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Overlooked Restaurants


BeerGut
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List five places you think we may have missed but which deserve a visit.

My 5:

1. Bistro EN, Teaneck

2. Esty Street, Park Ridge

3. Relish, Sparkill, NY (Northen NJ area)

4. Fat Cat, Little Ferry

5. Spring Grill, Rutherford

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1. Pourquoi Pas (French - Westwood)

2. Dona Maria (Mexican - Suffern, NY - just over the border)

3. Tomo (Japanese - Ramsey)

4. Oceanos (Seafood - Fairlawn)

5. PJ Finnegan's (Irish Pub Grub - Westwood)

and not quite 'overlooked', but new and worth a mention - 6. Mantra (Indian - Paramus)

Edited by whitetrufflechick (log)
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Dona Maria...boy if you LOVE goat cheese run dont walk....even the crepes have goats milk dulce de leche

cant stand the stuff myself but

tracey

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

My Webpage

garden state motorcyle association

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with so many other good sushi places, I would vote this one of our least favorites

it's located in ramsey, main st next to the liquor store near the RR tracks...

swing down to allendale and stop by MASA, or Ridgewood

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sakura bana has a recent thread since they remodeling and reopened,

no surprise more expensive, like everything else in ridgewood and during the first 2 weeks i would say after 2-3 visits they were much below standards...

As with the BBQ conversation, we will try again after a month or two.

If you're thinking take out, forget it, their remodeling didn't take this into considersation so there is no where for the customers to order, wait and the waitresses have just a small of a space to get the sushi from the chefs. My guess on this is that they wanted to squeeze as many seats in as possible and not care about functionality. I see lots of new waitresses, so not sure if this is another sign.

I used to frequent this place weekly....so i speak with experience

limabean

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I ate there every wednesday for at least five years, so I've been quite disappointed and wanted other opinions. For two meetings I hired them to cater the sushi, nothing great, and a pain in the neck to pick up, indeed.

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with so many other good sushi places, I would vote this one of our least favorites

it's located in ramsey, main st next to the liquor store near the RR tracks...

swing down to allendale and stop by MASA, or Ridgewood

Wondering if you have tried Tomo, the sushi place in Ramsey I mentioned in my list.

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Wondering if you have tried Tomo, the sushi place in Ramsey I mentioned in my list.

Any relation to Tomo's in Little Falls? That one is very good...

"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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Wondering if you have tried Tomo, the sushi place in Ramsey I mentioned in my list.

Any relation to Tomo's in Little Falls? That one is very good...

This I don't know, but its in the most unlikely of locations - along 17S in an old Howard Johnson's hotel lobby, converted into a restaurant. Some very unusual dishes including a seafood "mush" - which consists of a tiny teapot filled with seafood in a delicious broth that is poured into tiny sake cups. Many off-menu items that you sort of learn about the more you go and observe what regulars around the room are eating and point and ask your waiter, "What IS that?"

EDIT: Googled it out of curiousity and no mention of the Little Falls Tomo on their website http://www.tomosushirestaurant.com

Edited by whitetrufflechick (log)
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also, along with the most overlooked, what do you think are the five MOST over rated? Interesting that.

Saddle River Inn leads this category. Only "regulars" get treated decently, this place is way past its prime, and continues to get top ratings...(???)

Tuscany Trattoria in Westwood, always packed with Sopranos "wannabees" and it features mediocre food at big prices, a deadly combination.

Legal Seafoods, a very diner-esque formula place that is overwhelmingly overpriced yet I always hear how people love it...

Chakra, Paramus-- All "scene" and very poor food and service. (Can't stand places without windows, either)

Sanzari empire (Tenafly, New Milford) More "scene" and little else.

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We have not tried that place...always looked to scary to go into...

but if you have tried lately, I'm game...

Yes, looks very scary and its been what kept us away until a neighbor raved about it. Since then, have been back a number of times and enjoyed it very much. Hint: Enter through the back on the right side.

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My additions:

Most Overlooked (I know, I know, I already have five but I had such good times at Tomo I wanted to make sure I added another happy voice

- Tomo on Route 23 in Little Falls

Most Over-rated I have to agree with the others

- Sanduccis in River Edge (Tried 'em four times and never had a good experience)

- Tuscany Trattoria

- The Restaurant in Hackensack

- McCormick & Schmicks

- Legal Seafoods

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Interesting thread. As it relates to M&S, Legal Seafood, and similar "chain" restaurants -- being overpriced, overrated, etc. -- I don't think this is a Northern NJ issue per se. I've often heard that Northern NJ, Bergen County specifically, is "all horn and no drivetrain" as some would say. I have often read that there are no quality restaurants and most of the "most frequented" places are all show and very overrated. I've never agreed with this at the extreme. Yes, the Saddle River Inn, which I think was once an excellent restaurant -- top notch in every respect -- has slipped a great deal in not only the quality of the food, meals, etc., but in the service category as well.

However, I have lived in Bergen County, the "Gold Coast" so to speak, for all of my adult life. Of course there are places that are "scene" and "places to be scene" much more than they are "great food" -- but that is not always the case. In this part of Bergen County, restaurants are supposed to be expensive, due to the economic factors that are at play. The cost of living -- in general, across the entire spectrum -- is higher.

Anyway, thanks again for the great thread.

Eric

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ELA....where do you go then?

Interesting thread. As it relates to M&S, Legal Seafood, and similar "chain" restaurants -- being overpriced, overrated, etc. -- I don't think this is a Northern NJ issue per se. I've often heard that Northern NJ, Bergen County specifically, is "all horn and no drivetrain" as some would say. I have often read that there are no quality restaurants and most of the "most frequented" places are all show and very overrated. I've never agreed with this at the extreme. Yes, the Saddle River Inn, which I think was once an excellent restaurant -- top notch in every respect -- has slipped a great deal in not only the quality of the food, meals, etc., but in the service category as well.

However, I have lived in Bergen County, the "Gold Coast" so to speak, for all of my adult life. Of course there are places that are "scene" and "places to be scene" much more than they are "great food" -- but that is not always the case. In this part of Bergen County, restaurants are supposed to be expensive, due to the economic factors that are at play. The cost of living -- in general, across the entire spectrum -- is higher.

Anyway, thanks again for the great thread.

Eric

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Chain rest. are the worst in service, ambiance, delivery of consistent food.

However, without doubt, no matter what state I am in, I believe Houstons (riverside sq mall) and PF Changs, (currently in weehawken opening at RSSM too) are ....outstanding...did I just say that? about a chain? WOW...

Houston's has a Beef Tia salad that is incredible, excellent grilled steak, spicy, sweet mangos, peanuts, cilantro...the mix and match of ingredients is perfect. I never have bad ribs there, fall off the bone, a little wet and smoky, not for everyone but i never leave anything. One of the best burgers around and they make an incredible mojito. down side...the wait is incredibly long...

PF changs is a slightly upscale chinese resturant with some different variations...appetizers are so-so...so we skip these and order extra entre instead...the ground chicken and eggplant is excellent, pepper shrimp, mongolian beef...good size portions...I've been to this rest. in chicago, Idaho, Atlanta....always the same !!!

whew....got that out of my system

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Chain rest. are the worst in service, ambiance, delivery of consistent food. 

actually one of the reasons chains are so successful is that they excel at consistency. moreso than locally owned places.

ambiance is obviously subjective, but my decorating sensibilities are rarely offended when i walk into Houstons or Legal Sea Food.

as far as Houston's ribs falling off the bone, i would guess that's because they steam or boil them. this is certainly not something that a real pitmaster would do. but i can appreciate that most people seem to like ribs that way.

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I would clearly never recommend Houstons to someone from the south!!!!

By all means

Chain rest. are the worst in service, ambiance, delivery of consistent food. 

actually one of the reasons chains are so successful is that they excel at consistency. moreso than locally owned places.

ambiance is obviously subjective, but my decorating sensibilities are rarely offended when i walk into Houstons or Legal Sea Food.

as far as Houston's ribs falling off the bone, i would guess that's because they steam or boil them. this is certainly not something that a real pitmaster would do. but i can appreciate that most people seem to like ribs that way.

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ELA....where do you go then?

I think there are many excellent restaurants -- I am a steak guy, and I have always very much liked the River Palm (Edgewater) and the Assembly. I used to like Ninety-Grande (when it was open). I also like Harvest Bistro, Granita Grill (Westwood), Rebecca's (Edgewater), Nagoya (Mahwah), a new sushi place in Mahwah, Mahwah B&G, the Iron Horse (Westwood), JD's Steak Pit (Fort Lee), the Bicycle Club, Segovia, Park and Orchard, and China 46 (off the top of my head).

Be that as it may, like I said, you are going to pay more for these -- and all -- restaurants in this area. While of course people's likes and dislikes are different, so is a good time, value, overpriced, etc. I think the one thing that is missing, again off the top of my head, is an excellent Italian restaurant. I don't know if it's still around, and if it's the same, but I used to like Jerry's (in East Rutherford).

Now I have a craving for great Italian food -- where can I get some great spedini? LOL.

Eric

PS -- I like Tomo as well. Who would have thought . . . Howard Johnson's? LOL. I also like Cafe Italiano (Englewood Cliffs) and Vespa's (Edgewater).

Edited by ELA (log)
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I think the "chain" restaurant discussion is an interesting one. Morton's for example -- I like Morton's. I think for people who enjoy "chains" -- one thing they find reliable, as said, is the consistency. It's reliable, dependable, etc. I know many people feel Morton's is overpriced. I think that's relative. I used to incredibly enjoy smoking a cigar at the bar before dinner, sitting down, enjoying a martini (or two, LOL), haveing an excellent dinner, and then smoking another cigar and enjoying an after dinner drink. That to me is not only about the meal, but about the entire experience -- and that enjoyable experience is worth it to me, that's where the value is for me. Now, I think Morton's has slipped a bit, but that's another matter.

I also like PF Changs, and used to go there very often. I've been to several -- in FL, NY, now NJ, etc. Part of why I liked it was because it was not stereotypical and had different things going on inside the menu. Again, the experience was a factor as well. However, when they opened up in NJ, I started going and enjoyed it very much. They had some kinks to work out early on (at the bar), but that didn't detract from the overall experience. Just a blip on the radar screen.

Chain restaurants exist across the spectrum -- fast food, bar/grill/tavern, burger, happy hour, and so on. Going to a Legal Seafood or PF Changs is very different than a TGIF's or Appleby's. If I want a great burger, I know I am not getting one at TGIF's or Appleby's -- I have to go to Davey's Locker or JD's Steak Pit, LOL.

Great thread.

Eric

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