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foodislove1958's Profile

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Meredith's New Orleans Cuisine ~ Manalapan

Here is an interesting fact...having just recently had a Board of Health inspection. ...NJ states..If a customer requests a food item a certain way..ie.."I'll have the chicken rare"...the restaurant may serve it to them. The restaurant does take responsiblity however. But I was told as long as the menu items is being prepared ala minute "to serve immiediately" that the chef can honor any request. So bizarre...

Dec 13, 2011
foodislove1958 in New Jersey

Monmouth County birthday dinner suggestions please.

hey joon..I finally tried ShangHai Bun this past weekend for my daughters birthday, She loves Chinese food and we weren't disappointed...in the food anyways! At one point I truly felt like I was in a Seinfeld skit. Having said that, I would definatley reomend the food here...but most importantly an instruction sheet on what and where. First off, we went for dinner...6 persons, given 3 lunch menus and 3 forks,,,more like just dropped off casually at the table. Second,,,for any condiment or beverage it is self serve. Kinda figured this out via observation. Third, communication barrior. The food delivered...everything at once including Dim Sum and appetizers...kinda overwhelming. I will say however that each dish was amazing, Scallion pancake, right on..crisp flaky and chewy all at once. Standard Chinese dishes above par like those at NEMO in Keyport. The steamed buns were amazing, caution however that the inside had piping hot broth inside, so hot in fact I wore most of it on my shirt! lol Noodle bowl if Spicy Beef a little heavy on the five spice but definatley a great thing for a chlly December night. Would I eat there again? Sure for lunch...but for takeout definately will be back.

Dec 07, 2011
foodislove1958 in New Jersey

Doris & Ed's Closed

Irene has caused irrevocable financial damages to the restaurant industry. Combine that with the current economic situation and the increased prices of commodities I think the next month or so will be crucial to many establishments. My heart goes out to all the hard working and passionate culinary employees and restaurant entrepreneurs.

Sep 12, 2011
foodislove1958 in New Jersey

Birthday Cake - Monmouth or Ocean County

I couldnt agree more jhill...that coconut cake is outstanding from the flaky tart! I have also used Abbate in Matawan..a great cannoli cake and I also like their Napoleon Cake. This past weekend I hosted an event with a cake from Mendokers (sp?) really very very good too!

Jul 19, 2011
foodislove1958 in New Jersey

Whole Pigs

The skin crackled like glass. Make sure you mop at least every hour. I wouldnt describe this as a smoker. More of a roaster with the option of smoke. I did not use any wood and got a mild smoke flavor which I prefer. I would caution you on your pig size. I had 100 people and everyone loved the pork..and I had alot left over. At least 20 lbs or more so solid pork. A 150 lb hog would most likely feed 150 or more. I did offer chicken and hot dogs as well. If you do decide to go with the 150 order now. Most of the shops have to special order one that size. Good luck and hope you get nice weather! One other tip...if you stuff the pig...I got dropped ceiling wire at Home Depot. Was great to sew up the cavity and wrap the legs tight. Its stainless steel and food friendly.

Jul 16, 2011
foodislove1958 in New Jersey

Whole Pigs

hey magic...well we had the pork extravaganza this past weekend. I did get the whole hog from the Hernandez Brothers. It was 100 lbs and I was charged $1.99 per pound. Interesting place..just not sure if it was "worth" my trip. I rented the grill from Grillbillies in Garwood. It cost $150 for 4 days. The "grillbilly" guys were very very accomodating and are serious about their pork. They told me they use a slaughter house in Warren for their whole animals. The grill was amazing..no flare ups...slow steady heat for 9 hours and the pig was done. You start by lighting just the far side of the charcoal on the left and the right (we used 100 lbs of charcoal) and it slowly burns into the middle creating a slow even heat. We stuffed the cavity with chorizo, applewood smoked bacon , whole onions, other aromatics and herbs. We used a mop of garlic and pickle juice with saffron and fresh oregano. Nice thing was when the pig was done we were able to stoke up the grill higher and roast about 100 chicken pieces in about 30 minutes...no fire! All in all a great way to feed alot of people.

Jul 14, 2011
foodislove1958 in New Jersey

Korean spicy rice cakes [Dukbokki]

is it me ? cause I dont understand this recipe at all? Are the rice cakes soft when u buy them? Is the dish pictured the recipe? I dont see any rice.

Jun 23, 2011
foodislove1958 in Recipes

Tipping at NJ Banquet Halls

In my vast experience the 20% gratuity is the norm. The Maitre'd can range from a percentage to a fixed price per person for the event. I can relate to many of the comments on this post. The riddle of knowing if any "extra" tipping actually passed down to the staff. Unfortunately, there really is no way to know. I have seen people tip extra person to person to a staff member who they felt delivered super service.
Theorectically I agree that "included tip" is presumptious, however you would be surprised by what many people feel is a "good" tip. Especially at restaurants or halls with many levels of staff. Last night at our restaurant we had a European couple that raved about food and service and left zero in the tip department. The server was crushed. So for a large event I think that many owners and or managers are merely supporting their staff. Of course there is no excuse for bad service and if any paying customer feels that they were given less than satisfactory service they should really bring it to the attention of management, This information is invaluble in assuring that they can fix any issues.
Another hot button issue is tipping on cocktails and most especially bottles of wine.

Jun 22, 2011
foodislove1958 in New Jersey

Whole Pigs

Wow this post hit me at just the right time! I am having a pig roast on July 9th and called around today for pricing. Nothing near that $1.79 per pound price. I already rented the large grill you speak of. I plan on brining the pig inside large plastic bags in a 55 gallon garbage pail. My neighbors growing up were from Puerto Rico and had pig roasts all the time. I will be using her herb and spice mix in the slits I make on the pig. Thanks for the tip on where to buy, Ill call there tomorrow.

Jun 22, 2011
foodislove1958 in New Jersey

Jersey Shore Homemade Ice Cream?

Hey folks gota get my plug in for Napoli Boys on route 36 in Belford. Great for those leaving Sandy Hook. Kudos for both soft and hard ice cream. My favorite hard one is Almond Joy (coconut ice cream with choclate covered almonds) Soft is the Black Raspberry. I love it in a cup and topped with chocolate cookie crumbs. I also heartily reccommend Hoffman's (Peanut Butter Honeycomb, Caramel Cashew). Thomas Sweet in Princeton for the Cookie Monster and of course the Bent Spoon!

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The Bent Spoon
35 Palmer Sq W, Princeton, NJ 08542

Jun 16, 2011
foodislove1958 in New Jersey

Nice restaurant in Strathmere, NJ??

Hey there Spice,,,I cannot reccommend Mildred's at all. While the staff was friendly, Ive never seen a party of 6 seated fed and out in less than 45 minutes. The food at most was mediocre. Veal parm..must have been prepped and popped under the broiler...absolutely zero in the flavor dept. Bland sliced mozzarella, red sauce..no herbs etc. I would compare this place to a so so diner, but in a nicer setting. Will admit the place was packed. But all food seemed to be convenience type,,,heated or fried..served up fast for turnover.
As for Ocean City, most places are very basic and family oriented. Solid take out can be had at Boyar's on Asbury. Great buckets of BBQ Chicken for the kids to Grilled Beef Tenderloin for mom and dad. Their bags of fries are ample for 4 people. Awesome burgers etc. Georges on the boardwalk near 5th is a gem for breakfast. You must bring back some of his chocolate covered macaroons for later in the day! For seafood I like Spadaforas on Haven. Nothing out of the box but fresh and well cooked. Sack o Subs,,,on Asbury..awesome cheesesteaks and sandwiches for eat in or take out. I know this is quirky but my favorite wing place there is the Pizza Hut on Asbury..oven roasted until crisp..Ice Cream my family are Kohr's fanatics. I can take it or leave it. Hope you all have a great stay and good weather!

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Pizza Hut Restaurants
2002 State Route 27, Edison, NJ 08817

Jun 16, 2011
foodislove1958 in New Jersey

Ocean City dining review

Hey There Rizzo,,,

I would reccomend a few others,,,,,

Georges on the boardwalk and fifth,,,great breakfast,,,awesome homemade ice cream,,,and the most divine macaroons,,,,plain, dark or milk chocolate dipped,

Boyars Market on Asbury,,,,its all take out but some of the best on the "island", Everything from a huge value priced bucket of real bbq chicken to grilled filet mignon,

My wife and kids are addicted to Kohrs Frozen Custard and Mack n Manco Pizza,,,just not for me! Glad you had a good time..We'll be making our yearly trek soon!

Jun 04, 2011
foodislove1958 in New Jersey

What are your Favorite Easter Foods?

I love hearing about all ethnic celebratory foods. In my italian family, Easter has its own set of recipes all during lent. A few in particular....

> Start making the day before Good Friday...Ive heard it called many difffernt names..but my aunt calls it "Pastia"..cooked thick spaghetti with a hole going thru it is soaked over night in milk, then a dozen eggs and 1 cup of parmesan cheese is whisked into it. Seasoned with black pepper and cooked for an hour in a bain marie....almost like a parmesan custard. This is a staple of the Good Friday Meal.

>Good Friday itself is for the production fo assorted meat pies. Anything from Piiza Chena ( sort of stuffed pizza) which every family claims to to have the best of. Anything goes here, proscuito, pancetta, sausage, soppresata, pepperoni, hard boiled eggs, raw eggs, ham, capicola. Ive learned to tell each family that theirs is best...lol...we all know mine is...These pies can weight up to 20 pounds. Another is the Torat Rustica, more like a savory cheesecake with the meats chopped throughout.

>On the sweeter side...my mom is the maker of the "farina pie" translated to that from something that sounds like"miatche".. Very silky smooth crustless pie that is vanilla scented. Ricotta pies that have a buttery crust and some pineapple running through. My absolute favorite is the neopolitan wheat pie. Creamy custard and ricotta combined with cooled wheat berries in a buttery orange cake like crust.. Lest we forget the honey coated struffuli....yum! The easter breads with the dyed eggs baked in..never really appealed to me.. but seem locked in the tradtions of making them. Another specail cookie made for easter we called "Taralli" I have seen many many versions of these. most of them kind of hard and crunchy. The ones we make are more cake like with a whipped eggwhite glaze that is scented with anise. These things are additive after a big meal.

Id love to hear from any eastern europeans, latinos , Israealii's or anyone with a specailty that is native to their Easter. ! Love the"secret" family recipes!! Have a great Holiday all.

Apr 20, 2011
foodislove1958 in General Topics

Greatest Jersey Pizza that most people haven't heard of

I'd reccomend a few...
Vic's, Bradley Beach
Vesuvio's Belmar
My favorite newcomer...Salerno's in Hazlet on Bethany Road....

I know Pete and Eldas rides high..just really never worked for me.....First 2 I mentioned very old school...Salerno's..newere but great quality....my favorite..the Buffalo Chicken..

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Pete and Elda's
96 Woodland Ave, Neptune City, NJ 07753

Vesuvio
725 S Main St Ste 3, Forked River, NJ 08731

Apr 20, 2011
foodislove1958 in New Jersey

Southern fried chicken in Ocean or Monmouth county

yah..thats it...but like I said I havent been there for years

Mar 31, 2011
foodislove1958 in New Jersey

Southern fried chicken in Ocean or Monmouth county

I havent been there in years but there was a place either in Bradley Beach or Avon on Main...German Family owned...name escapes me...but thier chicken was delicious. To me the difference is pan fry vs deep fry. I know no southern ladies have deep fryers in thier kitchens..big cast iron skillets...thats the way to go!

Mar 31, 2011
foodislove1958 in New Jersey

Atlantic City No-no's?

My faves:
Casual: Little Saigon...I know there will be a backlash..just not a fan of Whitehouse...
Tun Tavern: Great steaks burgers, The bar at McCormick and Schmidt
Upscale: Girasole. Old Homestead (pricey), Itzakaya, OPA

No Nos for me....all the buffets, Mortons

Mar 29, 2011
foodislove1958 in New Jersey

Trattoria Rustica - Flavorless. unless your fond of Lysol

In the begining thread, it states Matawan. @forunder prefer to to be discreet...I can assure you the review is totally unbiased.

Mar 28, 2011
foodislove1958 in New Jersey

Trattoria Rustica - Flavorless. unless your fond of Lysol

Maybe it was an off night...because I had heard good things too..and its right next to one of my favorite area bakeries (ABBATE)...sorry about the "bad form" in not naming the name of the restaurant, Chalk it up to professional guilt. Complaining to the establishment might have helped...especially if the lysol tretment is a common practice, they may not be aware of the way it permeates the entire seating area. As far as tipping....well that is just professional courtesy, because you can't hold the server accountable for the food too.

Mar 28, 2011
foodislove1958 in New Jersey

Trattoria Rustica - Flavorless. unless your fond of Lysol

Tried with the group Saturday night at 8. First timers we had heard good things about the casual eatery. First off, no host. so we thought we had to sit in the storefront. A man from behnd thecounter asked slices or dinnner. We said dinner yet we were never told that the dining room was in the back of the business. We didnt know about it till we saw other folks walking and going back there to be seated. No problem...we had a nice table for the 4 of us and were fine. Five full minutes go by before we get greeted by our friendly server. We give our drink orders wan are shown the special board. 10 full minutes go by. Our drinks are on the counter while our server cheerfuly chatted with the other staff, kissed people from the dining room goodnight...and oh yea...Ive got your drinks. By now my radar is up so I tell table, when she gets here lets get the orders in..apps, entrees etc.

She returns with the drinks and a basket of fresh baked focacia bread with butter and a simple but tasty olive tapenade. Ok..things are looking up. Appetizer ordered fried calalmari, 2 caesar salads, I pasta fagioli. Calamari came promptly. Well fried not tough, nice sized portion. Absolutely no flavor at all....salt and pepper no where in dish. Bland marinara, I asked for the crushed red pepper.
Soup comes out next.. Amazingly the thinnest Pasta Fagioli Ive ever seen. Tasty broth but no bindng hearty consistency you expect from this filling peasant dish. Ok 15 minutes later the salads arrive. I ask her to "fire" the entress....we've been here an hour now. Salads, fresh crisp and they should have been, they were taken out of the cold water and not drained enough so that the dressing puddled in a diluted mess on the bottom on the plates. Croutons were good most likely the left overs of the tasty focacccia breads from the basket)

Entrees arrrive..child number 1, 2 plain slices and and order of fries. Great fries, potato starch coated just the way my kid loves them! Child number 2 chicken tenders and fries. Rave for fries, tenders actually dark gray inside..
I ordered the special Jumbo Shrimp pasta with Broccoli Rabe,Sun Dried tomatoes in a Madeira Sauce. Nothing at all married this dish together. Several slices of raw garlic in a watery bland sauce. And another major pet peeve of mine, tail on shrimp in a pasta dish that had been dredged in flour which gave the a glue like coating. Not an herb to to be found except the parsley toss around the rim of the place. I ask little one for one of his slices since I cant eat this mess. Ive had better pizza on Fridays in the school cafeteria. Once again..no flavor....oregano, basil, oilive oil? Second entree of cavatelli with broccoli. Pasta cooked fine, broccoli cooked yesterday? No flavor again...I wonder if they salt their cooking solution.or worse yet, rinse it off to hold. The topping of this story is just as our entrees had come out, the kitchen staff (open kitchen) had doused the enire kitchen and areas just behind us with Lysol cleaning fluid. It was so strong it had our eyes watering. Really no excuse for that.

Server cheerful. but inept and too intune to her regulars and their long dramatic goodbies. (lieterally everyone who left) Left my standard 20% because Im in the busines...but boy....amazes me these places are packed!

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Trattoria Rustica
259 Main St, Matawan, NJ 07747

Mar 27, 2011
foodislove1958 in New Jersey

Anyone know where I can get burrata cheese in New Jersey?

See Meagan W at Sickles Market. She is an excellant cheese mongerer and gets the burrrata both domestic and imported. She is a wealth of knowledge!

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Sickles Market
1 Harrison Avenue, Little Silver, NJ 07739

Mar 27, 2011
foodislove1958 in New Jersey

If you Can Stand another Pizza Review..PLEASE READ! Salerno's in Hazlet

So,,,anybody try Salerno's yet?

Mar 24, 2011
foodislove1958 in New Jersey

Crumb Buns/Crumb Cake?

When I grew up crumb buns and crumb cake were two totally differt entities. Crumb cake was moist and buttery with a thick buttery crumb topping. Crumb buns were yeast raised cake with crumbs, moist but not necessarily buttery. I have had really good crumb cakes in local bagel shops. There bottom is more like a buttery pound cake and the topping is super thick and moist. (Gem"s bagels in Hazlet has this crumb cake). As for the crumb buns, I have found the old yeast like ones I really like at the Carousel Bakery on Bethany Road in Hazlet. I would also mention that Gem"s has the best tradtional Black and Whites around! I love the Flaky Tart but have never tried their crumb buns or cake.

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Flaky Tart
145 1st Ave, Atlantic Highlands, NJ

Mar 20, 2011
foodislove1958 in New Jersey

If you Can Stand another Pizza Review..PLEASE READ! Salerno's in Hazlet

Ok hounders...I've found another Pizza Mecca for you all to try. Located on Bethany Road in Hazlet, Salerno's took over the Olive & Bean Space about a year or so ago. I've been a follower of Vic's, Vesuvio & DeNino....now I must put Salerno's on the list! Excellant thin crust pizza, tasty almost buttery cheese and just the right amount of suace. I like their sausage pizza which is made with thin sliced link sausage as opposed to the loose "chunks" some pizzarias use. Honestly can't believe that Im going out of the box here, but here goes. The main reason Ive been prompted to write about it was my kids. We were ordering pizza and they said "Dad, you gotta try Salerno's Buffalo Chicken Pizza". I never ever go for those new wave pizza's being the traditionalist. But as anyone with kids knows..its easier to go with the flow. WELL.....I was totally shocked at what came to the door. The Buffalo Chicken Pizza is a total gastroomic delight. The crust is as thick as a Sicilian, light airy and super crispy on the outside. The crust is first topped with a thin layer of Mozzarella which prevents the heavy moist topping from permeating it. I would venture to say that about a pound or more of tender (not over cooked) chicken breast chunks coated with hot sauce top the mozzarella. Now heres the kicker...a thin blended blue cheese sauce is swirled all over the chicken. An amazing harmony of flavor and believe it or not, the crust stays crisp enough so that you can pick up a slice and not wear it! A true feat considering the weight of this pie. So if any of you out there are contemplating stepping out of the "Pizza Box" I would highly reccomend this place. No website as of yet.

Salerno's
80 Bethany Road
Hazlet, NJ 07730

732 264 9515

Mar 17, 2011
foodislove1958 in New Jersey

Sugar Rush, Red Bank - new cake store

Very well put HillJ. Leesh...I did forget about the Flaky Tart...duh...of course theirs are good. I had their Coconut one..honestly one of the best Ive ever had. The sucess of any of these establishemnets really is great baking skills. I learned a long time ago that cooking is an art..but Baking is all about science as well..

Mar 17, 2011
foodislove1958 in New Jersey

Sugar Rush, Red Bank - new cake store

I tried Sugar Rush and thought it was just ok. I would gladly put down the money especially if I felt the quality was there. The concept is cool..but this most likely will not survive. The cake was dry, and I didnt taste any butter in the "buttercream". Drop the price 2 bucks and open as a kiosk in a mall and you would do well. Red Bank rents and expenses will chew this cupcake apart. So far in my cupcake travels, no one has beaten Crumbs, for flavor and imagination.

Mar 15, 2011
foodislove1958 in New Jersey

Ocean City with toddlers

All that you mentioned will be fine. Frankly, OC is a family town so every restaurant is suitable for your toddlers. You will be surpised how lenient, friendly and accomodating the proprietors will be there as opposed to say Cape May. Not a slur, just my observations over the years. OC is a great NJ family vacation spot. Almost every restaruant willalso deliver take out to your rental as well!
Some of my faves
Georges: on the boardwalk..great breakfast and fmaous chocolate dipped macaroons. Ice Cream if good too!

Uncle Bills: Great place but long lines..go to the Hula Grill!

Boyars on Asbury: Take out is awesome. BBQ Chicken to Filet Mignon.

Dont frget to bring wine with you...OC is a dry town.

There is a great playground for your kids on 34th.

Have a great time! Pack a sweater..June can still be chilly at night on the baordwalk.

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Hula Grill
940 Boardwalk, Ocean City, NJ 08226

Jan 05, 2011
foodislove1958 in New Jersey

Flakey Tart - Atlantic Highlands.

Ive been there several times and I am usually able to get something savory vs sweet. Not a huge selection of the savory,. but something other than the sumptuous sweets. Totally agree a place with fresh baguettes would see my face once a week.

Nov 22, 2010
foodislove1958 in New Jersey

Ability of owners to respond to reviews [moved from New Jersey board]

Hey cantkick...so right with no excuse with the credit card rudeness. But, you bring up a good point about restaurants being able to express their defense. Maybe chowhound could develop a response board for the owners and management of the restaurant industry as well? NOT a sounding off board, but one geared toward addressing specific topics related to them. I'm interested to hear what others think about this..

Nov 22, 2010
foodislove1958 in Site Talk

Today's Visit [Il Pavone, Asbury Park]

Opps forgot one other thing..don't write off Wendy's Frosties either!

Jul 24, 2010
foodislove1958 in New Jersey