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montclair and vicinity


glenn
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I'll be in Montclair with my chef tomorrow. While I'm there, I'd like to look for ideas for eclectic stuff to carry at Melt, primarily retail, but also wanna check out prices at coffee shops and the like. Can anyone suggest places to go in and around Montclair? I'm thinking of that nostalgic 50s shop, but I don't know the name or where it is. Is Holsten's open now? Also, I thought someone mentioned a cheese shop in Montclair. Details? Thanks.

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If memory serves me right, the nostalgic place is on Bloomfield within a block or so of Indigo Smoke--but on the opposite side of the street (southern side, if you want me to be precise).

Not sure what's on the menu at Diva Lounge, but it's on the corner (east of) below Indigo Smoke, and it certainly attracts crowds, so it's worth checking out.

Cafe Eclectic is a given!

Don't overlook areas off of Bloomfield Ave, esp on Valley Road as you get in to 'Upper' Montclair. I don't know of specific places, but there is a cluster of stores around Bellevue Ave and Valley--including a Williams Sonoma. There's also a neat little grouping of stores where Park and Watchung Avenues intersect--just look in all directions as you approach it--it's a strange intersection!

Holsten's is technically in Bloomfield, and even though it's on Bloomfield Ave, it's a different Bloomfield Ave from the one that runs from Newark straight through the heart of Montclair. Trust me on this one! And check out a map. But if you take Watchung Ave back to the GSP, you'll cross over that Bloomfield Ave en route to the GSP--it's a small place next to a gas station.

There is a huge list of Montclair restaurants on the food page of Baristanet.com (scroll all the way down)...perhaps that will jog your memory on the names of some other places. I'd also suggest asking some of the folks who work at places like Whole Foods and/or any of the non-food establishments on Church Street where the locals hang out.

Let us know what you find that's worth checking out--it sounds like a fun expedition! :smile:

"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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Holsten's is technically in Bloomfield, and even though it's on Bloomfield Ave, it's a different Bloomfield Ave

It's on Broad Street in Bloomfield, right on corner of Watchung.

Thankfully caught in a timewarp.

~waves

"When you look at the face of the bear, you see the monumental indifference of nature. . . . You see a half-disguised interest in just one thing: food."

Werner Herzog; NPR interview about his documentary "Grizzly Man"...

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The Cheese Shoppe may be one you are referring to. Big take out and eat in lunch place for the MSU faculty/staff crowd. It is in Upper Montclair near Talbots and the Firehouse Others in that area: Tia's Food of Love is take out only, but their menu is also a big lunch (and catering) draw. Daily Soup in the train station is also beginning to draw a following.

Casey

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Thanks for the tips. I went to most of the places mentioned and picked up a few ideas. The highlight of the tour was Holsten's. Their operation as well as their ice cream really knocked my socks off. I also loved that 50s soda pop shop on Bloomfield Ave, though that's nothing like what I'll be doing. I can't imagine where they got a hold of all the paraphanelia. The low point was the Cheese Shop. No cheese!! I asked what the story was and they said they they changed ownership or direction, I forget. You'd think they'd change their name.

Surprisingly, one of the most inviting cafes was one a few blocks from where I live in Jersey City. I had been there a couple of times in the past, but only for a coffee or something or other to go. If you're ever looking for a casual and friendly atmostphere for breakfast or lunch with good eats (paninis and lots of home made stuff), I highly recommend Baker Boys Cafe. It's on Newark Ave. just east of Palisade. Two blocks from Madame Claude, if that helps.

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