j

jsfein's Profile

Title Last Reply

Favorite Defunct Monmouth County Restaurant

My wife used to waitress at Net Lane's ... great cole slaw.

May 26, 2015
jsfein in New Jersey

Need more dinner choices near Freehold

Basil - have you checked out Tre - a newly opened restaurant on Business 33 next to Shoprite. I heard its the same owners as Metropolitan Café and Rosie's so I don't hold out great hope. The Yelp reviews are already pretty mediocre. They tout themselves as a pizza, pasta and beer garden.

May 22, 2015
jsfein in New Jersey

Need more dinner choices near Freehold

Sounds like we hit up many of the same spots** and are equally desperate for more and better options. Had a recent meal at A Little Bit of Cuba in Freehold. Overall, I find the food good enough, and some of it very good. The snapper ceviche is as good as I've had in NJ, and the deep fried red snapper is also delicious. Throw in some sangria and the live music on Saturday night, and it's a nice night out.

**Went to Jimmy's recently for the first time in many, many years. I couldn't believe how pricey it has become, but it was a nice visit down memory lane.

May 21, 2015
jsfein in New Jersey

Chef Michael d'Ennery

Thanks for this info. Had a very solid meal at Blend on Main last night. Next time will drop into Remington's.

May 02, 2015
jsfein in New Jersey

Asbury Park Restaurant Tour

Did anyone participate in this yesterday (April 26)? Apparently it was the 4th Annual, but my first. Pretty well organized event. Around 25 restaurants participated with the concentration primarily downtown (Cookman, Mattison, Main) and the Boardwalk, with a few outliers. It was only a bite (or two), but with 20+ stops, I was pretty full. Some of the highlights:

Dino's on Main - my first time there...an Italian market on Main St. The owner(?) dishing out the chicken meatball in a stroganoff sauce was super nice and the meatball delicious.

Mark's Place on Main (by The Saint) - hole in the wall Jamaican joint. Awesome sweet and sour chicken over rice and chicken jerky chili. The sort of spot CHer's hope to uncover. Will be back.

Brando's - a great meatball, pasta sheet and fresh ricotta. This was one of the better offerings of the day. My first time stepping foot in the place...really attractive space.

Talula's - I'm surprised that this newcomer doesn't have a dedicated thread yet. The food sounds delicious, including a pie with hot soppressata and drizzled with honey. High on my to return list.

Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten - did a really nice job providing a "tour" of the facility, including some history of the space's prior lives. The roof top bar was open this weekend on a temporary CO and is going to be a huge hit this summer. The meatball offering (lots of meatballs around town) was pretty good.

Johnny Mac's - how have I never been here before. It's been written about on CH and is a great joint to grab a drink and an omelette or pizza. Next time we are in Asbury for a predinner drink, we are stopping here.

Taka - my first time in the new space on Cookman. Wow!! (Wish I like the food there more)

On the boardwalk I wasn't terribly impressed with the offerings, except for Stella Marina, of which I'm not a fan, had a terrific mushroom ravioli. Walked by the Wonder Bar and made a mental note to return soon with the dogs for Yappy Hour.

We skipped a couple of places due to long lines (Fish, Lola's), thought that some places who participated phoned it in with some very mediocre offerings, and wished some other joints had participated (no Porta/Pascal/Brickwall, thought newcomer Cross & Orange could have benefitted from the exposure, and would have loved to see what At The Table would have put out). But on the whole, it was a fun time, great weather, and plenty of food for $30.

Apr 27, 2015
jsfein in New Jersey

New restaurant coming to Freehold Raceway Mall

The Cuban place is now also operating. Super nice people. I had a Lucy - Cuban sandwich with grilled chicken breast, some plaintains (a gift from the girl behind the counter), and a soda called Ironbeer which was a mix between root beer and birch beer, and quite tasty. It's a really nice addition to the food court (not that I find myself in the mall too often) and there are many offerings.

Apr 22, 2015
jsfein in New Jersey

Spargos Grille in Manalapan

Reviving an old thread to report on a very good experience at Spargo's Grille. My last meal has to date back more than 10 years. Nevertheless we chose it as the venue for an 85 person luncheon this past weekend and could not have been more pleased. The interior of the restaurant is very attractive and even though we seemed to be close to their capacity, the noise level was never an issue (we had a guitarist/singer who could be heard throughout the event).

Super kudos to the manager (?) Stephanie who worked with us in planning, overseeing, and serving at our event. If I were a restaurant owner, she is the person I'd want in the front of the house. Just fantastic.

My take on the food is that it ranged from good to very good. While I don't think their dishes will blow anyone away, they are well prepared and seemed to be sourced with good ingredients. I wanted something a notch above a banquet/catering hall, and Spargo's was several large notches above. They offered us interesting mains, including duck, steak frites, veal, chicken and salmon, with family style appetizers, salads, and pasta course. It was a ton of food. And the service was exceptional. The restaurant delivered and exceeded our expectations. Our next visit will be way sooner than another 10 years.

Apr 20, 2015
jsfein in New Jersey

Main St. Falafel ~ Freehold

I'm not a Main St Falafel apologist, but happened to eat there tonight with my son without having seen this post beforehand. Everything was really good (as it has consistently been on my visits since the new ownership). We had a chicken and lamb schwarma and shared a hummus. Tables were clean as was the hot sauce bottle. (Perhaps I should thank Angelina for seeing to this.) I too miss the Ibby's guys behind the counter. I have found that as long as the tall guy is there, you'll be in good hands. If you find yourself with the short guy, communication is hit or miss (but the food still fine). Your negative experience is not alone on this board, but I'm still a fan.

Apr 14, 2015
jsfein in New Jersey

Asbury Beer Garden (Biergarten)

The pretzel was actually quite good (served with 2 dipping sauces) and easily feeds 2-3 people.

Apr 06, 2015
jsfein in New Jersey

Asbury Beer Garden (Biergarten)

Mid-day today (Easter Sunday) no problem getting in, although still fairly full. Very festive and fun experience. Although we only had a couple of beers, I thought they were fairly priced and generous pours. A minor quibble, but the 3 sodas my kids ordered were priced at $4 each. Also had a couple of pretzels and a tasty sausage special. Will return.

Apr 05, 2015
jsfein in New Jersey

Captain Paul's Firehouse Dogs, Lawrenceville

The potatoes seemed to be griddled, not fried.

Apr 01, 2015
jsfein in New Jersey

Captain Paul's Firehouse Dogs, Lawrenceville

Office just relocated down the road. Stopped in today for the Italian hot dog with sweet potato fries. The sweet potato fries were spot on - hot and crispy. The Italian dog disappointed. Sure didn't taste like the hot dog was fried although I think the menu said it was. Found it kind of bland, and wasn't crazy about the torpedo roll (was hoping for pizza bread) or the very dry potatoes. The whole package just wasn't greasy enough for me. That said, I really liked the place (its tiny) and the people working it. Will be back to try something different next time.

Apr 01, 2015
jsfein in New Jersey

Bergen County (or nearby) seafood...

ELA - how does one become your business associate? I would like to apply for the position. Really enjoy reading of the many places you meet your clients and associates.

Mar 24, 2015
jsfein in New Jersey

Strip Mall Shangri-Las

"Handy Nasty" -- its like a SNL Jeopardy Skit, "Therapists" and "Let It Snow"

Mar 12, 2015
jsfein in New Jersey

Strip Mall Shangri-Las

My local strip mall has very mediocre pizza and Chinese, frozen yogurt and Chipotle. I can think of dozens of others in a 15 mile radius just like it. The Shangri-La's are very few and far between.

From reading Brian's posts over time and from my limited personal knowledge, there are likely strip malls in the Edison and Plainfield areas that have more interesting and probably better offerings.

Mar 12, 2015
jsfein in New Jersey

Poached Pear Bistro for dinner

Nice review.

Mar 09, 2015
jsfein in New Jersey

Baku Mediterranean ~ Freehold

Wish them luck. Some menu items far afield from typical NJ fare (liver, testicles and veal tongue). I live very close. Will check them out.

Mar 06, 2015
jsfein in New Jersey

Ibby's Falafel Freehold

Sorry to hear of your recent experiences. I've been many times since the change over and have found the food to be consistently good. I miss the Ibby's guys that worked the counter, but I think Main Street Falafel has held its own.

Mar 04, 2015
jsfein in New Jersey

Red in Red Bank

Mar 04, 2015
jsfein in New Jersey

Restaurants you despise, but continue to dine at anyway.........

Angelo - hit the nail on the head. I've come to ordering off the menu while the wife and kids eat Hibachi. Mahzu in Freehold accommodates this.

Mar 04, 2015
jsfein in New Jersey

Chicken Fried Steak

Brick House Tavern (several NJ locations) serves it. It's a passable rendition.

Mar 04, 2015
jsfein in New Jersey

The Oriental

Or a bit further south to Vietnam Bistro in Howell. I've really come to like this place.

Feb 24, 2015
jsfein in New Jersey
1

THE ASBURY PARK FESTHALLE & BIERGARTEN . . .ESSEN!

Awesome first review. Thx!!

Feb 07, 2015
jsfein in New Jersey

Cross & Orange, Asbury Park

That $55 price tag is eye catching, especially since it is pretty out of line with the rest of the menu where the limited number of entrees (5?) range from $21 to $38. I found this article from 2011 regarding the restaurant prices of Dover Sole in NYC. Seems to be a pricey fish.

http://thepricehike.com/post/61129527...

Feb 06, 2015
jsfein in New Jersey

Cross & Orange, Asbury Park

Not yet opened. Will occupy the old Ivan and Andy's space. I believe the chef was most recently in the kitchen of the now shuttered Bistro Rylo in Ocean which received some mixed reviews here on CH, with the theme being pretty good food but $$$. The prices at the new venture are also $$$ http://crossandorangeap.com/menu/

But boy, that menu is appealing to me. Not sure as to opening date, but must be soon as I read they will be open in time for Valentine's Day.

Feb 06, 2015
jsfein in New Jersey

Chinese Take Out - Rt 9, Manalapan

Ha! I had it last night. Stick with Sichuan Cottage.

Feb 05, 2015
jsfein in New Jersey

Need a good place to watch the Super Bowl

If you want to stay even closer to home, consider Moore's Tavern in Freehold. And, believe it or not, but iPlay in Freehold is a great place to watch football (I watched some of the playoff games there). Disclaimer: I don't recommend either location for the food (basic mostly acceptable pub far) or the beer selection (plan on Yuengling), but both places will likely serve you well.

Jan 31, 2015
jsfein in New Jersey

Burger Bros. in Marlboro

Your tepid review and food photos (what's up with that dreary looking tomato on the salmon burger) don't have me wanting to run to Burger Bros. In the "fast casual" sector of burger joints, my go-to place is Bobby Flay's.

Jan 30, 2015
jsfein in New Jersey

Filipino in Toms River

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/04/din...

This place written up in the NY Times also has a grocery/restaurant location in Toms River ... RJ Sariling Atin. Has anyone been there?

Jan 29, 2015
jsfein in New Jersey

Water & Wine restaurant in Watchung?

Found myself here for a client lunch meeting. Thoroughly enjoyable. I've never been previously, but found the front room/lounge to be nicely decorated, albeit a bit dark. Noticed some nice high end bottles lining the bar shelves. Half in our group ordered off the $24 lunch price fix, and the other half a la carte. For $24 you received a generous amount of food. My order included a tomato and mozzarella stack with prosciutto, red snapper with spinach, and a mascarpone cheese cake (could have used a few more minutes getting to room temp, but still very good). Service was excellent. The main dining room was very brightly lit with lots of natural sunlight reflecting off the snow covered lake. Don't often find myself in the area, but would return for sure.

Jan 28, 2015
jsfein in New Jersey