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JerseyGrrl's Profile

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Bogie's Hoagies in Hawthorne

I like Bogie's chicken cutlet subs - the panko coating makes them crispy, not bready. Also doing a nice business around the corner on Diamond Bridge Ave is Hot Diggety Grill, friendly little place with decent burgers and hot dogs (try the bacon-wrapped dog with red coleslaw) and good shakes. They will bring your order out to your car in bad weather if you call ahead. The little Cuban place across the street is interesting too, though I can't remember the name at the moment.

Jun 23, 2013
JerseyGrrl in New Jersey

Cheesesteaks in the Mon/OC

Steaks Unlimited in Seaside Heights, on Ocean Ave and Dupont. Make sure you go to the one directly across from the Beachcomber - there are two with similar names across from each other, and what makes it even more confusing is that SU used to be at the other location before moving to their current, bigger location.

They are the only ones in the area (that I know of) that serve their cheesesteaks on pizza bread. Don't think they have wiz, but order a Seaside Tony and it'll come with fried cheese balls on it :)

Jun 08, 2013
JerseyGrrl in New Jersey

What to do with Escarole?

One of my favorite comfort foods since childhood is escarole and bean stew (I don't use broth - not needed due to the high water content in the escarole - so it is thicker and more hearty than a soup). After washing well, roughly chop or tear about 4-5 heads of escarole (it cooks down a LOT). In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, lightly saute a good amount of garlic (I use a full head - sliced in half or thirds, not chopped) in a tablespoon or so of olive oil until fragrant; be careful not to burn. Roughly chop a stick or two of good pepperoni into chunks and add to the garlic and oil. Add the escarole in batches and stir until wilted. Toss in 4-5 cans of white cannelini beans and cook until escarole and beans are tender. Season with salt and pepper as needed (crushed red pepper optional) and serve with lots of crusty bread to dip and scoop onto soup spoons. Even better the next day. Hearty Italian peasant food, learned at my great-grandmother's knee.

Apr 16, 2013
JerseyGrrl in Home Cooking

Restaurants in Hawthorne, N.J.

Hawthorne is not known for its fine dining. Bottagra on Wagaraw Road is the most upscale in town (I like their appetizer of spinach pasta dumplings).. Justin's on Lafayette Ave is also good for what it is - a local Italian BYOB, nothing surprising on the menu but decent and reasonably priced.

Agree on Lincoln Grill on Lincoln Ave (east side of Lincoln is Fair Lawn, west side is Hawthorne). Disagree on Hawthorne's Best for pizza; if I have to stay in town for pizza I prefer Puzo's (which also has table service and a full bar) - but not the rest of their menu.

Goffle Grill has decent deep fried Texas weiners "all the way". Angelina's Italian deli on Lafayette has delicious rice balls and great Italian sandwiches (her daily specials are wonderful). You can pick up a nice meal to go from here.

Jan 07, 2013
JerseyGrrl in New Jersey

Fish market in Northern/Northwestern NJ

I second Peter's Fish Market, on Godwin Ave in Midland Park. Before Christmas Eve, they set up a tent and heaters for the folks who willingly wait in line to pick up their orders for their seven fishes feasts. Staff is very helpful.

Feb 01, 2012
JerseyGrrl in New Jersey

Nasty Little Treats

As a kid, I'd coat a peeled banana in dry jello powder as a snack, but only the red flavors.

I also loved a dish called "sufrite" (that might not be the correct spelling) that was prepared at the annual Italian feast in my neighborhood every summer. It was a chunky tomato-based stew, and I had no idea what was in it at the time or I'm sure I never would have gone near it. Apparently it was a mixture of lungs and hearts and spleens and other organs with tomatoes, garlic, peppers, onions... thank goodness I didn't know what was in it! They had to stop serving it when the USDA banned lungs for human consumption. I've seen some recipes for it using veal hearts... tempted to try it again and see if it I can recreate the taste memory.

May 29, 2011
JerseyGrrl in General Topics

Between Fort Lee & Wyckoff

I second the vote for Oceanos, on Saddle River Road (where Route 4 West turns into Route 208 North). Wonderfully fresh seafood.

My friends and I also enjoy meeting at Sabor in Hawthorne after work, especially on Thursdays when the martinis are half price. We come from all different directions too, from NYC to Morris County, and this works out well for all of us (on Goffle Road, just off Route 208, Hawthorne). You can have a leisurely cocktail and tapas in the lounge while waiting for the rest of your group to arrive.

Best Carrot Cake - Northern NJ

Try Just Desserts in Hawthorne - a small boutique bakery on Lafayette Ave near Van Winkle Ave in what looks like a residential home until you see the small sign outside. I haven't yet tried their carrot cake, but I've had some of their other cakes and they were wonderful - and the cake menu on their website doesn't list raisins among the ingredients! Webite: