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ELA's Profile

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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.

about 2 hours ago
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!!!

about 4 hours ago
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.

about 21 hours ago
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.

1 day ago
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

Good restaurants near Newark Airport (NJ)

My new favorite is Adega Grill, right in downtown Newark.

This place was originally recommended to me by a friend of mine who is a chef. I know his opinion, I like it, and I respect it. The place is somewhat new, maybe a couple of years old or since being reinvented. I am not sure.

Regardless, there's a lot of buzz around this place. Right on Ferry St., with a lounge/bar/etc. next door -- the place looks big. But this place is very nice -- nice motif, ambiance, atmosphere, etc. There's a lot of wine cellar, vineyard-type ambiance, and well decorated. As far as the menu, it's strong -- a lot of options -- and I would call it "fine dining" vis a vis Portuguese/Spanish. Yes, the portions are big -- and that's part of the tradition, culture, etc. But there is a lot of flavors, tastes, seasonsings, herbs, and so on here -- and it's works!

This place is the real deal and they are doing it right...big time!

I hope they start getting exposure, recognition, etc., as they are just another fish in a very big pond -- but this place is excellent in my opinion.

Apr 20, 2015
ELA in New Jersey

Best cheap buffets?

LOL...agreed.

Apr 20, 2015
ELA in New Jersey

Does anyone remember an Italian restaurant in Elmwood Park?

Thanks, but no, that's wasn't it.

Chinaglia owned, or was a partner, in an Italian restaurant. It was pretty common knowledge, and I think to some extent, they played on his ownership a bit. I just can't remember the name.

Was it not in Elmwood Park? I just don't remember.

Anyone? Thanks.

Apr 19, 2015
ELA in New Jersey

Premium prices at Ben's Deli in Scarsdale

Looks good...I've seen so many versions, but few of them are "good" so to speak. It can be a long week, LOL.

Apr 17, 2015
ELA in New York State (exc. NYC)

Premium prices at Ben's Deli in Scarsdale

Or walking in and asking for noodle pudding, LOL.

Tell me about the Passover rolls?

Apr 17, 2015
ELA in New York State (exc. NYC)

Premium prices at Ben's Deli in Scarsdale

LOL.

Apr 17, 2015
ELA in New York State (exc. NYC)

Premium prices at Ben's Deli in Scarsdale

LOL...well that explains it. LOL.

Apr 16, 2015
ELA in New York State (exc. NYC)

Buffalo Beef on Weck

Gotta love it...wish I had a recommendation other than Curley's...good luck and enjoy.

Apr 15, 2015
ELA in New York State (exc. NYC)

Premium prices at Ben's Deli in Scarsdale

I get that, completely, and I agree with that wholeheartedly. Stupidity yes. I was only speaking to the "other" aspects of it -- the quantifying of the $1, the justification and/or attempts at an explanation, etc. I am not saying anyone is wrong for expressing their opinion -- but I was giving my opinion on a certain aspect of the discussion. I wasn't counting "his" money and didn't think that was the point of the thread either. Regardless, I would never trivialize anyone else's money or financial stature. That's all.

I agree, if not for the ad -- no one would know, and thus no one would care.

Apr 15, 2015
ELA in New York State (exc. NYC)

Best cheap buffets?

And the one on Hamburg Turnpike...I would not go to that one if you paid me.

Apr 14, 2015
ELA in New Jersey

Best cheap buffets?

I've been to the 23 Buffet -- and no, it wasn't my choice -- it was "OK" and I mean "OK at best". It was a while ago. I wouldn't go back, but that's just me. LOL.

Apr 14, 2015
ELA in New Jersey

ISO Special Occasion Open Mondays in Passaic/Essex/Bergen

I think Chakra is very good -- since Tom Ciszak took over. He transitioned the menu, was making changes, evolving, etc.

Very nice ambiance, yes can be romantic, but it's nice.

I think Tom is doing some very good things there. Check out the menu and see if it appeals to you.

Apr 14, 2015
ELA in New Jersey

Best cheap buffets?

I saw an Indian buffet at an authentic Indian wedding I went to. If it wasn't for the very nice and friendly woman in front of me on line, telling me what every single dish was...I am sure I would have horrible stories to tell. LOL.

The dishes that I tried were excellent. I've been to a few very good Indian restaurants, and the food has been excellent as well.

Apr 13, 2015
ELA in New Jersey

Chow-worthy BBQ in Stockton NJ

Heard good things about this place...thanks for the heads up.

Apr 13, 2015
ELA in New Jersey

Best cheap buffets?

Best cheap buffets? Is there such a thing, or is that an oxymoron...like jumbo shrimp? LOL. Maybe it's more like the best of the worst, LOL.

I avoid these places, for the most part at all costs.

However, speaking of Minado, in Little Ferry -- I I think it is predominantly a Japanese, seafood, sushi type of buffet. They seemed to have develop a very good reputation over the years. I've actually heard from people, whose opinion I think is quality and qualified, and who I respect, and they've said that this place is good. In all my years in the area, I still haven't gone once, but I have been meaning to try it. I don't know the price.

I don't know any Korean BBQ places that are buffet. Are there any?

The other places I've tried -- my reply ranges from no thank you to never again. LOL.

Apr 13, 2015
ELA in New Jersey

Bamboo House...Ridgewood

Bamboo House...in Ridgewood...

A thread on another BB about "dive" restaurants got me thinking...and craving the Bamboo House in Ridgewood. Now, this is a real "dive" kind of place...aesthetics only!!! And I mean "dive" in the nicest way. I like "dive" places...with excellent food!

Bamboo House is a small -- very small -- place, at the "end" of town" on South Broad Street, sandwiched between the large liquor store, Masago, Sook, and a small "antique" type store. If you don't know it or haven't been there, and you drive on S. Broad, yes, you've passed it a hundred times, LOL. So, how small is this place? Well depending on the table set-up, there is room no more than 4 tables there...that's right, 4 tables. Aside from small -- this is a no-frills, simple, basic, "dive" kind of place...and it's excellent!

But...you go here for the food!!! Period.

The menu here is straight-forward -- some "chef's specials" which you might find at a typical Chinese restaurant, a beef, chicken, etc. section -- all the typical stuff. There's a few specials off the menu, similar to your "daily" specials. But that's where this place differs from almost every other Chinese restaurant.

On to the food...The dumplings here are very good, excellent -- and on our recent visit, we had the "Mom's dumplings" -- which we were told are the "most popular" dumplings. These are steamed, with a tasty pork and shrimp (and possibly chicken) filling. The pork didn't seem like the typical "pork" mixture you find in typical dumplings. This one seemed a bit "lighter" with less "filler" and who knows what. Very nice flavor. The pieces of shrimp were clearly identifiable, and a nice size, considering the size of the dumpling. The portion came with 10 steamed dumplings -- very nice flavor and taste -- they were excellent. I wasn't very hungry, and wanted to go "basic" so I ordered the Sesame chicken. It was excellent, compared to the typical "sesame chicken" you get from your local take-out place. It was "lightly" fried, yet you still got a nice, simple, "crunch" when you bit into it. This was not your over-fried, doughy, super-crunch pieces of chicken. I don't know about you, but I don't like that type at all as that's like the "fast-food" version to me. This has nice flavor, very good profile and balance -- it was prepared/executed very well. We also had the "Rainbow chicken" -- I think that was the name, and this was beyond your typical steamed chicken -- it was steamed chicken, with a mixture of colorful vegetables and was served in a clear, light, garlic sauce, which really made the dish kind of pop. A very nice dish, healthy, and tasty.

The service, like the place is basic, but friendly and attentive -- the highlight being that the owner/chef is very hands on. She delivers dishes, asks you questions, tells you about dishes, etc. She's very nice and very personable -- and has a great story about coming here to the US and how she opened a restaurant. She's been doing this for almost 30 years! And she's doing it really well. She has a waiter and busboy, and the busboy doubles as a delivery person. It works -- how many people do you need for 4 tables? LOL. The delivery and takeout business is huge! It has to be with 3 or 4 tables, LOL. Orders are being phoned in constantly, with people stopping on the way home from work. I don't know their delivery area, but if you are nearby, take out is always an option. I've been in the area before for a meeting, and wanted to dine in, but it was full and I had some timing/time constraint issues, so I ended up at Masago. Maybe two or three times, I'd walk in ask for a table, and she'll give you a time frame as to when a table would be available. Once my friend and I were able to wait, another time or two, I had a meeting/time constraint so I couldn't wait.

Bottom line -- this place is a small, hidden gem in Ridgewood! Excellent food.

Apr 13, 2015
ELA in New Jersey

Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather fight...food, drinks...

Here's an interesting twist...the Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather fight is coming up and I was thinking about a place to go eat, drink, and watch the fight?

Anyone have any good ideas, new or interesting places, and so forth?

Thank you in advance.

Apr 13, 2015
ELA in New Jersey

The Cheshire Cat, Paramus

The Cheshire Cat has a long history in the area...and today there is an office building on the site where it was.

The OL is still there and still drawing crowds, for either happy hour or a good band every so often. Still a popular place, varied crowd.

Boodles of course was a hot spot back in the day...a "more mature" crowd, but on the weekends, a "younger crowd" would use it as a meeting place or a start off the night kind of place, ultimately making your way further east, into Fort Lee, perhaps ending up the night in Truffles...Boodles ultimately became Dinallo's and closing recently. Future unknown although there might be a planned auction. Last I heard, saw, as there was a sign posted there, it was under the control of a trustee I think.

Apr 12, 2015
ELA in New Jersey
1

Rockland County best kept secrets..

Still a bit of a secret as it's new...the Craft House (Suffern)...do a search and see the other thread on this place.

Maybe not so much a secret...O Lar (Piermont)...very small, reservations always needed, interesting, varied menu, and excellent food...Hacienda Don Manuel (Suffern)...no frills kind of place, not fancy, but quality, very good, and some authentic, Mexican food...certainly not a secret, Velo (Nyack)...quality, nice place, very good Italian food...

Apr 11, 2015
ELA in New York State (exc. NYC)