Good Taste: Ventnor goes for vegan

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The falafel salad with red Recharge juice in background. ( Michael Bryant / Staff Photographer )

The vegan food and juice revolution that's been a rising "fast-casual" wave in Philadelphia is starting to make some ripples at the Shore.

Greens & Grains in Ventnor cooks hearty and flavorful plant-based meals-to-go at its month-old little storefront, from tomatoey coconut-curried lentils over rice to cool soba salad and surprisingly good faux meatballs made from eggplant and tofu.

Juices and salads, though, are G&G's sweet spot. The vivid purple Coco Glow smoothie (bananas, berries, coconut) is a clear fan favorite.

But I was also impressed with the beet-and-ginger balance in the "Recharge" juice. Balance of textures and flavors is also key in the falafel salad. From the marinated kale base (softened overnight with olive oil) to various add-ins (almonds, craisins, olives) and unique falafel (still soft inside from both fresh and dried chick peas), this is a satisfying salad meal.

So it's no surprise this ripple is growing: Greens & Grains will add a second location soon in Northfield (1600 New Rd.), with plans for a Galloway store in November near Stockton University.

- Craig LaBan
Falafel salad, $11, Greens & Grains, 7307 Ventnor Ave., Ventnor, 609-246-7276; greensandgrainsnj.com