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Everything posted by BrianYarvin

  1. Andrew: Yes, that's the place. Food from a whole different part of China than most of us are used to.
  2. Good news for Central New Jersey Chinese food fans; King's Village has reopened. Their owners told us the closing was due to an electrical fire. Their menu, which specializes in Northern Chinese snacks and stir fries (with a few hot pots thrown in for good measure) has been one of the most interesting in the area. King's Village 1639 Route 27 (opposite the 7-11) Edison, NJ 08817 732 339 9858 If you go, order the "pancake soup!"
  3. Jon and Lemons: I got so wrapped up in my plea for specialty food shopping that I forgot about another terrific store: Jerry’s Gourmet & More 410 S. Dean St. Englewood, NJ 07631 201.871.7108 Brian
  4. Jon: Bergen County - especially the area around Ridgefield and Fairvew - is so filled with great specialty shops that it saddens me to see supermarkets suggested first. A drive down Bergen Blvd, Palasade Ave, or Fairview Ave should keep you busy for a long time. Once again...I too shop in supermarkets, but I try to make the effort to buy from local independents whenever I can. Each of us can make a difference in this situation.
  5. Lemons: Piccolo's Gastronomia Italiana is about my favorite in Bergen County for cheese. They're at: 484 Bergen Boulevard Ridgefield, NJ 07657 Their web page Although they're not in Bergen County, Summit Cheese Shop is probably the best cheese shop in the state. Perhaps they're worth a side trip? 75 Union Place Summit, N.J. 07901 908-273-7700 If I possibly could, I would like to urge Jon and...well...anybody who'll listen to try to shop in independent specialty stores when they can. They offer some great stuff.
  6. Scott: Here in the Garden State, Japanese and Korean dumplings also use these ingredients - and they may be a great thing to try too. I've found mushrooms in many Chinese dumpling recipes (look for my upcoming book "A World of Dumplings" for more on this, it will be out next spring). I too, have never seen a mushroom in an egg roll, but nothing would surprise me; especially in those big, thick-skinned ones that take out shops serve. In any case, while New Jersey has Chinese restaurants as great as any anywhere, they aren't evenly distributed. So your dumpling search may require driving up to Bergen or down to Middlesex Counties in order to find the ultimate. Down here, they'll be at Grand Shanghai in Edison or Shanghai Park in Highland Park. I'll defer to Jason on anything North of Route 22. BTW...should you want to go for the mushrooms, Prima in Linden is my vote for best pierogi in the area.
  7. Hi: Delicious Orchards has them all year round.
  8. Scott: First, I must ask what's wrong with mushrooms in dumplings? Okay...I know you don't mean pierogies because mushrooms are a favorite ingredient in those, but your mention of "fresh pork and scallions" suggests that you mean Chinese or Japanese. Please; fill in the details for us!
  9. Oh come on! If you reject self-service, that leaves you with almost no choices but Chowpatty, Rassoi, Moghul and about five or six others. And it leaves out Monsoon, Moghul Express, Foodland and...well...there's not enough bandwith to list the rest...
  10. Stacy: You're putting me in a tough position! I would like to encourage you to visit places other than Rassoi without knocking it. At least try Monsoon and/or Chowpatty...please.
  11. This morning I came up with what sounded like a great idea; while I was drving down Oak Tree Road, I'd list the restaurants that aren't on the lists and that I haven't tried. But by the time I hit number eight, I got sick of the whole project. There are lots places to try!
  12. Anonymouze: I'm getting the feeling from this thread that you're a Rassoi fan.
  13. David: Things change really quickly around here! I'm almost afraid to make my own list. Of course, fools rush in... Dosas: Moghul Express Monsoon - at the corner of Oak Tree Road and Park Avenue, South Plainfield Khasiyat Fast Food - 77 Middlesex Avenue, Iselin Snacks, Chaat: Galaxy Food Court Bombay Talk House Rajbhog Gokul - http://www.sukhadia.com/gokul.asp Thali, Curries (set meals): Chowpatty 1351 Oak Tree Road, Iselin Khasiyat Fast Food Indian Chinese: Chopstick, 1734 Oak Tree Road South Asian Fine Dining: Moghul, 1655 OakTree Road, Edision Ming, next door to Moghul Rasoi Best of luck and enjoy yourself! Oak Tree Road is a great food adventure. ...and of course, don't forget to keep us posted. Half of the places I listed have changed since this thread began, but which half?
  14. David: Quick descriptions of most of the places you list will be "less than flattering." In fact, some are quite dingy. But at eight on a Friday evening, when the Galaxy is packed with Indian families, it's a great experience. What's most odd about your list is the way it mixes adventure eating destinations like Rajbhog and Galaxy with fine dining restaurants like Rasoi. They really represent very different sorts of experiences; think a Trenton tomato pie vs a downtown white tablecloth restaurant that features Italian regional specialties and a serious wine list. BTW...the list of specialties you associate with the restaurants is kind of off. For example, the Dosas at Moghul are far better than their chili chicken and the curries at Dimple's are several notches above their dosas. You can spend a lifetime (and many people do!) exploring the foods of India as they are cooked in this neighborhood and your list is a very good start, but you only scratch the surface. There's a better version of every dish you mention at a place you don't name and I'm certain that there's a better version of every dish at a place I just haven't tried yet. Oak Tree Road is an open book.
  15. Randi: This is it exactly. Inside are five or six stalls, each with a different specialty. They range in quality from awful (these don't stay in business very long) to pretty good. My favorite is the drinks and ice cream counter. Their chai tea for a buck is one of the best culinary deals in the state. As for the list of places and their addresses, I hope that Dave realizes that most are within a hundred yards of each other and extremely easy to find. Green Street is what Oak Tree Road is called after it passes under the train tracks and I strongly suspect that "Mugal" is "Moghul." There is one very important point to be made about these places (except for Moghul Express) and that's that they're pretty much family businesses run by people who cook from the heart but don't really have great chef skills. They can all be wonderful at the right moment, but they can be off just as easily. That's just part of the adventure.
  16. Anonymouze: While I think Rassoi is a great place, it seems that the list is of budget places, not fine dining. Shops like Rajbhog are just a whole different catagory. Tiny, cheap, and intensely authentic, they provide an experience far more akin to foreign travel than Rassoi, Moghul or Ming - even those places have unquestionably better food and service (do Rajbhog or Galaxy even have service?). Hybrids like Moghul Express or Monsoon (both on Oak Tree Road, but away from the Indian strip) offer fine dining quality food at about double the price of Rajbhog for those willing to carry their own trays. In any case, the original poster's theory is pretty much correct. This is about the most authentic strip of Indian shops and restaurants you can find in the Eastern US. Certainly far better than anything in NYC proper. All you have to do is walk down Oak Tree Road, you'll find all these places and at least a dozen more. None are more than a fifteen minute walk from the Metropark train station and there's almost always parking on Oak Tree Road a few blocks past the stores and towards Edison.
  17. Daniel: The baked goods at Delicious Orchards are as good as ever. They are without question, the best produce market in the state by a wide margin - indeed, I always see steady improvements. Their cheese selection is better than the top supermarkets too. A truly remarkable store.
  18. Hi Everybody: I noticed that the Woodstock Water Buffalo Company listed a fairly large number of outlets in New Jersey. This may be your best bet.
  19. I buy meat in New Jersey Chinese supermarkets all the time and find the both the quality and price to be much better than the supermarkets. No, it's not as good as a specialized butcher (for that I like John's in Scotch Plains) but for the most part, it's a good choice.
  20. Wasn't this what the Chelsea Market was supposed to be?
  21. That was me! I mentioned Bicerin because the chef at Berta's, Peter B., is anxious to make all sorts of Piemontese dishes and I thought he could be persuaded to do this one. I'm a big fan Piemontese food (I even co-wrote a book about it) and really enjoyed the meal I ate at Berta's last year. Without question, I'd eat there all the time if I was thirty or forty miles closer to it, but I live down in Edison, a completely different food universe.
  22. Curlz: Have you checked with Berta's in Wanaque? The chef there is so passionate about Piemontese food that he could be persuaded to do almost anything. http://www.bertaschateau.com/ ...and it's also the best Piemontese Restauant in the state.
  23. My experience is that Torino isn't the place to eat traditional Piemontese food, but is one of the best places in Italy to try food that isn't Italian. It has Korean, Thai, African, and all sorts of Eastern European. Indeed, there's a whole subculture of ethnic food fans there. As Swiss Chef has said, if you want to eat traditional Piemontese food, you're better off in the smaller cities of Alba, Asti and Cuneo, but Torino isn't a bust by any means. BTW...I must offer one correction; when bars offer happy hour, they often put out popcorn as one of the snacks. And while I haven't seen wings, they would fit in perfectly.
  24. "Antipasti in the Piemonte is mostly Salumi. I have yet to be served an olive or a pickled anything as an antipasti." Swiss Chef: Have you been to Cuneo yet? There you'll find antipasti under oil or vinegar in many local restaurants and shops. At Torrismondi, at Via Michele Coppino 33 (across from the big hospital) you'll find a beautiful cart of these at both lunch and dinner. There are also many more places on the road that leads up to the Parco delle Alpi Marittime that cater to hikers and skiiers and offer inexpensive, hearty menus of local cuisine. The area near (and in) the park is a bit more rugged than Asti or Dogliani and not really wine or truffle country, but when it comes to cooking, it's as Piemontese as it gets.
  25. Hello Everybody: Reading this thread once again reminds me of how things change so quickly. When I made my earlier posts, I found the 1-9 Seafood Restaurant to be terrific, but I can recall meal by meal how the place became more and more bland. I'm sorry to see things go downhill, but glad to see the record set straight. I'm going to stick by the Wonder though, it remains very good and offers dim sum service every day. Sadly, no other Cantonese place has opened around here, but with the Wonder for big events and the China Bowl for Noodles, Barbecue and rice plates, we're not exactly suffering. Rosie - I'm delighted to hear that King's Village hasn't closed for good. I can still find their great breads in the local Chinese superstores, so I never really gave up hope.
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