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Lunch in Elizabeth


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#31 rlibkind

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Posted 02 March 2004 - 08:57 PM

It's the University Diner on North Avenue right next to Kean University. Very good diner food including their matzoh ball soup.

Glad to hear the diner is continuing a culinary tradition at this location.

The diner (physically in Union, not Elizabeth, even though most folks think it's in Elizabeth) is built the site of the old Townley's Restaurant, an old fashioned restaurant. When I went there as a kid, and until it was demolished, it was owned by Al Zimmerman (I went to school with his son, Bobby). A guy named Irv was his expediter in the kitchen. Basic "full service" restaurant meals, and a cocktail lounge where one of the county judges imbibed every night. A 'nice' place for quiet drunks. Food wasn't bad, given the times (1950s-early 60s). The only reason I knew all this is because my Dad operated a refrigeration service business, and Townley's was one of his many commercial customers; many a time I lugged my Dad's tools and gas tanks to the basement to fix one of Al's units.

It's at Townley's that I learned about some new foods, like shrimp. I saw it on the menu and wanted to taste it, so the waiter (George, OMG I remember his name!) brought me one tiny fried shrimp on a huge otherwise unadorned steak platter.

I attended many a reception or Sweet Sixteen at Townley's. (They catered my Bar Mitzvah; I think we paid for it in trade.)

Around the corner from Townley's, on Morris Avenue heading into downtown Elizabeth, was a brown-and-cream Army surplus bus outfitted as a donut shop. They made the best donuts I've ever had (childhood tastes are difficult to overcome). Only two varieties: plain and sugared. Really fatty deep fried cake donuts; had to have been done in lard. Whenever we went there, my parents who send one of us to get the donuts, because the baker always gave the kid an extra donut. I think the "donut man" survived into the 1970s.

I remember Kartzman's on, I believe, Mill Road in Irvington just over the line from Union. I went there as a kid occasionally -- you took a ticket and went to the counter, just like at Katz's. Lots of salamis hanging from the ceiling. I continued to go there during the early 70s, when i worked as a young reporter at the Union Leader nearby. One of my colleagues loved their roast turkey legs. Although I don't remember this, I think Kartzman's was located on Lyons Ave. in Newark before moving to Irvington.

Edited by rlibkind, 02 March 2004 - 09:15 PM.

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#32 Taboni

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Posted 02 March 2004 - 09:03 PM

I remember Kartzman's on, I believe, Mill Road in Irvington just over the line from Union.

Of course...sorry I stand corrected...just past Hollywood cemetery...now I remember.
Get your bitch ass back in the kitchen and make me some pie!!!

#33 rlibkind

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Posted 02 March 2004 - 09:14 PM

About a month or so ago, I read an obituary of an elderly doctor. In the obituary it mentioned that one of his favorite things to do was go to Millman's for a hot dog. Was this a hot dog cart in the park? Does anyone remember what kind of hot dog they served? If it was a cart or wagon I'm assuming they served boiled Sabrett's. Anyone know?

I've also heard that Syd's was on Chancellor Ave. and Summit in Newark prior to 1967. Is that where the church building is now? I take Chancellor Ave. to Bergen St. to Avon Ave. to get to Best Provisions where I buy the same franks that they serve at Syd's. The best beef franks in the eastern U.S.

For a history of Syd's, see Nat Bodian's article on the virtualnewarknj.com web site.

Sabin's and Millman's were competing hot dog operations (I believe both served Sabretts) on Meeker Avenue, the northeastern border of Weequahic Park. Both were small diner-type operations with counters, though I don't think they served much beyond hot dogs. I only vaguely recall them.
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#34 dbrociner

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Posted 03 March 2004 - 05:39 AM

dbrociner do the words pappy and nooks mean anything to you? :smile:

Ah, the "candlelight room" a favorite haunt of former Mayor Dunn.

#35 dbrociner

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Posted 03 March 2004 - 08:16 AM

Perhaps an Egullet lunch in Elizabeth is in order. Any interest? We could all clomp down memory lane together at an appropriate restaurant, Goodman's maybe? Post if interested.

#36 howard88

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Posted 04 March 2004 - 09:11 AM

Does anyone know or remember the Syds in Bradley Beach. Any relationship to the Syds in Weequahic?

#37 Rosie

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Posted 04 March 2004 - 10:21 AM

I remember Syds when it was on the ocean. We used to walk from Belmar to Bradley for their hot dogs and french fries. I believe they double fried the fries.
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#38 Daniel

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Posted 16 July 2004 - 11:52 AM

:smile: I am a little disappointed. Why come i didnt hear anything about the Philadelphia Grille on here? I heard the place is amazing. Too bad my lunch today was spent on blimpies. Would love to get an opinion on this place.

#39 John

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Posted 16 July 2004 - 05:44 PM

I've been to the Philadelphia Grille about 3 times. In my opinion, the best cheesesteak that I've tried in N.J. Admittedly, I haven't been to Gaetanos or Chick's, which many people including the Star Ledger's Munchmobile team consider the best. You may get an argument from our Philadelphia friends, but even Philadelphia Monthly picked Chick's of Cherry Hill as the best cheesteak . And they tested mostly Philly places. The Philadelphia Grille is certainly the best or one of the best in Union County. The owner is from Jim's in Philly. He uses a very good bread, harder than what is used in Philly. A Philly Cheesesteak traditionalist like Holly would probably dismiss this bread as not authentic, but it was darn good. The Munchmobile liked the bread the best out of all the places sampled. The meat is chopped and very good. It has a pleasing, slightly spicy flavor. I know that this may border on blasphemy, but the one time I ventured into Philly, I had a cheesesteak from Steve's Prince of Steaks. Very good; considered by many as one of the better places in Philly. When I got home, I ran over to the Philadelphia Grille to see how it compared to Steve's. I was surprised to find out that I preferred it to Steve's. Bread was better and the meat tastier. Well worth trying. My only criticism would be that the sandwich was a little smaller than I would have liked.
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#40 Daniel

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Posted 22 July 2004 - 07:47 AM

I will definately try it out once i get back to my new jersey office. I have been in New York since finding out about it and havent been able to go.

On another note: Chicks Seafood has recently re-opened. Its right on trumbull street right outside the Industrial Park i work in. I had gone there for lunch a couple of times in the past few weeks and was presently surprised. I had ordered a rabbit stew that was terrific. Served with a plate of rice,french fries, vegetables, it was awesome. I also had the scallops in Chicks Sauce. Which is a tomato sauce with onions, chunks of chorizo, and other vegetables. I have also had there shrimp in garlic sauce which was terrific too. The scene is very portugese day bar/restaurant, but the waitresses are very pleasant and it seems very clean.

Best chicken in Elizabeth. Nothing beats Chicken King on 1st ave. Real rough area so i like to pick up the five dollar half chicken. fries and rice when its raining. Park the car out front and quickly run in. However the area has gotten alot better since they leveled the projects over there.

#41 Daniel

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Posted 26 July 2004 - 10:01 AM

I just went to Philadelphia Grill today and i must say it was really very good. I agree with John on this place . I think it was the best Philadelphia style cheesesteaks i have had in New Jersey. (i would say outside of philly but i am a big fan of woogies in manhattan) I also agreed with john in that the bread was different then the traditional bread and that the sandwich was too small. The meat however was delicious. I got a provo wit whiz and it was fantastic, I just wish however they used a different bread. While I was there, the majority of people were ordering hot dogs, so i think that needs to be explored a little more. The fries were okay. Very thick, the type that needs to be eaten while they are really hot or they suck. I picked up about six of them for co-workers and everyone really enjoyed them.. I am hoping I have made a fan out of at least one of them who would be willing to get them the next time.

#42 tilda2

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Posted 29 July 2004 - 08:52 PM

Around the corner from Townley's, on Morris Avenue heading into downtown Elizabeth, was a brown-and-cream Army surplus bus outfitted as a donut shop. They made the best donuts I've ever had (childhood tastes are difficult to overcome).

dbrociner do the words pappy and nooks mean anything to you?

   
Perhaps an Egullet lunch in Elizabeth is in order. Any interest? We could all clomp down memory lane together at an appropriate restaurant, Goodman's maybe? Post if interested.



This was such a great topic! I've lived in and around Elizabeth all my life and still remember those donuts (no other donut has measured up!), and Pappy and Nook's "Candlelight Lounge"...
I worked at Evelyn's Seafood House, affiliated w/ the famous Belmar restaurant during the '80's and there were many Saturday nights spent there, in all it's "Sinatra" splendor.

Please let me know if a "field trip" is being planned. I think Spirito's would be a great choice!

Theresa, living just outside of the "Westminster" section of Elizabeth!

#43 Daniel

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Posted 03 August 2004 - 07:26 AM

Whats the story with the hot dog places tommy's and jerry's. I am not speaking in terms of the brand of hot dogs or the way they make them. I am speaking about how two hot dog stands happen to open right next to eachother in elizabeth. As well as having names referring to a cartoon. Are they related, who was there first, has anyone lost a life over this?

#44 bloviatrix

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Posted 03 August 2004 - 08:01 AM

Daniel, I'll be glad to send you to my in-laws if you like defrosted pita and day old, reheated pasta.
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#45 Daniel

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Posted 03 August 2004 - 08:03 AM

Daniel, I'll be glad to send you to my in-laws if you like defrosted pita and day old, reheated pasta.

Haha.. As long as its good pasta no worries. Also depending on the dish you dont even have to heat it.

#46 John

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Posted 03 August 2004 - 03:37 PM

Whats the story with the hot dog places tommy's and jerry's. I am not speaking in terms of the brand of hot dogs or the way they make them. I am speaking about how two hot dog stands happen to open right next to eachother in elizabeth. As well as having names referring to a cartoon. Are they related, who was there first, has anyone lost a life over this?

I don't know all the details, but Jerry's opened in 1962 or 3. The owners are Greek. Jerry Belibisakis was the original owner. Now run by his son Nick, who I rarely see there. 90% of the time there is an elderly Spanish man working. Very pleasant, but speaks hardly any English. It was impossible getting information from him for a past newspaper article on hot dogs. Jerry's brother opened George's in Elizabeth. Another great hot dog restaurant, George's went out of business a year or 2 ago. Now it's a Subway.

Tommy Farrinello opened Tommy's in 1969 about 2 door down from Jerry's. Known for their Italian Sausage sandwiches and Italian Hot Dogs, they also sell regular hot dogs. I don't know if the 2 places consider themselves rivals or what. Many people, myself included, stop at both. For the same meal. Once I walked over to Tommy's to get an Italian Hot Dog after getting a few regular dogs from Jerry's. The guy working there told me that I should've gotten my regular dogs from him too. Both places use the same Best's natural casing 8 to a lb dogs for their regular hot dog. Tommy's boils his. At Jerry's they are boiled then put on a steel griddle for a minute or 2 for extra crunchiness and flavor. Jerry's regular dogs are better than Tommy's.

Tommy is not too fond of me. He knows my father from mutual friends, and they sometimes go shooting together. He knows that I prefer Charlies Italian Hot Dogs to his, and it bothers him to no end. I told my dad to tell him that his dogs (for the Italian Hot Dog) are much too small and he is chintzy with the peppers. He really has great potatoes and his sausage sandwich is maybe the best around. And his Italian Hot Dog is second only to Charlies. Shortly after, he began using bigger dogs. But he is kind of expensive; $6.25 for a double.
John the hot dog guy

#47 rlibkind

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Posted 03 August 2004 - 04:25 PM

Jerry's brother opened George's in Elizabeth. Another great hot dog restaurant, George's went out of business a year or 2 ago. Now it's a Subway.

Forgot all about George's! Not my favorite, but still pretty good, and a landmark.
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#48 tommy

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Posted 03 August 2004 - 06:54 PM

I don't know all the details...

i think you'll find that most people don't agree with you on that one. you know *all* of the details! :biggrin:

#49 Daniel

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Posted 01 April 2005 - 11:14 AM

Went to one of my favorite places in Elizabeth Today.. Its called Portugal BBQ.. Its incredibly inexpensive and incredibly good.. Its one of the best chickens I have ever eaten.. From here to Texas I would put this bbq chicken against anyone's.. I work in the Industrial Park and the neighborhood is rather tough. This place is clean and on a safe block..


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They have these chicken, ribs and steaks rotating around an open charcoal fire.. The use Cowboy Charcoal.. As it goes around, they constantly brush the meats with the red sauce. It smells of garlic and various spicy.. When it drips down it makes the flames shoot up and the smoke surrounds the meat.. Its a beautiful thing..


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A half of chicken served over white rice that absorbs the smokey and salt, garlic,lemon juice of the chicken and a side of fries and a Portugese Roll.. Its terrific.. And all for 5 bucks.. Fantastic!


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#50 rlibkind

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Posted 01 April 2005 - 02:07 PM

Went to one of my favorite places in Elizabeth Today.. Its called Portugal BBQ.. Its incredibly inexpensive and incredibly good.. Its one of the best chickens I have ever eaten.. From here to Texas I would put this bbq chicken against anyone's..  I work in the Industrial Park and the neighborhood is rather tough.  This place is clean and on a safe block..

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Sounds and looks delicious, though a bit of a carbo overload with rice and french fries. Where is it located in Elizabeth?
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#51 Rail Paul

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 08:19 AM

Went to one of my favorite places in Elizabeth Today.. Its called Portugal BBQ.. Its incredibly inexpensive and incredibly good.. Its one of the best chickens I have ever eaten.. From here to Texas I would put this bbq chicken against anyone's..  I work in the Industrial Park and the neighborhood is rather tough.  This place is clean and on a safe block..

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Sounds and looks delicious, though a bit of a carbo overload with rice and french fries. Where is it located in Elizabeth?

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Rob -

Looks it's just south of Newark Airport, Jersey Gardens mall, and near the CNJ Elizabethport station and shops location.

Mapquest


Paul

Edited by Rail Paul, 04 April 2005 - 08:23 AM.

Apparently it's easier still to dictate the conversation and in effect, kill the conversation.

rancho gordo

#52 Rebecca263

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 09:12 AM

Hey, I'm new to NJ and I'd LOVE to be included in an eGullet tour of Elizabeth, I'm located in the tiny town of English...as my kiddle and I like to say. We've hit Elizabeth a number of times getting to the airport.... I'd be thrilled to travel the backroads for some great food!
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#53 Daniel

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 04:03 PM

I am in chicago right now and comming back next week.. I would love to show people some of the spot i have learned over the last 5 years.. I would also like to see peoples too!

#54 AlisonA

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 06:41 PM

I am in chicago right now and comming back next week.. I would love to show people some of the spot i have learned over the last 5 years.. I would also like to see peoples too!

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Sounds like fun.

I am sure a forum host will pop in soon on it but make sure you read this:

EGullet Events Policy

before you plan it out.

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#55 Daniel

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Posted 11 April 2005 - 10:16 AM

Back from Chicago and happy to be here! I wanted to share with you guys, what i think is the best place in Elizabeth for lunch.. Its a place called Chicks Seafood located at 230 Trumbull Street.. Its an awesome place.. Its pretty much a local spot for lunch, and if its close enough to be a local place you are very lucky..

Out of the kitchen comes some of the best Portugese food I have ever had.. From Garlic Chicken, to Squid Stew, to Bean Soup, Chicken with rice in a Minhota sauce, Grilled Whole Fish, to the assorted breads they serve complimentary at the table, its all incredible.. And the prices, they cant be beat. . In fact, the cheese steaks here are great! I go here or pick up from here as much as possible.. In fact, my mother brings friends from 40 minutes away to meet me here for lunch.. I wanna say she comes cause she loves me, but lets just say the trips have been getting more frequent since i have taken her here..


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I will start taking pictures of some of more favorite meals here... The tin doesnt do this justice. Today is Arroz De Frango a Minhota.. Or simply put Chicken with Rice in a wine white wine sauce.. Or paella.. For 10 bucks I received a tray that will easily feed me for at least three lunches if I didn't share it with my office.. It came with chicken, homemade smokey chorizo, fried bits of pork, peas, in an incredible garlicky white wine soupy saffron rice.. Outstanding! This place is a lunch destination place for anyone in the Elizabeth area.


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Edited by Daniel, 11 April 2005 - 10:22 AM.


#56 Rosie

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Posted 11 April 2005 - 12:08 PM

Are they open for dinner?
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#57 Daniel

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Posted 11 April 2005 - 12:14 PM

They close at 10.. (908)282-0054 is there number..
Address is: 230 Trumbull St. Elizabeth NJ. 07206

#58 Rebecca263

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Posted 11 April 2005 - 09:58 PM

Hey, let's all make plans to meet for lunch in Elizabeth. As a transplanted Floridian, I'm missing my Latin restaurants and the food looks so good!
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#59 Rosie

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Posted 12 April 2005 - 05:27 AM

Hey, let's all make plans to meet for lunch in Elizabeth. As a transplanted Floridian, I'm missing my Latin restaurants and the food looks so good!

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You can post on ISO which is pinned at the top of the board. Be sure to read the Events Policy also. Thanks, Rosie

http://forums.egulle...showtopic=59327
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#60 Daniel

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Posted 14 April 2005 - 09:35 AM

Today i went for cuban sandwiches.. There are two places that i would recommend in Elizabeth.. One has a leg up on the roast pork, while I believe Alvarez has the best cuban bread i have ever had.. They also make mamey shakes, which is a plus..

Alvarez Cafe located at 511 Elizabeth Avenue is a famous place on the block.. It has been open for 30 years.. Its also one of the only places where they have an english menu too.. So i find this helpful.. There website is alvarezcafe.com..

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Most places in the area incorporate a lot of different spanish countries into their cuisine.. One restaurant could have Puerto Rican owners and be cooking a combo of Portugese, Cuban and Peruvian food.. Alvarez i think keeps it pretty much too cuban food.. They serve oxtail to seafood.. I especially like there sandwiches, steak, cuban, roast pork, spanish sausage, and the carne ripiada.. All really good..There steak sandwich in which they put french's onion rings under the bread before the grill press it is excellent too!

Sandwiches ready to go for lunch

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My grilled cubano with a mamey shake.. 7 bucks.. I am a happy fella..

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Edited by Daniel, 14 April 2005 - 09:49 AM.