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Worst Restaurants in NJ

I went to Blu a while back -- I was talked into it by a friend -- on a Saturday night. We did not eat there and the reports I've heard on the food are "fair at best" to "not good" -- so it doesn't sounds like any change from Rupert's.

Anyway, late night Saturday night, the place was crowded. Very mixed, young, crowd. Too crowded actually. A lot of power-drinkers, young "kids" being a bit loud and rowdy, etc.

1 day ago
ELA in New Jersey

Best BBQ in Bergen County?

Fink is back in Dumont. The original plan was when Bobby Q's opened, Fink was going to alternate days and his right-hand man, Bobby (the pitmaster) was going to be at Fink's as he always is. Recently, Fink was spending a lot more time at Q's, but he went back to Dunmont, before Q'a closed. I was at Fink's when Fink himself was at Bobby Q's, and for my likes, tastes, etc. -- there was no difference. I actually thought the gumbo was excellent (Bobby made it), better than the time before. I order what I like, so for me, I expect to enjoy it thoroughly. If something looks good, I'll give it a shot on occasion, but most of the time I am sticking with what I like. Bobby has been with Fink for a very long time, so he knows what he's doing and and he knows the Fink way, LOL.

Yes, Bobby Q's has closed. It has nothing to do with Fink per se as it's not "his place" so to speak. He was brought in to try and replicate the Fink's operation. Obviously, different place, different location, etc. The place is closed temporarily. I don't know the details, but there is a plan to re-open and soon. They were not attracting bar business. Tough to overcome the Ireland's reputation, LOL.

While downtown Suffern is a nice little town -- this place is very close by, just north, outside of town. A bit tougher to get to for some, and not so easy to get to off of Route 17, 87, 287, etc. Not a very high-traffic road. Regardless, I don't know when they will re-open.

Oct 20, 2014
ELA in New Jersey

Locale in Closter

For me, with certain restaurants, or certain times I am going out, it is also very much about "the experience" so to speak. That's just me. For those places, bad service can absolutely ruin the evening. No matter how good the food is, if I have to wait for long periods of time, am neglected, am being treated poorly or rudely, etc. -- it impacts and ruins the meal and experience. Sure, you can say "how important is it, the food is excellent" and so on -- but it gets frustrating.

I had this recently at a sushi place in Montclair, Nori. After a great experience and a great meal prior -- this time, with a party of 6 or so, and for a birthday, the service just ruined the meal. Even more was that the sushi was sub-par from the prior visit. However, I can assure you, if it were not -- the service ruined the meal and the experience!

Unfortunately, this is too common.

Oct 20, 2014
ELA in New Jersey

Locale in Closter

Very sad. Service can prevent people from returning -- no matter how good the food is. If an owner doesn't see it -- that's a problem; and a big one for the owner. If the owner doesn't care...he/she might soon enough...when they are closing having gone out business, LOL.

Oct 19, 2014
ELA in New Jersey

Locale in Closter

That's just unacceptable. Period. I am polite to waiters/waitresses...but if they are rude to me, I have no problem letting management know.

Oct 19, 2014
ELA in New Jersey

Jersey barbecue freaks prepare yourselves - Mighty Quinn's to open in Clifton

My review of the MQ's in Clifton is here on this thread. In short, not good at all.

I have been to any of their NYC locations. I've heard some good things about them -- from people who I feel have a very good opinion and who like places that I like (Fink's for example), so perhaps our tastes, likes, etc. are similar, the same -- but I've also heard some so-so reviews as well.

If I were in NYC and nearby, I would consider trying MQ's -- but I would look very carefully first. On the other hand, as you will read in my review -- when I went to Clifton, the food actually looked very good. The chicken looked excellent, but could not have been worse, except if it were more raw. The sausage looked good as well, but wasn't. So, the looks were very deceiving. But I think I would give a benefit of the doubt and try a NYC location anyway. Being that Fink's and Bobby Q's are so close to me, and Bailey's as well (which I don't think is anywhere near as good as Fink's), I don't see myself traveling into NYC for smoked/BBQ.

Oct 16, 2014
ELA in New Jersey

Jersey barbecue freaks prepare yourselves - Mighty Quinn's to open in Clifton

I heard something to this effect. I've never been to the market, so I am not sure of the affiliation (if any). One person told me it was MQ's and they were a vendor there. Another person told it was not the MQ's we are talking about -- but the same name? Seems a little odd to me. Regardless, I don't know the accurate information.

I can only speak to the MQ's in Clifton which I went to and did not enjoy at all. I don't plan on going back again. I never say never, but I don't plan on it -- and it would take a lot for me to give them another shot. I think I'd walk around the corner to ZinBurger, which I do like very much.

Oct 15, 2014
ELA in New Jersey

Why does NJ/NYC area have the best pizza?

That seems high to me. On the other hand, if it were excellent pizza, and I really enjoyed it -- then the value would be there for me. Regardless however, no matter how good it is, relatively speaking, $4 a slice for those two slices seems high to me. I don't buy eggplant slices, but I do buy grandma slices -- and $4 seems high.

I agree with you about the whole voting thing. If the votes are tallied from a large group of people, sure, I am getting a lot of opinions, and if there is an overwhelming choice -- sure, that means that most/many/almost all loved the top choice. Does it mean I will? Nope, but the masses voted, LOL.

Oct 13, 2014
ELA in New Jersey

Wither Hattie's? (Saratoga Springs)

I have not been to the new location...but several friends of mine have. The reports are good, and nothing negative, but compared to the original location -- it's hard to replicate that to some extent.

I have been to the original location countless times, and I've always enjoyed it. I've never had a sub-par meal there, always a hit, never a miss. The chicken, of course, is excellent (in my opinion), and there are numerous other dishes that are excellent in my opinion as well. That "Southern" style, comfort food, style is very enjoyable.

Oct 11, 2014
ELA in New York State (exc. NYC)

Convicted Felon Making his comeback in Red Bank, NJ.....Welcome Back Russell D'anton!!

Thanks. I wasn't instigating or being argumentative.

I wonder if this is going to cause an alarm to go off. During construction and all that -- I am guessing the owners can hire whoever they want. But there could be scrutiny here.

Once the place is opened -- I am going to say no, they can't hire whoever they want, not even as a so called consultant. That is going to cause a higher level of scrutiny. Anyone who can have an impact, effect, etc. or some sort of finger on a lever of control -- that can be a potential problem.

Well, they went public with it -- so perhaps they are taking the high-road and are going to do it right.

Oct 09, 2014
ELA in New Jersey

Convicted Felon Making his comeback in Red Bank, NJ.....Welcome Back Russell D'anton!!

Food and Beverage Manager! How brilliant! LOL.

Classic movie.

Oct 09, 2014
ELA in New Jersey

Convicted Felon Making his comeback in Red Bank, NJ.....Welcome Back Russell D'anton!!

In all due respect -- yes there is. A convicted felon cannot be a partner in a restaurant that has a liquor license. They can get creative and have the restaurant in one entity, and the license in another, and he can be a partner in the former and not the latter, but no way will that fly.

As far as a manager -- that can be a problem as well. The State of NJ ABC can have something to say about that. I've seen cases made and most end up losing. They don't like felons in a position of management, control, etc., whether it be of the establishment, entity, or real estate.

I am not saying it doesn't happen and people don't get away with it -- but this is already on the radar.

Oct 09, 2014
ELA in New Jersey

NJ Diner Sausage - I give up!!

I hear you. I can't say I am a fan, but I've had it before -- not regularly, but on a rare occasion.

While I don't think they are using high quality ingredients all around, they are certainly using ingredients, seasoning, etc. to add flavor, taste, etc. I've had it -- it does have flavor! LOL.

Oct 08, 2014
ELA in New Jersey

The RoundUp Texas BBQ .....In Cold Spring, NY......Excellent! ! !

Excellent thread...thank you very much to everyone...

Oct 07, 2014
ELA in New York State (exc. NYC)

Atlantic City Restaurants

Didn't know that (as I don't watch the show, LOL).

I'll be in AC, hopefully, before the end of the month; and as soon as my plans become solidified -- I'll call Vola for a reservation. I think my Friday night will be at the Knife and Fork Inn and my Saturday night will be at Chef Vola...and I very much look forward to both.

Years ago, before the awning the outdoor/patio seating -- the "aura" of the place, at least the outside, was a bit different in my opinion. Not that it's changed -- but pulling into a residential street, and seeing a "house" was just setting a stage for a newcomer. Even if you've been there, there was just an inviting expectation, walking down the side of the house, bending down to walk through the door, etc. Now, there's people sitting outside, milling about, etc. I've never eaten upstairs on the patio and I am sure people still enjoy themselves -- and the food -- and the place is still always booked solid and crowded; and I am glad they are still doing very well after so many years.

Thanks again for the info on Boardwalk Empire.

Oct 06, 2014
ELA in New Jersey

Something between Closter and Ridgewood

Thanks...the Dumont route was a bit out of the way (at least a couple felt so), and if it hadn't been, I'd be saying Fink's over and over again, LOL.

Oct 05, 2014
ELA in New Jersey

Something between Closter and Ridgewood

Thanks, I recommended Greek Village and Mezza...Mezza got the "next time" comments, LOL, but everyone thought they were very good recommendations. Thanks again.

Oct 05, 2014
ELA in New Jersey

Something between Closter and Ridgewood

Thanks! That was one of my first recommendations! I got outvoted due to perceived time constraints. I do about 8-10 (luncheon) events there a year and I enjoy it very much.

Oct 05, 2014
ELA in New Jersey

Atlantic City Restaurants

I too have always had great meals at Chef Vola -- from the seafood salad to the bone-in veal parmigiana. I've actually never had a sub-par dish there, and being a BYO, in my opinion, it is affordable and offers a lot of value. A lot of tastes, flavors, etc. I've probably brought a a few dozen people there for dinner on a variety of trips to AC, and everyone has liked it very much and enjoyed the experience. If I go to AC, I try to get to Chef Vola. I've just always enjoyed it very much.

The Knife and Fork Inn is my favorite everyday restaurant in AC. It is at the southern end of "the strip" at the intersection of Atlantic and Pacific. Think about the old Atlantic Club casino (the old Hilton) and then one block south. You can see the back/side of the restaurant from the front doors of the Atlantic Club. Here too, I've never had a sub-par dish.

Oct 05, 2014
ELA in New Jersey

Something between Closter and Ridgewood

We have a business meeting in Ridgewood, but by the time we get there we probably won't have time to eat, or at least enjoy eating, LOL. I have to pick up an associate in Closter and then head toward Ridgewood.

Any ideas? If we had more time we were going to try and squeeze in dinner at Park West, but there's just not enough time. We're open-minded -- just interested in good food. Not fancy, high-end, etc. Good food is the key.

Thank you in advance.

Oct 02, 2014
ELA in New Jersey

Rockland County suggestion wanted...

Thank you...I've been looking forward to trying Hudson House. I was going to go a few weeks ago but wasn't "in the mood" so to speak. But I am getting there soon.

Portofino (next door) to O Lar was on my radar! Thanks. Heard some good things from friends.

Thanks again.

Oct 02, 2014
ELA in New York State (exc. NYC)

Atlantic City Restaurants

LOL...I think Chef Vola is excellent. I hear comments about it being overrated, not that good, schtick due to the story behind, and so on and so on.

My first time there was 20 plus years ago and while the story is very interesting, I don't get caught up in the schtick at all. That said, I find the food excellent -- a lot of flavor, taste, high-quality ingredients, fresh, very well prepared, etc. Sure, everyone's tastes are different and if someone doesn't like the food, that's fine of course. But that's one's opinion and tastes, no different than mine is my opinion and taste. I don't think you cast some aspersion however that it's no good, overrated, poor, and so on. If you do -- that's just one opinion.

I also very much enjoy the Knife and Fork -- also excellent in my opinion.

Oct 02, 2014
ELA in New Jersey

Rockland County suggestion wanted...

Never tried it...have heard about it from friends...thank you very much for the heads up...while it's been on my radar, I didn't think of it, so again, thank you very much.

I was recently at Madeleine's Petit Paris in nearby Northvale (NJ) -- which has excellent food, so perhaps this time I wasn't thinking "French" so to speak, but very good recommendation.

Thanks again.

Sep 29, 2014
ELA in New York State (exc. NYC)

Rockland County suggestion wanted...

I am looking for some suggestions for dinner in Rockland County. No special event or celebration -- just a nice dinner out with some very good food. I am open-minded as to type, ethnicity, etc.

I wanted to try something other than my normal go-to places, favorites, etc. Looking to find a new favorite. So, let's exclude O Lar, Velo, and any of Peter Kelly's places.

Anywhere in Rockland -- what places have really good food? Doesn't have to be romantic, ambiance, etc. What are your favorites for food?

Thank you in advance.

Sep 27, 2014
ELA in New York State (exc. NYC)

Atlantic City Restaurants

LOL...Read the original post...

"chef vola which I like a lot is closed for Easter any suggestions?"

Had Chef Vola not been closed the night the original poster was to be in AC...Chef Vola would have been the first two words out of my mouth (or typed on the keyboard actually, LOL).

Sep 27, 2014
ELA in New Jersey

Mrs. London's & Max Londons [Saratoga Springs]

Ryan Venezia is the new owner...and word is Max London is staying on...

Sep 25, 2014
ELA in New York State (exc. NYC)

Jersey barbecue freaks prepare yourselves - Mighty Quinn's to open in Clifton

Just an FYI on Mighty Quinn's...

Rosie went there recently, with a total of 6 people. The end result...and I quote..."Six people threw away more food than they ate."

Not a good review, which doesn't surprise me based upon my experience...here's the link...

http://njmonthly.com....html#read_more

Sep 24, 2014
ELA in New Jersey

Good food in Northern NJ?

You're welcome. I heard they might have a new chef in the kitchen (from a while ago), but I don't know. They changed the menu a bit as I went there for dinner about 6 weeks ago and noticed some changes.

Still very good. I liked it.

Sep 24, 2014
ELA in New Jersey

Restaurant Suggestions needed

The private room can be BYO, and you can buy wines from them (from their "store") -- or you can order from their bar.

Sep 23, 2014
ELA in New Jersey

Restaurant Suggestions needed

No -- full selection of wines.

Sep 23, 2014
ELA in New Jersey