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The Fine Grind [16 Jul 2010|09:33am]

A quick recommendation for The Fine Grind in Little Falls. Excellent drinks and wonderful stuffed cupcakes. Their "Italian Grilled Cheese" is awesome too. Free wireless as well. Although they may be in the same price range as a Starbucks, you get your money's worth.
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gift certificate avaiable for Club 201 [03 Jan 2007|08:47pm]

Club 201 is a nice restaurant in Englewood, NJ. I won a $201 GC and really would rather have cash, looking to sell for b/o over $150. email or post if interested.
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Coccolas in Hillsborough, Review [20 Aug 2006|02:49am]

The building that is now Coccolas has a long history behind it in Hillsborough but i wont really go into that. They changed the exterior of the restaurant alot though, it looks more distinguished. Upon entering everything is very elegant and very nouveau elegante, the partitions between dining sections are the black walls with large square cutouts partially screened by bubbly green glass with reeds set into the center. The lighting is dim, but seeable, and everything that i can remember was varying shades of black, maroons/reds, golds and the like. There are 3 rooms that i could tell, the bar which also had a handful of stilted tables (it was a long rectangular bar with windows overlooking the road outside), a middle room which you were immediately faced with upon entering and also had the serving area there so you could look into the kitchen and see the chefs plating your food (i would have liked to sit there) and what seemed to be the main dining room, which had larger tables for parties.

The evening started out in the bar. My dad offered me a drink and i chose the peach bellini off of their signature drink menu. I was really unimpressed. I hadnt had a bellini before but this didnt seem a good place to start. Despite having alot of sweeter elements in the drink, wine, champagne and peach juice/puree it was decidedly bitter. I had a sip of my dads drink, a strawberry mojito which was amazing. I was also unimpressed by one of the bartenders attire, a plunging black vneck and short black miniskirt when compared to the other bartenders more appropriate black pants and black tanktop which fit the serves black duds better.

We get to the table and we start out by ordering more drinks, i waited til later to get myself the strawberry mojito which was really perfect, not too strong of an alcohol flavor but it packed a punch and was full of berry and mint flavors.
Then we ordered appetizers. I ordered the heirloom tomato salad with goatcheese and a vinegarette. My dad ordered for the table a large seafood tower and the guy to my left ordered calamari.
My salad was amazing. It was baby field greens, superbly tender and succulent with tons of large chunk (i would have liked them to be much smaller peices rather than simply quarted) of different tomatos, there were yellow ones with dark purple stripes and then the usual yellow green varieties and some different shades of red to orange red. These were all beautifully sweet to varying degrees and they all had very little acidity to them, very sweet and mellow and really juicy. The vingarette added a soft tang and acidic bite to counter the sweetness. The goatcheese was crumbly and creamy with a nice yogurty tang to it a real earthy grassy sweet flavor.

Joe let me have some of his calamari and it was very nice, of the two peices i had it was really tender with a light crispy coating which tasted faintly of parmesean but really wasnt terribly inspired, i unfried calamari myself.

The seafood tower was awe inspiring. 3 tiers of seafood. The first two tiers held essentially the same things, 1/2 a lobster tail and a lobster claw, about 4-6 large shrimp (on the bottom tier one of the shrimp i had been chilled too long to the point of tasting almost frozen but another one was fine) and several steamed mussels (a little on the overcooked side but not overly so) and about 6 or so raw oysters and raw clams (the clam i had was a bit gritty but otherwise quite tasty) and various crab claws (the one i had ran into the same problem as the shrimp i had). The top tier had a smaller portion of all of these things except the lobster, instead of this there was a lettuce leaf which held diced tomatos and onions and parsely with steamed fresh calamari and thinly sliced conch dressed up in a lemony vinegarette. This was excellent. Overall it was very impressive and between my salad and the bread i kept picking at cause i was anxious (i had WAY too much bread for no good reason, it wasnt special though it was served with a VERY tasty mustardy hummus spread) and the appetizers took awhile to come out.

My mom also got the carmelized pear salad as her appetizer, with goatcheese, walnuts, caramelized pears, baby greens and a sweet vinegarette. It was awesome, the whole thing tasted faintly of warm sweet pears and obviously caramel. The pears were melt in your mouth awesome. I loved it.

For dinner i ordered another salad because all the entrees look much too good (they had several nice looking fish dishes, but none of them stood out to me from the others, and a gnocchi dish i was drawn to) to really decide on, so i chose instead the salad i decided not to get as my appetizer, the Seafood Salad (see a theme with me?) and supplemented this with the sauteed wild mushrooms (passing up the wilted escarole and the truffle scented french fries, a house specialty). Joe got the Deep Seascallops and my moms friend Lyn got the Eggplant Ravioli with Lobster claw meat.

My salad came and it was very pretty looking. A nice bed of baby greens again (really succulent again) tossed with another slightly different vinegarette and clumps of either mozzerella or scallops (i honestly couldnt tell which was very unsettling, they tasted vaguely like mozzerella but looked nothing like them and looked everything like scallops so i'll say it was mozzerella), sliced steamed calamari (not fried), a few shrimp, and the conch. I must say, this was my first time eating conch and i loved it, very tender and tasty with a flavor and texture similar to octopus. The salad was very nice and they treated the seafood well, none of it was overcooked which pleased me as its so easy to overcook any of those things or overwhelm all the subtle flavors of such a salad.

The mushrooms though, they stole the show, firm but yeilding to the bite and full of juice and really earthy woodsy natural flavors. Everyone who tasted them agreed they were excellent, and between me and Joe we finished them off quite nicely.

I also was given a peice of Lyn's eggplant ravioli. It was great! the pasta was perfectly cooked and even tasted freshmade. The eggplant filling was sweet and well, eggplanty. Overall great flavors. Joe's scallops were so buttery and melt in your mouth succulent, amazingly cooked, great flavor.

The truffled fries were pretty good. Thin tiny fries with a really crispy coating studded with tiny truffle flecks and plenty of garlic and salt. They were tasty but the truffle accents were lost to the salt and garlic which seemed to be overwhelming it, but not necessarily overwhelming to the tastebuds.

I had some nice but overall unmemorable Pinot Noir with dinner. A red with seafood is i'm sure some kind of wine faux pas but noone cared.

For dessert me and my brother didnt get my moms birthday cake (i am totally burnt out on costco birthday cake) and instead we ordered off the menu. I got the Chocolate Truffle coffee with Chambourd in it to go with my Chocolate Mousse Tart with Cinnamon Meringue. It was nice, it was a crisp pastry crust coated with caramel, then topped with a thin layer of ganache on the bottom of the inside of the crust and then filled with chocolate mousse and then topped with cinnamon meringue, which was further topped with whipped cream, chocolate sauce and a strawberry. The meringue wasnt as crisp as i would have liked on the outside but it was very tasty, the whipped cream very rich, the chocolate sauce was very chocolatey and rich. The mousse wasnt memorable at all and was lost to the other flavors such as that of the creamy and outstanding ganache and/or the meringue or whipped cteam. The crust was very crisp, almost too crisp, and a little too firm (not tender enough) but tasty, especially when you got a peice with a little more caramel on it.

My coffee was good, if a little too strong on the alcohol side, i didnt drink most of it cause just sniffing it made my nostrils flare and i forgot how much i dislike hot coffee. But it was tasty.

My brother got the flourless molten core chocolate cake. It was wonderfully tasty, really rich, gooey and chocolately, but it behaved like a souffle in that when you cut it it just deflated into like 1/2 of the serving dish, an awful disapointment, i felt gypped for him.

The restaurant had a wonderful ambiance and atmosphere (i wont even go into how expensive and stylized the bathroom was) to the point where it almost felt like it was trying too hard. and the service of the staff left alot to be desired but it just opened and i get the feeling alot of them havent had alot of formal waitering practice. The place holds alot of promise though, i'd go back again, if only to get another salad or the gnocchi.
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We did it! [15 Jan 2006|10:45pm]

[ mood | ecstatic ]

New Jersey Becomes Nation's 11th Smokefree Workplace State
Governor signs smokefree workplace law; Clean indoor air takes effect on April 15

Trenton, 1/15/06-- Today, New Jersey became the nation's 11th state to enact comprehensive smokefree workplace legislation as acting Governor Richard J. Codey signed the bill into law.

"Public health has won a major battle in New Jersey," said Codey before signing the legislation. "People will live longer lives because of this law. People who don't smoke will be protected from a killer they never intended to meet."

Codey also signed separate legislation raising the age at which a person can legally buy tobacco from 18 to 19. According to New Jersey's Commissioner of Health, Fred M. Jacobs, 90 percent of smokers become addicted before they're 19 years old.

"The data says smoking kills. It's not just an annoyance," Jacobs said. "That's where we got the traction to get this done." Clean indoor air will protect customers and employees from the dangers of secondhand smoke and will go into effect on April 15.

The legislation makes New Jersey the 11th state with such a law, joining California, Delaware, New York, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Montana, Vermont, and Washington.

With passage of New Jersey's law, the "Ashtray of the Northeast" label passes to Pennsylvania.

To win smokefree air where YOU live, go to http://www.smokefree.net/alerts.php

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the
world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.

*ahem* YES!!! :D
That's what I call hard work paying off...
It goes into effect just in time for my birthday, too :D It's the best present I could have asked for!

"With passage of New Jersey's law, the "Ashtray of the Northeast" label passes to Pennsylvania."
Just where I happen to be moving soon...
anyone wanna make a bet on the next state to go smokefree? :D
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[17 Sep 2005|10:40pm]

Callahans is closing in Ft Lee after 55 years. Sad but true. Tuesday the 20th they will have a farewell party from 4-7 pm, free dogs and free soda. I am so there.
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tired of smoke ruining your meal? [03 May 2005|06:01pm]

Help Bring Smoke-Free Air to New Jersey!

We're seeing great progress in our fight to make New Jersey smoke-free, but we need your help to make sure we win!

Click here to take action today.

The Senate will be meeting on May 12th to discuss and vote on various pieces of legislation. As you read this, the Senate is deciding which legislation to bring to a vote at this meeting. Let's make sure they discuss Bill S-1926, legislation to make New Jersey smoke-free!

More DetailsCollapse )
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[12 Nov 2004|04:49pm]

Okay I just had the most intense urge for hush puppies since... Tuesday. Where can I get these? I'm from north Passaic Co., so maybe a restaurant in Passaic/Bergen/Sussex, even in Orange/Rockland in New York.
I joined this community to find hush puppies. I am intense.
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best italian food [18 Jul 2004|09:51pm]

67 Terhune Ave, Jersey City NJ

this is a great little place! i work there... the food and environment is great. the only thing is, is IT IS VERY VERY SMALL. the resturant is in a house, or what used to be a home. it is on a residental street.

if ur interested please get intouch with me... its really a great place!
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now that's worth spamming about (but i'm not, so pass it on) [08 Jun 2004|09:14am]

June 8 is Free Iced Coffee Day at Dunkin' Donuts In Select Markets

EAST BRUNSWICK, N.J. (May 19, 2004) - To launch the summer season and thank the millions of Dunkin' Donuts enthusiasts, Dunkin' Donuts announces Free Iced Coffee Day. Participating shops throughout New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware and Pennsylvania* will give away a free 16 oz. Iced Coffee to every customer over the age of 18 that comes in on Tuesday, June 8 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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[03 Jun 2004|01:17am]

Anyone in the 5th congressional district? I just met Anne Wolfe, she's running against that dickweed Scott Garrett if she wins in the primaries on June 8th. So get out there in the primaries and vote for her! :D She's an amazing woman, a member of the League of Women Voters, is very pro-choice, and is dedicated to protecting the water shed unlike Garrett who wants to develop there, despite the fact that if we do we won't have enough water. She's a truly awesome and inspiring person, and more than worthy to replace that self-righteous rat Garrett. That guy won't listen to a single word from people he "represents" and is often the sole NJ vote to go against the other 12 house members of NJ. He's extremely out of touch, farther to the right than Bush and ruled by religion. He's even a sponsor of the "federal marriage amendment". Vote that jerk out and vote Wolfe in so we can have an actual voice in congress again! Learn all about her here: http://www.wolfe2004congress.com/on_the_issues.asp

Remember, if you don't vote on Tuesday, you can't complain on Wednesday. Don't skip the primaries, our representation in Congress is depending on it!

And don't forget to vote Democrat on November 2nd. Bush definitely must go, this country can't take another 4 years under him.

P.S. Love to my local 24hr diner, the Seville ^_^ They gotta get rid of their smoking section but otherwise they rock.
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SUSHI! [18 Apr 2004|12:18pm]

[ mood | hungry ]

Some of you might remember a sushi restaurant called 18 Ginza on Rt. 18. It got closed down last September so that a Perkins, of all things, could be built in its place.

Ginza has recently found a new home on Sicard Street in New Brunswick. Skinny Vinnie's, the pizzaria behind the Rutgers student center (best pizza in the city, in my opinion), has had some extra space in its building for years. So it looks like they've rented it out to the Ginza folks.

If you've never been to Ginza before, I recommend checking them out. It's the only place a poor college student like myself can get afforable sushi, and yet they don't skimp on the quality at all.

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HELP! [27 Feb 2004|01:37pm]

[ mood | hungry ]

I am in search of the best Hot Wings in all of NJ. Can anyone help me?

I have tried the following:

Anthony's Chicken and Ribs - Highstown
Over Billy's - East Windsor
Hooters - Chain, Lawrenceville
TGI Fridays - Chain, East Windsor
Chicken Holiday - Chain, East Windsor

Taste always wins out over HOT, but HOT is an added bonus.

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Tortilla Press in Collingswood, NJ [11 Feb 2004|12:49am]

This month, the "Eat This" group convened at Tortilla Press in Collingswood, NJ.
full review hereCollapse )
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[05 Feb 2004|11:39am]

i live in passaic county... northern nj... and i'm wondering if anyone has any suggestion for some good diners to go to.. me and my friends are bored of the same ones over and over again.
3 comments|post comment

looking for a good restaurant [20 Jan 2004|04:51pm]

Hey all...can anybody recommend a yummy, inexpensive restaurant, suitable for a large family of mostly adults, one toddler for a fun festive birthday celebration?

Three of my siblings, myself and my brother-in-law all celebrate our birthdays in January, so we're trying to minimize on the craziness by doing it all at once. It has to be this Sunday. We were thinking of a brunch because we can't think of a sushi/hibachi place that offers lunch on Sundays.

Bergen County is optimal because it's in the middle of all the travelers....particularly the corridor that the Hoboken-to-Mahwah train takes.

We are considering AB&G for lunch, but we have done that SO much, we thought we'd try something new.

Thanks for any input you guys might have.

(xposted in the north jersey community)
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For a unique dining experience, try Makeda. [18 Jan 2004|01:29pm]

[ mood | chipper ]

Restaurant: Makeda
Rating: **** (out of *****)
Category: Ethiopian
Location: 338 George Street, New Brunswick, NJ
Hours: 11:30 am - 12 am, 7 days a week

A cornerstone of Ethiopian history is the story of Makeda, Queen of Sheba, and King Solomon. According to legend, Makeda was a beautiful woman who was tricked by King Solomon into becoming his wife. It is appropriate that New Brunswick's Ethiopian eatery is named after this famous queen.

Upon entering, you'll find yourself in a stylish dining atmosphere, contemporary with a tribal flair. In the first room there are colorful basket-weave tables (called Mossobs) with little stools to sit on. These tables don't have much surface area, so if you're sitting at one with someone else you'd better order a communal dish to share. If you'd prefer to sit at a regular table, there is also a lovely candlelit dining room.

The menu offers a large selection of meat and seafood-based dishes, and there are also a lot that are strictly vegetarian. To be honest, I've only had one of the entrees, the "Best of the Best" platter. This is an enormous dish, made to be shared between two, three, or even four people, and contains a bit of nearly everything on the menu. The meal comes with injera, a soft flat bread that's slightly spongy. Injera is not just a food, but an eating utensil as well, as it is used to pick up the various vegetables, meats, and sauces on the plate. I suspect that all or most of the entrees come with injera, but I couldn't say for certain because I haven't had the chance to order them yet. The "Best of the Best" platter, however, is definitely a fun and exotic dish to enjoy with your dining companions.

Be warned, though: the prices are steep. At least to a college student like myself they are. Your best bet, if you don't wish to spend a lot, is to go during lunch hours when the prices are significantly lower. Lunch entrees are about $9-13 for poultry/beef, $16 for seafood, and $7-9 for vegetable. The lunch menu also has some tasty-looking wraps for about seven or eight dollars, and there's a lunch special which consists of one meat entree and two vegetable entrees (or four vegetable entrees) for $7.95. The "Best of the Best" platter costs $25 during lunchtime (remember, you'd be splitting the cost between two or more people). During dinner hours, on the other hand, the same thing will cost you $46, while other entrees are priced in the $19-24 range (vegetable dishes are slightly less).

Despite the prices, Makeda is definitely worth going to. The servings are generous and the food is extremely well-prepared. The staff is friendly and you don't have to wait very long for your food. And besides, where else are you going to find authentic Ethiopian food? According to the web site, it is the only restaurant of its kind in New Jersey. If you're looking for entertainment as well, Makeda has live bands performing on the weekends.

So if you're getting bored with the same old burgers and Italian food, why not go to Makeda and have something truly different?
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Wow! I get the first review! [18 Jan 2004|12:59am]

[ mood | hungry ]

Restaurant: Thinisu
Rating: ***** (out of *****)
Category: Indo-American
Location: 138 Easton Avenue New Brunswick, NJ
Hours: 12:30pm - 2am, 7 days a week

Well, I figure the best way to break in this journal is with a really happy review and recommendation. So let's get started with New Brunswick's own Thinisu.
Thinisu is a fairly new restaurant in New Brunswick. They first opened up shop around September 2003, replacing "Y.Y. Doodle." On one of my normal walks along Easton Ave, I was curious as to what was meant by the restaurant's subtitle, "Indo-American Fast Food." Walking into Thinisu, I found myself immediately greeted by their friendly staff. Now, while I may have graduated college, my wallet forces me to still think like a college student. A quick glance at the menu made me equally excited and paranoid. Most of the items on the menu were under five dollars. The few that were above five dollars were entire meals, and even they were kept under seven dollars. Very tempting, but it did make me question the quality of the meal. After all, they were using the phrase "fast food," which I have come to associate with the repulsive pseudo-food products served at places like McDonalds.
As it turns out, the food would be a most unique surprise. The term "fast-food" applies in that they do prepare the food quickly, however it is not a member of the genre of fast food that has become a mainstay of American culture. Quite the opposite. The ingredients here are fresh, and personally prepared in an almost home-style like manner.
My previous experience with Indian food had been quite positive. I was used to the flavorful dishes and delicious sauces. The food at Thinisu was quite different from what I was expecting. As I would later find out from one of my Indian friends, the style of cooking reflects a more Southern Indian tradition. I ended up ordering the onion pakora (which is a fried chickpea and onion fritter that they serve with chutney) and a chicken wrap. Both dishes were full of flavor and really satisfying. The dishes were a little hotter then I was initially expecting, but the vivid flavors of the food more than made up for it. I've returned there many times and sampled other dishes, and found them all to be of high quality. They've actually added several new things to the menu which are extremely interesting. One of them is a pizza dish, that fuses elements of Indian cooking (The sauces and spices) with Italian-American food (the cheese and bread elements). Really keen stuff.
Let me just sum up for a second. Excellent and flavorful food served at an amazing price. Good stuff so far, right? But the there is more to why I give this place a full five stars. The restaurant has a really clean, welcoming atmosphere. Besides having ambient music and a television for unwinding to, it has high speed internet. Combine that with the fact that Thinisu keeps late night hours, and I believe during the semester they delivered, what we have is a perfect college joint. Finally, there is something else on the menu at 2 AM besides pizza and burgers. The blending of all their positive elements into something that becomes what I feel is greater then the sum of its parts makes me feel that they merit a perfect score. Keep in mind, that I'm thinking still like a college student. Without a doubt, this is a perfect college place. If you're looking for an extremely fancy restaurant, this isn't it, but if you're looking for a damn good place in New Brunswick to eat, study, and relax then Thinisu is the place to be.
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