If you follow me on IG, you know that I'm a HUGE foodie! Not only do I love eating, but I love trying new food, going to vegan food festivals, and experimenting in the kitchen! The past year has had a lot of experimenting with a bunch of vegan and gluten-free items, and a good majority of it has been through and thanks to the NJ VegFest!
NJ VegFest has pop-ups through the year in either Morristown, NJ or Asbury Park, NJ. I ended up making it to one of each and the big VegFest just last weekend. I wanted to write a review for each event that I went to, but then just figured I'd give an overall review of the events. There is a good majority of pros and cons, but I have been told and have witnessed, that they take all complaints and criticism, and work on progress.
With that said, I'm going to tell you a little bit about the pop-ups and my overall experience with the events.
Let's start with the pop-ups. I went to one of each and preferred the Morristown over the Asbury Park one surprisingly. What really did it for me was the vendors at each one. While I loved trying out amazing brands and food at the Asbury Park event, Morristown won with Yeah Dawg, Fogwood & Fig, and Mo'Pweeze Bakery. The wait time for my burger from Fogwood & Fig was ridiculous, BUT it was absolutely worth it. And I'm sure people would say the same thing for Vegan Treats at the Asbury pop-up, but the line was too long, I ended up not wasting my time.
So here are my cons for the 2 pop-ups I attended. For Asbury, the line for Vegan Treats was ridiculous and Champs Diner was completely sold out before 12. The 2 main reasons for going to the event, were the 2 things I ended up not being able to obtain. As for Morristown, my only complaint is how small and overcrowded the event can get, but that only means that the vegan message is growing!
Now let's talk about the VegFest that happened last weekend at the Meadowlands Expo Center in Secaucus, NJ. I was provided tickets for the weekend to go and talk/mention the event. I was more than honored because of going to previous events without speaking to the coordinator. I didn't have a plan and wanted to really experience the whole festival for what it was. On Saturday, my bf and I went and toured the entire expo, memorizing what we wanted to get. Now, many of you know that Chris is a meat eater, and I'm so happy to say that he LOVED the BBQ Pulled Pork sandwich from Self Love! We loved it so much, we went out and purchased a can of jackfruit!
I ended up choosing to get a tuna salad sandwich to try on Saturday, as I had wanted to get the Marty's Crabby Patty (I got it on Sunday), which I had last year at the NY Veggie Fest. The tuna sandwich from Luvh tasted exactly like what I remembered tuna tasting like. Even Chris mentioned it tasted extremely similar to tuna itself. I hadn't had tuna is YEARS, so this was a pleasant meal to have.
My last food stop was at Freakin Vegans, which Chris had tried from them before, so it was my turn. I knew I had to get this since I had seen it on their IG. The cauliflower was super soft and so flavorful. The sauce was so delicious and I loved the option of adding jalapeno to yours, if you wished. I would attempt to make this at home, despite Chris not liking cauliflower, that's more for me!
Chris and I decided to leave after eating all the good food we could, but we decided to bring home some goodies to nom on! Outside of the expo center was Omni Nom, which we ended up getting 3 sliders from to go. The 3 options were delicious, but Chris and I both agreed the falafel one was absolutely the BEST! I would but all of these again and again and again!
I also stopped by the Good Karma booth and tried some samples of their new vegan yogurt! I LOVE their milk, so I was super happy that I got to try out some of their new stuff.
I also stopped by and got cupcakes and apple cider donuts from mine and Chris's favorite gf and vegan bakery, Mo'Pweeze Bakery! If there is anything I recommend time and time again, it's this place! Not only does it have the best damn cupcakes I've ever had, it's free from so many allergens, and it's sold at a bunch of local Wholefoods!
I didn't get anything from this awesome food truck, but I did debate the Pad Thai. Everything they make is raw, vegan and gluten-free! I'll definitely be trying them out next time, there was just too many options to choose from.
Lastly, you all know I LOVE Health Ade Kombucha and I was so pleasantly surprised to see them at the event. I already love so many of their flavors, but they had their Holiday one available, so of course, I had to try it out! It's definitely my favorite flavor so far, and even Chris, who hates kombucha, took a couple of sips (not like him).
Sunday for me was all about branding and marketing for the site. I wanted to reach out and connect with brands that interest me or that I believed would be a good fit for me and my readers. I was happy to finally get to meet the ladies behind The Fanciful Fox, and met a new brand to get into, Flourish. Flourish is made in NJ, and also has handmade soy candles, which I was obsessed with 2 of them and couldn't decide between, so only time will tell. The Fanciful Fox was a dream brand! I had been a follower for a while, and it was awesome to finally see the products in person. I loved so so much, and learned that they actually have a store front in Brooklyn, so go support them!
To end off my food adventure this weekend, I got a Philly Beet Steak, which was seriously one of the best things I had all weekend (besides the Crabby Patty from Marty's). I was pleasantly surprised and did not expect to love this as much as I did. Sometimes it really is the simple things that end up being the most pleasant. Plus, I'm a sucker for anything with beets, they're definitely a favorite veggie.
If you've read all the way to the end, and your curious about other things other then food and brands that were there, there were also panels, discussions and live music. Alcohol was also available and tons of caffeinated drinks. It was honestly a great festival and my only complaint was that there weren't more food vendors, but then I remembered how much money I spent and realized if there were more food vendors, I'd be broke and still overstuffed from eating all of it!
I'm curious to see what vendors pop up in the next pop up's that occur and hope to see an even bigger growth of vendors at next years VegFest. I know the Brooklyn one is hard to beat, but I believe if more people in NJ know about the event, they will come!