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Lunch in Elizabeth


Daniel
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So today it was soul food.. Went to

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Nerias's Soul Kitchen

216 Second St

Elizabeth NJ 07206

908-282-4416

This place has been open for maybe 6 months.. I had gone when they first opened and they were still feeling things out.. Today I went and it was a lot better.. They have daily specials along with their regular menu.. Some items that look good are the short ribs, turkey wings, and their fried whiting.. They also have similar sandwiches.. I got the oxtail in a brown gravy over rice.. You have the option of picking two sides, I went Collard and Mac.. They also have yams, cabbage, blackeyed peas, lima beans, potato salad, creamed corn, or fries.. 

The oxtail pieces were plentiful as well as the mac and collard.. This easily could provide two people with a meal..  The oxtail came in a brown sauce that was thick, rich, and had a real strong celery presence..  They used more butter in this mac then i would ever, so it was obviously really good.. So buttery that besides the puddle left in the styrofoam, * the noodles would slip off my teeth when i went to bite them*..  Collard greens were good..  Not vinegary enough for me, I really like places that have the little peppers in the vinegar sauce..

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All in all the place is good not great, but i need to try other things before being sure.. I.E The whiting in special batter.. Its clean, people are friendly, and the food is honest.. Tastes homemade and prepared with love..There are two other soul food places on my list that I will be reporting on when i get the chance..

*Denotes exaggeration

Hi Daniel,

Is this the one on the corner of 2nd and Bond - the pictures look good. I hope one of the others that is on your list is Shack's on East Grand St. - their food is very good. If you try it, please post about it.

And good luck on your upcoming trip. I enjoy your posts about your travels so much.

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Sure, twist my arm why dont you..

Shack's

1160 E. Grand St.

Elizabeth New Jersey

It just so happens that I need to renew my passport so I had to run over to the post office.. Right across the street from the Elizabeth Court House and Police Station there is this little restaurant.. There are some tables and chairs in there, but it seems like its a place that mostly does take out..

edit to add: Hey thats me in the window.

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Looking at the menu, it is very similar to the place I went to yesterday.. Do to the better area its in, its a little more expensive.. The oxtail here is 11 bucks, yesterday it was 9.50.. I was going to order it so I could do a side by side comparison, but I am not that hungry.. Anyway, I was quickly greeted by an extremely nice woman.. I ordered the brisket and was told it wasnt ready yet.. I then went rib sandwich and mac and cheese.. I also got a huge cup of their super sweet southern tea.. After talking to the woman and the older woman cooking in the back, I knew this place was going to be great.. When the ribs came out the older woman cooking came over and asked me if i wanted xtra bbq sauce.. I said do you have a spicy sauce.. She then added hot sauce and their bbq sauce together.. Yeh, this women is a pro..

So here are the ribs.. They are excellent.. Sweet, spicy, not smokey, but done really well. I love their bbq sauce.. They taste almost how they look... .. If this isnt the best thing they have there, then I cant wait to try everything.. I am very impressed by them...

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The mac and cheese is also very good.. Infact, this is the best mac and cheese I have ever had at a soul food place.. It is the best mac and cheese I have had outside of making it myself, or having some tricky version.. Very cheesey, not dry, just fantastic..

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There sweet tea is comparable to the tea I miss from my roadtrips through the south..

All in all the place is great.. Might have to throw this spot into the weekly rotation.. This place exemplifies southern or down home cooking.. Its made with love, its made with care, It's "Little pink houses for you and me" and it comes through in the food..

Edited by Daniel (log)
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Tmus,

Can you tell me what you have gotten there and whats your favorite thing..

Well, lets see - their fish is very good - and they give you a lot of it. I also like their spicy chopped bbq chicken - I think they call it Jamaican chopped chicken or something like that. If you wanted your ribs spicy - this dish may be right up your alley. As for sides, my son is a candied yam fanatic and he gets that every time, and I mean double yams. They are consistently good. Their collards are also good, only minor complaint is they don't cut them small enough which means the leaves are pretty big. Oh, and my son's other recommendation is their watermelon lemonade, although I think its either a love it or hate it type of thing. Only thing I would steer clear of is their peach cobbler/sweet potatoe pie, everything else - full speed ahead. So glad you liked it. From your previous threads it looks like you have sampled alot of stuff in E'town, but let me know if you need any other recommendations.

Oh yeah - the lady at the counter is extremely friendly isn't she. Very big on customer service, equally with newbies and regulars.

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Watermelon lemonade huh, that sounds awesome.. I might have to make that into an "evening" drink if the daytime version is good...

This thread is not for me, I was hoping other people would share their lunch experiences... I would love to hear all of your recommendations. Since I work there most days, I am a captive audience.. I really think Elizabeth is a such a interesting town..

Is the Jamaican chopped chicken a jerk relative? or is it just a spicy bbq sauce.

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Watermelon lemonade huh, that sounds awesome.. I might have to make that into an "evening" drink if the daytime version is good...

This thread is not for me, I was hoping other people would share their lunch experiences... I would love to hear all of your recommendations.  Since I work there most days, I am a captive audience.. I really think Elizabeth is a such a interesting town..

Is the Jamaican chopped chicken a jerk relative? or is it just a spicy bbq sauce.

I think it might be distantly related to the jerk, but it is definetly spicy and very good.

I don't know if there are many e-gulleters in Elizabeth, but actually this thread is what brought me to Egullet, so it is my favorite. I grew up and still live there. I kow you mentioned looking for Spanish food - my new favorite is Manny's on Frelinghuysen Ave., but that may be a little far for you. There is a great cuban restaurant on Elizabeth Ave - forget the name but I will check and post later. Thinking right near you, there is a pizza place on 3rd Street two blocks after Bond St. on the left, they have the best BBQ Chicken Pizza around. As you probably already know, the neighborhood you are in aint the greatest, but after seeing you sitting on your trunk eating BBQ in Chicago was it at 1:00 a.m. - I see such things won't stop you in your quest. :smile: Oh, one more recommendation sort of near Shack's - there is a greek guy who has this little diner on Jefferson Ave. (in between East Jersey St. and Elizabeth Ave.), most days he him or his wife are outside with a cart with some of the best shiskabob - oh boy are they good and cheap.

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Today I had to go back to the Post Office because i screwed something up on my application.. So while driving back to the office a passed another place i have been wanting to try..

Chez Maguy Restaurant..

1122 East Grand ST.

Its about a block closer to Route 1 then Shack's.. Sorry no outside photo..

The place is a little more run down the Shack's from the outside.. When you go in its not the nicest place, but it looks clean and there are tables.. The menu is very limited.. The only have Poulet, Cabrit, Lugume, Griot, Tassor, or Lambi.. Yeh, i dont know what those are either, and the peoples english wasnt the best..

I pointed at the Griot and she baaahed.. So i am thinking its goat.. hehe..

For eight bucks I got so much food one picture wouldnt fit it..

This dish is pretty good.. Its stewed goat with onions.. The sauce is meaty and really flavorfull..

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Fried plantains are excellent.. I saw her peal the plantain and fry it into cakes.. Good stuff.. And five patties..

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The rice was like a dirty rice with beans.. Really good and went well when i poured the sauce over it..

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The salad havent tried.. Not pushing my luck..

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This place is a good change up.. I will try other things from here, but first need to make myself more familiar with the language.. Nice little spot though..

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Tmus,

Is the pizza place you are talking about Mario's Famous.. That is a favorite of my Dads as well as a lot of people in my office.. I get there sundried chicken roll it, which is very good there.. Also have you been to Chicks Seafood yet.. Its a great little place..

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Tmus,

Is the pizza place you are talking about Mario's Famous.. That is a favorite of my Dads as well as a lot of people in my office.. I get there sundried chicken roll it, which is very good there.. Also have you been to Chicks Seafood yet.. Its a great little place..

Yes - Mario's, don't know how I couldn't remember that. And no, I have not tried Chicks Seafood, but I have a few days off this week so I may make my way down there. I am very surprised by your pictures from Chez Maguy. Knowing the building I would never expect such good looking food to come out of there. I may give the a try. Thanks for the pictures.

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I am surprised too.. Let me tell you, when i first saw the place a few years ago, it might have been in another location, or I am getting it confused with another Hatian spot.. Either way, I didnt expect to see a Chez anything around there.. So its kind of funny in that respect to see a Chez in a rough neighborhood.. But yes, dont let the Chez fool ya, its no cutesy little black tie restaurant .. This is E-town baby, recognize!!! :angry:

Edited by Daniel (log)
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I am surprised too.. Let me tell you, when i first saw the place a few years ago, it might have been in another location, or I am getting it confused with another Hatian spot.. Either way, I didnt expect to see a Chez anything around there.. So its kind of funny in that respect to see a Chez in a rough neighborhood.. But yes, dont let the Chez fool ya, its no cutesy little black tie restaurant .. This is E-town baby, recognize!!!  :angry:

:laugh::laugh::laugh: Daniel, I think you are spending a little too much time in my hometown. :laugh::laugh::laugh: But in honor of you knowing the language, I am going to check out Chez Maguy either tomorrow or Friday and will report back. Actually, my kids have friends who can translate for me, so I'll have a little advantage with the language. I know from other posts that you don't always work in E'town and also that you have another road trip coming up as well as a trip to China - so whenever you do get something exciting for lunch here, please continue to post, and in the mean time, I will continue to await your road trip threads.

Teresa

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I can honestly tell you that the best food out of the places I went to are Chick's Seafood and Portugal BBQ.. Which are right next to each other.. Chick's is actually really nice inside as well..

Thank you.. For the kind words.. I will keep up my E-town posts..

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  • 2 weeks later...

So today I felt I wanted to show the place where i normally eat when I have a lot going on that day.. Its about a 2 minute walk away from my office, just through that hole in the buildings..

The place is called Georges Lunch.. We affectionately call it (Hor-hays) The place is a little box of a place.. I think they also have two or three lunch trucks that drive around town.. Its really not a place anyone should go to..Its really cheap and they have really good coffee. They have frozen patty burgers where the buns are too big. They have processed veal parm patties, they use the microwave a lot.. The chicken soup in the winter is homemade.. They have a decent gyro.. And cheap roast chicken with beans and rice.

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I am gearing up from my 11 day eating frenzy road trip so I am dieting.. I am taking trim spa, eating dry turkey sandwiches on rye and cutting out beer.

Even the monkeys cant believe I am eating this crap..

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  • 1 month later...

Majestic Lunch

1133 Elizabeth Avenue

Elizabeth NJ

I was parking in the lot of the El Salvadorian place when from across the street I spotted Majestic Lunch.. As you can see from the photo, its hard to pass this up.

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It might have bothered me all weekend if I didnt go in to try this chili dog they speak of.

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This place could easily be called the Majestic Diner as well.. It is a long narrow place with a huge counter space... Besides chili dogs and burgers they have a huge selection.. They have daily specials, pork chops, breakfast, everything under the sun.. Its worked by an old sweet Greek couple who have to be in there late 70's early eighties.. Place looks like a lot of things could be really good..

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Started out with a chili dog with mustard and onions.. The chili is fanastic.. Really peppery, meaty, it goes really well with the mustard.. The dog is a grilled Sarbrets... The bun is right out of the package.. I am willing to put this against Tom or Jerry's chili dog..

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The burger was served with cheese and grilled onions.. The bun was grilled.. It was a real decent burger.. Nothing really to it, not flavored, just a grilled patty.. The onions were fried well.. No bells and whistles, just a good honest burger..

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Those two things and a coke.. $4.30.. Place makes a really good chili dog.. Would love to hear other peoples opinions or suggestions as to what else to order there..

Edit: First week back from Roadtrip.. Might have to get back into the dry turkey sandwich no beer mode for a little bit.. Things are starting not to fit so good.. :biggrin:

Edited by Daniel (log)
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Majestic Lunch

1133 Elizabeth Avenue

Elizabeth NJ

Oh Daniel - just looking at your post makes me want to leave work and get over to Majestic. The only other thing I can recommend from here other than there outstanding chili dog and burger is breakfast food. Don't know how you might feel about eating breakfast for lunch - but their eggs and potatoes, toast and any kind of meat are worth the trip. What memories that place brings back. I went to high school around the corner and never once in 4 years did I eat lunch at school - so I have eaten at almost every place in that vicinity. And the Greek couple there are sweet, I think they used to own a Greek stand inside of the Flea Market in Union many years ago before it closed. Another great Greek couple are right around the corner from where you were - Jefferson Ave. there is a guy with shishkebobs outside, I've been eating them for years and they still taste great everytime.

I went to Chick's Seafood a few weeks ago for dinner. Thanks for the recommendation. Very good and a slightly different taste than the two places I live near (Valencia and Algarve).

P.S. Speaking of your road trip, did I miss the post/pictures. I have been waiting anxiously.

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Yesterday after work I drove over to Jerry's for a few dogs. I've never been to the Majestic, so was hoping to have a chili dog there too. Unfortunately, they were closed. Jerry's was good as usual, but I was disappointed to find that the dogs were smaller. It seems that they switched from 8's (8 to a lb) to 10's.

I brought a few home for my wife. I pulled out the Best's natural casing 8's that I had in my freezer, and sure enough they were bigger than what I brought home from Jerry's.

It's nice living fairly close to Best Provisions. I can get the natural casing dogs and prepare them like Jerry's or Syd's whenever I want.

John the hot dog guy

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  • 3 weeks later...

Sopranos

228 Second St.

353-8000

A very interesting place. They really try to cater to the diverse neighborhood. Offering salads, wraps,sandwiches, Portugese BBQ, traditional and non-traditional pizzas, and subs..

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I ordered from the Brazilian Pizza Section.. Fried chicken, corn, and catupiry...

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The pizza was really good.. Crunchy, airy and interesting.. Loved the sweet corn, the cheese, all mixed with the creaminess of the Catupiry.. Highly recommend a visit for this pizza..

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  • 1 month later...

Hello, I have just discovered eGullet after doing a web search for Elmora AND Elizabeth, NJ. My grandparents used to live on Cleveland St off Elmora Ave, and my sister and I are going up there right before Thanksgiving to see if we can find the house and have lunch somewhere near there. Not knowing the area, I was hoping someone could help!

As a coffee addict (even more so after news of a recent study in women emphasizing its anti-oxident benefits), I was pleased to see there is a Dunkin Donuts close to where we're going so I can get my afternoon dose of caffeine. But--where to go for lunch? Does anyone have suggestions for lunch that includes some good vegetarian options for my sister (I can basically eat anything but want to make sure she has something she likes).

Please advise--thank you!

Dr. Susan

If you can make it to Elmora Ave on your lunch hour you could try Goodman's for Jewish style deli. Not what it used to be but then what is?

Elmora Avenue remains a highly interesting food street, both for Goodman's and other Jewish spots and for Hispanic.

I'll respectfully disagree a bit with dbrociner about Goodman's, at least as it was when I last visited about a year ago. For many years the restaurant (open only for breakfast and lunch, closed Sunday) was owned and operated two brothers Julie and (I believe) Abe Goodman. When they retired about 20-25 years ago they sold it to a Greek and trained him and his people very well. I find that nothing has changed, not the corned beef, not the pastrami, nothing! They still buy their meat from the same supplier, they cook it the same way, and take it out of the same steam cabinets to slice when you order it. Even their menu system which is supplemented by paper plates attached to the side wall with items and prices hasn't changed (other than the prices, of course).

Goodman's is not kosher, but two other eateries are. Last time I checked, the Dunkin Donuts at Elmora & Grand was was certified kosher. A block down Elmora from Goodman's is Jerusalem, which serves kosher pizza and Israeli style salads, hummus, etc., cafeteria style.

On the other side of Elmora Avenue from Goodman's is Elmora Bagels. The store has been there since the 1960s, I think, and is operated by the same family that ran the late, great Watson's Bagels of Newark and, later, Irvington. They also operate a kosher bakery at Millburn Mall off Vauxhall Road in Union, the same strip mall that's home to Syd's Hot Dogs, the hot dog of my youth at its original location on Chancellor Avenue in Newark, and a hot dogthat remains my favorite. The Millburn Mall is also within an easy drive of Ikea, no more than 15 minutes if there are no traffic jams. (Elmora Avenue is more like a 10 minute trip, tops.

Do make the trip to Elmora Avenue, and also to Spirito's (but I don't think they're open for lunch; just dinner). Another good spot for Italian, both sandwiches, pizza and plates, would be Cioffi's on Stuyvesant Avenue in Union Center; again, not as close to you as Elmora Avenue, but only 15 minutes away. They make a pretty good Italian style hot dog, too.

In warm weather, after eating at Spirito's, you'll want some Italian ice (what they call water ice here in Philadelphia) to fill in the cracks in your stomach. About a block away, on Fourth Avenue (Spirito's is on Third) is a tiny shack with two or three flavors of ice for sale (lemon is the preferred variety). It's better than any water ice I've ever had in South Phila. (But I may be biasted; like Syd's hot dogs, it's a food from my childhood.) For take-home Italian delicacies, try Barone's on Third Avenue.

If after work you're in the mood for beef, and lots of it, there's the 640 Club at 640 South Street in Elizabeth: steaks, roast beef, chops. Years ago, when doctors still smoked and ate red meat, this is where they'd have lunch, because it was smack dab between the city's three hospitals.

Enjoy!

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Okay, she does like salads--so perhaps that will work. Thanks.

Hello, I have just discovered eGullet after doing a web search for Elmora AND Elizabeth, NJ. My grandparents used to live on Cleveland St off Elmora Ave, and my sister and I are going up there right before Thanksgiving to see if we can find the house and have lunch somewhere near there. Not knowing the area, I was hoping someone could help!

  As a coffee addict (even more so after news of a recent study in women emphasizing its anti-oxident benefits), I was pleased to see there is a Dunkin Donuts close to where we're going so I can get my afternoon dose of caffeine. But--where to go for lunch? Does anyone have suggestions for lunch that includes some good vegetarian options for my sister (I can basically eat anything but want to make sure she has something she likes).

  Please advise--thank you!

  Dr. Susan

If you can make it to Elmora Ave on your lunch hour you could try Goodman's for Jewish style deli. Not what it used to be but then what is?

Elmora Avenue remains a highly interesting food street, both for Goodman's and other Jewish spots and for Hispanic.

I'll respectfully disagree a bit with dbrociner about Goodman's, at least as it was when I last visited about a year ago. For many years the restaurant (open only for breakfast and lunch, closed Sunday) was owned and operated two brothers Julie and (I believe) Abe Goodman. When they retired about 20-25 years ago they sold it to a Greek and trained him and his people very well. I find that nothing has changed, not the corned beef, not the pastrami, nothing! They still buy their meat from the same supplier, they cook it the same way, and take it out of the same steam cabinets to slice when you order it. Even their menu system which is supplemented by paper plates attached to the side wall with items and prices hasn't changed (other than the prices, of course).

Goodman's is not kosher, but two other eateries are. Last time I checked, the Dunkin Donuts at Elmora & Grand was was certified kosher. A block down Elmora from Goodman's is Jerusalem, which serves kosher pizza and Israeli style salads, hummus, etc., cafeteria style.

On the other side of Elmora Avenue from Goodman's is Elmora Bagels. The store has been there since the 1960s, I think, and is operated by the same family that ran the late, great Watson's Bagels of Newark and, later, Irvington. They also operate a kosher bakery at Millburn Mall off Vauxhall Road in Union, the same strip mall that's home to Syd's Hot Dogs, the hot dog of my youth at its original location on Chancellor Avenue in Newark, and a hot dogthat remains my favorite. The Millburn Mall is also within an easy drive of Ikea, no more than 15 minutes if there are no traffic jams. (Elmora Avenue is more like a 10 minute trip, tops.

Do make the trip to Elmora Avenue, and also to Spirito's (but I don't think they're open for lunch; just dinner). Another good spot for Italian, both sandwiches, pizza and plates, would be Cioffi's on Stuyvesant Avenue in Union Center; again, not as close to you as Elmora Avenue, but only 15 minutes away. They make a pretty good Italian style hot dog, too.

In warm weather, after eating at Spirito's, you'll want some Italian ice (what they call water ice here in Philadelphia) to fill in the cracks in your stomach. About a block away, on Fourth Avenue (Spirito's is on Third) is a tiny shack with two or three flavors of ice for sale (lemon is the preferred variety). It's better than any water ice I've ever had in South Phila. (But I may be biasted; like Syd's hot dogs, it's a food from my childhood.) For take-home Italian delicacies, try Barone's on Third Avenue.

If after work you're in the mood for beef, and lots of it, there's the 640 Club at 640 South Street in Elizabeth: steaks, roast beef, chops. Years ago, when doctors still smoked and ate red meat, this is where they'd have lunch, because it was smack dab between the city's three hospitals.

Enjoy!

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Thanks, Daniel. No, she doesn't eat fish, unfortunately.

Do you know of a restaurant called La Gaviola? When I go to Google earth and plug in the address on Cleveland where my grandparents lived in Elizabeth, I see that this restaurant is marked as being nearby. Also nearby is another restaurant called Kampy's Korner. But, I have looked up both of these names on the web and have not found either one.

Hello Dr. Susan,

Welcome to E-gullet..  I really cant think of any place that has vegetarian offerings... Unless vegetarian includes eating fish.. Then there are a lot of places I can think of..

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Thanks, Daniel. No, she doesn't eat fish, unfortunately.

Do you know of a restaurant called La Gaviola? When I go to Google earth and plug in the address on Cleveland where my grandparents lived in Elizabeth, I see that this restaurant is marked as being nearby. Also nearby is another restaurant called Kampy's Korner. But, I have looked up both of these names on the web and have not found either one.

Hello Dr. Susan,

Welcome to E-gullet..  I really cant think of any place that has vegetarian offerings... Unless vegetarian includes eating fish.. Then there are a lot of places I can think of..

LaGaviola is after my time, but Kampy's Korner is a sandwich place a couple of blocks away from Cleveland. Haven't been there so can't speak to it. As I said earlier, I think Jerusalem is the best bet for veggie in the immediate neighborhood. Now, if you want to go down the Garden State Parkway 10 or 12 miles, there are probably lots of vegetarian Indian offerings in Edison. Most of them are clustered on Oak Tree Road. Here's the Google map of them.

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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I don't remember Stash's, but Big Stash's is still a sandwich joint on Wood Ave. just east of Rt. 1 in Linden.

Goodman's is also in Berkeley Heights! Wild!

You've got me beat by a little, Charlotte, I don't remember those Elizabeth bakeries, but I sure do remember Schutt's ice cream parlor on Morris Avenue.

The New Roumanian was, naturally, a Romanian-Kosher restaurant, I believe it ws on either Clinton or Springfield Avenue. Seltzer bottles and schmaltz on the table, planked rib steak, waiters who creaked when they walked, etc. Kinda like Sammy's without the artifice.

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