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ELA's Profile

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Jeremiah Bullfrog on "Beat Bobby Flay" TV Program

Was flipping through the channels when I got home from a meeting and saw the tail end of this. Maybe there will be a re-run of this or something. Thanks for the post.

Sep 12, 2014
ELA in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

I'm swearing off all-you-can eat sushi places

I've never been to either place, but your comment about AYCE sushi places is pertinent. I very much enjoy sushi. Being that it is raw fish, I tend to not go to a sushi place unless a friend of mine, who I trust and respect, tells me about the place, recommends it, etc. Many of my friends are in the industry, so that even more so is a "qualified opinion" so to speak.

That said, for years, I would never go to an AYCE sushi place. Years ago a friend -- a chef, who has extensive experience and a specialty in seafood -- recommended an AYCE place. I objected and he said, trust me, let's go. And we did -- and the place was very good. They gave you a card, you checked off what and how many you wanted, and they brought it to you. To me that is very different than sushi/sashimi sitting out on a serving tray, buffet, etc. I don't care how fast the "turnover" is and how fresh the pieces are that are out/available.

I agree, sushi should be savored, and for me it's about high-quality, fresh fish, flavor, taste, etc. It is not about quantity. Quality and fresh is a prerequisite for me. It is mandatory. Raw fish? How can quality and fresh not be? Another friend -- a fish importer -- took me to another place, same story. He said it was good, he approved, etc. It was, good quality, fresh, etc. I liked it. I've been back to each, once, with the same friend(s). But I've never been to a "buffet" type place.

I am not condemning them. I get the economics, and for some it's acceptable and necessary. It certainly is "less expensive" and that can be important. This is all relative. We enjoy what we enjoy, like, dislike, and do what works for us. Thanks for the good thread/posts.

Sep 12, 2014
ELA in New York State (exc. NYC)

The George's Inn or Smokeys Tavern

Heard about the latter. A friend goes there. He said it's good -- meaning OK, not bad, reliable, etc. Maybe check TripAdvisor for some Vernon restaurant reviews. Good luck.

Sep 08, 2014
ELA in New Jersey

Red Robin to open in Brick

When the Fuddrucker's in Paramus was open, we would go there occasionally. The burgers were good. Not the best I've had, but certainly better than the fast-food alternative. This was pre-Bobby Flay's, BuCu, Shake Shack, etc., so the alternatives to find a good burger were few and far between. If I wanted a really good burger, I'd have to head over the Dinallo's, Davey's, Porter House, etc.

Fuddrucker's was a very good, convenient, and faster alternative, and again, the burger was good. Quality slipped in the ensuing years, overall for the most part. They closed down their bar as well. The fries were good, and so were the onion rings. Of course, the fixin's bar was there, and popular, LOL. They also had some decent alternatives to a burger, not a bad menu.

Sep 08, 2014
ELA in New Jersey

Red Robin to open in Brick

Didn't know that or even notice. I might have bet that I saw the sign there in the past few months, but I could certainly be mistaken. Again, I never stopped in and wouldn't have really noticed per se.

Thanks for the heads up.

Sep 08, 2014
ELA in New Jersey

Red Robin to open in Brick

Only two? Really? I pass by the one in Wayne and have never stopped in. There used to be one in Paramus, right near my office -- and we used to go there for lunch once in a while. They used to have a decent bar and happy hour back in the day there, but it just kept spiraling downward.

I don't know what happened.

Sep 05, 2014
ELA in New Jersey

Red Robin to open in Brick

I agree equal_Mark. Completely different issues. That's why I don't play the analogy game.

Sep 04, 2014
ELA in New Jersey

Red Robin to open in Brick

Tapas52 -- No, it doesn't. That was certainly not my point. My ONLY point was that one very common and very significant difference between the big national chain guy and the local little guy, is capitalization. Actually, you were the one who said the little guy has NO chance anymore, albeit you didn't say why. I do think the little guy stands a chance -- if capitalization is not an obstacle.

For someone to be myopic and say capital guarantees success -- is very naive.

Sep 04, 2014
ELA in New Jersey

Red Robin to open in Brick

LOL.

Sep 04, 2014
ELA in New Jersey

Red Robin to open in Brick

I don't know that I automatically agree with that. To me the first layer is capitalization. The big chains have a massive edge there. But if you build a better product and you are well capitalized, I think you can compete just fine.

The best burger places around my area have no problem competing with BuCu, Bobby Flay's, or the Shake Shack.

I think Red Robin, 5 Guys, etc. will hurt Mickey D's and BK, but they seem to be able to "buy" business back.

Is the little guy at a disadvantage? Sure, for the most part, but that's capitalism and David and Goliath.

You want to go into business and you are the little guy, if you don't have the capital, that's a simple fact as far as I see it. I've seen plenty of little guys do well in my industry and others. I think most restaurants that I enjoy are independently owned and operated -- and many of them have been around a long time and obviously do well.

Sep 04, 2014
ELA in New Jersey

Chengdu in Green Brook?

Eric, great to see you posting and even better to hear from you. Thanks for all of the great info.

On an unrelated note -- did you open a new place? Thanks.

Sep 04, 2014
ELA in New Jersey

Red Robin to open in Brick

Keep your competition close, LOL.

To me, for my likes, tastes, etc. -- the Red Robin's of the world are an alternative to typical fast-food, Mickey D's, BK, etc. Personally, I would rather go to a Red Robin or Smashburger, or 5 Guys -- instead of Mickey D's or BK. That's just me.

However, I don't see any of them as equivalent to Shake Shack, BuCu, Bobby Flay's, etc., or any of the better burger places I would go to.

Sep 04, 2014
ELA in New Jersey

Patsy's Ristorante - Fairview NJ

Got it...thanks.

Where across the street? Not in the shopping center?

I haven't passed by their in so long...which is a real shame.

Sep 04, 2014
ELA in New Jersey

Patsy's Ristorante - Fairview NJ

Like I said, Patsy's is a classic place. Unfortunately, my plans changed and I didn't make it, but like so many other times -- I really want to get there.

Nice to hear they are moving...never thought that would happen, LOL.

When is the target date for the move? Thanks in advance.

Sep 04, 2014
ELA in New Jersey

Need recs for group of 30 students for lunch in Bergen County

Interesting...I am just thinking out loud here, but you may want to try Bacari Grill...and call them and tell them what you are doing, who you are, etc.

They are super people and they might bring out the chef, give you a tour of the kitchen, food prep, etc. I have no idea but they are very community oriented and as I said, very nice people.

They have a private room upstairs, and one in the back. Upstairs would be perfect for 30 I think. The back room is too large as it fits closer to 100.

Their buffet lunch -- every nice, elaborate, etc. -- for groups, luncheons, etc., is not a lot more than your budget, so I am sure for $25 you can get a lot there. Good luck.

Sep 03, 2014
ELA in New Jersey

Near Rockland County - Birthday dinner on water, with lobster?

Nothing in Piermont or Nyack?

Crab House is a good. What about Le Jardin? Certainly not seafood, but they might have your menu. Perhaps Haven has it as well. I don't know. All steakhouse -- but what about Fleming's? And last but not least -- the Chart House?

Lobster is one thing, but steamers are another. Just grasping at straws here. Sorry. Enjoy and Happy Birthday.

Sep 03, 2014
ELA in New Jersey

Texas Roadhouse

I haven't been to the OB local, but I've been to a few of their other locations. First, let me say, I am not anti-chain. I have occasionally seen an anti-chain mindset on this and another food website. I don't stereotype -- but IMO, not all chains "are bad" so to speak. There's a few I like.

The locations I've been too have been good. Better than the typical attempts at glorified pub grub at Houlihan's, Chilli's, etc. I can't say I went there specifically for steak, but I know people who do, perhaps an alternative to Outback or the like.

Anyway, I liked it and I've had no problem going back -- good food, serves a good purpose if I am in the mood.

Sep 02, 2014
ELA in Chains

Callahan's Hot Dogs

I hear you!

The plan is to offer the Italian hotdog -- as they did in Fort Lee. I hope Dan does so, but with the real deal "pizza bread"...and of course the potatoes prepared the right way, LOL.

When Callahan's was in Fort Lee, I am not sure that the Italian hotdog was a big seller -- as they use "pizza bread" and the potatoes weren't done in the more expected, traditional way (that would find at Dickie Dee's, Jimmy Buff's, Tommy's, etc.).

Aug 26, 2014
ELA in New Jersey

Callahan's Hot Dogs

Ditto!!! Dan has been working on this and it's going to happen.

I am very much looking forward to it -- the classic Callahan's menu.

Don't mess with what works, LOL -- dogs, burgers, fries, rings, sausage, etc.

All the best and congratulations!

Aug 26, 2014
ELA in New Jersey

Cigar friendly in NYC

Thanks Phil. I don't know the neighborhood well at all, so maybe it's "not that kind of place" and doesn't attract that kind of crowd. I can see if they are not open late, or try and shut down the rooftop, etc. It can be problematic, labor-wise and more, if you don't have a good crowd of people.

If it's not that kind of place -- the rooftop might do well during more regular or normal hours, post-work, happy hour, early evening, etc.

I won't be a regular but I am very much looking forward to a very nice cigar and drink there.

Aug 23, 2014
ELA in Manhattan

Cigar friendly in NYC

Thank you very much for the leg-work and info...

Only up until 1030 or 11? Interesting. Maybe the rooftop/deck serves as a full-blown "rooftop lounge" type of thing. Very hot now in NYC, LOL.

I haven't been there in many years -- but the last time, every time I was there, the food was excellent.

Aug 22, 2014
ELA in Manhattan

Cigar friendly in NYC

Haven't been in a long time. During the craze it was a zoo, LOL. Even post-craze, it was always crowded as it was one of the few places you could smoke, and the whole cigar theme added to it. Back then I wasn't a big fan, but it was a place to go.

I would think these days, it's better -- more accommodating and more enjoyable for cigar smokers. I don't remember the food at all, LOL.

Thanks again for the info/heads up.

Aug 22, 2014
ELA in Manhattan

Cigar friendly in NYC

Thanks...greatly appreciate it...I've read a little about it since they moved, but being that I haven't been nearby or spending a lot of leisure time in NYC, I just haven't looked into it or even checked their website.

Thanks again.

Aug 22, 2014
ELA in Manhattan

Cigar friendly in NYC

Once again, I haven't been to Patroon in many years. Last time, was the "old" location when they had the cigar lounge "inside". I've heard the new location is very nice. Do they have a rooftop lounge/bar type set up, or some outdoor area? Thanks in advance.

Aug 21, 2014
ELA in Manhattan

Cigar friendly in NYC

Yes, always very good, thanks. Also haven't been is a few years.

Aug 21, 2014
ELA in Manhattan

Cigar friendly in NYC

Thanks...haven't been to either in several years. I was always a fan of the Bar and Books various locations. Thanks again.

Aug 21, 2014
ELA in Manhattan

Cigar friendly in NYC

Hello all -- I haven't been spending a lot of time in NYC, so I wanted to ask the resident experts...what places are cigar friendly these days?

Thank you very much in advance.

Aug 20, 2014
ELA in Manhattan

planning a trip to Northern New Jersey-September 20-October5, 2014

If you are into smoke/BBQ -- in my opinion the best is Fink's. Bar none.

As far as new -- the first thought that popped into my mind was another favorite of mine -- St. Eve's (Ho-Ho-Kus). Owned and operated by the original co-founder/co-owner/co-chef of Cafe Panache -- it is excellent in my opinion; one of the best restaurants in Northern NJ.

Aug 20, 2014
ELA in New Jersey

PF Market, West Caldwell - really good seafood.

Thanks for the heads up...with a "market" type place, yes, you are there for the seafood, not the ambiance.

The Seafood Gourmet in Maywood is the same thing -- they have a small restaurant, basic, simple, etc. in the back of the store. It was added on and while several people go there -- it's for the seafood. Nice service, attentive, and nice people -- but it's all about the food, LOL.

Thanks again for the heads up.

Aug 19, 2014
ELA in New Jersey

new Chipotle in Fort Lee?

Haven't heard a thing, although I don't have my finger on the pulse anywhere near what I used to.

Aug 13, 2014
ELA in New Jersey