NOTE: Julia’s has closed.
Rachel has recently started contributing articles directly to Off The Broiler. As I was on a business trip to California all last week, Rachel started to do some scouting of lunch spots on her own. Here’s a friendly cafe in East Rutherford that specializes in Vegetarian and Vegan options — Jason
Julia’s Gourmet Market and Café
216 Park Avenue
East Rutherford, NJ 07073
Julia Enerson with a Veggie Delight Sandwich
OTB’s good friend, Christine Nunn of Picnic Caterers, recently recommended we check out Julia’s. She knows we’ve been trying to eat healthier and her neighbor’s place offers several vegan and vegetarian options in addition to traditional deli options. Julia Enerson has been operating the place for three years with her husband, Bill Spada. Their café features weekly specialty sandwiches, salads, and home style dinners to take out, although there is seating for about 15 in the store. During recent visits, two soups, salads and a sandwich were sampled, pulling from the healthier aspects of her menu. The Turkey Vegetable Soup has large chunks of carrot and zucchini, and can be ordered with or without noodles (16 oz, $3.95). The vegan Mushroom Barley was thick with pearled barley and full of fresh mushrooms. The same size portion is served in house, an enormous bowl, so you could easily make a meal out of Julia’s soups. Both soups were rather lightly salted, allowing the guest to season to their taste.
Julia’s vegan Mushroom Barley Soup
All of her deli sandwiches can be ordered over greens for those of us watching our carbs. So the Veggie Suspect Sandwich was ordered as a salad instead. Julia’s “signature balsamic” dressing is drizzled over greens, marinated artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted peppers, avocado, fresh mozzarella, and tomato slices, and served with an 8-grain roll. She also features a daily “grain salad.” And that day’s was Cous Cous with chick peas, broccoli and grape tomatoes with lemon-oregano vinaigrette alongside. (Of course, it must be acknowledged that cous cous is not a grain, but a pasta.)
Veggie Delight Salad
Passing on the full complement of meats and cheeses available, the Veggie Delight sandwich was also vegetarian, this time featuring grilled vegetables, including eggplant, portabella, zucchini, red onion and sliced hearts of palm. Fresh mozzarella cheese is optional. This was also served on the 8-Grain roll, but don’t worry, Julia has a large assortment of breads and wraps from which to choose. I wanted to try her Turkey Chili, since that’s something we make at home and I like to compare mine to others. Unfortunately, she had run out of that day’s supply. Perhaps if one of you in OTB land visit, you can let us know how it is.
— Rachel Perlow