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First date restaurants in northern/central NJ?

New Brunswick has several decent places. Clydz for martinis and game, Tumulty's for pub food, everything else within walking distance.

Apr 23, 2015
chuck98 in New Jersey

Laksa?

Laksa noodles aren't sour; they're regular curry. Asam laksa is sour, hot and fishy. I haven't had one like on the A/E menu; that sounds good.

Apr 15, 2015
chuck98 in New Jersey

Best cheap buffets?

That always happens. It's like snow crab syndrome but worse - you have to be walking by at the right time when no one's guarding that spot, you grab a bunch, you spend 20 minutes mangling your hands to get 1/4 oz of meat and a mouthful of shell shards.

Just not worth it.

It's like someone threw a lobster in a wood chipper, then floured and fried whatever came out. I had trouble even identifying what part of the lobster they were supposed to be.

Apr 15, 2015
chuck98 in New Jersey

Laksa?

It's not just good, it's asam.

Apr 15, 2015
chuck98 in New Jersey

Best cheap buffets?

Teppanyaki on 18 is pretty good - large selection, decent dim sum, mostly chinese with sushi and miscellaneous. Makkoli on 18 is good for japanese and a better sushi assortment. Picnic Garden in Edison on 27 is an all-you-can-eat korean barbecue. The buffet is mostly raw meat but there are cooked items too.

The key with these, in my opinion, is to go for lunch and not for dinner. You get a better price for mostly the same selections.

Ichiumi in Menlo Park has very good food but is also very expensive for a buffet. Worth going at least once. They're one of the only places with cold soba noodles.

Most of the indian buffets have the same general dishes and they're all good enough. Hoysala is my preferred buffet because of the heat level.

Apr 13, 2015
chuck98 in New Jersey

The best dumplings-- and food as well

If I was looking for dumplings I'd see what King's Village has on special, then go to Wonder Seafood for dim sum and Shanghai for soup dumplings. I don't think I've had Sichuan wonton in hot oil but I saw someone mention them, and now I want them.

I'll add Korean mandu to the list of ones to try out also, and khinkali at one of the Georgian places.

Apr 12, 2015
chuck98 in New Jersey

First Dickey's BBQ in NJ opens in East Brunswick today

I took a bullet for the team and went down for a combo plate. They were mobbed but doing a decent job of keeping up.

I tried the chopped brisket, the sliced brisket, the pulled pork and the ribs. I don't know why anyone would choose chopped over sliced if they've had them both - texture and moistness were both better with sliced. Pork was standard, sliced brisket was decent, the ribs were ironically the best item. I thought they'd be sauced considering the pic, but they were dry rubbed, tender and flavorful. The cole slaw was very good, baked beans were standard.

Not a bad meal at all but also not great. Good enough.

Mar 19, 2015
chuck98 in New Jersey

First Dickey's BBQ in NJ opens in East Brunswick today

I will, because it's near me, it's barbecue and I haven't been there. Brisket will be my primary target as usual, but since it's the first time I'll make it a combo plate. Maybe two.

Ribs are my favorite, but I can make better ribs at home than I can get pretty much anywhere, so I buy meats I don't make at home.

Mar 19, 2015
chuck98 in New Jersey

First visit in 43 years

Not too surprising after watching the Kitchen Nightmares episode. The revamped menu was decent, though.

Mar 18, 2015
chuck98 in New Jersey

First visit in 43 years

I believe that was Rincon Ecuatoriano. I also hit Mi Vella Centroamerica (breakfast plate), Maria's (salvadorean), Danny's (guatemalan), Blackberry's, Family Soul Spot, a couple of others I don't quite remember (Rincon Hondureno, maybe, and peruvian barbecue). I haven't been to Lynmine Int'l but that's allegedly guyanese.

Mar 17, 2015
chuck98 in New Jersey

Strip Mall Shangri-Las

I went there for lunch today and have some more details. They now have a menu to order from, and buffet on the weekend (all day sat, lunch only sun).

I ordered andhra mutton expecting that it would come with some kind of side dish, but I was wrong. There's a bowl of rice, a couple of crispy bread pieces and a bowl of mutton in not-spicy-enough sauce. It was good but I was looking for burn and didn't get it.

Next time I'd get the combo plate (thali, I think) and specify that I want it hot enough to injure. The better option is to just hit the weekend buffet, which I think I'll do in a few weeks.

In summary, mildly disappointing because of high expectations (from previous visits) and my own ineptitude (bowl of mutton instead of combo plate).

Mar 17, 2015
chuck98 in New Jersey

First visit in 43 years

Yes, several, plus a couple of soul food spots. Lots of central american - salvadorean, guatemalan, ecuadorean, etc. The best thing I had was probably the central american breakfast plate - eggs, beans, meat, cheese, plantains, etc. Mexican and the other stuff I can get in New Brunswick. I wonder if the mexican is a different region than NB? I think NB is mostly Oaxacan.

Mar 16, 2015
chuck98 in New Jersey

First visit in 43 years

I'll +1 this entire post. Plainfield might not be what it used to, but I wasn't around then and it's pretty kickass for what it is now - central/south american/mexican/soul food, good to visit during 12-2 but I don't want to live there.

I was surprised to see my above post from 2011; Hoysala is now a go-to spot for spicy Indian and I'd pick it over Chand Palace, Arusuvai or most of the other choices. Eating there several times has clarified matters I guess.

Mar 15, 2015
chuck98 in New Jersey

Strip Mall Shangri-Las

You can't throw a rock on rt 27 without hitting something delicious.

Mar 15, 2015
chuck98 in New Jersey

Strip Mall Shangri-Las

It's a little place with spicy Andhra/Chettinad food ("coastal cuisine"). At one point they had a buffet, but the guy's wife was out and he switched to just making plates. I don't know if they ever switched back. Good flavor, a little different than the dishes you see at most buffets, burning hot if you're lucky.

I'd just go in and request an extra spicy lunch and see what happens.

Mar 15, 2015
chuck98 in New Jersey

Strip Mall Shangri-Las

One that comes to mind is the HMart plaza near the corner of rt 27 and plainfield ave in Edison. It has a korean chicken joint, an asian bakery/cafe, a hot pot place, a tofu stew house, all-you-can-eat korean barbecue, the HMart food court, is adjacent to Coco (malaysian) and Noodle's Time, and across the street is Gongura, a very spicy Indian place.

A 5-minute walk will add "Lamb BBQ", Edison Noodle House, Pho Thanh Do, my favorite Mexican (Crazy Burrito), sushi, pizza, Tastee Subs and a Mediterranean place (Le Vant), but I suppose you can't count those since they're not in the same strip mall.

Shanghai Noodle House is next to Korean and across from Malaysian. Only three but that's a good three.

Desi Food Galaxy is worth hitting if you like Indian. It's a 9-in-1 food court in a strip mall.

Mar 12, 2015
chuck98 in New Jersey

Outstanding Shanghaiese food in Edison- WOW!

The scallion noodles were quite good. Red Onion is right around the corner and has XLB, but they look more Taiwanese.

Mar 10, 2015
chuck98 in New Jersey

Oyster deals in CNJ

I went recently for the oysters, they were quite good. I didn't care for the green apple mignonette, though. The winter game tasting menu looked good enough that I'm planning to return for it.

Feb 17, 2015
chuck98 in New Jersey

Some questions for my NJ friends about our home board...

I thought I read a while ago that the main chow site had folded but the hound boards persisted; is that the case? I'm unclear on the details.

Jan 26, 2015
chuck98 in New Jersey

Noodles Time in Edison

When a new place opens I scan the menu and pick out anything I've never had or can't get anywhere else, then eat that before they can go out of business. That buys me time to circle back and try less-urgent dishes later.

I wouldn't normally include a buffet, but Ichiumi in Menlo Park is the only place I know of nearby with cold soba. That's worth making a special trip.

Jan 12, 2015
chuck98 in New Jersey

Noodles Time in Edison

Here's a partial list, including noodle houses and places with worthy noodle soups:

Coco - malaysian

Penang - malaysian

Shanghai Noodle House - shanghai, near Penang

Noodles Time - near Coco, guangxi style?

Noodles Plus - ramen, old post

Edo - ramen, NB

Edison Noodle House - used to be the name of a korean/chinese place on old post, is now the taiwanese noodle house where Noodlelicious used to be

Noodlelicious - closed

China Noodle and Dumpling - closed

Shanghai Dumpling - on 27 between Edison and HP

Go Go Noodle - cantonese style in Piscataway on Stelton

China Bowl - cantonese on 27, HP

China Star - korean/chinese, rt 1

Hunan House - hunan noodles on rt 1

Happy Noodle - taiwanese on old post

Wonder Seafood - hong kong/cantonese

King's Village - tianjian

Dragon Bistro - HP, sichuan/dongbei

Thai Noodle - Easton Ave, NB - thai noodle soup, which for some reason is hard to find

Pho Anh Dao - curry chicken noodle soup, pho

Viet Cafe - bun bo hue

Plus a variety of korean, vietnamese, sichuan, hot pot, japanese etc. places with noodles on the menu.

Jan 12, 2015
chuck98 in New Jersey
2

Noodles Time in Edison

I didn't try the fried noodles. The Guilin noodle soup was on par with the places you mention - the usual style but with chicken broth, round rice noodles and interesting accessories, quite good. The choy was particularly good. The Fuzhou noodles were fettucine-shaped wheat noodles in a thick sesame sauce, not bad but not as good as the soups. The house specialty looks like beef/tendon noodle soup but I didn't try it.

Jan 09, 2015
chuck98 in New Jersey

Ordering at Dragon Palace in Edison NJ

I'll refer to a Yarvin article that discusses this topic. The lunch special menu sounds like your best bet. I've only had the Lamb with Cumin (I think) but it was great.

http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2008/0...

It wouldn't hurt to research classic sichuan dishes before you go. You could also eat at Sichuan Spring or Szechwan Ace first, because their menus are in English. Dragon Palace will have many of the same dishes.

Jan 09, 2015
chuck98 in New Jersey

Noodles Time in Edison

Two doors down from Coco in Rt 27 in Edison used to be a Chicken Holiday or something, but is now "Noodles Time". I had the Liuzhou style noodle soup, which was very spicy and bean-pastey (in a good way), and allegedly uses snails in the broth. A pretty solid soup but not top 10 (http://tinyurl.com/k62yc2r). They also had Guilin style and Fuzhou style, which suggests the owners or cook are from southern China. They have both wheat and rice noodles and a pretty good appetizer lineup. Oh, I also had the soy sauce pork belly sandwich which was delicious. Definitely get that. They baked the bun instead of just steaming it.

I'll be heading back for the octopus rings and the other two soups.

Also, Rai Rai Ramen looks boarded up, and China Noodle and Dumpling is gone, replaced by Pho Anh Dao (moved from Rt 1).

Jan 08, 2015
chuck98 in New Jersey

NYT Article - Luca's, Somerset

I just went to the one in Somerset and it was quite good. There was a nice mix of classics and dishes I'd never seen before, everything was skillfully executed and the service was decent. Upscale food but a fairly unpretentious atmosphere.

Dec 21, 2014
chuck98 in New Jersey

Sichuan Spring Specific Dishes

I think I need to try the pork belly; that wasn't on the menu last time I was there.

Nov 07, 2014
chuck98 in New Jersey

Best food trucks in Indy & Healthy Breakfast

A little late but I'd like any recommendations for good ethnic food (preferably asian) in downtown. I'm already targeting Rook and Mikado. Anywhere else like that? Thanks in advance.

Oct 20, 2014
chuck98 in Great Lakes

Sichuan Ace.......Somerset opinons?

I don't know the name, but there was a dish there with deep fried tofu in a tomato sauce, really good.

Sep 30, 2014
chuck98 in New Jersey

Sichuan Ace.......Somerset opinons?

I've been there twice and it's been excellent twice.

Sep 28, 2014
chuck98 in New Jersey

Stage Left, New Brunswick - Terrible

A little off topic, but I never, ever complain to the manager, no matter how bad the food or service is. I just don't want to deal with confrontation. I guess most people would say something?

Jul 06, 2014
chuck98 in New Jersey