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Everything posted by Randi

  1. Thanks Elyse. That was a great idea!
  2. Does anyone know if the Friday Farmers Markets will be open tomorrow (July 4th)? I am specifically interested in the Highland Park location. Also does anyone know per chance how the Highland Park, Metuchen, Scotch Plains and North Plainfield markets compare? They are all local for me. Randi
  3. Soooooooooo! Did anyone go? How was it??
  4. So...Rosie!! Where did he get them? I've been jonesing for some awesome tomatoes!! I am so tired of the wintertime plastic variety.
  5. I have discovered a wonderful bakery in Matawan. It is called the Heritage Bakery and it's at 319 Broad Street. A coworker who lives near the bakery brings their Boston Cream donuts to work occasionally and everyone goes nuts making sure they get one! They are heavy with custard, and the custard is very very fresh tasting, kind of a blend of custard and whipped cream. So yummy! They don't have a chocolate glaze on top, rather a thick smear of chocolate buttercream icing. We finally took a trip down there and picked up a half dozen - oh the luxury to be able to have more than one! We also bought some other goodies and all were much better than I can get at my local bakeries. I highly recommend the onion rolls - a bit greasy with wide slices of onion throughout. (so shoot me, sometimes I LIKE grease.) They have lots of breads including sourdough, an interesting looking cinnamon raisin (going to try that next time) and a very good rye. We've only been there twice and are planning to keep going and trying more things! Some other recommendations - the brownies were great, and they have gorgeous cream pies and other amazing-looking custard filled pies and pastries. Hmmm I wasn't going to go back this weekend but after this, maybe I will! Randi
  6. Steve, I shop now at the Edison ShopRite ("the experience") on Oak Tree Rd. It's huge and has a decent selection. That's where we found the La Brea bread (tried their olive bread tonite...OH MAN!! Ate 8 slices for dinner!) My roomie has a Costco membership so apparently we'll be going there too. YAY!
  7. Thanks everyone! Westfield Trader Joes sounds like the winner till the Woodbridge Wegman's opens. Thanks again! Randi
  8. I know they've been frequently discussed here but I was hoping that you could save me the trouble of researching the many threads and let me know which stores are in Central NJ (or driveable from here) and where they are. Also, perhaps a brief decription of what makes the store unique/special? I have a new roommate and she was a Trader Joes addict in L.A. and I promised we'd find comparable stores for her to shop in in NJ. I was about to seek out all the threads and take notes but thought you all might come to my rescue here We are in the Edison area. Thanks for your help! P.S. We DID find AWESOME bread in ShopRite the other day - LaBrea Whole Grain bread. AMAZING. The (incredible) La Brea bakery was just up the street from her in L.A. Does anyone know if it is imported from L.A. or if they have a local baker that makes it for them here to their specifications?
  9. My mom used to mix buttermilk and tomato juice together... And she also to drain the juice from canned asparagus after heating it up, and drink it with her dinner! I like sipping the brine from black olives. :) re: The gin and juice thing - I love gin and grapefruit and one time someone mixed up my order and brought me gin and pineapple...and it was GOOD! Randi
  10. Can someone tell me about Ashes? I'm going to be there in a couple of weeks for a private function...
  11. Ahhh - I had some bread and butter pickles but didn't go for those - I chose a BaTempe Half Sour. Love those! But they don't stay half sour for long - have to eat them soon after getting them home! Now I need another (and I just got home from dinner out!) Pickles just after creme brulee?? I think I take eGullet too seriously
  12. Did anyone besides me just HAVE to run to the kitchen and grab a pickle to eat after reading this thread? Last night I began the craving, tonite when I read the rest of the thread I succumbed. *crunch!*
  13. I saw an ad recently for the grand opening of O'Halloran's Irish Pub at 558 New Brunswick Ave., in Fords. (732) 738-1300. It's a full restaurant, from what I can tell, but I have not been there yet, so I can't say how good it is. They're closed Mondays, by the way, although I am guessing that won't be the case on St. Patty's Day. Randi
  14. Another restaurant I used to love was Cook's Plaza in Chatham, which I believe disappeared some years ago.
  15. My first real restaurant memory was also a Smorgasbord...does anyone remember Zaberer's (owned by Charlie Zaberer) on the Black Horse Pike just outside of Atlantic City? There was also one in Wildwood, (owned by his brother, Ed). They owned them from the 50s to the 80s, I believe. If you remember them...then you remember: "Get Zaberized!" "Only minutes away" and the "Zaberized cocktails". How about the sign at the entrance to Wildwood for years and years that read "Welcome to Zaberville!" Another long-gone Atlantic City legend is Hackney's Seafood restaurant in the inlet section. I know you aren't really south Jersey folks, but heck, who didn't visit Atlantic City at some point?
  16. I had a favorite cheese shop that I used to go to in the 80's...even well into the 90's. It was in Warren and it was called Expressions. They always had loads of cheese on sale (for CHEAP!) and every one that was on sale was out for sampling. They always had pate' and salsa and crackers out to sample as well. My friends and I would go and practically have lunch sampling the cheese (tho' we bought lots, so we didn't feel *too* guilty!) I used to love taking friends there when they were visiting as it was a wonderful place to wander through. They also had a great selection of gourmet foods and kitchen items, but the pricing on those was not extraordinary....it was pretty typical. One day I drove out there with friends...and it was GONE! A new shop was there, called C'est Cheese. It was a far cry from Expressions. I mourn the loss of that shop to this day.... Randi
  17. My mom used to drink buttermilk and tomato juice mixed together. Also, she would heat a can of asparagus but before she would serve it to us, she would drain the hot liquid, pour it into a juice glass, and drink it like a hot beverage with her dinner! She also salted her watermelon, but I think that's pretty common... Me? I didn't eat anything weird...unless you call coveting all the crispy skin on roasted poultry....weird. I call it heaven! Randi
  18. "BTW does this avatar work for you?" No, it's not working for me. I distinctly see the 3 cherries come up and NO money has come pouring out. Can you fix that?? Randi
  19. Hey Rosie... Who told you about their foccacia sandwiches? someone we know? Randi
  20. Hi Roz, I really liked your review of Chez Catherine, it was my friend who thought we should find a different place this time around. I sent him your response here and we'll see if he changes his mind. (He's not read it yet.) Dan's on Main sounds great. I checked out the menu on the website. (I want to go there for Sunday Brunch! - Do you know if it gets pretty crowded on Sundays?) I've already been making selections (well, mental notes) of the dishes I want to try...I don't know how I will pare it down. The appetizers are especially tempting with the "crab, butternut squash and corn salad accompanied by toasted almonds and a green apple gelee", the "spinach with oyster mushrooms, bacon and smoked salmon accompanied by a peppered pineapple vinaigrette" and "summer tomato salad with goat cheese cream" (YUM!)...and oh yes..you mentioned the pierogies. How will I decide? Le Rendez-vous - wow...I definitely want to go there sometime as well. (even if just to try their "warm chocolate ganache cake with bay leaf english cream"!) RockADs - I have passed Abracci's loads of time and always wondered what it was like! Thanks for the tip! I should have posed this question long ago. Rosie - I was at LouCas years ago, and that Chinese Restaurant as well. Actually, the Chinese place had a different name, so it probably had different owners. Have you been to the Metuchen Inn? That's another place I pass all the time and have wondered about... Thanks for the great suggestions! I think my friend will need to pop over to Jersey more often so I can try them all! Randi
  21. Hi folks, I'm hoping you can help me find a place to go with a friend after work one day this week or next. Because it is a weeknight, and right after work, I need a place that's local. I live near North Edison and work in Cranford, so any places in that vicinity would be great. I read the review of Chez Catherine but he felt that was a little too elegant for after work and for a first meal together. He said if I could find something a little less er...upscale? it would be better for this outing. We love the menu at Bistro J, but that's a bit too far. Has anyone been to Elio's in Edison? I've never tried it, and know nothing about it...Rosie? ever been there? (it's on Inman Ave in the Inman Grove Shopping Center). Is Constantine's still open in Metuchen? I went there years ago. Any other places in Edison or Metuchen or nearby that would be relaxed but better-than-average food? Any suggestions would be much appreciated! Randi
  22. Riverside Square Mall is in Hackensack, not Paramus, but either way, I am excited to see Morton's is coming to NJ. I have fond memories of sharing with a friend a 2-1/2 lb Porterhouse from Morton's (we actually ordered, picked up the meal, and enjoyed it in our hotel room)... Randi
  23. Hmm...well they were last time I was there - which was a few months ago. That is one of my fave places to go for seafood - always fresh and delicious, although the prices have gone up and some of the nicer touches have disappeared. I tend to avoid the place in the summer, but come September I know I'll be back. So if anyone knows if they've closed, do tell! Thanks! Randi
  24. The Clam Hut in Highlands has outdoor seating and they are right on the water. Cheapo plastic chairs... but always fresh sweet lobster and real steamers. Yum!
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