With the end of winter, I’m getting out more, and April even included an excursion to Frenchtown and Milford with two food-writing friends, Pat Tanner (NJ Monthly, Edible Jersey, Princeton Echo & more) and Susan Yeske (Times of Trenton, Edible Jersey, Bucks County Herald & more). Susan wanted to introduce us to Frenchtown’s Pulp Vegetarian Café and Juice Bar (what a name!), which opened right after the new year. Being a devoted carnivore, I wondered if there would be anything there I’d really want to eat. Or drink? But I noticed a grilled avocado sandwich on the menu, and with avocado toast being so trendy right now, I knew I’d try that. It came with caramelized onions on millet flax bread (which was gluten free), and I wondered if anyone would faint if I asked for cheese on it. (I did see cheese on other items.)
No problem, that is apparently the way that many people order it, so with the addition of cheddar I had a delicious sandwich. Susan had a hefty-looking black bean burger (I had a bite, nicely crusty on the outside), and Pat had the tofu scramble. We each had a little heap of the house kale salad on our plates too, with red onion, and that was also quite good.
We each had a juice too (they have juices and smoothies), I opted for The Eye Opener (carrots, apples, ginger, lemon), Susan the Hydrate (romaine, spinach, cuke, apple, pineapple, lime, mint), and Pat the Lean Green (spinach, kale, celery, cucumber, lemon, apple). They were good, and while I’m not tempted by puréed leafy green vegetables myself (I can’t jump on every bandwagon you know), I’ve always loved carrot juice, so enjoyed my zippy Eye Opener.
So, while Pulp aims clearly at the vegetarian and even vegan market, carnivores will be sated, too. (I do probably end up eating a vegetarian dinner at least a couple nights a week, without thinking about it. Vegetable ravioli and sauce with salad, and there’s dinner, for instance.)
Full disclosure: Susan introduced us to the owners, Stephanie Smith and Janet Forrester, who met waitressing in NYC 25 years ago, so when the check came, they’d comped our juices, and also gave us a nice dessert plate of gluten-free treats: sweet potato-choco chip cookies and a large blueberry scone. The cookie was especially good, with surprisingly tasty chocolate. I do hope this friendly spot sticks around a good long time, it was very pleasant, and I quite enjoyed myself there. (Somehow I even made it in and out of one of Frenchtown’s fabulous artsy shops, too, financially unscathed. Last time I was there, I quickly dropped a bundle on a hand crocheted scarf I still love!)
As if that wasn’t enough, Susan then guided us up to Milford, where we barged in on Maria’s Homemade Perogies. The owner, Daria Kolodij (she named the place after her mother), wasn’t really open when we showed up after the lunch service, but she whipped us up a plate of assorted perogies with fabulous butter-fried onions, to be sure we got to try her food. Susan had met her previously, and introduced Pat and me, so of course, we had to be fed. Yikes. But we pros were not deterred; we demolished almost every bite. Fillings range from the typical to more unusual – like guacamole!
Daria has a lot of crafts and vintage items for sale in the little house there, too. so you can shop while you wait for your order (dine-in or takeout) to be ready. Perogies are ordered individually, $1 to $3 each, with a $6 minimum order. I actually had a cooler in the car thinking there might be frozen perogies to take home, but this is not that kind of place. She cooks, you eat, so it’s fresh, fresh, fresh. She also makes soup and a couple other items, like a kielbasa sandwich, beet salad, and Greek chicken.
Springtime on the Delaware, great food and friendly people – what could be nicer?
(Click on any photo to start a slideshow if you like.)