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South Jersey Food Finds?


ohmyganache
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Hello! I'm moving to Vineland from San Francisco... I know there's good food out there, I just don't know where and I NEED your help!

What good food finds are there in South Jersey? I need something... Like I said, I'll be in Vineland, so I'll be very centrally located.

Thanks in advance!

-Stephen

Stephen W.

Pastry Chef/Owner

The Sweet Life Bakery

Vineland, NJ

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Hello!  I'm moving to Vineland from San Francisco... I know there's good food out there, I just don't know where and I NEED your help!

What good food finds are there in South Jersey?  I need something... Like I said, I'll be in Vineland, so I'll be very centrally located.

Thanks in advance!

-Stephen

Take the Walt Whitman bridge to Philadelphia! I've never been lucky with any really good places in Vineland as it is my mid point to driving to Cape May..But Cape May, now that's a serious restaurant town.

I'm sure that someone else on this board will have some good suggestions for you

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Stephen, you lucky man, you'll be in easy striking distance of two very good BBQ spots on Route 40: the Rib Shanty in Buena, and Uncle Dewey's in Mizpah. There's also a third, Kingfish, close by. Of the three, I prefer the Rib Shanty-- be sure to get the owner to show off his massive iron barbecue mechanism. It's amazing, like something out of Metropolis.

Tortilla Press in Collingswood is quite good. Sagami (also in Collingswood) always comes up when people discuss best sushi in the area. I've never tried it, though.

I love Weber's Drive-In in Pennsauken. It's not the greatest food in the universe, but their root beer is good, and it's just a neat place.

Okay, that sorta taps out my knowledge... I'm afraid that I don't know the NJ dining scene too well. My two favorite south Jersey restaurants-- Fuji and Le Me Toujours-- have both closed, alas. But don't be afraid to spend some time on the PA board. As Jeff said, south Jersey is pretty well in the Philadelphia dining orbit, and it often gets discussed over there.

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Stephen:

You're welcome to come join us over on the PA board and tag along for DDC dinners or Pizza Club. Let us know when you arrive and good luck with your move!

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Hello!  I'm moving to Vineland from San Francisco... I know there's good food out there, I just don't know where and I NEED your help!

What good food finds are there in South Jersey?  I need something... Like I said, I'll be in Vineland, so I'll be very centrally located.

Thanks in advance!

-Stephen

There is a Fat Jack's BBQ in Vineland, on Delsea Drive. Great smoked ribs (beef or pork) and brisket.

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As someone who lives five minutes from DeLorenzo's on Hudson Street in Trenton, all I can say it is a long drive from Vineland and getting a seat at DeLorenzo's is not an easy.

Vineland is not that far from Atlantic City which, what I have read, offers a number of decent restaurants.

"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well." - Virginia Woolf

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The Rib Shanty that Andrew F. talked about is gone and a new owner opened up at the location it's called Joe's bar b q joint. If your near by you might want to give it a try but I wouldn't make any special effort to get there. I wasn't very impressed with them at all.

If you do go to atlantic city get to Tony's Baltimore Grill they have a really great pizza especially with sausage.IMHO.

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As someone who lives five minutes from DeLorenzo's on Hudson Street in Trenton, all I can say it is a long drive from Vineland and getting a seat at DeLorenzo's is not an easy.

Vineland is not that far from Atlantic City which, what I have read, offers a number of decent restaurants.

As much as I love Delorenzo's tomato pies, I must agree with aaron that it is just too far to drive from Vineland and then to endure the inevitable wait on weekend nights would put you right over the top. Oh and if anyone in your party needs to use the restroom after the long drive, well there isn't one!

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I’m sorry to say that Vineland isn’t really close to anything even though it’s the largest (area wise) town in NJ. You can be within the city limits and see nothing but farms. There is a high concentration of Italian and Spanish and I would think there must be some great hidden places to eat there, but I guess you have to be a local to know where they are. That general area of Vineland, Millville and Bridgeton have many sales tax free areas due to it being listed as an impoverished area or something by the state. There is a big effort to bring back the area and it seems to be working. I think you will like the people there and hopefully, the food.

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Okay...I'm not from anywhere near there, but I've heard through the grapevine that the best places to eat down there are hole-in-the-wall Mexican places that were started to serve farm workers.

For better insight; visit some of the local wineries and ask them - they seem to know the turf pretty well.

...and when you find that perfect cantina, don't forget to report it here!

Brian Yarvin

My Webpage

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Stephen,

I don't live down that way, but, a good friend of mine does. I will ask him and I will post any little gems (I really doubt there are many) that he recommends.

I do know of a great pie/bakery place. On his last trip up here I asked him to stop and get me a pie and they were outrageous!!!

The name of the place is Penza's homemade pies at the Red Barn cafe. You really have to try one or their muffins. Their located in Hammontown which is not far from Vineland.

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The Rib Shanty that Andrew F. talked about is gone and a new owner opened up at  the location it's called Joe's bar b q joint. If your near by you might want to give it a try but I wouldn't make any special effort to get there. I wasn't very impressed with them at all.

Sorry to hear that. The Rib Shanty was really great.

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As someone who lives five minutes from DeLorenzo's on Hudson Street in Trenton, all I can say it is a long drive from Vineland and getting a seat at DeLorenzo's is not an easy.

Vineland is not that far from Atlantic City which, what I have read, offers a number of decent restaurants.

As much as I love Delorenzo's tomato pies, I must agree with aaron that it is just too far to drive from Vineland and then to endure the inevitable wait on weekend nights would put you right over the top. Oh and if anyone in your party needs to use the restroom after the long drive, well there isn't one!

No bathroom is a real drag. And it's a long way from Vineland; but it's worth the drive, at least once in a while. Delorenzo's makes a truly exceptional pizza.

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Stephen,

I don't live down that way, but, a good friend of mine does.  I will ask him and I will post any little gems (I really doubt there are many) that he recommends.

I do know of a great pie/bakery place.  On his last trip up here I asked him to stop and get me a pie and they were outrageous!!!

The name of the place is Penza's    homemade pies at the Red Barn cafe.  You really have to try one or their muffins.  Their located in Hammontown which is not far from Vineland.

Penza's is about 6 miles from me (I'm in Medford) on 206 outside Hammonton. This is about 45 minutes from Vineland. It's ok, but it's become very touristy as a result of the write-ups. To get there you have to go through Hammonton (the largest percentage of Italians of any town in America). Coming from Vineland as you come into town you will see an old Italian grocery store on your left. Super old store with barrels of olives, great cheeses, meats and the best Italian sausage on the east coast. About a 1/2 block past it on your left is a Mexican Restaurant. You will be the only gringo there and they will have to find someone to speak English, but the food is out of this world and as close to free as you'll find in Jersey.

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Stephen,

I don't live down that way, but, a good friend of mine does.  I will ask him and I will post any little gems (I really doubt there are many) that he recommends.

I do know of a great pie/bakery place.  On his last trip up here I asked him to stop and get me a pie and they were outrageous!!!

The name of the place is Penza's     homemade pies at the Red Barn cafe.  You really have to try one or their muffins.  Their located in Hammontown which is not far from Vineland.

Penza's is about 6 miles from me (I'm in Medford) on 206 outside Hammonton. This is about 45 minutes from Vineland. It's ok, but it's become very touristy as a result of the write-ups. To get there you have to go through Hammonton (the largest percentage of Italians of any town in America). Coming from Vineland as you come into town you will see an old Italian grocery store on your left. Super old store with barrels of olives, great cheeses, meats and the best Italian sausage on the east coast. About a 1/2 block past it on your left is a Mexican Restaurant. You will be the only gringo there and they will have to find someone to speak English, but the food is out of this world and as close to free as you'll find in Jersey.

Jim:

What's the name of that Mexican place?? SouthJerseyEpicurean is constantly telling me about some Mexican joint on 206 that has the world's best mole sauce. Could this be the one???

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Katie, 206 ends at rt30 in Hammonton and maybe someone not familiar with the area would think they are still on 206. It's 12ths street (main st.) that turns into rt54. There are several Mexican restaurants in town due to a high concentration of Mexicans that work on the surounding blueberry and truck farms. I can't remember the name to save me, but it's a very colorful and for the area good sized place that was just remodeled. You can't miss it when you go through town between the railroad and Illianos Italian Restaurant on 12th st.

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Hello again! Thanks for the good tips. We've been in town a few days now, and have had some good pizza (there's no good Jersey style pizza in SF), and of course Yeungling (I'm sure I spelled that wrong). Grandma's cooking has been the best so far though!

There is a Jamacan place downtown that looks good, so we'll try and go soon.

Stephen W.

Pastry Chef/Owner

The Sweet Life Bakery

Vineland, NJ

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Well my friend emailed me back with some info for you.

"If this unfortunate fellow is coming from San Francisco to Vineland, he is going to undergo a huge decline in the quality of his dining-out experiences. From my memory, San Francisco was about as good as New York for quality restaurants, just fewer of them. South Jersey is still hickland.

In the immediate Vineland area, my favorite is Winfield's on High St. in center city Millville, just south of Vineland. It's affordable, good quality cooking. I've been there about 6 or 7 times. Vineland has a new one called The Garden Room (I believe) that I sampled once. It wasn't bad, but not quite as good as it THINKS it is. But still decent. That's on the corner of Lincoln Ave. and Landis Ave. I had a good experience at Positano's on Delsea Drive (right near corner of Chestnut Ave.) for Italian food the last time I went there. I've been there maybe three times, but the last time (a few months ago) was the best. Many locals speak well of the Maplewood restaurants -- there's one in Vineland and another in Hammonton, but I haven't been in one in 20 years, so I can't really comment. I always liked the Greek place on Delsea Drive called Olympia that's been pretty consistently good for about 25 years. It's also near the corner of Chestnut Ave. but south of the intersection, while Positano's is north.

There are decent little kitchen-type places here and there for lunches, take-outs, etc., like Jim's Lunch in Millville and various deli's that are good for subs, cheese-steaks."

He is going to ask his brother, who really goes out to dinner quite frequently, which places he would recommend and get back to me. I hope the above helps you out somewhat.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I recently posted a list of my favorite restaurants in Monmouth County (about a 45 min. drive north on the Jersey Shore) on my website/blog dedicated to affordable gourmet food, www.mcfoodie.com. I know it's not close, but if you're an adventurous foodie like me, you will drive quite a distance for a great meal. Please check it out and post or email me any comments, feedback, additional restaurants/resources or other suggestions. The website is very new and this is just a hobby so please be kind. :)

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We went to Erik's Restaurant in Vineland last night for my birthday dinner. It was quite good, and we had a really nice time.

Erik's used to be a Greek deli before the owners converted it into a restaurant with a small assortment of Greek groceries, fresh pastas, desserts, and drinks. Jill and I got a greek salad, and a grilled vegetable gyro with fries and cole slaw. The food was really good, especially the greek salad. It was huge!!! And it came with lettuce, shredded carrot, tomato wedges, green and red bell peppers, red onion, wonderful dolmas, hard boiled egg, feta, peppercini, cucumber, black olives, pita wedges, anchovies, and artichoke hearts...

The gyro had grilled eggplant, spinach, peppers, olives, feta, tzatiki sauce and broccoli all wrapped in a greasy and delicious pita...

The food was tasty, and the service was great, and the price was right. And the grocery section reminded us of our time in Greece. They had greek NesCafe, the same kind they drink in Greece in thier Frappe (we had one every morning we were there). Erik's also had dolmas, olive oil, tahini, and quite a few other greek ingredients...

All in all, a nice south Jersey food find!

-Stephen

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Stephen W.

Pastry Chef/Owner

The Sweet Life Bakery

Vineland, NJ

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"If this unfortunate fellow is coming from San Francisco to Vineland, he is going to undergo a huge decline in the quality of his dining-out experiences.  From my memory, San Francisco was about as good as New York for quality restaurants, just fewer of them.  South Jersey is still hickland.

Is that really necessary? Some people need to do their "church lady superior dance" by insulting regions they consider declasse.

You can expect "to undergo a huge decline in the quality of his dining-out experiences" moving from SF to anywhere including NYC.

Dum vivimus, vivamus!

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