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So...where'd you eat this week?


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The best margarita EVAH at Jockey Hollow...

Really? I hear nightmare stories about that place and I live in Morris Township. Once the vallet lot gets filled, they literally try to shuttle people from the town hall parking lot and charge for it. I love a good margarita but damn if I am paying $10 to take a shuttle to get it.

 

I would walk a good half mile for that drink. Perfect in every way. Sadly it was brunch, so I only had one.

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Wanted to get some activity here...so where'd you eat this week? New, old, good, bad, same as last time?   Just a quick two (more later) -- I grabbed lunch/burger at the Dutch House (Fair Lawn, revi

Had lunch at the Emerson Hotel...nothing new. Same menu, same people, same same. LOL.   If you like their open-sliced steak sandwiches, well, they are the same too. Good service, nice crowd, and cer

Had dinner at Rudy's -- the Cliffside Park mainstay classic...I went to Rudy's for the first time in 1984...and not much has changed...and that's a good thing...a very good thing.   Walk into Rudy's

Had dinner the other night at Taste of Greece...I have not been there in quite some time, so I was pleased to see they had redecorated, updates, etc. Some nice, basic redecoration -- nice walls, paint, brick/stone, new tables, chairs, etc. Of course it's still small, and the tables are a bit tight, but it's not offensive or even uncomfortable. The place was booked solid and if the food is still as good as it has been in the past, rightfully so, this place will continuously be booked solid.



Starting off -- the service was good. Our waitress was on top of everything, had a very good handle on the menu and the specials. She was able to add her own personal insight, and explained things very well. She had to scramble a bit and I think a more formal process with her help actually helping her with some of the more trivial tasks would make her even better, but she was very good.



On to the food -- excellent! I was very happy to see -- and taste -- nothing has changed! This is still a little, almost hidden, unknown gem of a place, serving some of the best Greek food in Bergen County in my opinion. The greek meatballs appetizer was very good -- a lot of flavor and taste inside these bite-sized meatballs. Very lightly fried, but not even noticeable, the seasoning was very good, and not overpowering, so you were able to get all the flavor from the meatballs. Nice size portion, I enjoyed them. The lollipop lamb chops special was very good -- served with garlic, lemon, fingerling-type potatoes, and a very nice side of fava beans in a light and very tasty tomato sauce. The gyro platter was very good as well, accompanied with Greek fries, and some very nice grilled vegetables -- they were excellent.



For dessert -- just get the baklava cheesecake...'nuff said. LOL. I don't know where he gets this from -- but it was excellent!!!



The place was crowded -- reservations booked the night. They ranged from a party of two to a party of eight and everyone handled it very well. The chef/owner takes a lot of pride in his work and food, escaping from the kitchen to quickly say hello, check and see if everyone likes the food, etc. An occasional leaning out from the kitchen and a quick question to the customers asking if they like the dish they are eating. While the place is small, and the tables are tight, it's OK -- you don't find it overly offensive or uncomfortable. I wasn't sitting in a bad spot -- we had a table for two, right on the wall. A few of the other tables might have been or had a customer a bit adjacent, or next to the neighboring table. It didn't seem to be a problem for anyone. It's packed, but it's almost quaint, LOL.



For me -- nothing changed, but now the place is a nice, little, bistro type place, BYO...and of course...the food! That's why people go here. Sure, you can go to Varka, Axia, Oceanos, Taverna Mykonos, and maybe a few others -- and I enjoy Varka and Oceanos very much -- but this place is putting out excellent Greek food. I enjoyed it a lot. It's a more everyday, get it to go, go for dinner, etc., kind of place. An excellent, local place where you can go for excellent Greek food, that again, in my opinion is one of the best in Bergen County.


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Bamboo House...in Ridgewood...

 

Now, this is a real "dive" kind of place...aesthetics only!!!

 

Bamboo House is a small -- very small -- place, at the "end" of town" on South Broad Street, sandwiched between the large liquor store, Masago, Sook, and a small "antique" type store. If you don't know it or haven't been there, yes, you've passed it a hundred times, LOL. So, how small is this place? Well depending on the table set-up, there is no more than 4 tables there...that's right, 4 tables. Aside from small -- this is a no-frills, simple, basic, "dive" kind of place.

 

But...you go here for the food!!! Period.

 

The menu here is straight-forward -- some "chef's specials" which you might find at a typical Chinese restaurant, a beef, chicken, etc. section -- all the typical stuff. There's a few specials off the menu, similar to your "daily" specials. The dumplings here are very good, excellent -- and on this trip we had the "Mom's dumplings" -- which we were told are the "most popular" dumplings. These are steamed, with a tasty pork and shrimp (and possibly chicken) filling. The pork didn't seem like the typical "pork" mixture you find in typical dumplings. This one seemed a bit "lighter" with less "filler" and stuff. The pieces of shrimp were clearly identifiable, and a nice size, considering the size of the dumpling. The portion came with 10 steamed dumplings -- very nice flavor and taste -- they were excellent. I wasn't very hungry, and wanted to go "basic" so I ordered the Sesame chicken. It was excellent, compared to the typical "sesame chicken" you get from your local take-out place. It was "lightly" fried, yet you still not a nice, simple, "crunch" when you bit into it. This was not your over-fried, doughy, super-crunch pieces of chicken. I don't know about you, but I don't like that type at all as that's like "fast-food" to me. This has nice flavor, very good profile and balance -- it was prepared/executed very well. We also had the "Rainbow chicken" -- I think that was the name, steamed chicken, with a mixture of vegetables. This was served in a clear, light, garlic sauce, which really made the dish so much more than your typical steamed chicken. A very nice dish, healthy, and tasty.

 

The service, like the place is basic, but friendly and attentive -- the highlight being that the owner/chef is very hands on. She delivers dishes, asks you questions, tells you about dishes, etc. She's very nice and very personable -- and has a great story about coming here to the US and how she opened a restaurant. She's been doing this for almost 30 years! And she's doing it really well. She has a waiter and busboy, and the busboy doubles as a delivery person. The delivery and takeout business is huge! It has to be with 3 or 4 tables, LOL. Orders are being phoned in constantly, with people stopping on the way home from work. I don't know their delivery area, but if you are nearby, take out is always an option. I've been in the area before for a meeting, and wanted to dine in, but it was full and I had some timing/time constraint issues, so I ended up at Masago. Maybe two or three times, I'd walk in ask for a table, and she'll give you a time frame as to when a table would be available. Once my friend and I were able to wait, another time or two, I had a meeting/time constraint so I couldn't wait.

 

Bottom line -- this place is a small, hidden gem in Ridgewood! Excellent food.

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Got a few sandwiches and some prepared dishes, food, etc., at Morano's Italian Gourmet Market (Ramsey)...as always...excellent! The orzo with pignoli -- a regular was very good, very good taste and flavor. They are now offering a farro with pieces of mushroom -- also very good. They have a sweet potato (diced) salad, cubed, with raisins, and other things, and while I am not a fan of this normally -- their version is very good. Their corn and black bean salsa is a regular for me -- and again, I am normally not a fan, but their version is very good, to the point that I get it every time I go.

 

Their sandwiches are OK -- no offense, but I still think Dante's (River Edge) is better, and I've had a few at some various Italian deli's that are very good as well -- and I tend to get one when I go. However, their prepared dishes are excellent!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Nothing new and exciting, well, I guess, maybe, maybe not...anyway...I've been back to Callahan's (Norwood)...excellent hotdogs!!! I also had dinner at Taste Of Greece...Themis is doing it and doing it well...very good, excellent, as I've always experienced there...this place is still a bit under the radar for many people...try it...excellent food...see my review/post on this place...

 

I also stopped in to Oceanos for drinks...had a few appetizers...very good! As always.

 

Did the same at Bacari Grill...a very good group of friends, nice wine, appetizers...very good as well! As always.

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Take out from Greek City (Rt. 17 in Ramsey) -- very good.

 

Take out from Look See -- not so good. I know, I know, but it wasn't my choice. You may like the food here when you are at the restaurant. I've had some very good meals there, and some "OK" meals. Service has often been an issue. However, take out has just never been good.

 

Also stopped by Johnny & Hanges -- was on my way back to the office...never a problem there. LOL. Always a good hotdog.

 

Have several lunch meetings this week...more to follow...

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Dee and I had a wake to attend near Suffern on Sunday afternoon, and I was happy to see the Craft House in Suffern was packed, with a line of cars waiting to enter. The lot looked completely full.

 

Good for them, bad for us.

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Bamboo House...in Ridgewood...

 

Now, this is a real "dive" kind of place...aesthetics only!!!

 

Bamboo House is a small -- very small -- place, at the "end" of town" on South Broad Street, sandwiched between the large liquor store, Masago, Sook, and a small "antique" type store. If you don't know it or haven't been there, yes, you've passed it a hundred times, LOL. So, how small is this place? Well depending on the table set-up, there is no more than 4 tables there...that's right, 4 tables. Aside from small -- this is a no-frills, simple, basic, "dive" kind of place.

(snip)

 

Bottom line -- this place is a small, hidden gem in Ridgewood! Excellent food.

.

Good to know, 28 South Broad Street. Should be a little easier to find parking

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Bamboo House...in Ridgewood...

 

Now, this is a real "dive" kind of place...aesthetics only!!!

 

Bamboo House is a small -- very small -- place, at the "end" of town" on South Broad Street, sandwiched between the large liquor store, Masago, Sook, and a small "antique" type store. If you don't know it or haven't been there, yes, you've passed it a hundred times, LOL. So, how small is this place? Well depending on the table set-up, there is no more than 4 tables there...that's right, 4 tables. Aside from small -- this is a no-frills, simple, basic, "dive" kind of place.

(snip)

 

Bottom line -- this place is a small, hidden gem in Ridgewood! Excellent food.

.

Good to know, 28 South Broad Street. Should be a little easier to find parking

 

 

 

Yes -- it is right across the street from the large municipal lot. I've always found parking there.

 

Also, there are a few less congested/less popular blocks right around (just past) the restaurant (heading south on Broad, toward Glen Rock). I've never had a problem parking to go to Masago, Bamboo House, etc.

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Dee and I had a wake to attend near Suffern on Sunday afternoon, and I was happy to see the Craft House in Suffern was packed, with a line of cars waiting to enter. The lot looked completely full.

 

Good for them, bad for us.

 

Glad to hear. I've passed by a few times and yes, it looks crowded. A line to get in Sunday afternoon -- that's promising. I hope they continue to do well and stay a long time.

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Business lunch yesterday at E & V (Paterson) -- classic, old-school, traditional, old-fashioned Italian. People say it's a "red sauce joint" and it's old, stale, etc. I say to each their own. If you like good, classic, traditional Italian food -- give E & V a shot. They've been doing what they are doing a long time -- popular, very good and loyal following...and they are still there and still doing it.

 

I had a seafood salad and the orecchiette with shrimp, scallops, calamari. Good food.

 

Also stopped in for drinks last night to the Brick House. Maybe being Cinco de Mayo, I don't know, but the bar was crowded. Lively spot, a lot of action, people, etc. It was the Tuesday night crew so it wasn't the regulars. Bartender seemed a bit harried, scrambling a bit. I love the place, and I like Aldo very much -- so it's not a knock. Just Tuesday night stuff, LOL.

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Take out from Taste of Greece...same same...excellent!

 

Had dinner this past weekend at Park West (Ridgewood)...once again, the food is very good. The Park Steakhouse people have a real hit on their hands. Park West is a popular, very good restaurant. It's an interesting menu -- check it out -- ranging from choices of sliders (lobster as well), to oysters, burgers, steak sandwiches, to various steaks, chicken, fish, pasta, etc. However, it's a very creative, somewhat eclectic, unique, varied, and more of a menu, LOL.

 

The bar area is always crowded as this is a popular spot with a strong following of a nice clientele. The restaurant too is always crowded. I stopped in for a drink on a Tuesday night and while it wasn't packed, the bar area might have had an empty stool, the tables off the bar were filled, and it was relatively full. Even the restaurant itself was relatively full. So while I don't know how they are doing during the week -- it appears they are usually busy.

 

Parking of course is an issue -- although at one time they were doing valet parking. I don't know if they are still doing that, on the weekends, etc. I am not sure. Regardless, it's a Ridgewood issue, not a Park West issue.

 

So last weekend my meal was very good -- as always. The place was crowded. The service was relatively attentive, but a tad robotic. Maybe a personal preference, style over substance, etc. Not quite sure. We needed to ask for bread, and water a few times. We needed a fork and had to wait a bit -- "sorry, I'll get it right now" -- so while robotic, the occasional hiccup seemed to throw the robot off, LOL. Might have been the time, section, new person, etc. Not a knock, just an observation.

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So...I was in Montclair...and with Blu and Next Door already closed (yes, I am mourning, LOL)...I decided to grab a quick bite instead...what the heck, I ended up at Nori...

 

I am now convinced that they have the B or C team working during the week, slow nights, etc. I've been there on a Saturday night and it's top notch -- mainly the sushi, preparation, presentation, etc. The service on a Saturday night has been relatively OK -- let me call it "good" so to speak. It hasn't been very good or excellent. But again, the sushi, presentation, preparation, etc. -- has been excellent.

 

Be that as it may -- I've been there for dinner on a Monday night (tonight and another time), lunch on a Monday or Tuesday (I forgot which), dinner on a Tuesday night, and so forth -- and each time, it's "lacking" in my opinion (when compared to a Saturday night). The sushi is prepared differently and the portions are smaller. I had the sushi pizza tonight, and it was substantially smaller and prepared differently than it was in the past (on a Saturday night when I was there). There was less crab and the portion itself was smaller. Yes, different sushi chefs do things differently, but it should be slightly. There needs to be consistency and some "quality control" so to speak.

 

The service was again, "fair" tonight. We had to wait for water and had to wait far too long for our sushi. Nothing we ordered was from the kitchen, needed to be cooked, etc. -- and the place wasn't crowded, so it's not like they should have been backed up or behind. Our sushi was served and we did not have small, individual plates. As soon as they put the sushi on our table, we immediately asked for plates. The waiter said OK -- he left, walked in the back and didn't return for over 5 minutes. We had to ask someone else for plates. We sat there and waited for plates so we could eat. This was very bothersome.

 

Overall -- there is a big difference between a Saturday night and other nights I've been there.

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Busy week...just for starters, got sushi from Masago (Ridgewood), some prepared foods from Morano's (Ramsey), and sandwiches from Dante's (River Edge)...Dante's makes some of the best sandwiches in the area!

 

Also tried Mucci's (an Italian deli in Saddle Brook) -- this was the third time I tried it and for me, I'll rate it a pass. First, the sandwiches were $12!!! Now, those of you who know me, know I tend not to look at price, but when it's egregious, I take note, LOL. They use the typical meats, bread was OK, and the sandwiches weren't that big that it warranted a $12 price. Even when I asked, the woman behind the counter said that the sandwiches were $12, in an explanatory, almost apologetic way. The prepared dishes were fair -- although they had caponata. They've had it every time I've been there. I don't see that around commonly. I was told they tend to carry various meats, charcuterie, etc. -- but I haven't see it on my three visits. They seem to have a decent amount of grocery items for sale -- pastas, frozen goods, sauces, etc. Mucci's seems to have its fans, and they've been there for quite some time; perhaps because they the only, one of the only, game(s) in town. I don't know. I know there might be two or three Italian delis in Saddle Brook, but I am not sure. Regardless, they do have a following -- but for me, I'd rather take the drive to Dante's or A&S (Wyckoff), or one of the Italian delis in the Hackensack area.

 

Also had lunch at the Coach House diner (Rt. 4 East, Hackensack) -- and while I haven't been there for a long time, it was good.

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  • 1 month later...

So...I was in Montclair...and with Blu and Next Door already closed (yes, I am mourning, LOL)...I decided to grab a quick bite instead...what the heck, I ended up at Nori...

 

I am now convinced that they have the B or C team working during the week, slow nights, etc. I've been there on a Saturday night and it's top notch -- mainly the sushi, preparation, presentation, etc. The service on a Saturday night has been relatively OK -- let me call it "good" so to speak. It hasn't been very good or excellent. But again, the sushi, presentation, preparation, etc. -- has been excellent.

 

Be that as it may -- I've been there for dinner on a Monday night (tonight and another time), lunch on a Monday or Tuesday (I forgot which), dinner on a Tuesday night, and so forth -- and each time, it's "lacking" in my opinion (when compared to a Saturday night). The sushi is prepared differently and the portions are smaller. I had the sushi pizza tonight, and it was substantially smaller and prepared differently than it was in the past (on a Saturday night when I was there). There was less crab and the portion itself was smaller. Yes, different sushi chefs do things differently, but it should be slightly. There needs to be consistency and some "quality control" so to speak.

 

The service was again, "fair" tonight. We had to wait for water and had to wait far too long for our sushi. Nothing we ordered was from the kitchen, needed to be cooked, etc. -- and the place wasn't crowded, so it's not like they should have been backed up or behind. Our sushi was served and we did not have small, individual plates. As soon as they put the sushi on our table, we immediately asked for plates. The waiter said OK -- he left, walked in the back and didn't return for over 5 minutes. We had to ask someone else for plates. We sat there and waited for plates so we could eat. This was very bothersome.

 

Overall -- there is a big difference between a Saturday night and other nights I've been there.

 

Just to clarify...Blu and Next Door are not closed yet.

 

This past weekend...excellent...top of the line...excellent dinner and experience at the River Palm in Edgewater. Sat upstairs, went all out on appetizers, drinks, entrees, and everything, from beginning to end was excellent. No need to get into the minute details -- but -- highlights -- grilled octopus appetizer, thick cut applewood bacon with BBQ sauce on the side...asian thai style calamari...and west coast oysters...all excellent.

 

Porterhouse for two...absolutely excellent!

 

Martinis and chocolate fudge brownie dessert also excellent!

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