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Best Dishes in Monmouth County NJ

Pete Sucato Nov 30, 2005 07:24 PM

I am curious to see what Chowhounds call their top five favorite dishes in Monmouth County restaurants. I read a post like this a while ago on the Southwest board when I was planning a trip to Las Vegas. I'll go first:

---- not in order (that would be too hard) ----

1. Steak @ Copper Canyon (A Highlands)- always perfectly cooked with that delicious chimmi churri green sauce on top and excellent french fries.
2. Spinach and american cheese omelet @ Steve's luncheonette (Sea Bright). Greasy spoon but great eats.
3. Cheeseburger @ Barnacle Bills (Rumson). 10oz on a toasted hard roll.
4. Seared foie gras @ Fromagerie (Rumson). Cliche? Maybe, but they do serve a large well prepared and sauced portion.
5. Tandoori chicken (not from buffet) @ Neelam (Middletown). Not the best Indian in NJ and their buffet is lame but the TC off the menu is juicy and delicious.

  1. m
    mfalcone77 Jan 18, 2010 11:59 AM

    As a long time Monmouth County resident and lover of food...all kinds, LMAO. Hope you don't mind but rather than list just 5 I will try to list a variety. Enjoy!

    1. The Grill Chop at the Salt Creek Grille, Rumson
    2. The Burgers at Barnacle Bills, Rumson
    3. Espinacas Con Queso or The Nachos at Juanitos In Red Bank
    4. Pulled Pork or Baby Back Ribs, Big Eds BBQ, Old Bridge
    5. Pu pu Platter, Ruby Palace, Holmdel
    6. Plain Slice, Joey Tomatoes, Point Pleasant, NJ

    And for dessert, soft serve Ice Cream at Delicious Orchards, Colts Neck

    Would like to say that I have not had really good Italian (Except at home) since Focacceria closed in Leonardo a few years ago. It was like eating Sunday dinner with your family.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mfalcone77
      joonjoon Jan 19, 2010 11:05 AM

      I loved joey tomato a few years back...but lately it just hasn't been the same.

    2. JustJake Oct 6, 2009 03:11 PM

      Some of my favorite favorite things......

      Pizza - Vesuvio's Belmar
      Filet Mignon - Mike & Nellie's Oakhurst
      Braised Short Ribs - Bay Ave Trattoria Highlands
      Baby Back ribs - Jameson's Neptune
      Ginger Duck - Manow's Lincroft
      Cheeseburger - Barnacle Bill's Rumson
      Asian Salad - The Bistro Red Bank
      Broiled Chilean Sea Bass - Whispers Spring Lake
      Lazy Lobster - Brandl Belmar
      Fois Gras - Brandl Belmar
      Crab Cakes - Bay Ave Trattoria
      Lobster Bisque - Harry's Sea Bright
      Veal Francaise - Mike & Nellie's Oakhurst
      Osso Bucco when they have it - Bay Ave. Trattoria
      Seafood & Tofu Soup - Little Szechuan Little Silver
      Soft Shell Crab in Garlic Sauce - Little Szechuan Little Silver
      Tortolenni Gorgonzola, w/sun dried tomatoes cream sauce - Moonstruck Asbury Pk
      Bayou Shrimp Appetizer - Langosta Lounge, Asbury Park

      1. m
        meohmy Sep 15, 2009 08:21 PM

        Pizza at Vic's in Bradley.
        Meatballs at Passione in Avon.
        Pumpkin ravioli at Moonstruck in Asbury.

        1. l
          Local Girl Aug 10, 2009 08:45 AM

          Pizza: Pete and Elda's
          Pork Tenderloin at Clementine's in Avon
          Dauphine potato pancake at Clementine's in Avon
          Ceviche Tostada at La Hascienda in Bradley (when they have it, which seems to be never lately)
          Paella at Vivas in Belmar
          Seafood in garlic broth at Bistro Ole

          1. t
            taste test Aug 5, 2009 01:01 PM

            I really like the idea of this post and I'm glad it is being revived.

            I will second the fish tacos at 10th Ave Burrito in Belmar
            Tripe soup at Diaz Flavor in West Long Branch
            Grilled Bronzino at the Greek Grill (Niko's Trapezi) in Long Branch
            Any taco at Mi Mexico in Point Pleasant
            Sashimi Platter Deluxe at Sushi by Kazu
            Fried Shrimp and Soft Shell Crab at Keyport Fishery

            7 Replies
            1. re: taste test
              MGZ Aug 6, 2009 04:15 AM

              taste test -

              I enjoyed your list. My attempt to contribute to it apparently overstepped something, so I will abandon the attempt.

              Regardless, like you I am a Mi Mexico fan. I thus offer this treat. Should you find yourself in Red Bank, go down towards the train station to a hole in the wall called North of the Border. The menu is on the back of the wall over the entrance door. There is pretty much nowhere to sit, but the tacos are the best.

              To illustrate: I recently had a full, elaborate dinner at Nicholas. I then proceeded to the station for the train home. I found myself with 10 minutes to spare and could not resist the urge to get a pair of tacos to top things off. El Pastor!!! They were finished before I boarded. Perhaps, I am a glutton, perhaps they're that good. You should go decide.

              1. re: MGZ
                taste test Aug 6, 2009 03:57 PM

                I just got back from a taco run to North of the Border. I tried steak, carnitas and goat- all were great with cilantro, onion, some terrific hot sauce and a piece of grilled cactus. The cactus didn't have much flavor but I appreciated trying it.

                I'm still trying to wrap my head around going from Nicholas to there- quite the contrast!

                Thanks for the rec MGZ, nice to know since Mi Mexico is pretty far from where I live.

                1. re: taste test
                  MGZ Aug 7, 2009 03:48 AM

                  Yeah, you should have seen the look on my wife's face when I said I was going in for tacos - sheer horror, like my face was melting or something. I couldn't resist the culiary juxtaposition though. I was, needless to say, rather conspicuous, while I waited at the counter. Regardless, good chow is always worth a brief moment of discomfort!

                  Sounds like a fantastic sampler. I've really enjoyed the tacos there. Soon, I want to try this crazy looking beef strip steak sandwich I saw them making. No idea what it was called, but it involved a large roll, a big slab of meat, string cheese. etc. If only they had a few tables!

                  1. re: MGZ
                    seal Aug 8, 2009 03:22 AM

                    Funny how things have changed around here in 4 years since this was first posted...

                    Gnocchi - Nicholas
                    Halibut - Le Fandy
                    Fish Musuman (their spelling) - Manow
                    Do I really have to pick something at Flaky Tart?
                    Chicken Wings - Jack's
                    Smothered fried chicken - At The Table
                    Blueberry-Pomegranite Shake - BBP
                    Salt n Pepper Fish - West Lake
                    Falafel/hummus combo sandwich - Izzy's
                    Sausage pizza - Frankie Fed's
                    Avgolemono soup - Niko's Trapezi
                    Pernil - Diaz's Flavor

                    1. re: seal
                      equal_Mark Aug 8, 2009 07:30 AM


                    2. re: MGZ
                      joonjoon Oct 5, 2009 11:27 AM

                      Love it MGZ - that kind of move is straight out of my playbook!

                  2. re: MGZ
                    jpmcd Jan 21, 2010 05:54 PM

                    my husband and I LOVE that place! the tacos are the closest thing to northern California mexican, which we miss very much. and I love to hit the grocery store next door.

                    The other good mexican place is across from the long branch train station, don't know the name but they have really good tortas.

                2. s
                  Shannon Jan 4, 2006 08:43 PM

                  BBQ chicken salad - Salt Creek Grille in Rumson (or anything from Salt Creek Grille)

                  Water Ice or Italian Ice (whatever they are calling it) Lighthouse-Long Branch

                  Fins (only had a salad, but everything looks fantastic)- Bradley Beach

                  Pancakes with Granola and Cocount - Turning point in Little Silver or Long Branch

                  A Filet Mignon with mushrooms- Danny's Steakhouse in Red Bank

                  Grilled Stuffed Chicken (onions, asparagus and goat cheese with tomato risotto) - Nauvoo Grill in Fair Haven

                  1. e
                    Elizabeth Dec 7, 2005 02:38 PM

                    Doris & Ed's in Highlands makes a killer special Lamb -- I wish they served it all the time!

                    1. j
                      jsfein Dec 4, 2005 08:40 AM

                      Pete & Elda's for pizza (of course)

                      Marinated grilled pork burrito with hot sauce from El Meson, Freehold

                      Prime rib (on the bone) from Charley's Ocean Grill, Long Branch

                      1. v
                        Val Ann C Dec 2, 2005 11:41 PM

                        Steamed pork buns; Spicy slow-roasted beef noodle soup
                        Shanghai Bun, Matawan

                        Braised "Pulled " Suckling Pig, pureed parsnips, Cinnamon Jus, Beet greens.
                        Restaurant Nicholas, Middletown

                        Whole fish, cooked however Richard recommends that day
                        Far East Taste, Eatontown

                        Sunday lunch buffet (I've heard the Thurs evening buffet is even better.)
                        Aangan, Freehold

                        Italian hot dog -- easy on the mustard.
                        Ricci D, Keyport (Thanks to John Fox)

                        The very best:
                        Dinner at home... Filet mignon purchased at Sabato's Prime Meats, Belford. Fresh vegetables from the Red Bank farmers market.

                        1. p
                          Pete Sucato Dec 2, 2005 03:24 PM

                          Experienced Monmouth County hounds - we need your input for this important survey.

                          11 Replies
                          1. re: Pete Sucato
                            Val Ann C Dec 2, 2005 11:47 PM

                            It's fun reading all the responses. I learned of some places I hadn't known about.

                            I hope lots of people will post their "Monmouth County Best Dishes" -- even if it's only one or two items.

                            1. re: Val Ann C
                              bjt Feb 27, 2006 11:45 PM

                              1st post ever.1) steak at copper canyon(by the way it's not chimmi churra sauce it's pasilla(mexican pepper)and some crushed nut.
                              2) Cheese steak at ciao bella navesink
                              3) Chicken Giacomo @Jimmies
                              4) extra cheese pizza @Nunzio's Long Branch
                              5) Cowboy chilifrom Whole Foods Middletown with whatever toppings you like and the mini baguette they sell right near it.

                              1. re: bjt
                                Val Ann C Feb 28, 2006 07:21 PM

                                Thanks for posting! Where is Ciao Bella? Is it near the A&P?

                            2. re: Pete Sucato
                              SusieQ Dec 3, 2005 02:52 PM

                              That's a hard one. Can't say that I go to any restaurant for any particular dish except maybe:

                              pizza: Pete & Elda's, Neptune

                              Ice cream: The Blarney Cone, Spring Lake

                              Hot Dogs: The Windmill

                              Tuna Steak (rare): The Shipwreck Grill in Brielle

                              Pho Soup: Bamboo Leaf, Bradley Beach

                              1. re: SusieQ
                                Tom Wilson Dec 9, 2005 04:48 PM

                                Pizza: Feds in Freehold

                                Ice Cream: Jersey Freeze Freeehold

                                hot dog: Maxs Long Branch

                                rack of lamb: Matisse Belmar

                                Crispy shrimp Matisse Belmar

                                Chinese Cystal Palace Marlboro

                                Link: http://www.matissecatering.com

                                Image: http://climate.rutgers.edu/stateclim_...

                              2. re: Pete Sucato
                                Deb Van D Dec 5, 2005 01:08 PM

                                It really has been fun to think about it. Not so sure that I can come up with five, though.

                                I loved, loved the grilled shrimp salad with avocado at Copper Canyon a couple of weeks ago. Not really a salad kind of gal, but the shrimp were so perfectly done, all juicy and crunchy with just a taste of grill. Plenty of avocado, too, it was a winner.

                                The foie gras with quince at Indigo Moon is outstanding, really excellent. I remember another table sending over their unfinished bottle of sauterne and I will love them forever for it.

                                Pete and Elda’s pizza, for sure, although I must say that I like Freddie’s in Long Branch and Luigi’s in Little Silver nearly as well (and Val’s in Rumson for sentimental reasons).

                                The chicken tostadas stand out at Acapulquenos in Long Branch.

                                And there is a terrific pastrami and chopped chicken liver sandwich at a deli in the Freehold area, but I’m darned if I can remember their name. Not Fred and Murray’s. Tennent Road? Yah!

                                1. re: Deb Van D
                                  Val Ann C Dec 5, 2005 02:10 PM

                                  We've been to Acapulquenos twice recently. Good both times. I liked the beef tacos and the chicken tostada. Thanks to Deb, Bob, and other chowhounds for writing about this place.

                                  I'm always looking for good tamales and theirs are pretty good.

                                  1. re: Val Ann C
                                    MGZ Nov 28, 2009 10:31 AM

                                    "I'm always looking for good tamales . . ."

                                    There is a little Mexican grocery that recently opened on Route 71 in Manasquan - Sus Tiendos (I believe). Anyway, the guy that runs the place sells some pretty righteous homemade tamales out of a slow cooker on the counter . . . for a dollar, I think. Not really a selection available, just the flavor du jour, but good solid chow. Take heed, however, the jalepenos are the real deal, lip-tinging, hair on your chest variety.

                                    1. re: MGZ
                                      missybean Nov 29, 2009 05:19 PM

                                      MGZ - Thank you so much for mentioning the tamales. I have been to Sus Tiendos several times and never paid much attention to that crock pot. I was just so happy to find a local place with fresh Mexican products (Acme just doesn't cut it with its box of cilantro and limp veggies).

                                      Decided to stop in tonight to pick up some tamales for dinner. They were delicious!! I can't wait to go back. It looked to me like they had some in the back refrigerator - couldn't tell if they were cooked already. I may have to keep a few at home for a quick snack.

                                      I also picked up a "glass" of salsa de arbol. Yum!

                                      1. re: missybean
                                        MGZ Dec 17, 2009 03:41 PM

                                        They have a righteous salsa verde too.

                                      2. re: MGZ
                                        JustJake Dec 22, 2009 11:36 AM

                                        Thank you. This will be most definitely checked out.

                                2. l
                                  Lauren Dec 1, 2005 04:08 PM

                                  That's tough Pete. I usually leave the county for noteworthy food. With that said, I like:

                                  Fish Tacos at 10th Avenue Burrito in Belmar.

                                  Spicy beef noodle soup at Shanghai Bun in Matawan.

                                  I'd be interested in any reviews/recommendations for Rasnoosh in West Long Branch

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Lauren
                                    Mike Jan 22, 2006 05:49 PM

                                    I loved the food (competing with what I tasted in Israel), but it took more than an hour after ordering our food. It was Saturday night and we didn't have a reservation for the belly dancing show, and I'm not sure if that impacted our speed of service. Worth a visit, but bring your patience.

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