dishes the next time I'm at Veggie Heaven Teaneck.
If you and your friends are looking for a restaurant for all dietary restrictions, take a ride to Veggie Heaven Teaneck and enjoy the culinary adventure.