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Everything posted by BrianYarvin

  1. Hi: I have visited Bobolink Dairy several times and taken his basic workshop. In my experience, Jonathan is both a warm host and a real expert. The only other comment I will make is that although the farm is a must-visit for cheese fans and located in the state of New Jersey, it is astoundingly remote. Visiting Bobolink will change your perception of New Jersey in more ways than one.
  2. Jo-Mel: I believe that this is the very same management. Indeed, this was once a Maxim's store. It's at the corner of Oak Tree Road (of Indian Restaurant fame) and Park Avenue in South Plainfield. The stall vendors change fairly frequently and their quality often varies too, but as of this week, there is a bakery with bubble tea drinks, a soup noodle shop that features amazing hand-cut noodles and nice warm containers of soy milk, a Sichuan noodle and cold dish stall, two sisters who sell wonderful Taiwan street and snack food, a Shanghai style bread and dumpling place, and one of those three-dish steam table operations all the way in the back. And of course, there's a pretty good Chinese grocery there too. (Actually it's amazing if you're used to Manhattan Chinatown, but in the NJ ethnic food universe, it's the grocery stores, not the restaurants that make the biggest impression) I"m in this place at least twice a week.
  3. Jason: The StarLedger seems to have missed much of what's good in the central part of the state. The 1-9 Seafood Restaurant on Route 1-9 in Avenel leads the pack in my opinion and the Wonder Seafood Restaurant on Route 27 in Edison is also quite good. Both of these places are solidly Cantonese. I would place the 1-9 in a sort of dim sum stratosphere along with the Ocean Palace in Brooklyn and the late and lamented Jade Palace in Flushing. Quality New Jersey Chinese restaurants seem to cluster in two areas; in the North around Route 46 and in the center of the state around Edison and Highland Park. **** The Shanghai breakfast tradition is another story entirely - if you're looking for that sort of thing down here, King's Village on Route 27 in Edison is almost a specialist in these dishes as is one of the stalls at the Hong Kong Supermarket in South Plainfield. Neither of these places can be even remotely considered a "fine dining" destination in the same way that China 46 or the 1-9 Seafood restaurant, but that doesn't make them any less fun to visit.
  4. Hi Everybody: I went down to Wildwood Friday night to watch the prep and see if I could wiggle myself onto a team for the next big contest. Here are some photos from the trip Is it possible to get drunk on smoke?
  5. Wongste: Yesterday, I drove by Moghul Express (from where I live, I almost can't go anywhere without passing it) several times and wondered if you were there. I was delighted to read about how well your meal went. Welcome to Edison!
  6. Cornus: What do you reccomend at Orchids? It's one of the dozens of restaurants that I drive by all the time (It's on the way from my house to Wegmans) and have never stopped at.
  7. Daniel: They guy with the hooks hasn't been there in months, that stall is run only by women these days. Nobody is more formidable in price negotiations than a Mennonite teenager! I find the pig roast to be a real dissapointment. The meat is stringy and the sauce is way too sweet. That red barbecue wagon about five miles north on Route 27 (I forgot the name, but it's been discussed here many times before) is far better. Remember though that south Jersey offers an amazing universe of barbecue and that's always in the back of my mind when I see things like the PA Dutch pig roast. Drive down Route 40 sometime.
  8. Wongste: Your post brings up one of the biggest problems on Oak Tree Road; everything moves in slow motion. From parking to finding your restaurant to dining, you'll need to spend time. Both of Rosie's suggestions are great (I chose Ming for my birthday last year) but neither will feed you comfortably in an hour. However, the same owner has a "fast food" restaurant across the street called Moghul Express at 1670 Oak Tree Rd A in Edison. This place isn't fast in the sense that Waffle House is fast, but you can reasonably expect to get in and out in an hour. Another possibility is Chowpatty at 1349 Oak Tree Rd in Iselin, but if your hour includes parking, walking from the parking space to the restaurant and walking back to your car afterwards, I doubt you'll be able to do it. Now...what to order...at Moghul Express the lamb dosa is my favorite. This to me is what Indian Edison is all about in meat form. Chowpatty is vegetarian and offers a "Super Thaili" platter that is really great to. There are at least a five or six really great places in the area that are ruled out just because they're too slow. Many are just as good or better - the Sunday brunch at Moghul is an amazing experience in about ten different ways but you'll need far more than an hour and most of your fellow diners will look like they've settled in for the day.
  9. Daniel: Are you setting me up to disagree with everybody? The place is called the "Pennsylvania Dutch Farmer's Market" and its address is listed as "Route 27, Kingston, New Jersey." It was open yesterday - 7/1/04 - and packed. I'd be very surprised if this place closed.
  10. I'm going to disagree with Randi and say it was the Dragon Palace. It's in a strip mall, has a largely Chinese clientel and is pretty crowded at lunch and on weekend evenings. This place is notorious for its wildly different English and Chinese menus. The English menu is a joke with pu-pu platters and dishes that seem to feature canned fruit while the Chinese menu is one of the best Sichuan offerings in New Jersey (perhaps the whole NYC area) Try the Chinese Okra or the Cold Rabbit With Chili Sauce - amazing!
  11. Randi: You're right about those cakes from Vaccaro's. I don't like them either. (several bakeries in the area do better) But the muffins, danishes and breads are quite good. I don't find the breads at Panera to be different enough from Wegman's to warrant an extra stop. The problem is that when it comes to bread in this area, you have two choices; the old stlye bakeries and the "artisanal" breads from the supermarket chains. I have tasted some great breads in other parts of the Garden State, especially from Artisanal Bread and Cheese in Chester, Whole Earth Center in Princeton, and Bobolink Dairy in Vernon, but I've found nothing like those here.
  12. "Can anyone recommend a good bakery in Woodbridge or surrounding towns that has artisanal breads? " Hello Everybody: The question above got lost in the big Wegman's thread and I thought it deserved more attention. Even though the Woodbridge area is known mostly for its' Asian stuff - especially Indian vegetarian shops and restaurants - it also has an older working class community and some really good bakeries to go with it. No, none of them make "artisanal" breads of the sort that Wegman's and LaBrea emulate, but many make classic Italian style loaves of high quality. My own favorite? Vaccaro's on Inman Avenue in Colonia. Great doughnuts and muffins, and really good old-style bakery breads. They also sell fresh pizza dough which they tell me is often bought by Indian families. Don't be afraid to try any of the small bakeries in the area! Every one of them is better than the supermarkets, it's just that some are more better.
  13. Hi, I'm not sure where Aberdeen is but you should have no trouble finding terrific dim sum in the central and northern parts of the state. My favorites around here (Edison) are the 1-9 Seafood Restaurant on the southbound side of Route 1-9 in Avenel and the Wonder Seafood Restaurant in Edison on Route 27. Both of these places easily match most NYC Chinatown places for quality. (although at higher prices) There is also a whole, seprate world of great Chinese food on Route 46 up north towards the George Washington Bridge. Look for threads about the incredible China 46 restaurant for more on that area. However....however...try the West Lake, try these places and try a few more that we haven't yet heard of and report back. With any luck, your place will be the best of all.
  14. It's a shame you're unwilling to drive a bit. Your location is fifteen or twenty minutes by car from all sorts of great food possibilities. Just past Westfield are great Soul and Caribbean places on South Ave. One exit away on the Garden State is the Oak Tree Road Indian Community and fifteen minutes north of Clark is the Arab and Turkish world of Patterson. Don't judge the area by what's around Bally's and Barnes and Noble!
  15. Hi: I'd like to get my two cents in before this thread goes elsewhere. My favorite restaurant in Cuneo is Torrismondi, at Via Coppino 33, right across from the big hospital. Phone them at 0171 630861. They also have rooms. This place is always packed with locals at both lunch and dinner, but is a bit far from the main square for visitors. For those who are uncomfortable with Italian, the chef speaks excellent English.
  16. Kim and Jason: There have been a couple of Indian Chinese places open the whole time I've lived here (2 1/2 years) but it seems to have really taken off this past few months. I'm going to reccomend 2, both in strip malls on Oak Tree Road. Ming, is the most serious of them and works hard to have the feeling of a Manhattan fine dining restaurant. They have a wine list. Their official address is 1665 Oak Tree Road, Edison, NJ and they're owned by the same people as Moghul, the Indian restaurant next door. Chopsticks, across the street in the same mall complex as Blockbuster and Panchvatee is a newer takeout shop with a couple of tables for eating in. Some people absolutely love the huge, flat-screeen TV playing Indian music videos and can sit there for hours. In their own ways, both are worth a trip.
  17. Jason: How does this place compare to the Indian Chinese places down here in central NJ?
  18. I just learned that the 2004 State Barbecue Championship will be held in Wildwood on July 9, 10 & 11. The Festival Webpage It has been my experience that the best barbecue New Jersey has to offer is at fairs and festivals in the southern part of the state and it seems like a good bet that this will bring out many of them.
  19. They do melt in the summer and are quite delicate. I never thought about their seasonality, but I did notice their absence when I was there last summer - my first summer trip in fifteen years. In Italy, where A/C can't be assumed, one has to be careful about these things. I have seen them in the New York area every now and then since 1985 - the year I discovered them.
  20. Cuneo! You can easily take the bus into Cuneo from Barolo and find an amazing number of incredible stores in this very affluent town.
  21. Thanks everybody! I'll start by checking out the Ship Inn but I'd like to try other places too. Where is "Tea and Sympathy?"
  22. Hello everybody. I'm looking to find some tradtional English places, especially those that serve Cornish Pasties. Will I have any luck in the Garden State?
  23. Thanks for the survey! I was delighted to learn that Supremo is a chain. They have a terrific store in Plainfield too. I wonder where else? This is a project.
  24. Does Gelato count? If so, La Crema Gelato & Cafe in Westfield would be my choice. They have wonderful, intense fruit flavors and can be persuaded to offer free Italian lessons. I would also like to go out on a limb and declare this place Westfield's best eating resource. (maybe tied with Classic Thyme) La Crema Gelato & Cafe 112 Quimby Street Westfield, NJ 07090 908.389.9000 I also have a favorite for Indian Ice Cream in Woodbridge, but I've competely forgotten its name.
  25. Were there enough artisinal food producers to make it interesting? Katie: There were many of these people, but not many of high quality. The Chili Festival in Lyons PA in the Fall has a much better hot sauce selection for example. Of course, I still haven't tried half the hot sauces in my local Stop and Shop. The problem wasn't the number of exhibitors, it was that so little of it was what I think of as "basic" food - pasta, meat, vegetables, fruits, bread. Stuff for meals rather than snacks and condiments.
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