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There’s a few terms you must understand in order to properly appreciate NJ Weedman’s Joint, the utterly bizarre (but truly delicious) new restaurant that has opened directly across the street from Trenton’s City Hall. Consider these to be essential vocabulary for the straight-edged:
- NJWeedman: The name (and Twitter handle) of “celebrity stoner” and marijuana rights activist (or maybe “marijuana capitalist”), Ed Forchion. Also a columnist for the Trentonian, as well as a one-time candidate for NJ Governor (with the slogan “take a toke, then vote”), U.S. Senate, and U.S. Congress.
- 420: Stoner code for getting high by smoking pot. Also the price ($4.20) of most of the flavorful specials and smoothies at NJ Weedman’s Joint.
- 710: Slang for smoking hash oil (if you flip the numbers upside down, they spell “oil”). Also how much NJ Weedman charges ($7.10) for his larger platters and salads.
- Weedmobile: The name of NJ Weedman’s souped-up and spray-painted cannabis-promoting 1986 Ford Econoline van. Also, the delivery vehicle for NJ Weedman’s Joint.
- Rastafari Temple: A place where people who believe in the Rastafari religion pray. Also the religion under which NJ Weedman plans to offer NJ residents a “religious freedom” exemption to smoke ganja.
Liberty Bell Temple: The pot-smoking Rastafari “sanctuary” that NJ Weedman opened first in Philadelphia, then later as a medical marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles (where Weedman became a minor Hollywood celebrity before the U.S. DEA raided the Temple in 2011). Also, the name of the members’ only sanctuary section of NJ Weedman’s joint, where licensed medical marijuana users can toke up directly across from City Hall.
- State of NJ vs. Ed Forchion: The name of several previous possession cases against NJ Weedman. Also, no doubt, the name of the future case against him, which he is clearly seeking in order to advance the cause of marijuana legalization.
Now that we have the basics out of the way, we should mention that this is a surprisingly fabulous restaurant, and you should absolutely visit it before it closes or is shut down by the DEA.
NJ Weedman’s Joint opened with a flurry of news coverage in June, 2015, but as far as we know this will be the first food review it receives. We’ve been several times and sampled a variety of their offerings. NJ Weedman claims that he’s offering “healthy food,” and it is true that nothing on his menu is highly processed, there is no red meat, the portions are reasonable, and there are ample vegetables available. And while you can order a healthy salad, wrap, or fruit smoothie, we think “comfort food” is a better description.
The menu is wide-ranging, but the most popular items are the $4.20 specials, which include a salmon burger, a turkey burger, chicken and waffles, an egg white combo, and others. The $7.10 munch menu offers a variety of wraps (tuna, chicken breast, veggie, or turkey) as well as several salads. NJ Weedman also serves breakfast (omelettes and various pancakes), soups, smoothies (banna-canna, blueberry dream, pineapple kush), as well as baked goods, cheesecakes, and more. For those who really have the munchies, he offers “stoner snacks” such as Cheetos and Doritos and Cheeze-Its.
The food is exceptional. On our first visit, we sampled the mini cupcakes, which were offered in two flavors: chocolate or strawberry (the strawberry cupcakes were vegan). These may be the only vegan cupcakes offered within city limits. We expect a lot from our cupcakes: moist crumb, good cake flavor, structural integrity including good frosting adhesion, and a frosting that is flavorful and sweet without being cloying. These cupcakes were da bomb (or maybe we should we say, “da bong”–though to be clear there is no marijuana in the baked goods!). Flavorful, sweet, and very moist, we could eat a table full of them. They are baked off-site and are delivered regularly. Call ahead and make sure they have them, on our last visit (a Saturday afternoon) they had already sold out of Thursday afternoon’s delivery.
On our second visit, we knew we had to try the savory options (though we were tempted by the cheesecakes that apparently are some of their most popular products). We sampled the banna-canna smoothie (a banana-berry smoothie, which was delicious and creamy). I ordered an astonishing veggie burger platter with sweet potato fries. The veggie burger turned out to be a black bean burger, beautifully charred but still exceptionally moist on the inside. It was garnished with grilled red peppers and onion, sliced tomato, and a rustic pesto. The bun was lightly toasted. We don’t like too large a crown (the top part) on our hamburger buns, as it can sometimes impede the bite and provides a less-than-ideal burger to bread ratio–this bun, however, was perfect. As a whole, this may be the best veggie burger in the greater Trenton area. The sweet potato fries were coated in cinnamon sugar before they were oven-roasted to caramelized, spice-infused perfection. My dining partner ordered the fish and grits, which came with cup full of creamy, buttery grits that coated the mouth. The fish was a whiting, and it had a terrific crunchy crust with a slight spice. The batter was an ideal complement to the fresh fish, which my companion assured me was excellently cooked. On the side we had a cole slaw, which was decent. Her bill for the fish and grits, cole slaw and a soda was just above $5. Mine, for the veggie burger and the smoothie was still less than $10.
A few tips for those dining at NJ Weedman’s Joint:
- Don’t expect to get high. Despite the menu names, there is no marijuana (or THC) in any of the food sold at NJ Weedman’s joint. All smoking happens in the members-only sanctuary next door, though we can’t vouch for what happens in the backyard.
- Don’t expect a fancy place. This is a dive. Peeling paint, clutter, etc. But hey, your food is going to cost you $4.20, so what can you ask for?
- Prepare for crowds: This place can get surprisingly busy for downtown Trenton. Arrive early.
- Don’t arrive too early: We showed up for lunch ten minutes after opening hour, and had to go around and knock on the back door to get the sous chef to let us in. It was another 40 minutes before the chef showed up, and the front-of-house staff didn’t arrive until we were leaving. I guess you shouldn’t expect the pot-themed restaurant to open on time!
- Go soon. We hope NJ Weedman’s joint stays open forever (if just for the food alone). But just in case the DEA or the State of NJ get antsy, you’d better visit now!