Monday, August 26, 2013

Restaurant Review: Nectar Cafe (Glen Rock, NJ)

Best Cinnabun I've ever had!

Vegan Watermelon Cucumber Gazpacho from Nectar Cafe
I usually bring my own lunch to work.  It is a rare day the cafeteria hasn't added wheat or dairy to at least part of the two lunch options and the GF/DF options around the office can be a bit of a drive.  20 minutes is at the far end of what I'll drive for lunch, but it turns out that the Nectar Cafe (175 Rock Road, Glen Rock, NJ 07452 [behind the CVS in the far back of their parking lot]) is well worth it!  [My GPS took me to their address which is on Rock Road, I parked across the street and walked.  However, they are a good block off of Rock Road at the far end of the parking lot.]

I want to start by pointing out that Nectar Cafe is in the middle of an expansion so I'll have to re-review them once their addition is finished.  They are expanding into the store front next to them so the location will remain the same, only be bigger, with an expanded menu and even some seating.  Not sure if their hours will change but for now they are 8am-6pm weekdays and 7:30am-1pm on the weekends.

Vegan / Gluten Free Crabcakes at Nectar Cafe
Right now, it is a small juice / smoothie bar with some pre-prepared items and made to order wraps.  Sadly, the wraps are all wheat based but they are hoping to add a gluten free wrap once the expansion is complete.  Other than the wraps, the only other wheat I saw was wheat grass for the juices (which if grown and harvested correctly can be gluten free although I didn't confirm).  All of the desserts were both gluten and dairy free including surprisingly enough the one that contained oats (I asked and it turns out they used gluten free oats)!  They listed rice, cashew and almond milk for the smoothies but some also contained yogurt.

The only other dairy item I saw was goat cheese on their pizza but they are looking to offer a vegan pizza as well.  However, what they offer in their display case changes from day-to-day so double check.

Vegan Raw Gluten Free YUMM CinnaBUN! from Nectar Cafe
I ended up having the watermelon and cucumber gazpacho and vegan crabcakes (gluten free as well).  The soup was outstanding and the 'crab' cakes were quite good as well.  The tartar sauce for the crab cakes was the highlight of the dish.

Finally, I was going to have the vegan 'snickers' cup but then I asked about the oats and found out they were gluten free.  So I switched to the YUMM CinnaBUN! and am glad I did.  It was delicious and easily better (both tastier and obviously healthier) than the fat, gluten, and calorie laden mess one can get in the mall!  [The label doesn't specify gf oats so double check when you go.]

I'm already looking forward to going back and trying their other offerings (ok, ok, mostly their other desserts)!

Nectar Cafe on Urbanspoon

If you're looking for other gluten free / vegan restaurants try:

Good Karma Café (Red Bank, NJ)

Papa Ganache (Matawan, NJ)

Loving Hut (Ledgewood, NJ)

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