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chuck98's Profile

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

10 seconds of that guy was enough for a lifetime.

about 8 hours ago
chuck98 in New Jersey

A dairy farm to tour

Valley Shepherd Creamery has a sheep-based operation, artisan cheeses, etc. valleyshepherd.com

May 14, 2015
chuck98 in New Jersey

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

I have no idea which one in the NB/Plainfield area is the best. From my point of view there are 20 or 30 equally good and authentic mexican places within my lunch radius. I usually go to Crazy Burrito or pick one I've never been to.

May 09, 2015
chuck98 in New Jersey

Edison and surrounding area suggestions

They're Taiwanese, I think, one of only two or three in the area. Pretty good the one time I ate there.

May 09, 2015
chuck98 in New Jersey

Edison and surrounding area suggestions

I'd add one of the Korean places, China Bowl for cantonese, Coco or Penang for malaysian curry, Noodles Time for the pork belly bun and if you find yourself in North Edison, Sigiri for sri lankan (black curry).

I'd probably split it up into three days - Pan-Asian Day, Indo-Pak Oak Tree Day and the Latin-American Plainfield-New Brunswick Alliance.

Excellent idea, by the way.

May 09, 2015
chuck98 in New Jersey

hmart

I have to hand it to whoever is handling the Edison HMart - they've got a plan and they're executing. It used to be yet another half-empty strip mall but is now thriving, with most of the storefronts occupied and several more with "Coming Soon" signs. It was so busy today I had to park in the far southwest corner to go to HMart.

The coming soons included "Spice 24" (a restaurant), a Scottrade and an "Ullala" which google suggests is Korean pajamas/lingerie. Also the spa looks open now and there's a new dollar store, or as I'll be calling it the "1088.29 won" store.

I sincerely hope a rival Japanese firm decides to take action and build their own JTown conveniently within my lunch range. Let's get this arms race started.

May 09, 2015
chuck98 in New Jersey

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

Looks like a decent taco truck in Union City (Tacos Al Pastor on Bergenline Ave).

May 07, 2015
chuck98 in New Jersey

Where to go in Iselin area for group Indian dinner?

I've heard Rasoi is a good one

May 07, 2015
chuck98 in New Jersey

Fernandes 3 - Sayerville, NJ

That's why I barbecue ribs, not brisket. How is cheap beef twice as much as the most expensive chicken?

May 07, 2015
chuck98 in New Jersey

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

Not sure how north you're looking, but there are several places in NB and Edison with al pastor.

May 06, 2015
chuck98 in New Jersey

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