bakersma's Profile

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Best cheese selection at a market??

Many, if not most of the Foodtowns became Stop & Shop a couple of years ago....however, the one in Freehold borough on NJ 33 (Business) down the street from Old Monmouth Candies is still a "Foodtown". Perhaps Stop & Shop did not wish to acquire that location which is an old and rather small store with a significantly different 'footprint' than say, the Raintree location on NJ 537 by the hospital which did become a Stop & Shop.

There may be other Foodtowns still around but that's the one I know of.

Aug 02, 2014
bakersma in New Jersey

Ah-So Sauce - Stop & Shop's got it.

Just curious, what is politically incorrect about that phrase ?

For example, Amazon & Williams Sonoma both sell a cork puller utensil with the same Ah-So moniker.

If it was defamatory or insulting in any way, I doubt manufacturers would choose it as a product identifier.

Aug 02, 2014
bakersma in New Jersey

RIP Crumbs

This discussion belongs on the 'chains' board, by definition.

Jul 11, 2014
bakersma in Chains

Golden Corral coming soon in Freehold

" How it's over 160 replies and good local chow topics are lucky to get a dozen replies is sad. "

A mathematician would use the term "Least Common Denominator". LOL

Jul 10, 2014
bakersma in New Jersey

Empanada Guy

Why did you do that ? What is your problem with them ?

Jun 22, 2014
bakersma in New Jersey

Route 66 Hot Dogs,Burgers and Shakes --Long Branch

Max's ? Are they still in business ? Given the nasty way the old lady at the cash register treats customers (who have done nothing wrong to possibly give her just cause to do so), I'm surprised.

Windmill, on the other hand, is a credible and worthy competitor.....especially in nice weather when you can sit on the roof under the windmill blades at the Long Branch store on the corner by the intersection [next to the ice cream stand] and watch the world go by. Decent food too.

May 02, 2014
bakersma in New Jersey

Peruvian Restaurant coming to Freehold

Looks like yet another new interesting restaurant coming to downtown Freehold.

Was driving by the former location of Sapori's on West Main (roughly halfway between Ibby's and El Meson on the south side of the street)....and there is a big sign out front announcing that Don Pepe's Peruvian Restaurant would be opening there soon.

I'm not sure if this is any relation to Don Pepe's in nearby Jamesburg. Anyone know more about it ?

Apr 16, 2014
bakersma in New Jersey

Sandwiches in Monmouth County

Have worked in Middletown for many years but never heard of Taliercio's until this thread.

Stopped by for lunch the other day, and had the "Healthy Choice" sub (hero roll). They cut it into two parts for me.....one to eat there in the store at a table, and the other 'to-go' which I put in the refrigerator for lunch the next day. Both meals were excellent quality & taste, and a good value for the price !

I'm looking forward to eating there again soon. Very glad someone mentioned this as a good place to get a sandwich.

{ On an unrelated note, I was pleased to see there was a Trek bicycle store in the same plaza....never knew that was back there either. If you're a bicycle rider, might be worth checking it out }

Apr 16, 2014
bakersma in New Jersey

Hoffman's Ice Cream 4th location in Long Branch

Happened to notice that Hoffman's recently took over the former Wilson's Ice Cream Parlor in Ursula Plaza {same strip mall which houses Amy's Omelette House restaurant, as a reference) along Rt36 [Ocean Avenue] in Long Branch. From what I read on the Wilson's website, they decided to retire.

That makes 4 Hoffman's .... Point Pleasant Beach, Spring Lake Heights, Little Silver, and now LB.

Glad to see they are doing well and expanding, especially after closing up shop for a bit back around 10 years ago if memory serves me correctly.

Ice cream is like pizza & hot dogs (e.g., yea: Windmill, nay: Max's) , everyone has their favorite establishments. Personally, we indulge in and enjoy Hoffman's offerings given any excuse to do so ---- but of course not to the exclusion of Crazees, Nagles, Day's, Gracie's, Jersey Freeze, Beach Plum, Halo Pub in Princeton, etc., etc. either. Life's just too short to miss out on all that neighborhood creamy/sugary goodness !

Apr 14, 2014
bakersma in New Jersey

Yelps top Monmouth County Restaurants.

As it happens, we ate there tonight. My wife had the cheeseburger which she thought was excellent. I had one of the specials....blackened salmon with broccoli & hollandaise, potato, and a salad with the house dressing. I really enjoyed my meal as well. Not the most inexpensive place to eat, but IMHO worth it as a "special treat" for us every once in a while. Service was very friendly & efficient, too. Our waitress did a nice job. Good food in a casual / comfortable atmosphere.

Apr 09, 2014
bakersma in New Jersey

New Greek restaurant in Freehold ?

Anyone eaten here yet ? How is it ?

A couple of the menu items look interesting, albeit perhaps a bit pricy (or maybe not --- don't have a lot of Greek dining establishments in the immediate neighborhood for comparison unlike other cuisines).

Apr 05, 2014
bakersma in New Jersey

Another new Indian restaurant coming soon to Freehold boro ?

Happened to glance over across the street while getting lunch to-go from Ibby's earlier today, and it appears as though real progress has finally been made on Gola since the last time I posted. The construction plywood totally covering the former Ballew's Jewelry storefront has come down...replaced by new doors, windows, etc.

Countdown clock on website now pointing towards April 21st opening ...a date which may still be on the optimistic side --- but who knows ? Latest photos seem to date back to February 2014 and show mostly early stages of interior re-framing,

Apr 05, 2014
bakersma in New Jersey

Sandwiches in Monmouth County

Yes, still open....Google "News Transcript Jersey Freeze" to see some of the past news items related to this --- every couple of years going back all the way to 2000 or thereabouts.

Mar 03, 2014
bakersma in New Jersey

Sandwiches in Monmouth County

They sell ice cream & "ice cream stand" type of items at the walk-up (indoor) counter on the west end of the building.

The remainder of the building has separate entrances, and is more of a traditional sit-down place to eat with booths, tables, etc. and a menu to match....although you can also order food to-go there.

Mar 03, 2014
bakersma in New Jersey

Burgers in Central NJ

Last time we went for dinner, Vic's in Bradley Beach still had a telephone booth in the main room by the bar. Not sure if it was still equipped with a working payphone but the booth was there in all its splendor.

Feb 23, 2014
bakersma in New Jersey

new BBQ spot in middletown called A&L BBQ

Stopped there for lunch yesterday after reading about it here on Chowhound. Figured if I didn't like what I saw inside, I'd just go next door to Jersey Mike's and get a sub. LOL.

I selected one of the specials: Beef Brisket sandwich with side of cole slaw. (They also had a pulled pork sandwich special with baked beans on the menu) Very reasonably priced, the total came to $6 and change including a can of Diet Pepsi. Service at the cash register while ordering, paying, and picking up my meal [I ate at one of the nearby tables] was quick and friendly. While I am not a BBQ expert knowledgeable on all of its nuances like a lot of you are, I can definitely state that I really enjoyed my sandwich & slaw. The portion sizes were more than fair for the cost. When I was getting ready to leave, I chatted a bit with the woman who took my order as well as a gentleman who I presume was the owner .... and told them about being mentioned on this message board. Needless to say, I'm looking forward to stopping again for lunch or maybe even at dinnertime soon.

Feb 20, 2014
bakersma in New Jersey

Gr├Ądde Swedish Restaurant

Why so nasty cwdonald ? I thought the information and reviews on Yelp were recent, interesting, relevant, and more importantly useful. There are not many Swedish restaurants around here in NJ (unlike Italian food) so it was definitely worthy of discussion. Wench31 was just trying to help; not everyone is aware of Yelp and similar resources.

Jan 11, 2014
bakersma in New Jersey

New Greek restaurant in Freehold ?

Driving down through the borough yesterday, and caught a glimpse of a window sign announcing a Greek restaurant coming soon to empty storefront at 13 West Main Street ... that's on the west side of the CVS drugstore in the former Giovanna's {which didn't last too long at all} location.

Anyone know more details ?? At least it's not another Italian restaurant !

Jan 09, 2014
bakersma in New Jersey

Another new Indian restaurant coming soon to Freehold boro ?

Further update, drove through downtown Freehold earlier today and noted that the front of the old Ballew's Jewelry is now completely boarded up with fresh new signs for Gola ---and their construction company--- posted. Can't see any more than that from the street but it does seem like something tangible may actually be happening at the location.

Countdown clock on their website still pointing at mid-January opening (?).

Here is a link to a recent (November) article in the News-Transcript that provides more details...


Dec 15, 2013
bakersma in New Jersey

Another new Indian restaurant coming soon to Freehold boro ?

Just took a look again at their website, and the countdown clock (which had run down) has apparently been reset to 93 days....which would put the grand opening sometime in mid-January 2014. Not sure I believe it, but we'll see....

Oct 13, 2013
bakersma in New Jersey

Routine trip report - Newport, RI dinner(s)

Spent 3 nights in Newport earlier this week on our way up the New England coast.

Dinner on first evening (Friday) -- Crowley's La Forge Casino Restaurant followed by 'dessert' across the street at Newport Creamery.

Dinner on second evening (Saturday) -- Griswold's Tavern down the street also on Bellevue Avenue.

Dinner on third evening (Sunday) -- Busker's 'downtown'.

The first two day's choices listed above were places we had eaten on our visit last year, and we were pleased with the results again. In the case of Crowley's, we arrived on their doorstep without reservations while they were quite busy in the dining room and bar along with two private wedding rehearsal functions going on in back. Nevertheless, we were greeted cheerfully and seated promptly at a table by the front windows. Our waitress advised us that our food might take a little longer than usual coming out of the kitchen but we were in no hurry after driving in the car all day and were glad for an opportunity to just sit back and relax with our drinks. As it happened, our entrees arrived without undue delay in a very timely manner and were delicious. Even though the staff was being kept busy among all the different clientele throughout the establishment, the service was efficient and friendly too. I had the salmon (for the life of me, by now I can't remember what my wife ordered) but I recall that we both really enjoyed our respective meals. At Newport Creamery afterward, we tried to be "well-behaved" [successfully resisting the temptation to each have an Awful-Awful] and ended up splitting a multi-scoop dish of ice cream as a fun nightcap to complement our dinners.

At Griswold's the next night, we had a great dinner with drinks in the dining room. I enjoyed the broiled scrod while my wife really liked her chicken pot pie. For dessert, we split a wonderful piece of apple tart from the dessert choices offered. Here too, our waitress was terrific and made us feel right at home. Although the dining room was not very busy when we first got there, by the time we left a steady stream of other guests had arrived and were seated. Like Crowley's, the crowd seemed to be a nice mix of locals and out-of-town visitors.

Busker's was a new choice for us on this trip, although several sources had recommended it. That evening, we were in the mood for something a little less ambitious portion-wise so I had the cottage pie and my wife selected a crock of Irish macaroni and cheese with ham and peas. While we were waiting for our entrees, our waitress offered and we enjoyed a basket of Irish brown bread accompanied by our choice of Irish or domestic (Cabot) butter. Both of our dinners were first-rate as was the service and atmosphere. Fortunately the shopping district was not too busy at approximately 6 PM on an off-season Sunday evening so we got a good parking space nearby without undue difficulty but I can just imagine what the neighborhood must be like to navigate in a car "in-season".

No doubt we're not particularly erudite or hard-to-please finicky restaurant guests with demanding culinary expectations but rather tend to seek out good solid value in (most importantly) comfortable settings. I thought I'd share our good experiences with others reading this Chowhound board in case their likes and dislikes run along the same lines as ours.

Sep 24, 2013
bakersma in Southern New England

Sunday Brunch in Providence that's not Nick's or Julian's

Just wanted to say "Thank You" to everyone for their suggestions and also the time you took posting them.

We ended up having brunch at Waterman Grille on Sunday, and really enjoyed it. Our reservations (conveniently made online) were for 11:45 ... we arrived a bit early and were promptly greeted and seated at a table in the indoor dining room along the windows adjoining the waterside 'deck'. The weather had been rainy earlier in the morning but it had cleared up considerably and there were in fact some folks dining outdoors. Our waitress did a fine job bringing us our beverages & menus along with taking our order. The food arrived hot & delicious from the kitchen in a timely fashion while we were enjoying our drinks and the basket of warm rolls. I had the Waterman Eggs Benedict and my wife selected the Scrambled Eggs with Bacon. Both plates included roasted potatoes and fresh fruit as part of the entree. Even though the restaurant was fairly busy, and in fact I heard someone mention that there was a private function going on downstairs, we never felt rushed or uncomfortable while dining in a leisurely manner. The service was first-rate, the river view through the windows was quite pleasant, the ambience was clean and classy without being overly fussy or pretentious, the prices were reasonable, and the portion sizes were just right too. Needless to say we were quite pleased with our choice for brunch which was exactly what we were looking for to help celebrate a special occasion (anniversary) while on vacation.

Once again, thanks very much for the detailed and on-target suggestions :-)

Sep 24, 2013
bakersma in Southern New England

Another new Indian restaurant coming soon to Freehold boro ?

I see the clothing store (which always seemed kind of transient) is gone without a trace and the Gola restaurant coming soon signs are back up in the former Ballew's Jewelry front windows.

Meanwhile, the countdown clock on their website says 20 days to go to the grand opening. Their Facebook page seems to be untouched for quite awhile now.

Sep 09, 2013
bakersma in New Jersey

NEW Roadside SMOKED BBQ Rt 571 Jackson NJ

After reading about this BBQ truck here on Chowhound, I decided to drive out there from Freehold yesterday (Sunday) and get some lunch.

I arrived at the location at approximately 1:45 PM and it was deserted / closed up / no one around. Should've probably checked first although I'm not sure how....couldn't find a website and the phone # got chopped off in the preview picture (later on I found if I clicked on the thumbnail photo, you could read more of the phone # but still can't be sure what the last digit is...also a website URL "tasteofsmoke.com" is in the picture in small type but when I go to it in my browser, nothing happens).

However I would've fully expected that they'd be serving customers on a beautiful weather sunny 80 degree Sunday afternoon in early September. Too bad, by the time I got out there I had a real taste for some BBQ :-( Not angry, just very disappointed. Are they actually open for business or not ?

Meanwhile, I guess it's back to Local Smoke in Neptune :-)

Sep 09, 2013
bakersma in New Jersey

South Jersey

My vote: North Jersey is north of I-78, Central Jersey is between I-78 and I-195, South Jersey is south of I-195.

Sep 02, 2013
bakersma in New Jersey

Sunday Brunch in Providence that's not Nick's or Julian's

Did a search on "Sunday Brunch in Providence" but all the comments seemed to be at least a year or two old....sometimes more.

And most of them boiled down (sorry for the bad pun) to either Nick's or Julian's ---- both of which are probably fine choices although Nick's sounds more like our kind of place than Julian's.

Anyhow, we'll be in the area on Sunday, September 22nd and I was wondering what the latest up-to-the-minute thinking was on Sunday brunch choices. We'll have a car so it doesn't have to be within walking distance of any particular location around Providence.

Pluses --- unique (different from what we have back home in NJ since this is a vacation) / interesting / nice / casual / friendly / traditional

Minuses --- stuffy / pretentious / formal / overly expensive [but $ not a huge problem if it's worth what you pay] / overly eclectic.

What say you ?

Aug 31, 2013
bakersma in Southern New England

DeLorenzo Pizza in Robbinsville

Took a drive yesterday since it was so nice outdoors, and ended up going to an early dinner at DeLorenzo's in Robbinsville Town Center. We got there a little after 5 PM and were lucky enough to find a good parking space in the parking lot out back. The restaurant was already fairly busy but we were greeted and seated at a table near the windows on the street side without delay. Our waiter brought our (soft) drinks and took our order for a small tomato pie with mushrooms which arrived steaming hot from the ovens without undue delay. It was excellent; you could tell the ingredients were fresh and delicious with the crust perfect and properly charred in a few spots. We each had two good-sized pieces, split one more, and still had enough left to take home in a box for lunch today :-) The total tab was less than $20, even with drink refills, and because we were well-behaved with our portions, we had room left for dessert at Halo Pub in downtown Princeton ! Also we couldn't have been more pleased with the service from the wait staff, etc., our waiter did a great job --- there when we needed something but not pushy or intrusive and we never felt rushed so someone else could get our table. By the time we left, there were already more than a few people waiting in line on the benches outside so I guess we timed our early meal just right.

Normally, we go to Vic's in Bradley Beach or Federici's in Freehold because they are closer to home than either DeLorenzo's and arguably in the same major league. I'm really not reporting anything "new" to the group .... but rather just wanted to share our recent pleasant time and good experience at one of other 'favorites'.

On the way over to Princeton, I made it a point to drive past the 'other side of the family' in their new establishment nearby on Sloan Avenue [looked like the building might have previously been a former chain retaurant of one sort or another]. Next time we're in the mood for pizza and we're in the area, we'll check that one out too and give a full report but I expect it will also be up to its usual high standards just like on Hamilton Avenue but now out in the 'burbs.

Aug 17, 2013
bakersma in New Jersey

Another new Indian restaurant coming soon to Freehold boro ?

Hmmmm, I drove by there today and the signs in the window for "Gola" appear to have completely disappeared. In their place are signs for (I think) some sort of clothing sales.

On the other hand, the website is stil active and the countdown clock continues to tick away (it's at approximately 53 days, 19 hours remaining as I write this). The latest "news and updates" posted, however, date back to June 29th.

Very curious.

Aug 07, 2013
bakersma in New Jersey

Driving tour of Vermont - Any must-visit spots?

I second both of madisoneats' suggestions. Great places to stop while in the area !

Jul 23, 2013
bakersma in Northern New England

Kennebunkport area on the way to Camp Sunshine?

I'll start it off by suggesting Nunan's
in Cape Porpoise (a "suburb" of Kennebunkport) for anything related to lobster. Plus it's a very scenic ambience in the little fishing village.

in "downtown" Kennebunkport for casual dining.

The Ramp
is the casual downstairs bar-and-grill (but kid friendly) venue of the more upscale Pier77 which is located above it. They have the same owner who is a well-regarded chef. Great water views --particularly at sunset-- and it's 'just down the road' from Nunan's. We were seated at the table behind but adjacent to former President G.H. Bush and his wife Barbara once while having dinner several years ago -- out of consideration for their privacy, we didn't interrupt their meal to chat with them but they seemed like any nice older couple out for a meal. Very unpretentious, no big fuss, lots of locals: that's the kind of place that The Ramp is. Plus I'm told that if you wish, you can also order the more gourmet sort of entrees off of the Pier 77 menu to be served even if you are eating downstairs in the fun part.

[124 Ocean Avenue, Kennebunkport...don't think they have a website
]for the 'nicer' lunch or dinner....I'd consider it 'fancy' without being 'stuffy' or 'formal'. Similarly, you'd probably enjoy Mrs. Bartley's dockside restaurant
[over by the Clam Shack ...see below...don't think they have a website]
for a sit-down meal...the fare is similar to Mabel's and they are known for their blueberry pie.

Clam Shack
right next to the bridge in Kennebunkport for the seafood take-out. Also you might check out HB Provisions
which is a kind of general store (used to be called Meserve's) that has a more varied take-out breakfast & lunch deli menu. It's across the street at the other end of the bridge from the Clam Shack. I'll bet either would pack your selections to-go for the beach.

Everyone has their favorites but I don't think you can go wrong with any of these. Kennebunkport is a fun place to visit. Have a great time !

Jul 20, 2013
bakersma in Northern New England