G-Zen Restaurant In Branford, Connecticut Brings Light After A Storm

The wonderful all-vegan G-Zen Restaurant, located at 2 East Main Street in Branford, Connecticut (approximately 10 miles outside of New Haven), brought light to my life when there was none. Having gone 12 days without power in my Long Island home as a result of Hurricane Sandy, my family decided to head to the Mohegan Sun Hotel and Casino in Connecticut for warmth since it was impossible to get a hotel room anywhere on Long Island. While my husband was driving on I-95 North, I did a Happy Cow search which luckily identified G-Zen Restaurant as the nearest veg-friendly eatery.

I was craving a good vegan meal since I was unable to cook in my home for almost two weeks, surviving on canned beans, instant oatmeal and prepared wraps from a local Trader Joe’s. G-Zen provided me with much more than a “good vegan meal.” This upscale, intimate and lovely restaurant which is perfectly situated in the very charming downtown Branford, gave me warmth and ambiance to accompany my hearty, satisfying and delicious meal.

My husband, son and I were immediately greeted by the friendly staff and seated in a cozy booth where we had a clear view of the blackboard exhibiting the “Specials” of the night. Check out this amazing selection…

There was an extensive menu in addition to these “specials.” While trying to decide what to order, I drank the milk from a fresh Thai coconut which was later cracked open for me to enjoy the yummy coconut meat.

A large board was displayed listing some fabulous custom infused cocktails such as Zen-grias (house sangrias) and Sake-tinis!

My teenage son started his meal with a delicious bowl of Potato-Corn Chowder, followed by a Tempeh Reuben and Sweet Potato Fries. The food was fantastic, but my photos of them came out lousy so I did not post them.

My photos of the raw organic kale salad, Thimble Island “Crab” Cakes and ┬áDim Sum Platter which I shared with my husband came out much better. The kale salad was made with a delicious creamy avocado dressing, cashew parmesan, sesame seeds and banana chips. The crab cakes were “to die for” and the photo depicting the assortment of goodies on the Dim Sum Platter speaks for itself.

As an entree, my husband ordered a “Farmer’s Plate” comprised of roasted butternut squash, swiss chard, polenta and tofu cutlets. He loved it!

I ordered a fabulous “New Orleans Creole Tempeh” which did not disappoint!

We definitely ordered way too much food, not expecting such generous and filling portions. Although we had no room for dessert, the raw apple crumble tart drizzled with vanilla maple glaze and topped with salted caramel ice cream caught my eye. The waitress also suggested the ever popular carrot cake. I will definitely leave more room for dessert on my next visit.

I highly recommend that you dine at the memorable G-Zen Restaurant if you live in or find yourself near the vicinity of New Haven, Connecticut. Apparently, the owners, Mark Shadle and Ami Beach Shadle, are quite the vegan forces in Connecticut selling organic vegan food from their truck (which runs on biodiesel fuel) called “Gmonkey Mobile” in the areas of Hartford, Middlesex and New Haven Counties. It is also worth noting that Ms.Shadle has created her own line of pure plant perfume called “Divine Nectar” which I noticed on display at her restaurant. I’m impressed! Aaaah, if only we had such vegan eateries on Long Island…a princess can only dream!


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