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


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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

Yummy yummy, delicious sushi at Sakura Bana last night. Ken made special treats for us. Unreal as usual. Monkfish liver, dreamy!

 

Very nice...very good place...I have a business dinner there coming up next week...looking forward to it.

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The Negative: Miller's Ale House. Food? Decent pub grub with some extra surprises, and not bad. Service? Just fine considering the crowd. How come I won't go back? Personal preference in atmosphere. The place is HUGE, and full, and LOUD ( all human voices- and massive occupancy). Just too much happening all of the time for me to relax and enjoy the meal.

 

The Positive: Still hooked on Khan's Mongolian Gardens over the border on 303. Haven't been in a LONG time, will try to get there this week- heck, I don't even know if they are still there. You pick it, the cook it. Fun to watch and eat, and the pricing can't be beat.

 

The SUPER-POSITIVE: In terms of fast and casual, my favorite meal was at Empanada Mania in Bergenfield. A tiny place near the movie theatre. Might me able to seat 20 good friends. If you love empanadas, this place is a must. Cuban, Pizza, All Beef, and a zillion others, all the styles that I have tried are terrific.

 

The Question: I know that the former Gregory T's in Emerson has been renovated ( which it needed BADLY) and is re-opening / has re-opened as Ranchero Cantina, and obviously Tex-Mex place. Does anyone have an update or a dining experience to share?

 

 

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Agreed on Miller's Ale House...I always thought it was a tad better than the traditional pub grub fare and offerings. A few better dishes and more depth and offerings. I've been there for lunch, and while crowded, I always found the service to be good, very attentive, but not over-intrusive. Perhaps it's changed or it's different during the happy hour rush, busy times, etc.

 

The place is big -- and yes, it does get LOUD! LOL. Happy Hour there can be a zoo. LOL.

 

Thanks for the comments on the other places.

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I was at Khan's a couple of years ago for the first and last time. This is food of the lowest quality, with the "gimmick" being that you pick out the ingredients yourself from several trays, and watch the guy cook it. Meh. IMO it was AWFUL. Flavorless. Ate only 1/3, never to return.

 

But it's been there a long time, so the local public loves this stuff.

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Going to throw up another thread/post on this...but recently had dinner at the mysterious and enigmatic O Lar...and yes, I know it's not in NJ, LOL...it's close enough. LOL.

 

As I said, this small -- very small -- place is somewhat mysterious, enigmatic, and aside from a few knocks you might hear from the negativity police...this place is excellent!!! It's nothing fancy. Some soccer club and country banners, different size/material tables, set up and laid out differently, and then you get there and pull back the curtain, there might a table right there! So, it's small...did I mention that? LOL. Deal with the parking, waiting for a table and don't expect a beautiful, romantic view of the river. You are going here for the food, although it's a "nice" experience as well. Small, cozy, fun if you are into different types of fun, and don't forget the food.

 

Right on Piermont Avenue, this place can maybe seat 20 or so. When I was there they had 6 tables set up, but they were accommodating a party of 8. Throw together Spanish, some Italian, and some Mediterranean, a bit of this and that...and you've got an eclectic, unique menu ranging from paella to brick oven pizza to unique pasta/sauces and "Spanish fries" -- but everything was very, very good. The owner is in the kitchen, taking orders, describing specials, meeting and greeting people, and who knows what else. The menu is broad -- as in the offerings above -- but it's nice and short. The specials, are special -- and there was several.

 

No website. No menu online. Cash only. Sangria and wine only (maybe beer? I am not sure/don't remember). Oh, but they have a facebook page! LOL.

 

Bottom line -- they are doing it right! Everything -- taste, flavor, robust, hearty, and it's all there. The nuances of the flavor, ingredients, and it's all put together very well.

 

Try it. I will go back without question. A new favorite of mine.

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I started a thread on this, but wanted to post here...I was in Chatham for a meeting and Marie's Italian Specialties has been on my "must try" list. I had heard about this place from several friends, and I knew it was on Guy's show. The restaurant is located in a shopping center, so you've got to find it. LOL. It's one of those with an upper and lower level (on the ends), north and south, park here, enter there, etc. LOL. Anyway, once you find it you are fine.



I was hungry and looking forward to trying this place. So, the menu has an Italian-flair, but it's more of a basic, homey, comfort food type of place. However, some of the dishes are not so basic -- a lot of ingredients and flavors. Everything is written up on the big chalkboards, but you can read the take-out menu as well. It's all there. There's a lot to try -- salads, soups, some excellent sandwiches, pasta, chicken, eggplant, pulled pork, and more...all types of dishes.



I started with the their antipasto, which is your own combination of meatballs, sausage and bread. I got two of each to share. First, the meatballs -- excellent! You cut them open and you can just see all the seasoning, ingredients, etc. Very nice sauce too. I'd be surprised if it was simply canned sauce because it tastes like they've done something "fresh" to it. Back to the meatballs -- a ton of flavor and taste, herbs, seasoning, oregano, cheese, and I have no idea what else -- but it was excellent. Now, the sausage -- let me say I love sausage, all different types -- Italian, hot, sweet, chorizo, alsatian, andouille, cured, smoked, cooked, dried, right down the line. So it's not like I was expecting one thing, or I would only like it if it were one style/type/etc. The sausage had good flavor and taste -- but, it was very salty. Perhaps I am being overly sensitive to salt here, but even my friend said "way too salty". They have sausage in several dishes, so perhaps it was an off day. I wouldn't say "No, I am not going back" because of this, but if it were the same next time -- I wouldn't order the sausage again. Bread was good -- fresh, nice Italian style bread.



On to the entrees -- we went with the Rigatoni with sausage and meatballs and the brick-roasted chicken (the latter being featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives). The pasta was prepared well -- al dente, but not too much. It would please the masses. The way pasta is supposed to be done. Meatballs, again, excellent, loads of flavor. The sausage, again, too salty. The chicken was excellent -- a lot of flavor -- served with polenta and broccoli rabe. It was a good dish, two large pieces of chicken, both the drumstick and thighs -- meaty, very good. We also got a side of their well known mac and cheese. Now this was very good. You have to like it this way though -- small, little orecchiette pasta shells and a ton of creamy cheese! LOL. It's not the "substantial" type of mac and cheese with large pasta that you can really dig into. The focal point here is the small pasta and the cheesiness, creaminess, etc. It was served with crumbs of bacon on top. I liked it...a lot.



Two small cannolis for desert -- very fresh, creamy...and we were done. There's a lot to try there and when I am in the area, I will go back. More things I want to try there. LOL.


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The Negative: Miller's Ale House. Food? Decent pub grub with some extra surprises, and not bad. Service? Just fine considering the crowd. How come I won't go back? Personal preference in atmosphere. The place is HUGE, and full, and LOUD ( all human voices- and massive occupancy). Just too much happening all of the time for me to relax and enjoy the meal.

 

The Positive: Still hooked on Khan's Mongolian Gardens over the border on 303. Haven't been in a LONG time, will try to get there this week- heck, I don't even know if they are still there. You pick it, the cook it. Fun to watch and eat, and the pricing can't be beat.

 

The SUPER-POSITIVE: In terms of fast and casual, my favorite meal was at Empanada Mania in Bergenfield. A tiny place near the movie theatre. Might me able to seat 20 good friends. If you love empanadas, this place is a must. Cuban, Pizza, All Beef, and a zillion others, all the styles that I have tried are terrific.

 

The Question: I know that the former Gregory T's in Emerson has been renovated ( which it needed BADLY) and is re-opening / has re-opened as Ranchero Cantina, and obviously Tex-Mex place. Does anyone have an update or a dining experience to share?

 

 

 

So, did you go? Is Khan's still there/open? It was in Blauvelt, right? The last time I was there, they had just made some changes -- but even before that, they, and the place was a bit outdated, but they were consistent. Strong following actually, good ratings/reviews on TripAdvisor. To some it was about the "experience", LOL, others like it, but to each their own. I know people who go, enjoy it, etc.

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Had a business meeting in Fair Lawn...so...had lunch at Kosher Nosh...where else would I go? LOL.

 

Other than a car driving into the restaurant the night before...all was as usual...very good! Pastrami was very good, nice pickles, a very good knish, and I've always liked the kashe varnishkes. The potato pancakes were right out of the oven. Noodle pudding was very good. All is well at the Kosher Nosh.

 

The front of the restaurant -- to the right of the front door (where the hot dog grill is) -- was all boarded up. The grill, counter, everything was still there as normal. Apparently, sometime Saturday night, after they closed, a car drove through the glass. Whatever happened -- no one was hurt (according the people at the restaurant) -- and all looked normal aside from that side being boarded up.

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Yummy yummy, delicious sushi at Sakura Bana last night. Ken made special treats for us. Unreal as usual. Monkfish liver, dreamy!

 

Will be there this week, again! LOL. I will also be having dinner at Masago this week as well. A lot of sushi this week. LOL.

 

I see Masago has a new manager in place, and some new staff people as well. I've long been a fan of this "hidden gem" that is under the radar in Ridgewood.

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Had dinner at Sear recently...they are doing well (at least it appears that way) as I've driven by several times, met an associate for a drink there (twice) and had dinner there as well.

 

My take -- good to very good food. I've heard several comments that it's "pricey" and in my opinion, I can see that, vis a vis the perceived value. My biggest complaint is service and even more specifically the "culture" and the "mindset" of some of the staff. I think the place overall is somewhat pretentious. Some of the service was very good -- attentive, quality, etc. Our waiter was very good, polite, personal, cooperative, and truly was committed to making sure everyone had an enjoyable experience. However, some of the other staff had an "attitude" and this pretentiousness which I find to be a major turn-off. I've seen and experienced the same thing at other high end places -- like Smoke (Englewood) in their recent years. If you have a "high end" or "affluent" clientele -- then "serve" them, be attentive, be accommodating -- be nice, make sure you are nice to deal with, make sure the entire experience is a good one, enjoyable.

 

Aesthetically, the place is very nice -- nice ambiance, nice environment, etc. and you can "enjoy" being there. They have a nice wine list -- good selection, depth, etc. The food -- good to very good. The appetizers were OK to very good. The wedge and caesar salads were OK. The sides were good -- mac and cheese, hash browns, asparagus, and spinach. The sauteed onions and the sauteed mushrooms and onions were good. The entrees -- the filet mignon was very good, very good cut/size, and good flavor, cooked perfectly as ordered. The NY sirloin (on the bone) was very good as well. The porterhouse for two was very good.

 

End result -- I'll go back and try it again. I'd have no problem meeting friends there if that was there strong preference. However, based upon my first dinner there, no, I won't make it my or one of my regular go to places. Without question I prefer the Assembly and the River Palm as destination spots for my steakhouse. Maybe my next visit will change my mind.

 

Anyone been to Sear lately? I have to make some plans in Closter and was thinking about Sear, Harvest Bistro or Locale.

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Hot dog, fries with gravy, River View East, Elmwood Park. I always like their dogs, and wonder why they never get into the dog discussions. Far better than J and H in the area. Better than Hot Grill too. Sauce has hints of nutmeg and allspice. Greek owned.

Are the dogs there grilled or deep fried? (I prefer grilled)

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Hot dog, fries with gravy, River View East, Elmwood Park. I always like their dogs, and wonder why they never get into the dog discussions. Far better than J and H in the area. Better than Hot Grill too. Sauce has hints of nutmeg and allspice. Greek owned.

 

 

They are indeed fried. I prefer grilled as well, but hey, the sauce makes up for it...

 

I hear you...I am in the grilled camp myself. An attorney friend of mine is in that large office building/complex on River, not too far from Riverview East. They get a good lunch crowd there. I like the place. I don't rate it has high as my top choices, but I'd have no problem ordering a couple of dogs there. I am not sure why they are a bit under the radar when the dog discussions start up. I am guessing they don't have as big a following (with dog lovers) as some of the bigger names. Maybe some of the others are "high" or "higher" profile.

 

I like J & H as well. I tend to be in that area more (up and down Rt. 4/208), so if I am in the mood for a dog...well, you get the point. LOL. While I go to the Hot Grill and it's long been a popular spot and it has a very good following -- I've just never been a big fan. If I am in Clifton, and I had my choice -- right to Rutt's Hut. Very different kind of dog, but that's a discussion for another time. I am not sure what type of dog the HG uses, or how they prepare it, but I've just never really been a big fan. I'll eat it -- and I really like their "all the way" sauce, but the dog is just "OK" to me. Thanks for the comments.

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