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Everything posted by =Mark

  1. Will you have a car? Vietnamese: Pho Le - http://www.pholeusa.com/ Butcher: Monmouth Meats - http://www.monmouthmeats.com/ Sushi: a few miles south on Shrewsbury Ave is Kanj - http://kanjisteakhouse.com/ Thai: Park next to Siam Garden in the Galleria; Get a round trip train to Woodbridge and dine at Mie Thai next to the Woodbridge train station - http://www.miethai.com/ Mexican at Senor Pepper's (With tables) - http://www.exit109.com/~mstevens/Takeout/sr_peppers.pdf or North of the Border (no tables) - http://www.exit109.com/~mstevens/Takeout/fronteradelnorte.pdf Seafood: Ray's in little Silver a few miles east Be sure to check the schedule at the Count Basie Theater - http://www.countbasietheatre.org/
  2. 10th Ave Burrito recently moved to a new location on the righthand side of the same shopping center (formerly occupied by Viva's). It is a much larger venue and now has a liquor license.
  3. This eclectic Jersey Shore Cal/Mex establishment was recently Featured on the Food Network series. Did dinner there last week. Was a great meal! Started by getting orders of guacamole and cheese with roasted jalapeno to go with the chips and salsa already provided (note: the "hot" salsa served here is actually quite hot; I like it!). Bottles of Cholula hot sauce adorn each table. The overall style seems to be Cal/Mex, but there is enough variation to set it apart from any particular genre. I guess you could call it Jersey Shore/Mex... Along with south of the border specialties there are a couple additions like the wings and beer battered onion rings, both done really well. The wings are available in either housemade adobo sauce (see video above) or a chipotle barbecue sauce. They were both very good and there was some disagreement at the table as to which was the overall favorite. The onion rings were large and plentiful and the beer flavor was evident. Most of us opted for Tacos, including the pork mole, steak, choriso and tilapia. Since the last time I had visited in the Summer they have now opted to offer corn tortillas as well as flour (What? Chef/Owner Brian will take Guy Fieri's advice but not mine? What's with that?) :-) One of our group also ordered the Chicken in Adobo Cream Sauce, which was a huge portion! The strips of chicken were served over rice with cheese and a creamy sauce with a great flavor that we ultimately found included cloves and cinnamon, as well as many other seasonings. We also ordered a serving of Spicy Mac-n-Cheese Pasta tossed with Chorizo and spicy mac sauce, nice kick and very filling. The place was not very busy when we arrived at 6pm, but gradually filled up. Even the owner of Jersey Shore BBQ a couple doors down stopped by for a visit. The service was excellent and attentive, and Brian the owner moved about the room greeting and chatting with the patrons. All in all a great time was had by all! The portions were generous and there was an obvious pride in the operation. The bill came to $30 a person, which included leftovers for another day. A nice addition to the shore scene... Official 10th Ave. Burrito Co. Website be Here
  4. This recent addition to the Two Rivers area of Monmouth County features some of the best gourmet burgers to be had! The former chef of BOOM Burgers in BelmarA, Matt takes pride in the best burgers on the Jersey Shore. A sit-down restaurant with table service. Excellent soups, salads, steaks, fries, onion rings, chili & shakes. Ask for extra napkins as these are the juiciest, best tasting burgers you've had in a long time... Lil' Masters Grille 560A River Rd Fair Haven, NJ 07704 (732) 747-2300
  5. Stopped at Ada's Latin Flavor on Broadway and 5th St. in Long Branch for lunch a couple weeks ago and had one of the best Cubano sandwiches in a couple years. Judging from the roast pork in the Cubano, I'd have to bet that the Pernil is excellent too. Small, clean and brightly lit, this little Dominican gem is a valued addition to the downtown Long Branch area. Empanadas, Mofungo & tostones. Grilled sandwiches incluting Cubanos, Steak and Chicken Breast. Service was good and I had a nice chat with Ada, the owner. How an Ethiopian American accountant ends up running a Dominican restaurant may be improbable, but I'm glad that's how it worked out. Since then I've had the Pork Rib with Garlic sauce special, and the Bacalao with red paprika sauce. Also have enjoyed the beef empanadas and tostones. Looking forward to working my way through the rest of the menu... Pictured: Takeput empanadas & pork ribs
  6. I had gone there a number of years ago. Sat for like 10 minutes and was never given a menu or silverware. They pretty much refused to acknowledge my existence. Got up and walked out.
  7. Finally made it to Shirin, a small storefront on the southbound side of Rt. 9 last night, and was quite impressed. After being seated noticed the table next to mine was speaking Russian. Good sign... The place is small, clean and nicely appointed (OK, the continuous droning of Russian pop videos was a bit much). Started with the King's Herring which was served with thin sliced lemons and red onions and sprinkled with dill. Fresh and flavorful. I was going to try the borscht, but as it was rather warm out I opted not to. I ordered the Lamb Shish Kebab which was served on an arm length skewer, which added a bit of logistical planning to deal with without causing possible injury to other diners... :-) The lamb was tender and flavorful and was served with sauteed onions and a small container of "shish kebab sauce" which was sort of a tangy plumb chutney. Both the herring and lamb were served with oven roasted potatoes with a lot of garlic and dill. All in all, the food was good and I'll certainly be back to explore the menu further...
  8. My go-to burger place in the Monmouth County area has to be BOOM in Belmar. A serious sit-down restaurant with table service. Their meats are custom blended by Pat Lafrieda Meats of NYC and is always fresh, never frozen. No waiting, clutching a number, for overcooked prefab hockey pucks...
  9. The last time I was there they had 3 different types of fish for grilling on the specials board...
  10. A great new Greek place has opened in the Ursala Plaza shopping center in Long Branch. It's a family owned establishment that really puts their heart into the cooking. Our waiter was very knowledgable about the food and was pretty amusing to boot. We started with the Kalimari and dolmedas. For entrees we did the spanikopeda and Pork souvlaki. Again, everything was excellent. The only real problem was with the spanikopeda; the portion was just huge! Caused me to avoid dessert. Luckily, said waitguy advised my friend to order a special dessert that was not on the menu. Ekmek, which was a combo of baked shredded phyllo, syrup, pastry cream and slivered almonds. She was swooning and I had a taste. I don't really have a sweet tooth but this was excellent! Looks like this will be a keeper... The menu be Here.
  11. =Mark


    We were thinking of hitting Vivas in Belmar and had heard there had recently been some changes in the staff. Was wondering if anyone had been there in the last month or 3...
  12. Recently heard about this place, and given it is only a few miles from my house and the curious lack of Thai restaurants on the Monmouth County Shore I figured it was worth checking out. Located in the former location of the eminently forgettable King Wok Chinese Restaurant, this establishment has been open for about 5 months and has no connection to King Wok. It is a small well appointed dining room that seats about 50 patrons with semi-fancy wicker place mats and linen napkins. The hostess was friendly, knowledgeable and seemed truly interested in what the place was doing. I decided to start with the Spicy Mussels, Sautéed and served on the half shell with Thai basil and chili sauce. They were quite good. The only minor quibble I had was that the adductor muscle had not been separated from the shells, which resulted in a bit of wrestling. On the positive side the plate of condiments including chile pepper flakes, pickled chiles and Siracha chili sauce was brought to the table without having to ask for it. As an aside, one of the diners at the next table had noted that his Tom Yum Gai soup was excellent. I then moved on to the Kra Prow with chicken, Sautéed with bell pepper, chili, onion, and Thai basil. It was also good, though it could have been spiced a little more aggressively (This is a common occurrence with my dining in Thai places. I usually have to go a few times to convince them to make it as hot as I like). The condiments solved this issue in the short run... The portions were good and I've got enough leftover for lunch today. One other minor quibble, they didn't have any unsweetened iced tea, but this is not unusual in many Asian places. They seemed to be doing a steady take-out business and offer delivery of orders over $25. Manow Asian Bistro All in all it seems like a good deal, and combined with Saigon II seems to be the beginning of a small focus of good Asian dining spots in Lincroft.
  13. Manow Asian Bistro opened in Lincroft, finally giving Monmouth county a decent Thai place.
  14. =Mark


    Boom just updated their Website & Menu... BOOM High Quality Burgers & More
  15. Nicholas is the epitome of stuffy and pretentious. The food has not really held up but the service is overblown and overwrought. They take themselves way too seriously...
  16. =Mark


    When I was there the owner was sort of soliciting ideas for more burgers, and I forgot to mention my personal favorite; in order: lettuce, tomato, burger, chipotle sauce, blue cheese and bacon. As far as I can see he has everything but the sauce. Will have to see what he can come up with...
  17. =Mark


    A new burger place has opened up in Belmar. Boom is located in the Belar Blaza next to Vivas. I tried it last week and have to say it had the best burger I've had in years. The place has family ties to Pat La Frieda Meats out of NYC and uses a special blend prepared just for them. All the buns and rolls are baked for them special by Freeedman's Bakery. It is a sit-down place with table service, and has a casual friendly atmosphere, no white tile and florescent lights to be found. I started with a small bowl of 3-bean chili that had been spiced up as requested with extra sliced chile peppers. It was served topped with cheese and scallions and came with blue corn tortilla chips. I decided to go with the BOOM burger as it is their signature dish, served with swiss cheese, sauteed onions, bacon, tomato and lettuce on a toasted ciabatta roll. It comes with a side of their fresh cut Jersey fries which were outstanding. The burger was done perfectly and by the time I was halfway through it enough juices had dripped out to dip my fries in! The cardiologist will appreciate that... Got a copy of the Menu Here All those specialty chain joints like 5 Guys and Bobby Flay's are gonna have a run for the money here...
  18. Treated myself to lunch at one of my favorite establishments last Sunday. Two dirty water dogs from Mrs. Rooney's landmark Sabrett stand in Sea Bright. I swear she's been there selling hotdogs continuously for like 35 years, only closing during the really cold times of the year when she has problems with the diet sodas freezing... She knows my usual lunch is a couple dogs with mustard and her homemade sauteed spicy onions. Sometimes you just have to bow to tradition...
  19. Chef Vivas and Rico, the front end smoochy guy at Ole, split a couple years ago...
  20. Interesting that the thread began with a mention of Bistro Ole and led to a mention of Vivas in Belmar as chef Vivas used to be head Chef at Bistro Ole...
  21. Have been working on this for a while and figured folks near the Monmouth county shore would find it useful: Monmouth County Shore Area Restaurant Listing
  22. Actually I am into BBQ big time, and even devote a part of my site to Barbecue Links and stuff. I used to go to the national KCBS championships when they were held in Ocean City. I didn't go this year because I did not know any of the teams competing (If you don't know any of the competitors you are stuck with paying big $$$ for skeezy BBQ from the vendors). Health codes prevent the teams from even giving away samples. I've traveled as far as Boston and down to Raleigh (That was an eGullet event!) for good BBQ. Have you been up to the annual NYC Big Apple BBQ Block Party? I used to go when it first started but it just got too big...
  23. Have been wanting to try Drew's Bayshore Bistro in Keyport for a long while, and finally got to try it out. It is located on Broad St. in the former location of Hippolyte Cafe. Chef/owner Andrew Araneo received his professional culinary training at Brookdale Community College in Lincroft, , and has worked at prominent New Jersey restaurants, including Joe and Maggie's in Long Branch and Whispers in Spring Lake. The menu consists of contemporary American cuisine with a decided slant towards Cajun/Creole. We started out with the Soups of the Day, a spicy Lentil soup, Gumbo and a cream of Broccoli. They were all thick, hot and tasty! . For appetizers, I had the Pulled Pork Strudel, which is as tasty as it sounds; Smokey Pulled Pork & cheddarjack cheese in crispy phylo with pickled jalapeno cole slaw. Drew sent out a helping of Voodoo shrimp - sauteed shrimp in a spicy worcesteshire cream sauce over jalapeno cornbread as well as a portion of his nicely spiced Jambalaya. Knowing my penchant for hot and spicy, we were sent out a container of Drew's house made habanero sauce. Smokin! For an entree I opted for the Short Ribs, which were served with garlic smashed potatoes and green beans. One of the other dining companions had the Shrimp Creole, while another had sauteed crawfish over penne with a vodka sauce. For dessert we split a slice of Pecan Pie with Vanilla Ice cream. The service was very good, though things seemed a little rushed at first, with appetizers coming out shortly after the soup. Then things evened out and it was smooth sailing. The staff was friendly and gracious. The portions were quite large and very well prepared. All in all, we had a really enjoyable meal.
  24. Some Blue Sky Dinners that I attended: Rosie's Reds, Whites and Blue Sky Dinner - All Saints Day 1998 Rosie's Reds, Whites and Boo! Sky Dinner - Halloween 1999
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