Last weekend I followed up on a friendly invite from an awesome couple, Ellen and Bobby, who I met at the Cupcakefest and went to the Ramsey, NJ Farmers' Market
. I wish I would have taken more photos of both the town of Ramsey and the Market so I'll do my best to paint a picture.
The Town of Ramsey is quaint with a really nice energy flow through the main street. When driving there it seemed kind of quiet (not that I am complaining about lack of traffic), little did I know Bergen county follows Blue Law so most businesses are closed on Sundays.
The Farmers' Market is a nice size, conveniently located in a parking lot next to the train station. There is a good variety of vendors and market goers are offered a covered seating space in the center of the market which came in handy on what was a bright sunny day.
My favorite vendors were Grammy's Garden
and Dr. Pickle
. Grammy's Garden had a beautiful array of fresh cut flowers and herbs (5 of their herb plants are now growing in my potted patio garden) and Dr. Pickle's 'new' pickles are delicious, I think two are left in my fridge.
It was obvious that the Market committee has worked to bring together a market their community can be proud of. There is even a knife sharpener vendor. Now that's attention to detail!
Despite being filled up on pickles, I was seeking some vegan food for lunch. Ellen recommended Pizza Fusion in Ridgewood because they serve vegan pizza with Daiya cheese. Enough said, off I went.
On my way into Ridgewood I came across Graydon Pool
, which at first glance looks like a beach. On second and third glance it looks like a lot of fun for kids and adults alike.
I arrived at Pizza Fusion with quite the appetite and was happy to see that they offered Boylan's soda not only in bottle but also as a fountain drink. Root beer it was, but darn it I didn't know they had grape in the bottle! Pizza Fusion appears to be a business that wants to promote itself as a progressive. On their menu the tag line reads, 'Saving the Earth One Pizza at a Time!". For the general public it would appear that way but to a vegan, serving meat and dairy is not exactly an action that protects the environment considering the true cost of animal agriculture to Earth and her inhabitants. With that aside, let's move on to the vegan pizza.
I ordered the 'Very Vegan' personal pizza minus mushrooms plus black olives and zucchini. Pizza crusts available are organic white, multigrain and gluten-free. On first glance the pizza looked good enough to eat however after a few bites it wasn't. The tomato sauce ruined the pizza. With a better sauce the pizza would have probably been delicious, thin crispy crust and all. The sauce tasted generic, like it was dumped out straight from a supermarket can which seemed opposite of the '"super-secret" Romano family recipe' that was promoted on the menu. I tried two slices thinking my taste buds could have been wrong the first few bites but two slices was all I could eat, even after trying to spiff up the pizza with provided spices like garlic and pepper. Arriving back at the counter to bring what was left of pizza and root beer the counter person (who was very lovely) asked me what I thought of the pizza. After telling her honestly what I thought, she informed me that the pizzeria had received the wrong pizza sauce and that they were stuck with it for a month. W-H-A-T?? If this is true then shame on you Pizza Fusion. Asking your customers to endure bland, runny pizza sauce is not acceptable. If after reading this you are considering trying their pizza in Ridgewood, you might want to call ahead and ask if they are using their usual pizza sauce. Jury is out if I will return to give their pizza another try. Yes the pizza sauce was that awful and even more disappointing was a business expecting customers to endure it rather than correcting the mistake.
Lucky for me and my appetite, what was left of it, there was a Whole Foods directly across the street...like an oasis in a desert. Not only did I find vegan food-stuffs good enough to eat but I also found my new most favorite item...
Lifefactory Glass Bottles!!
I am a huge fan of glass and try and use it everywhere I can from cooking to storing herbs, actually ALL Chrissannthemum herbs are stored in glass mason jars and most all handmade items are packaged in glass. Plastic water bottles never sat well with me and now I have this great option that finally offers a protective, non-toxic silicon cover for the bottle. As an added bonus, the company allows customers to buy replacement parts for the bottle which puts the bottle and company on my A-list.
With Rosemary bread and glass bottle in hand I took a scenic drive through Ridgewood, another quaint town with a lovely 'Main Street' and then headed back to the City.
It was probably a good thing the IKEA on the way home was closed, Blue Law to the wallet rescue...I think.