No one around Brennah Lambert is in the food business. “I never grew up wanting to be a chef or even really enjoying cooking,” she said.
And now, on the eve of her 24th birthday, she is chef-owner of a restaurant, LesbiVeggies, in Audubon, N.J. Everything is vegan and gluten-free, which plays into what got her to this point.
In high school, she said she had health issues, including digestion problems. After researching solutions, she adapted a vegan diet. “I found a love for food after going vegan,” said Lambert, who turns 24 on March 1. “It gave me like a new appreciation for food in itself. So I tried it out and kind of just stuck with it.”
She began cooking for herself.
Her family was impressed. In her sophomore year, at Camden County College, a relative who owns a gym asked her to cook for her. “And then it just was word of mouth from there,” she said, explaining the genesis of a meal-prep business.
“About two years into the meal-prep business, I kind of realized that I do love feeding people, but meal-prepping wasn’t my passion,” she said. “From that point on, I had dreamed of having a place where people could just come and enjoy themselves, like the whole experience of food.”
After graduating from Rutgers University with a business degree, she found a spot on Merchant Street, a commercial strip near the White Horse Pike, and signed a lease in 2019. She opened in mid-February. The pandemic, she said, had no impact on the opening: “I just kept doing what I was doing.”
The comfortable dining room features two large paintings depicting Black women and the lyrics from the Lauryn Hill song “Tell Him.” Seating is at high-top and regular tables.
Her menus — brunch and dinner — are ambitious: stick-to-your-ribs dishes that happen to be plant-based.
Salads are side dishes, more than main courses. Among the brunch items are peach cobbler pancakes; a tostada; zucchini corn fritters; a “vegan hungry man” platter of tofu scramble, roasted garlic potatoes, and pancakes; and a popular blackened Cajun cauliflower sandwich, unapologetically served with sweet potato fries. For dinner, she offers birria tacos (made of pulled jackfruit), eggplant Parm, and coconut curry noodles.
The restaurant’s name is “a fun play on words,” Lambert said. “It represents me. I’m gay, and this is my business.”