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Everything posted by menton1

  1. I haven't been personally, but I've been told by others in Essex county that this resto is "worth a journey" and meets up with my standards for restaurant M.O. A chef-owner run place, accent on creativity and attention to detail and customer satisfaction. Of the New American ilk. Not talked about much here on Eg, but certainly sounds good from the recs I've gotten and their website is very inviting. Shouldn't be very far from Wayne and would surely make for a great surprise meal. Restaurant Serenade Website
  2. Believe me, nobody knows steak like tommy knows steak-- I haven't a clue what wet, dry aged, or the other steak terms mean, no less being able to identify one of these. My guess is that no one but a real steak aficianado would know all of this technical stuff about steaks. A very small part of the population. What I do know is that places like OUTBACK or Charlie Brown's will never see me. I want to go to a place where the chef/owner took time to create a menu that he likes himself, supervises the kitchen himself, a place where creativity and attention to detail reigns. Does that make me "un-average"? Edit to add: Peter Luger is wildly popular because it is basically now an "urban legend", talked about on TV, movies, and all tourist guides.
  3. I suppose this also depends on the interpretation of "average diner". But we have agonized over this subject long and hard on the boards, and it is uncanny how some of the really ordinary chains with the most undistinguished food are always busy, and invariably have long lines., e.g., Charlie Brown's and Red Lobster, just to name a couple...
  4. A/ Very low voting numbers on this poll, less than 1000 folks voting out of a NJ population of 10 Million; B/ Very unscientific poll, subject to ballot "stuffing", all it takes is a good supply of envelopes and stamps. Keep these 2 factors in mind when judging the results of this poll...
  5. You might try to console yourself by patronizing one of these bastions of Chinese American on the UES: First Wok 3rd Ave and 78th Tang Tang 3rd Ave and 76th Charlie Mom 1st Ave and 77th All very high volume acceptable Chinese-American, IMHO. As far as the bulldog, well, I think you'll just have to take him to France where he would be allowed in all the restaurants!
  6. IMHO, hands-down winner in this category is Penang, which is right next to Jean-Louis in Greenwich. Everything here is excellent, the setting is great, and the pricing is easy on the wallet. Don't forget to bring your own wine, they don't have a license. Penang Website
  7. I repeat my recommendation of Cafe Arugula in West Orange, website link is above. (With Menu) The chef is from Italy, but the nice thing about CA is that they don't pretend to be authentic. No silly dialectical translations of dishes on the menu, just straightforward, Italian-American style food, menu in ENGLISH. Nice environment as well, and the sauces are less gloppy than at the typical Ital-Amer places that proliferate in NJ.
  8. Looks like the ubiquitous super ordinary Chinese takeout found in New Jersey was replaced by another one. If you are in this area, it makes sense to just drive another 5 minutes to Lotus Cafe in the Home Depot/Pathmark shopping center. Above average Chinese food. Not great, but pretty good if you have a Chinese craving!
  9. I'm sure many resto kitchens would prefer not to be seen by their patrons... the old adage What you don't know about won't hurt you may have a bit of credence here. I remember on a vacation to Greece a few years back, the general rule there is that all the Tavernas cook the food in the morning, and then the food sits in the display cases at room temperature all day. These are mostly mezes, or small plates, but they were quite good most of the time, and we never got sick in 2 weeks. So much for science and bacteria growth...
  10. menton1


    Actually, the beer manufacturers recommend that their beer be consumed at about 40°F. The pressure in the bottles will actually lower the freezing point, and then you have the risk of the concoction doing weird things when opened and the pressure is released, causing ice crystals to form if it is around 32°. Also the foam will be greatly reduced. P.S. Went to Griffin's once a couple of months ago, was really underwhelmed. Food and service were bordering on inferior, and definitely quashed any thoughts of a return visit. Too bad.
  11. Raymond's on Church Street in Montclair does a wonderful lunch. If the weather is agreeable, they have nice outdoor seating on the wide sidewalk under giant umbrellas. Verjus in Maplewood also does a wonderful lunch, terrific, creative menu. Bon appétit!
  12. I agree about Saigon R. I find it to be a very intense, very complex flavor. It seems that they do truly simmer the broth for 24 hours. The raw beef shreds dumped into the hot soup cooks them just enough, and the other vegetable accoutrements make for a fabulous, delicious soup. Pho is probably their best and most authentic Vietnamese dish on the menu.
  13. There have already been about 6 incarnations of Tabatchnicks in this location. The current one is just a shell of the past, mostly self-service, and really unmemorable. For a higher quality of this type of Kosher-style deli, head 15 minutes down the road to Plainfield, NJ where Larry's on South Avenue continues a long standing Jewish-style deli with very good food.
  14. Excellent points. PETA wholeheartedly agrees with this, they have discussed things like this at great length. However, PETA is profoundly unpopular among the Egullet members, which is no surprise.
  15. That's ture, that was a political consideration, otherwise the bill would not have been passed. But 2012 will be here eventually, and it will be banned. My point was that most of these folks claiming that it is not cruel couldn't give 2 gavages whether it is or not. They just want to eat the stuff.
  16. Too bad we don't have a branch of Gray's in NJ; in the city they are 95 cents, and they are a bit smaller, but 2 dogs suffice. John, are you also doing Charlie's and Galloping Hill? They are both within 5 minutes of Syds. (Or do you need time to digest? )
  17. Sonny Amster's? Oh that's mega bad news. They're one of the last places that produces the Watson Bagel. And their Jewish Rye is to die for. ← I think this was already announced on this May 26 post. You also provided a link that Amster will continue to operate Bagels 4U with the same bagel formula. So have no fear... Personally, I didn't think Amster's bagels were any great shakes, certainly not worth a long ride. The local Goldberg's (Closter) turns out an equally good bagel, IMHO. May 26 Amster closing discussion on Egullet
  18. "Massive" conjures up to me a 2 lb hot dog; but Syd's dog is maybe only 20% larger than a Nathan's size dog. Not proportional to the price at all in my opinion. I think this place has the distinction of being the MOST expensive hot dog in the NY metro.(by far!) With Katz at $2.75, Papaya King at $1.65, and Gray's under a buck, there's just no way this dog merits 4 bucks!!! And lastly, I want to have my hot dogs at a hot dog stand, not a luncheonette-style place with a waitress. Personal preference. No, Syds won't be seeing me again anytime soon...
  19. Was passing by this unlikely old shopping strip and saw Syds, so I tried the hot dog. Takes a bit of time, you need to give your order to the waitress, and then it's cooked to order. Hot dog was very good, but I have this issue: Costs $3.30 (ouch) and then you need to give the waitress a tip. Four bucks for a hot dog? Not worth it. Just 5 minutes away is Charlie's in Kenilworth, with their absolutely enormous Italian Hot Dog loaded with potatoes for 3 bucks, and also 5 minutes is Galloping Hill hot dogs for $2.25. But I guess people pay the price for Syds dogs, but I wouldn't do it again.
  20. menton1


    The absolute best iced coffee drink I have had was a "Frappé" Greek style. I understand this is actually made with instant coffee. Could that be possible??!!
  21. Yes, I suppose in the center-city locations it is quite a frazzle. But here in the NJ suburbs they are much less frenetic. If they change the coffee every 30 minutes like they are supposed to, the coffee does not taste burnt. Of course, the less dedicated baristas might let it go longer, hence the burnt flavor. But bringing it to their attention usually results in a new brew, if you can wait the 4 minutes...
  22. I believe Total Wine has always carried Aperol. Ahhh, reminds me of Venice, where it is used for the signature Venetian cocktail, a "Spritz". I believe it's made with Aperol, white wine, and a dash of OJ. Perhaps a dash of Campari as well...
  23. menton1


    Yes, this is encouraging news. Thai Chef was a wacky place. The location is good, and the space was ravishing, I hope they don't change the interior at all, that was the best part of the place. The outdoor space is quite nice as well, and if the food and service turn out to be good this should be an excellent place to dine at in this area. Easy parking too.
  24. One problem the independents face with Starbucks is not only their sheer power, but the strong coffee that one gets addicted to while frequenting Starbucks. It spoils you for all the weak stuff served at most other places. I crave the jolt that I get there that is so hard to find anywhere else. They also have going the "state of mind" that you get in a Starbucks. Derived from what the Europeans had been doing for decades, it is just a relaxing place to while away some time while sipping a Joe. Most independents (at least around here) just can't duplicate that.
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