Veggie Heaven has three New Jersey locations but my favorite is the one on Valley Road in Montclair because it’s closest to home, and because I love being greeted by the always friendly Cliff, who can usually found close to the hostess station. Many years ago, Cliff was a waiter at the Parsippany restaurant (which has since moved to Denville). I worked nearby and frequently ate lunch there, and I recently realized that I’ve known Cliff longer than I’ve known my VeggieGuy!
Veggie Heaven serves standard Chinese fare, such as sesame chicken, beef with broccoli and roast pork, only the “meat” is made with soy, wheat and tapioca. The chefs at Veggie Heaven get creative with their meals, cooking up dishes you won’t find on any other Chinese restaurant’s menu. One of my favorite dishes is Okra Chicken, which consists of lightly battered soy “chicken” and okra slices which are cooked with spicy peppers and garlic. I’m also partial to the D & D Special – green beans, garlic and thin soy chicken slices lightly stir-fried. It’s a dish that VeggieGuy and I had once at the Teaneck location but wasn’t on the Montclair restaurant’s menu. Cliff said they would make it for us so we ordered it often. It ended up on the specials board and was named after us.
On a recent trip to Veggie Heaven we decided to splurge and order a few appetizers. They make hands down the best spring rolls you’ll find in any Chinese restaurant, so we split an order of them. We often order the roast veggie pork, but we decided to switch things up and get a plate of veggie spare ribs instead. Tender and chewy – we didn’t regret our choice. We also had delicious steamed spinach dumplings, which are served with a light peanut sauce. Dennis ordered a yummy dish off of the specials menu called Creaky Chicken, which consists of battered and fried soy chicken and shitake mushrooms. I had Glorious Sensation – a sizzling platter with veggie chicken and mixed vegetables in a brown sauce. With a name like “Glorious Sensation”, how could I resist? There are so many dishes on menu that you can eat at Veggie Heaven frequently and have something different each time, and I’m happy to report that I’ve never had a bad meal there.
The food at Veggie Heaven is so good that it’s a favorite with both vegans and omnivores alike, making it the perfect place for people with different dietary preferences to enjoy a meal together. When my in-laws visit from the depths of Oklahoma’s cattle country, they usually ask to be taken to Veggie Heaven straight from the airport! The “meat” at Veggie Heaven is low fat and contains no cholesterol, so if you’re resolving to eat healthier in the 2013, Veggie Heaven is good place to start.
Veggie Heaven is located at 631 Valley Road in Upper Montclair.