Last week my husband and I had to make a quick run to Home Depot for some stuff. On our way out, I said the same thing I've said to him anytime we’ve been at the Home Depot plaza in West Long Branch during the past few months: “Hey! Let’s try that new place Sprig.”

“I’m not eating in a strip mall,” is his usual answer. This time, though, he was hungry enough to be talked into it. Now he’s thanking me. What an amazing dining experience. We can’t wait to go back.

Owners Sam Witten and Kimberly Janette felt the same way about a strip mall eatery initially, till they realized their food would probably speak for itself. And they were right. So there it sits in an unassuming spot at 310 Route 36 in West Long Branch. (Home Depot Plaza)

Judi Franco / Townsquare Media
Judi Franco / Townsquare Media

The couple, straight from the foodie nirvana that is Jersey City, have put together a culinary masterpiece you’ve gotta try.

An OpenTable diners choice award winner, Sprig Market/Cafe is passionate about sourcing and serving the best food, with organic ingredients made from scratch and providing superb service.

This is serious food in an unpretentious setting. Sam and Kimberly want you to feel like you’re in their living room and you will, as they warmly greet their patrons in their stylishly decorated space.

Judi Franco / Townsquare Media
Judi Franco / Townsquare Media

And if their amazing menu, gorgeous presentation, and cool ambiance isn’t enough, wait until you hear about their vegan food. Like a restaurant within a restaurant, Salt + Seed is the brainchild of Joseph Amato, who trouped here from Jersey City to do his vegan magic here.

His vegan crab cake, vegan arancini, and vegan meatballs were as good if not better than their nonvegan counterparts.

It’s some sort of vegan sorcery this Joe practices.

They started small, with a few tables and a small cafe and market and much to our delight, they’ve recently busted through the wall to the space next door to accommodate their growing fan base.

On May 24 they have an early dinner from 4-8 featuring a seafood Wellington with vegan shrimp and lobster and an artichoke stuffed with garlic wine and basil.

Google Maps
Google Maps

Oh and lest we forget, Sam is a classically trained pastry chef who makes heavenly desserts like olive oil cake with an apricot reduction and ricotta gelato. And their vegan dessert menu includes a chocolate espresso cream cake that is like nothing you’ve ever tasted before.

If you’ve been waiting for NYC/Hudson County quality fare to arrive at the Jersey Shore, the wait is over. Sprig is the next big thing.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.

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An amazing NJ restaurant in a historic building

If you've never been to Lambertville, you're really missing out on a true gem of a town in New Jersey.

And if you've never been to Lambertville Station you're missing out on a really great restaurant in a truly historic building.

It's housed in the building that acted as the Lambertville train station dating back to 1867.

The building and the town went through its tough times, but for the last 40 years, Lambertville Station has been serving diners in a casual upscale atmosphere with excellent food.

Last year a prominent restaurant group called Genesis Hospitality took over the historic dining spot and they've continued the excellence that has made this place a must-go-to spot anytime you're in town.

The menu consists of varied contemporary American favorites with plenty of options.

The food and the service are excellent and are a good fit for couples, families, and special occasions.

There is a first-class Inn on the property on the river across the parking lot if you want to stay over.

Incredibly stunning new restaurant in Central Jersey

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