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    Newark, NJ/NYC
  1. ARRGH! My coffee-crazed relatives, whenever visiting, always loved going to Caffe Conca D'Oro, an old-school Italian espresso and cappuccino joint here in Newark. Now it is shuttered. NOW where do they go for espresso if they don't want to go all the way into Manhattan? I guess this means the last remnants of the old Italian neighborhood on Bloomfield Ave. in Newark are kaput. They tried Moon Doggie in Maywood and thought it was OK but nothing special. It's better than Starbucks at least, but then radioactive sewer slime is better than Starbucks. (Conca D'Oro's gelato looked great, too. I alwa
  2. There is also now a Fairway Market in Paramus, in the old Fashion Center, roughly at 17 & Ridgewood Ave. That is quite similar to Wegmans. Unfortunately it's a tiny bit inferior to the NYC Fairways in some respects (no imported French prunes; don't always seem to carry those real imported Cadbury bars, etc.). Athena has the right idea -- the Trader Joe's on 17 in Paramus is much more easily accessible than the one in Wayne. I'm technically closer to the one in Wayne or Florham Park, but there are a gazillion traffic lights in the way. There's one coming to Millburn, also, I think, eventual
  3. Indeed, they carry Reed's, which is very good. But I don't know how it compares to Barritt's. Now that I see everyone talking about it, I want to try Barritt's. I don't think Reed's is quite as good as Maine Root, which like Barritt's, is difficult to find around here. Actually I think I've only seen Maine Root in New England, understandably given the brand name. Someone else mentioned D&G. I see that everywhere, and it's much cheaper than most brands, but it's made with corn syrup and it's a little too sweet, I think. I've actually made ginger beer myself, but it usually doesn't come out
  4. When done well, Burmese cuisine is a very distinct entity itself, with lots of influences from Thai, Indian and Chinese, but also its own very particular character. Yeah, I agree that the lack of a significant Burmese population is the problem. From what I understand, the great Thai restaurant Sripraphai in Queens almost entirely subsisted off business from the local Thai population of Queens for the first several years of its existence, until the rest of us began to discover how great it was, and how it completely blew all the other Thai restaurants off the map. Clearly there's nothing like
  5. The North Ward of Newark now has a farmer's market every Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. through October (or is it November?). It started today (Aug. 19, 2006) in Branch Brook Park just below Bloomfield Ave., just off the road that goes north-south through the park (Branch Brook Drive?). I received a postcard in the mail about it. Unfortunately the postcard is unclear as to the location, and tells people to go to the Branch Brook Park stop on the Newark City Subway, whereas it *should* tell them to go to the Bloomfield Ave. stop. I sent an e-mail to the e-mail address on the postcard
  6. Uphill alert! Went here a few weeks ago for lunch on a Saturday and got some lunch specials, and the food was better than ever. Wonder if they got a new cook or something. This was the first time I'd say with confidence that it was 100% as good as it used to be back in Nutley (instead of just 80% or 90%). Or maybe even better. Plus, it was only around $7 for each us.
  7. Thanks for the tip. I didn't know that. Hmmmmmm. That's depressing. I knew that they pick CA/FL/Carolina 'maters when disgustingly, completely unripe and then gas them with ethylene (or something) to make them LOOK ripe, and that's why they taste like cardboard, but I didn't know that they picked LOCAL tomatoes when underripe too. Sheesh.Still, the ones I got at ShopRite last Sunday, on sale for 99 cents a pound through Saturday 8/5/06 at all SRs in NJ north of Trenton, were pretty good. Better than the PathMark ones I mentioned in my previous post. One of those three PM tomatoes was ex
  8. PathMark has Jersey tomatoes this week for $1.49/lb. Or at least my PathMark in Belleville does. But not many. I think they're labeled "#4800." Easy to get them confused with the other, evil, standard tasteless cardboard California/Florida tomatoes, so look for the label number. I ate one last night and it was OK. Not bad, not great. I got three; I'll eat the other two tonight (assuming the heat doesn't destroy them while I'm here at work... sigh). Maybe they're better. I wonder if it's worth the $2.79/lb to get them from a farmer's market instead. Although the only farmer's market co
  9. Yes, based on the places I've tried, Brookside is far and away the best Thai in the area. Though I haven't been to Wondee in Hackensack, admittedly. If it's similar to Won Dee Siam on 9th Ave. in NYC then I can imagine it's very good. Of course, all of these places pale in comparison to the supreme emperor of all Thai restaurants in the U.S., Sripraphai in Queens -- but that's a real trek from Jersey, even for such amazing food. And as for the original topic, for whatever it's worth, the NY Times reviewed Sri Thai recently. YMMV.
  10. Back in '02, the inside dirt was that they were saving one of their two NJ liquor licenses for a future store in either the Red Bank area, or the Princeton area. So if they're really going to use it for Paramus, I'm a bit surprised. But they're very very stingy about real estate prices, so maybe they just couldn't find anything cheap enough in the greater Red Bank or Princeton areas. Paramus will also rake in the cash, though. Obviously they'd make a killing if they opened some stores on the shore area and around Princeton/Hamilton. But TJ's never expands with any particular speed. They t
  11. I live in Newark and I love the "Mulberry Farmer's Market" on Mulberry St. just west of Market St. It's not really a farmer's market, just a produce/fruit/vegetable store similar to many found in New York City but with very low prices. The quality of the lettuces can vary, but they're often better-tasting and fresher than the ones in Newark's Foodtown or Bloomfield's Stop & Shop, and far cheaper, even though the outer layer of leaves sometimes look very tired. (The inner leaves are usually great.) They often sell two heads of romaine for $1, spinach for $1 a head, and green leaf and re
  12. I've gone past there once or twice. Looking it up on superpages.com, I think the Thai place may be called Quynh Nhu Food Market, at 390 Washington Avenue in Belleville, and just down the street is a decent, cheap Indian grocery, Shree Ganesh Foods at 364 Washington Avenue. They're both small and I'm not sure I've ever been in the Thai place (although I love Thai food... I'm just not sure I'm remotely competent enough as a cook to do it any kind of justice). I wonder if the Thai place has tea dust, for making Thai iced tea. Anyway, Shree Ganesh is a nice little place that has really great p
  13. Speaking of great ethnic restaurants that have burned down, here's a recent one: Little Saigon in Nutley. I really miss this place. Are they still planning to re-build and re-open? I haven't heard anything about it lately and I haven't had a chance to pass through Nutley lately either. I don't like the new Vietnamese place Binh Duong on Belleville Ave. as much, although they've got great pho. Hey Emmaline, a place with that name still exists, at 540 Mill St & Franklin Ave in Belleville near the Newark border. I've only been living around here for about four years though, so I have no
  14. Ooops, I posted my message not realizing you had just posted, moments ago. As you have probably realized by now, no NJ Transit trains operate on the Montclair-Boonton line on Saturdays or Sundays. Thus no weekend service to Bloomfield. (I have heard that this is because the evil government of Montclair refuses to let NJ Transit run trains through that precious precious town on the weekends, for reasons that are incomprehensible to anyone who is sane.) However, for travel between Bloomfield and the Newark Broad Street train station, use the #11 or #28 bus. These buses run up and down Bloomf
  15. A few months ago, my folks and I were hiking in western Maryland and looking for a place to eat in Cumberland. We like foreign food so we didn't see much that was promising. Fortunately we took a look in the local phone book and realized that all of the interesting dining options were in nearby Frostburg, not Cumberland. We ate at a place called Gandalf's Restaurant and Pub, at 20 E. Main St., which had outstanding international cuisine. Normally we don't trust places that take an all-inclusive international fusion approach, but this place was great. The things we ordered had a lot of dif
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