This weekend I escaped the hustle and bustle of New York City to visit the Quick Chek Hot Air Balloon Festival in New Jersey.
We started out our day with an amazing vegan brunch at Veganized , a new vegan restaurant in New Brunswick, NJ close to the Rutgers main campus. I settled into the eclectic atmosphere, vibrant color scheme and interesting plates hung from the walls. We were the first ones there for brunch but we felt welcomed by the high energy, friendly servers who were also vegan enthusiasts. The classic rock songs playing that helped us momentarily forget our hunger and set a cool mood. Their bottomless cold pressed coffee definitely gave me the energy I needed to help kickstart my morning.
I ordered the Unscrambled, made with shitake corn tofu scramble, bell pepper sauce, sweet potato wedges, cashew sour cream, sautéed kale, and toast. The food was beautiful presented and bursting with vibrant colors (Instagram friendly — which tested our self control as we paused to take lots of pictures).
My sister got the flaky biscuit, paired with smoked mushroom sausage, avocado tomato, aioli, and a simple salad. I gave it a try as soon as food envy set in and it was the best vegan biscuit I’ve ever tried!
Next, we headed to the balloon festival. We got there around noon but we somehow missed the memo that the balloon launch is a sunrise and sunset activity. (Queue the ultra bronze tans that took place as a result.) Five hours later, we had the balloon experience of a lifetime!
There were 100 balloons, with some traditionally shaped and some custom shaped ( Darth Vader, Yoda, Sea Monkey, etc.) All the balloons were apparently competing for an $100k prize sponsored by Quick Chek, a convenience store chain in New Jersey.
Watching the sunset with 100 balloons ascending was truly magical and well worth the wait.