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ELA's Profile

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Guy Fieri Diners Drive-ins and Dives - any worthwhile in Monmouth County?

Check his website...I don't have the link handy...and I don't remember if there were any places listed that were in Monmouth County.

As far as diner menus -- I can see that. The exceptions are few and far between. Now, as far as diner food -- same thing. My experience is they are all for the most part, typical diners. There are a few exceptions, and even fewer that are something special.

about 17 hours ago
ELA in New Jersey
1

Parsippany

I would agree with Hunan Taste -- not your stereotypical Chinese restaurant. Good food, done right.

Also, I would strongly recommend the Tabor Road Tavern (Morris Plains). Very nice place, owned/operated by the Harvest Restaurants people -- very good food, service, and an overall excellent experience.

about 24 hours ago
ELA in New Jersey

Zagat's list of NJ's Top 50 Restaurants...

Agreed...we have to enjoy the food while they are still there...although we can hope for a "friendly" and "favorable" buyer and a nice transition. Maybe similar to the Saddle River Inn...? Who knows.

May 21, 2015
ELA in New Jersey

Zagat's list of NJ's Top 50 Restaurants...

Link fixed...sorry, something got lost in the translation, LOL.

May 20, 2015
ELA in New Jersey

Zagat's list of NJ's Top 50 Restaurants...

I read the list over, in detail, and a friend of mine from Moutfuls commented on how many people contribute reviews to Zagat for NJ. He went on to say "what you need to bump a review up or down." I thought it was an interesting, and very good question. I for one don't know the details, specifics, etc., of how these ratings are arrived at. Is is strictly "readers input" so to speak? The # of reviews/visits would certainly come into play. If it's readers, general public only -- then it's nothing more than odds at the racetrack, LOL.

Regardless, it's a very good list -- one that you could easily defend any restaurant on the list, and there are also many formidable ones that didn't make the list, got bumped off, etc. I think new places, "hot" or made a huge impact kind of places, start to replace places that have been on the list for years. Some of the "classics" are still as excellent as they've always been, but times change, new places arrive, etc.

That said, in the food category -- from the top of the list, # 1, to the bottom of the list, #50 -- it's a "tight" and narrow swing, from a score of 28 (for the # 1) to a score of 26 (for #50). Very tight. That's a good thing as far as food. You see many "classic" places remain on the list for years and you see some get "bounced" off. Always glad to see some of my favorites -- Varka, Vola, Sakura Bana, Knife and Fork Inn, Cafe Matisse, Saddle River Inn, Cafe Panache, and now A Toute Heure. There are also several I've been wanting to get back to.

https://www.zagat.com/best-restaurant...

Enjoy reading the list...and enjoy the food too!

May 20, 2015
ELA in New Jersey
1

Pastrami sandwiches in Bergen County?

That doesn't surprise me about Harold's (using a "brand" pastrami; and while Hebrew National certainly makes a quality product, I just didn't think it was "very good" so to speak; hence I was never a big fan). Like I said, I haven't had their pastrami in a long time.

FV --same, like I said, it's been quite a while. I too have no idea what they are using/serving; but last time I had it, I thought it was a "good" sandwich.

That said, thinking about it, I wonder what Benny's used back in the day. I haven't had their pastrami sandwich in years. When I am in the mood -- the Kosher Nosh is right down the street, so that's where I go.

The best I've had recently -- was Eppes Essen, but that's a nice drive for me...but worth it! Being that Irving's slipped so much and "jumped the shark" as I call it, if I am in the area, I can't bring myself to try it knowing Eppes Essen is nearby.

If I am in Newark...Hobby's...'nuff said, LOL.

May 19, 2015
ELA in New Jersey

Pastrami sandwiches in Bergen County?

I haven't been to FV in quite a while. Have to get back there and soon! LOL. As far as Harold's, if you are talking about the one on Ridgewood Ave, I know it well. I pass by on the home every day and have stopped in often. For whatever reason -- perhaps because I just haven't eaten it right there, on the spot -- I am just not a big fan of their pastrami. Don't get me wrong, it's ok, just don't get me charged up, LOL.

Maybe I need to get a sandwich, run into the parking lot and eat it right there, LOL.

Thanks.

May 19, 2015
ELA in New Jersey

Pastrami sandwiches in Bergen County?

Just to update this thread -- in my opinion, Kosher Nosh is the best you'll find in Bergen County. Petak's is a shadow of what it used to be. Sol N' Sol is long gone, but back in the day was top notch.

Benny's is still there -- it was sold years ago, but they are still popular and seem to be doing well -- and I haven't had the pastrami there in many years. It used to be good, very good -- a big sandwich, done right, good flavor, taste, etc. Obviously not a "Jewish" deli and certainly not Kosher, but a very good sandwich.

May 19, 2015
ELA in New Jersey
1

Pastrami sandwiches in Bergen County?

After 8 years? LOL. Just kidding. Glad you liked it. Still the best you'll find in Bergen County in my opinion.

May 19, 2015
ELA in New Jersey

Newark, NJ restaurants suitable for family dinner with Granny / Prudential graduation

I would have said Adega Grill -- and can't say enough good things about it. Every single time I've been there, the food and the service has been excellent! A lot of flavors, taste, and just overall a very good experience.

Yes, try it. Hope you had a nice time at Fernandes...and congratulations.

May 16, 2015
ELA in New Jersey

looking for places to get tacos al pastor in northern NJ (Bergen County)

Been wanting to get to Sutter's for a while now, LOL.

As far as CdM -- as far as I knew, there was one location in Hillsdale and one in Waldwick. Not sure if both/either are still open as it's been quite some time since I've gone there.

May 15, 2015
ELA in New Jersey

post-graduation dinner for 8 in Summit area

I'll throw two out there -- Roots (one location in Summit and one in Morristown) or Huntley Taverne (Summit). All three are part of the Harvest Restaurants. I don't know about the $500 figure -- that's about $63 per person -- but at Huntley that would certainly not be a problem. It's do'able at Roots, but check out the menu for both.

In my opinion, the food is excellent and the service is as well. Harvest has an excellent business model, and what they do, they do it right and they do it well.

Between Madison, Summit and Morristown -- you have numerous options.

May 11, 2015
ELA in New Jersey

New restaurant celebrates legendary Jersey foods

OK...looks interesting. If I were in the area, I'd check it out. So what he's doing is taking "Jersey Classics" and bringing them all together on one menu...OK, got it. Listen, I can't speak to the Italian hotdog until/unless I try it, but to say it's going to be as good as Jimmy Buff's -- that's a bold claim to make (in my opinion).

Italian Sausage -- OK, who is he shooting for there? The classic version? Someone specific? Same with the other dishes.

Location aside, and I know the location but am far from an expert on the area, maybe something like this could work. Kind of a classic, retro, burger, dog, Jersey classic, etc. menu.

May 11, 2015
ELA in New Jersey

looking for places to get tacos al pastor in northern NJ (Bergen County)

Very good wings at Sutter's...nice local pub grub type food...and known for their wings. I think they still have a wing night, but I am not sure.

There's a few others around Bergen -- but I try to avoid the modern, fast food, nouveau type places as I've never found one that I really liked.

Aside from Cinco de Mayo and 3 Chicas, I kind of liked Badlands Tacos in Ramsey, and I want to get back to Chapala Grill (I am not even sure if either of these two are still open, LOL). What about La Frontera (Hackensack) -- are they still open? And there was one in Ridgewood I wanted to try, but again, I am not sure it's still open. It's been a couple of years since I made out my list -- and again, between the two in Suffern, Cinco de Mayo and 3 Chicas, for the most part I am pretty well set, LOL.

May 11, 2015
ELA in New Jersey

Food Trucks?

Might be a little too "narrow" -- and a sentimental favorite for me -- but...the Callahan's hotdog truck!

I don't know if he's added fries, burgers, etc. on the truck yet. The storefront restaurant opened two weeks ago and Dan is putting the truck back on the road for May 30.

Also, I think Monmouth Park racetrack does a food truck festival (or maybe just a food festival that has a big turnout of food trucks). Anyway, reason I mention it -- perhaps you can go to their website and look for information on it. When I saw it last year on their website, they had a massive list of who was participating, and they tend to keep content on their website. You can look under news, events, etc. -- and just go back. It was a big event and very successful. You can probably get some great ideas there.

Lastly, does it need to be a food truck per se? How about one of these BBQ/smoke teams that do catering events? Might be a great idea.

Let us know what you ended up doing. Good luck and enjoy.

May 11, 2015
ELA in New Jersey

looking for places to get tacos al pastor in northern NJ (Bergen County)

Actually, let me clarify -- the two I like are not actually in Bergen, but a stone's throw over the board in Suffern.

The first is Hacienda Don Manuel, right in Lafayette, downtown Suffern. It's a big place, no-frills kind of place -- but excellent food, authentic dishes, done right and done well. They make guacamole -- fresh, at tableside -- which is very good, and the menu has a lot of scope, depth, etc. When I am in the mood for good Mexican food, there is not a lot in Bergen County, and being up in this area, I am lucky as HDM is close to me. Whenever I've gone there, it's always been crowded, and many of the customers are Mexican. Last time I was there, I was talking to the couple next to me, they were Mexican, and they came in from Northern Rockland County and said in their opinion it's one of the best in Rockland.

The second is Tequila Sal Y Limon, down Lafayette, and right around the corner (on Orange Ave.). It's a small, quaint kind of place that has more in the way of ambiance. I call it more of a "date place" so to speak, LOL. It's darker, a bit more aesthetics, ambiance, etc. I don't like the food as much -- but it's good. I rate it a good notch below HDM, but depending on what I am looking for, I would go. I like the food and never had a bad meal there, they have some good dishes, nothing bad, but if it were food only -- I would take HDM by far.

I visited most of the Mexican places of note in Bergen, open, closed, nice, nouveau, authentic, and so on -- and there's a few I like and don't have a problem going to. I do like Cinco de Mayo (Waldwick) and 3 Chicas (Wyckoff), as well as a few others.

May 10, 2015
ELA in New Jersey

looking for places to get tacos al pastor in northern NJ (Bergen County)

Agreed on Selenita's. Excellent Mexican food -- flavor, taste, authentic, etc. It's been a real mainstay, and aside from a strong local following, they have a bit of a reputation outside the area amongst foodies.

It's a small, BYO, almost no-frills kind of place, but it's nice. Every time I've been there -- and take out -- the food has been very good. I am not in that area at all anymore, and I have a few very good Mexican restaurants near me in Bergen County, but if I didn't, I'd have no problem with the drive-time to Selenita's.

May 09, 2015
ELA in New Jersey

Fernandes 3 - Sayerville, NJ

Thanks for the update/review and information.

May 04, 2015
ELA in New Jersey

Any good ideas where to watch the Mayweather/Pacquiao fight in Northern NJ?

Any good ideas? I know a few Buffalo Wild Wings are showing it...but was thinking about something else, LOL. I did a few searches and kept coming up with places in NYC only. Don't want to head into the NYC.

Anyone know any websites listing where they are showing the fight in Northern NJ/Bergen County? Any good ideas on where to watch the fight? Thank you in advance.

May 01, 2015
ELA in New Jersey

Mother's Day Brunch north nj

I like Amanada's, all things considered. The Manor is excellent IMO. The Short Hills Hilton is very good. I'd rate The Manor higher.

Blu and Next Door -- although I haven't been there for Mother's Day Brunch, I've eaten there many times...and both are excellent! The chef/owner is a genius in my opinion and puts out incredible food. I'd eat any meal there.

Another to consider, and I don't know if they are still doing a Mother's Day Brunch is Bacari Grill. I have always enjoyed the place -- very good food, excellent service and ambiance, nice environment, top notch all around in every category.

Apr 27, 2015
ELA in New Jersey

First date restaurants in northern/central NJ?

I don't know what's considered "halfway" between NYC and Princeton -- but I can't help but think NJ Tpk. or GSP and then drawing the line.

That said, there are some nice recommendations here, but I don't know how many of them are "halfway" so to speak.

Westfield, Cranford, Clark -- that seems close to halfway. I don't know. Maybe a tad further "south" -- again, I am not sure. Maybe not distance wise, but driving time wise, New Brunswick might be an option, although it seems a bit closer to Princeton.

If either person doesn't mind driving a bit further, that opens the door to a great deal. It would be further from the Princeton person, but thinking about Montclair opens the door to a diverse and very good selection of restaurants. Without question though further for the Princeton party.

And, coming from a single person...good luck on the date!!!

Apr 27, 2015
ELA in New Jersey

Nosher Rye Deli In Allendale seems closed

For me, my likes, tastes, etc. -- I rate Eppes Essen above Kosher Nosh. I pretty much go by the pastrami, the kasha varnishkes, and some of the other dishes I've ordered several times. The usual stuff, LOL. I think NR was OK. I never had a problem going back there, but it just wasn't up to KN for my likes.

Like I always say -- some people like chocolate and some people like vanilla. On these "flavors" we just like something different, more, etc.

I would gladly pay the "more" for KN compared to NR, but again, that's just me. If the NR pastrami sandwich was $12, and the KN was $18 -- yes, I'd prefer the KN, but again, that's just me. Truthfully, I never looked at the price, but I know KN is expensive in most people's minds, but I think for a kosher deli, you are going to pay a premium.

As far as EE -- no, they are not kosher. I don't keep kosher and EE not being kosher doesn't mean anything to me, and for my tastes -- EE is better than KN. However, if people don't want to pay "more" because they are not kosher, I would understand and respect their opinion.

It's too bad NR closed and now there's one less deli to go to.

Thanks.

Apr 26, 2015
ELA in New Jersey

Nosher Rye Deli In Allendale seems closed

Sorry to hear it closed. While I've gone a few times, I thought it was OK, I would go to Kosher Nosh every time, but that's just me, my tastes, likes, etc.

I haven't been to Petak's in years -- and yes, they slipped so badly I just stopped going.

Agreed, you cannot find a very good Jewish/Kosher deli in Bergen County. In the last 20 years, those that many considered good, very good, etc., have closed. What is left is Kosher Nosh -- that's it in my opinion. Yes, most will say it is expensive...and that's the price of admission for going to a Kosher deli, LOL.

I find myself taking the trip to Eppes Essen often.

Apr 26, 2015
ELA in New Jersey

Esty Street (Park Ridge) awarded 3 starts...Elisa Ung review...

I don't know -- it's been fairly well publicized over the years, has often made a few "best of" lists here and there, etc. The restaurant is in Park Ridge which is the corner of Bergen County, bordering Rockland County/NY, so it's not mainstream, downtown, etc. I guess it might be off the beatin' path a bit.

Apr 24, 2015
ELA in New Jersey

Esty Street (Park Ridge) awarded 3 starts...Elisa Ung review...

Let me say -- I haven't been to Esty Street in a good few years. However, when I was last there -- there seemed to be an "attitude" so to speak, which ironically jumped out at me again just from from reading the review. Not having prices on the menu, due to in part, because "price is no object" and clients "don't look at prices" -- in my opinion, is not a reason to not have prices on the menu. Your clients may not always be your clients, and replacing them may not be so easy, LOL.

Listen, the place sells out every night of the week -- who am I to say, but that is just my opinion. I tend to be a person who doesn't look at prices, not because of my net worth, but that doesn't mean the price still shouldn't be there.

That said, as much as I enjoyed the food, the experience was a notch or two below -- because of the service. I found the service "fair" I guess I would call it. As I've often said, to me, it's also, and can very much be, about the experience -- and if I am in this type of place, a high-end, high-quality, high-priced kind of place, then there is an expectation that you are going to get high-end and high-quality service. To me, that's a disconnect.

Listen, I get that places like Luger's has their shtick -- but that's not Esty Street. It's got that sophisticated, intimate. fancy feel and the service didn't match.

I'd like to get over there again soon, but there's plenty of other "high-end" restaurants in Bergen County, so I don't know if I am going to rush to get there. I don't know, we'll see.

Apr 24, 2015
ELA in New Jersey

Esty Street (Park Ridge) awarded 3 starts...Elisa Ung review...

Thanks to my friend Paul (on another website) -- Elisa Ung recently reviewed and awarded three stars to Esty Street...the long-time, well-known, Park Ridge restaurant. She offered additional commentary about:

1) Prices on many items not being on the menu

2) Ownership/management has decided to not go with a named executive chef (after a hectic period of time, with a new chef every few months, they now use consultants, with a veteran chef who runs the day to day operations in the kitchen) -- which Elisa found did not affect the quality of the food (other than dessert, which seemed a bit weak).

3) The mentality of "price is no object" and the clientele "doesn't bother looking at the prices" seems to be a theme in the article.

Regardless, Esty Street is still a high-end, high-quality, high-priced restaurant -- and it's working and working well. They are still putting out very good, flavorful, tasty food (according to a friend of mine, who is a chef, who recently had dinner there). Doing it well and doing it right for 25 years or so says a lot about a place...it says it's a very good place.

That said...here is the review by Elisa, from NorthJersey.com --

http://www.northjersey.com/food-and-d...

I might have to head over there soon...at least for a drink...

Apr 24, 2015
ELA in New Jersey

Northern NJ Korean

Was? Where are they located? Have you been there recently? Thanks.

Apr 23, 2015
ELA in New Jersey

Best cheap buffets?

Thanks for the heads up on POC. The Brazilian place was atrocious in my opinion. I went once and it was horrible. My friend said it must have been an off-day or something, so I have it another shot. It was horrible again! I would never go back.

Anyway, I heard a few "decent" reviews about POC/Hackensack when they first opened. I then asked a few people I know and respect, and their reports were "OK" and "good" so to speak, relative to what an AYCE buffet place can be -- meaning however "good" it can be given that you are getting seafood, sushi, etc., and what appears to be a "bargain" level price. Is $20-$25 a "bargain" level price? In my opinion, yes. Is $40-$50 -- no, I don't think it is.

At $20-$25, I just don't think you can get really quality food/ingredients, prepared well, quality purveyors, and so forth. It can only be "so good" to a point. Just my opinion.

I too heard about the new place -- and also heard about it at BoozyBurbs. Haven't heard any info first-hand yet. I am spoiled when it comes to smoked/BBQ food, so while I would interested to see what the details are, unless it's the rare exception, I don't expect it to displace my top smoke/BBQ favorite(s). Of course I'll be open-minded, enthusiastic, etc. LOL.

Apr 20, 2015
ELA in New Jersey

Northern NJ Korean

Thanks for the heads up...So where are these two places?

Also, do either of these places offer "Korean BBQ" dishes?

Thank you again.

Apr 20, 2015
ELA in New Jersey

Good restaurants near Newark Airport (NJ)

Got it! Thanks for the clarification. I thought someone had mentioned it was "new" or had been reinvented/renovated recently vis a vis the restaurant and/or the nightclub/bar/lounge next door. As I said, I don't know.

I parked in a private parking garage, a half a block away, on the perpendicular street. Not sure if it was the shared lot you are referring to.

Yes, agreed -- you do not want to be rushed there.

Apr 20, 2015
ELA in New Jersey