Deb Williams and Chuck Secallus bonded right from the start over their shared passion for healthy living; they met at an Ashtanga yoga class, and they soon dreamed up the plans for Asana House Juice Bar, which combines their love of yoga with their love of raw food nutrition. Through this endeavor, they share their passions with the community by teaching Ashtanga yoga classes and mixing fresh vegetables and fruits into nutrient-rich juices and smoothies. Asana House recently split its establishment to allow the yoga and juice-bar aspects of the business to grow with more space for equipment and experimentation. At the café's new location, liquid gold pools on the ceiling, illuminating the beauty of the decor and the meals Chuck intricately constructs. He draws from diverse ingredients, including a patch of wheatgrass growing behind the counter and a cache of fresh beets, coconuts, and avocados. In addition to liquid fare, Chuck constantly experiments with new lunch combinations, adding kale and sautéed spinach to quesadillas and topping raw-vegetable soups with mint to make meals that are both visually and internally pleasing. Patrons can nibble or sip their meals at one of the small tables or at the bar while listening to upbeat music or watching yoga gurus demonstrate poses in lieu of Simon’s commands on a nearby TV. An attached boutique sells yoga mats and accessories, along with Garden of Life and E3 Live vitamins, both of which Chuck and Deb include in their regular diets.
Terra Tea Salon offers both full-service and ? la carte afternoon tea. Visitors enjoy a lovely spot for tea from China, Guatemala, India, Japan, Kenya, or Sri Lanka. The experience includes all the simple pleasures of teatime, with large pots filled with brewing fair-trade leaves and nibbling on finger sandwiches, scones and sweets, made from scratch with locally sourced ingredients. While sitting in the cozy tearoom at the Montclair Public Library, visitors sip from a huge selection ranging from ambrosia-plum white tea to golden-lily oolong.
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Juices headline the menu at Manhattan Juice Bar & Cafe, but these aren't just any juices. These raw varieties are created mostly from organic wheat grass, healthy vegetables such as kale and carrots, and though fresh apples and citrus fruits lend a tinge of sweetness. Fresh fruits also show up in the juice bar's smoothies, which are blended with protein powder and non-dairy milk, such as coconut milk, almond milk, and organic flax milk.
But Manhattan is so much more than a juice bar. The cafe's lunchtime menu includes healthy wraps and paninis, many of which feature vegan toppings such as house-made hummus. The desserts are just as tantalizing and healthy, with options such as gluten-free vegan energy balls and bars.
At Rockn' Joe Coffeehouse and Bistro, a mellifluous concert of classic tunes, friendly chatter, and good eats transform breakfast and lunch into symphonic gatherings. Diners can cull the frothy energy of various coffees, lattes, and espressos including the macchiato ($2.25–$2.95) or the Van Halen ($3.65–$6.35), which adorns lips and mustaches in vanilla and hazelnut syrup. Dive fork-first into the grilled portobello, roasted pepper, and goat cheese of a portobello omelet ($7.95), or treat tongue harbors to a sweet and savory fusion by snagging a croissant french toast and bacon ($7.95). To pillage lunch longings, sandwich stackers craft meaty packages including a grilled chicken club ($9.95), smoked salmon ($9.95), and the classic italian ($8.95)—a booming concord of ham, salami, and pepperoni best chewed to the tune of Jimi Hendrix's rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner."
Red Mango's frozen yogurt has been garnering national attention for more than five years, unlike that musician strumming away next to the foosball table in his basement. The shop earned a place atop Zagat's 2011 lists for Best Smoothie and Frozen Yogurt Chain and Best Healthy Options Among Quick Refreshment Chains. Red Mango showcases its award-winning reputation by dishing up all-natural and gluten-free yogurts—all of which are either low-fat or nonfat—that promote healthy digestive and immune systems with natural probiotics. Friendly staff members are always on hand to whip Ghirardelli dark chocolate, POM pomegranate juice, and seasonal pumpkin spice frozen yogurts into Stevia-sweetened smoothies or parfaits layered with organic granola and fruit. The toppings bar brims with crunchy cereal, cheesecake bits, and nuts, allowing creative customization.
New Jersey Monthly’s runner up for Best Coffeehouse, The Fine Grind recharges caffeine-powered batteries with a menu of delicious drinks and treats. Customers can plug their keister into a couch and wait for the friendly cadre of coffee slingers to whip up a cappuccino ($2.95, small) or a yerba maté latte laced with cardamom, vanilla, and cloves ($3.80, medium). The Fine Grind defies the laws of physics with the customer-favorite froho, a frozen hot chocolate blendesso concoction ($4.25).