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"Liverwish" sandwiches? (New Jersey-isms)

Over the holidays, was surprised and very amused to hear, at the Trenton Farmer's Market, a woman ordering a half-pound of "Liverwish".

It brought back memories of classmates in grammar school saying it like that, but I didn't realize it was a regional term used by some adults too! Any other experience with this?

(By the way, the liverwish sand was delicious on rye toast with onion and mayo -- probably hadn't had one in fifteen years.)

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  1. "Water ice"
    "Boardwalk fries"
    "Disco fries"

    Common in New Jersey and some other places:
    "steak wit"
    "large, light and sweet"
    "cruller" pronounced "cruh-lurr" not "croo-lurr"
    "plain pie" or "plain slice"
    "sfoolyadell", "moozadell", "reegawt" and other Italian manglings

    39 Replies
    1. re: Das Ubergeek

      I'm sorry...I should know this, I live only 5 hours north...

      What are boardwalk fries? Disco fries?

      1. re: Das Ubergeek

        wuht-der-mel-on wuht-der ice, to be more exact

        we were just discussing the regional differences of the footlong sandwich the other day- up north it's a sub or a hero, but cross a certain latitude (read: exit) and it's a hoagie. sorry- heuo-gee.

        and grinder? they only say that in new england.

        1. re: julietg

          Ok, geek, I grew up in NJ and lived there for 23 years, but even I don't know what some of these are. Boardwalk fries? Steak wit? Large, light and sweet (you mean "regular coffee"?)?

          I mentioned on another thread that I've gotten looks in California like I'm from outerspace when I forget myself and ask for a "plain slice" and then have to backpedal and say "oh, I mean CHEESE."

          And I love both "gabuhgool" and "ruhgawt."

          There's always a new surprise when I visit NJ: this year's was "liverwish" spoken by someone older than 10.

          1. re: allegro805

            Boardwalk fries are thick-cut French fries with vinegar and seasoned salt. Disco fries (sometimes called "diner fries") are fries with cheese and brown gravy, like poutine's ghetto cousin. Steak wit is actually a Philly thing but it's really common in South Jersey, too -- it's a cheesesteak with onions.

            "Regular coffee" will get you a cup with sugar and cream in a diner but "large, light and sweet" is how you order it to go. :)

            1. re: Das Ubergeek

              I used to get "regular coffee" to go almost every day at a Manhattan "coffee shop". Served, of course, in a paper cup with blue Greek key design around it. I wasn't the only one ordering it that way.

              I had to explain to people recently that a buttered roll ("yes, just a kaiser roll with butter... What's a 'kaiser roll', you ask...") is (or was) a common breakfast in NJ/NY.

              I've never done disco fries, but "Fries & Gravy" were a diner staple (and they're also another of those things that make people look at me like I have two heads).

              1. re: allegro805

                we never called 'em boardwalk fries, just Curly's fries. The first place I ever at fries with malt vinegar (and he only place until I went to England) was at Curly's on the Wildwood boardwalk.

                Kaiser rolls...what would lunch have been without them?

                1. re: allegro805

                  The buttered roll is a godsend. I don't know how I lived without before I moved to NJ.

                  1. re: winodj

                    Yup a butter roll. Taylor Pork roll w/ fried egg & ketchup on a kaiser. Panzerotti, south, Italian hot dog, north. soft shell crab sandwich and a kolbasa & kapusta sandwich on an Italian roll or Kaiser.
                    Liverwurst on rye w/ scallions & mustard.
                    Italiian sausage sandwich..

            2. re: julietg

              A "grinder"? Sorry, I've lived in New England most of my life. It's always been a "sub" according to everyone I know.

              1. re: purple bot

                MA/RI here and it's always been a grinder to me.

                1. re: invinotheresverde

                  Some say that the origin of "hoagie" is from the sandwiches the workers on Hog Island (in the Delaware River) carried to work with them. I've only heard "grinder" used to describe a hoagie that has been run though the pizza oven. Go figure!

                2. re: purple bot

                  Grinder is strictly southern New England - the dividing line between sub and grinder lies geographically somewhere south of Boston and north of Providence.

                  Oops! Just realized that this is an old post. Oh well, it's still true.

                  1. re: BobB

                    My grandparents had one of the best GRINDER shops in greater Hartford: Silver Lane Deli in East Hartford, Connecticut. It's gone now, but memories of those grinders live on for many, I'm sure. Their shop certainly fit your geographic dividing line. So somewhere north of Hartford, it turns to sub, eh? :)

                    1. re: kattyeyes

                      I live just north of Boston, and a grinder is a cooked sub, with shredded lettuce- and is served at Greek pizza shops.

                      1. re: macca

                        Interesting--and we are not Greek, but Italian! Italian-Irish, to be precise. ;)

                    2. re: BobB

                      Here's an interesting sidelight that would support that.

                      When I was in college ( in Riverside, California) the popular sandwich place nearest campus was called Delia's Grinder Haven. The family migrated to California from Norwich, Connecticut. There's no specific year onthe site, except one picture showing the family, still in CT, in 1944.


                      I know they were in Riverside as early as 1959.

                  1. re: Das Ubergeek

                    I am a Philly native.....gone since 81 and boy did you bring me back wit all o' dat

                    1. re: Das Ubergeek

                      I grew up in New Jersey but have lived outside Nj now since 1992. My girlfriend and I were back home recently and went to a pizza joint and ordered a "meatball parm" for me and a "cheese slice" for her. The girl at the counter thought I meant I wanted a slice of american cheese on my meatball parm.

                      Guess I've been out of NJ for way too long.

                      Mr Taster

                      1. re: Mr Taster


                        There was no need for the added word "cheese". Remember economy of words is key in NJ. You order a "slice" it comes with dough, sauce and cheese. Any additional toppings require additional words. So the NJ correct way would have been "meatball parm and a slice"

                        Likewise with a whole pie. Order "large pie". That's all that's needed. Additional toppings, i.e. "large meatball pie," or "large pie, half sausage and pepper, half onion." See no wasted words.

                        1. re: jfood

                          To flip my own story on its ear....

                          A few years after leaving NJ (I was going to school in Missouri) I found a pizza place in Kansas City called "D'Bronx" which made a decent (for Missouri) NY style pie.

                          I once ordered a "large pie" and the girl thought I meant cherry or some such thing. My friends (who at this point were very tired of my trying to bring New Jersey to Missouri) just cupped their head in their hands in exasperation & embarassment. But really, I was just doing what came naturally!

                          Mr Taster

                          1. re: Mr Taster

                            It is called the "Show Me" state.

                            1. re: Mr Taster

                              I, too, am from New Jersey (live in Philly now, where things are different). I remember when my daughter was very young and we decided to order pizza for dinner. I picked up the phone and orderd two large pies, then heard my daughter burst into tears and cry, "I don't want pie for dinner...I want pizza!"

                              1. re: susan1353

                                See that's what I don't get - if you call a pizza a pie, what do you call an actual pie?

                                And the kind of pizza I like looks nothing like a pie...

                                1. re: Soop

                                  You got your apple pie, you got your pumpkin pie, you got your shepherd's pie and then you got your pizza pie. I probably call it pizza more often than pie, by not by much. When you just say "pie", what do you get?

                                  1. re: coll

                                    We'd always say what kind of pie. Pies are a big deal here I guess. fish and chips shops always serve pies, usually:
                                    Steak and Kidney
                                    Chicken and Mushroom
                                    Mince and onion.
                                    Depending on where you were you might get a certain type. Steak and kidney is probably the most ubiquitous.

                                    But there's also gourmet pies:

                                    But in all instances pies are referred to as something with a filled pastry crust and lid.
                                    Pizza is more like a bread TBH

                                    1. re: Soop

                                      That's what I thought, I've been exploring different meat and seafood pies lately myself. Ever try clam pie? (Probably not, it's an Eastern Long Island thing) Here you say pie, it's usually fruit filled. I don't know why pizza is a pie, I'm going to look it up.

                                      1. re: coll

                                        never tried clams full stop!

                                        I think pizza pie refers to the deep-dish chicago style one. Not sure though.

                                        1. re: Soop

                                          No definitely NY and NJ pizza is pie. Maybe because it rhymes with "When the moon hits your eye..."

                                          Well the general concencus seems to be that Pizza translates to Pie in English. Pie, cake, pastry, tart etc. And since a pie can be open or topped, that covers both styles. Outside this area, when it first became popular, it was also known as Tomato Pie rather than Pizza Pie. This is one of those things I never questioned before, and I'm going to have to stop now!

                                        2. re: coll

                                          jfood thinks Pepe's in New Haven may have had a hand in the invention of the clam pie.

                                          1. re: jfood

                                            No not that kind of clam pie. This is a real pie with a creamy potato and clam filling., similar to pot pie. It's a 350 year old tradition on the East End.

                                            1. re: coll

                                              got it...thx. similar to chick pp except with clams. sounds like a great vresion on a NE clamchowder

                                              1. re: jfood

                                                They also do oyster and lobster, although clam is most popular. Like a really rich clam chowder, exactly.

                                                1. re: coll

                                                  In the east end of London? Wow, never heard that but it sounds nice. Not quite sure where the east end is, but next time I go I'll try and remember.

                                                  Last time I stayed with my vegetarian friend and I taught her how to make pizza :)

                                                  1. re: Soop

                                                    Sorry East End of Long Island NY! Forgot about London, used to love East Enders show.

                                                    1. re: coll

                                                      Agghh! I hate East Enders! I've got an instant remote-reaching action when I hear the music :D

                                                      Makes sense now. There's so much good food to come out of America. I'd love a fried oyster po'boy :(

                                                      1. re: Soop

                                                        I used to watch it in the 1970s or whenever began. I have tried to watch it a few times since then but lost the thread, and it doesn't seem like anything special now. I think I just liked the accents.

                                                        This was before cable TV and I could got it on UHF but it came in really fuzzy. A friend came to visit and I told him I had a really good antennae and was picking it up from England, and he believed me, had to sit down and watch it too...ah, the good old days, when everyone was so much more innocent.

                              2. re: jfood

                                Ugh. I have that problem all the time here in NC. I'm a NY'er but I've lived here for over a dozen years. I still think it should be perfectly clear that when I order a "slice" I mean just that. If I wanted toppings I'd ask for them. Still, every counterperson, even ones I know are from NY, will ask, "Cheese slice?"

                                Yeah, what other kind is there?

                          2. It's not just a New Jersey pronunciation. My grandmother from Red Hook, Brooklyn would make liverwish and butter (yes butter) sandwiches almost daily for my grandfather's lunch and he still lived to be 87. She was proud to serve "Boar's Head Braunschweiger" sliced extra thick from the local deli on seeded Rye.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: ZedNaught

                              I had actually first asked the woman at the deli counter for half a pound of "Braunschweiger" and she was perplexed. I quickly added "Liverwurst" (but not "Liverwish").

                            2. Slice of pizza? That's too fancy, we always aksed (yes, that's the way it's pronounced) for a "piece" of pizza. Maybe it's the alliteration, but I only started calling it a slice when I moved out of Jersey and the guy at the mall (only place in Florida you can by pizza by the piece or slice) had no clue what I was talking about.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: srcusa

                                Really? We always say we're "going for a slice" in my family. If we're really hungry, we're "going for a pie."

                                1. re: Heatherb

                                  "piecapizza" just rolls of the tongue easier. if it's apple or blueberry, then it's a "piecapie."

                                  1. re: srcusa

                                    What part you from? I live around Trenton. Interesting that a guy I know from around here went into a pizza place down south and asked for a pie. They said they didn't make any, but that there was a nice bakery down the street. I really think some of these language quirks are very exit-oriented (like the hoagie/sub issue). I don't talk at all like some of the people I've met from North Jersey. And now that you've got me thinking about it, my family never asks for a piece of pie, but the whole pizza is collectively referred to as a pie. Weird.

                                    1. re: Heatherb

                                      Sorry for the delayed reply, but traveling yesterday. I hail from the shore area (Monmouth County), so could very well be a very specific regional thing. I know we would never refer to a sub as a hoagie. That was strickly a Philly thing. For us, it was either a sub or a hero.

                                      1. re: srcusa

                                        I'm just discovering this site after having had "disco fries" with brie and truffle oil and wondering what "disco fries" actually are. I live in New York now but grew up in Monmouth County (Hazlet)...and it was definitely "piece o' pizza" down there. I mean "down dere."

                              2. NJ is the epitomy of using as few words/syllables as possible to convey a thought or ask a question.

                                For example, you go into a grocery store, looking for a 12-pack of soda. Normally people would ask, "could you please tell me which aisle i can find the soda?" In NJ you look at the same person and say "soda?" The person absolutely knows you are looking for the aisle with the soda and there is no need for the extra words. This drives my DW (from CT) crazy.

                                Likewise, Newark NJ is pronounced Nerk.

                                But back to food.

                                - No need for "...of pizza", just call it a slice, period. You call it a piece of pizza, you're outta here.
                                - Order a "hot dog" instead of a "dog", expect a snicker from the dog guy. Oh, and Italian dog is healthier because all the frying kills the germs
                                - Same with "hamburger" versus "burger"
                                - Liverwish, well that's exactly how you pronounce it,
                                - That fries thing, that must be a southern NJ thing, never really heard of that in Elizabeth.
                                - Let's not forget Taylor ham on a roll

                                36 Replies
                                1. re: jfood

                                  Taylor ham??? You talkin about Pork Roll?

                                  1. re: allegro805

                                    Nope, go to a bar, ask for a taylor ham and cheese on a roll. it was similar to a spicy bologna, grilled in a pan with the cheese melted. Never heard of pork roll til i was forty and saw it in the grocery store.

                                    1. re: jfood

                                      They're practically the same product. Trenton pork roll isn't as salty.

                                      1. re: jfood

                                        I have lived in New Jersey my entire life and would like to clear things up...taylor ham and pork roll are one and the same. "Taylor" brand pork roll is probably the most popular if not the original mass marketers of this most delicious, fully cooked pork product. In most New Jersey supermarkets pork roll is available in store brands in two varieties...mild or tangy, of which "tangy" would be the closest to Taylor brand pork roll. I don't know where the "taylor ham" moniker started, but if it gets more people to eat pork roll the world will be a better place...too bad you have to live in jersey or the edges of jersey to get it.

                                        ?? spicy bologna ?? !!!! blasphemy !!!!

                                        1. re: mudbone

                                          poe-tay-toe versus poe-tah-toe. "spicy bologna" versus "tangy...pork roll"

                                          Whatever us kids from NJ want to call it, as you stated it's a shame the rest of the country misses out on this right of passage. It has been years since jfood has bitten into this delicable treat. It is up there with the NJ Sloppy Joe as two of the BEST sandwiches in the world.

                                          Where jfood now lives it's hard even to get bacon and mayo on a turkey sandwich. Who da thunk it.

                                          Thanks for clearing up fellow Jerseyite.

                                          1. re: jfood

                                            LOL. I made my husband a pork roll and cheese on a kaiser for breakfast this morning. Now the whole house smells like a diner :)

                                            1. re: diablo

                                              for a true NJ sandwich it's on a "hard roll" not Kaiser. Kaiser is waaay too fancy for a sandwich from the Garden State

                                              1. re: jfood

                                                That is TOO funny. I got the roll from the *very fancy* Wawa down the road :)

                                                1. re: diablo

                                                  Keep up with the times! The taylor ham & cheese sandwich bread of choice is now the Portugese Roll!

                                                2. re: jfood

                                                  NJ guy now living in North Carolina. I once asked for a sandwich on a hard roll. The guy behind the counter thought I wanted a stale hamburger bun. No kidding
                                                  Taylor ham and cheese on a hard roll, now thats good eatin, talk about the real deal.

                                                  1. re: GodfatherofLunch

                                                    NJ guy in CT now and they would react equally with those deer in the headlights look. They have no idea how to make a roll up here.

                                              2. re: jfood

                                                Is the sloppy joe a regional NJ dish? I've haven't lived anywhere near NJ in 16 years, yet I never realized that.

                                                Mr Taster

                                                1. re: Mr Taster

                                                  Er. Sloppy Joe, if you weren't aware, isn't referring to a ground meat sandwich (what in Iowa is called a "Maid-Rite" or a "loose meats"). It's two meats (popular: rare roast beef and turkey, or turkey and pastrami, or turkey and ham), Swiss cheese, coleslaw and Russian dressing on rye.

                                                  1. re: Das Ubergeek


                                                    hopefully on your recent trip out here you introduced mini-uber to the greatest sandwich in the world.

                                                    some friends from NJ visited the jfoods last weekend and brought a couple of Joes. while asking everyone asked jfood if he was OK. He just looked up and smiled, a little cole slaw on the edge of his mouth. Sunday morning brought jfood staring into the fridge, a half sandwich still there. 7am sunday morning jfood eating a turkey/corned beef joe with a cup of coffee and the Times. :-)))

                                                    1. re: jfood

                                                      Unfortunately we were only in Westchester and Manhattan and neither place knows from a Sloppy Joe.

                                                  2. re: Mr Taster

                                                    very regional to mid/north jersey. brought back from Cuba 60 odd years ago. jfood has never seen it anywhere other than in NJ. it's a shame because it is a classic.

                                                    here is a picture of a true sloppy joe


                                                    1. re: jfood

                                                      jfood- so, when in New Jersey, what do you ask for if you want a ground beef w/ tomato sauce on a burger bun??

                                                      1. re: Midlife

                                                        seriously? a one way amtrak ticket west or south out of the state. jfood never saw that manwich sandwich on a menu in NJ when he lived there and has not seen it in CT where he lives now.

                                                        in fact jfood never heard of it until he was in college in DC. He thought he was getting the real sloppy joe :-)) and then they served him a manwich :-((. the only good news was that he knew this was the last time the food purveyor, Macke, was going to try to get that beef over the counter.

                                                        Jfood never acquired a taste for a manwich thingy.

                                                        1. re: jfood

                                                          I wit you jfood. You are right on about the sloppy joe. Did you ever try a smokey joe? Same deal but with smoked fish rather than the meat?

                                                          1. re: GodfatherofLunch

                                                            Does the GSP have exits?

                                                            You betcha. Jfood had both at his Bar Mitzvah in the 60's. The Sloppy's always sell better.

                                                            1. re: jfood

                                                              Meat AND cheese on a sandwich at a bar mitzvah?! A shondah is what it is!!!

                                                              1. re: rockycat

                                                                Amazing huh? Blame the 'rents on that one. Now you get shrimp sushi.

                                                      2. re: jfood

                                                        That... looks... awesome

                                                        I was born and raised in Ocean County, NJ and never in my life have I heard of a sloppy joe referred to in any other way than what I ate at my school cafeteria. "Loose meats".... *shudder*

                                                        Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I grew up in a Jewish household, in a heavily Jewish-influenced community (Lakewood), so the idea of putting cheese or mayo-based things on a sandwich was pretty revolting to me as a kid.

                                                        Mr Taster

                                                  3. re: mudbone

                                                    I can get Taylor Ham or Shop Rite brand here in E. Pa. I eat it on a Kaiser roll, with Sharp cheddar and fried egg... yummy !

                                                  4. re: jfood

                                                    LMAO, my jaw hit the floor when I saw JFood refer to himself as "I" rather than JFood. Then I saw the date :D

                                                    1. re: Soop

                                                      Good catch, soop! Let's bookmark this one for posterity :)

                                                      Mr Taster

                                                      1. re: Mr Taster

                                                        yeah, i cut my deal to type for him a few months later. one of the worst decisions i ever made. i'm 13 and just want to hang out on the bed and watch the chipmunks. Know a good dog labor lawyer?

                                                        1. re: jfood

                                                          OH... now I finally get it! All this time I thought you were referring to yourself in the third person, Bob Dole style. My apologies, pooch.

                                                          Mr Taster

                                                          1. re: jfood

                                                            B just finished a couple Animal Rights classes at Law school, amd with the February CT bar coming, he may be able to help you regarding Mr JF in the spring..........

                                                  5. re: jfood

                                                    Yeah, that conversation is different:

                                                    "Can you tell me where I can find the soda?"
                                                    "It's in aisle 11, would you like me to show you?"


                                                    Boardwalk fries are a southern Shore thing... but disco fries are beloved in diners the whole state over -- and I'm from Central.

                                                    Also, in Central Jersey you would never ask for "Italian ice" at an Italian ice shop, you'd just say "ice".

                                                    And we call Newark "New-wuk".

                                                    1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                      WOW...Fries with vinegar are so hard to find in New England. And I don't think I'd walk away from disco fries either.
                                                      In my little corner of MA (Merrimack Valley) Italian and Greek Americans in particular pronounce sandwich "sangwish". You also hear the word "Spuckie" for subs/grinders (refers to the sub roll). If we order a "medium regular" here we get cream and sugar but only at Dunkin Donuts and mom-and-pop doughnut shops. Not in Starbucks, Peets, etc. This is a great thread. PS We also say "Mottadel', gabbacol and ruhgot" but not as well as Jerseyites. One thing, god bless The Sopranos for glorifying some Jersey food.

                                                    2. re: jfood

                                                      Manhattanite here. We say "Gimme a slice!" Of course that means "Give me a slice of pizza."

                                                      1. re: Pan

                                                        *Gimme a slice!*
                                                        Continuation of the conversation -
                                                        "Round or square?"
                                                        "Round. Eh, gimme a corner, too."

                                                        "I would like a slice of pizza, please."
                                                        "Would you like a Neapolitan slice or a Sicilian slice?"
                                                        "Neapolitan, please. Oh, and may I also have a corner piece from that Sicilan pie?"

                                                        Economy of verbiage. Gotta love it.

                                                      2. re: jfood

                                                        Go to a NY hot dog cart and you don't have to say "hot" or "dog." You just say:

                                                        "Lemme have one with mustard and kraut."

                                                        I usually say something like:

                                                        "Lemme have two with mustard and onions and one with mustard and kraut."

                                                        1. re: woodburner

                                                          A correction: it's "wit" not "with".

                                                      3. Another oddity is that NY Italian restaurants offer shrimp or clams "arregenata" while other locales prefer "oreganata"

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: ZedNaught

                                                          Hardly an "oddity." The oddity is that people confuse "arreganata" which is a kind of Italian slang for gratinee dishes, with oregano, with which it has little if anything in common. True dishes arreganata are characterized by garlic, butter, and bread crumbs. Oregano was probably not added to some of those dishes until those who were ignorant of Italian assumed it was "oreganato," and dumped a bunch of inappropriate oregano on the dish. Voila (or eccolo...) oreganata was born. That's the oddity. If restaurant sells "oreganata" I'm more than likely to avoid the dish and the restaurant.

                                                        2. Damn, now you got the tastebuds going. I could go for a real "meatball parm" about now and not that crap they sell at Subway.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: srcusa

                                                            Yup - I made 'em at home last weekend, for the first time, and WOW - that's a real sandwich! Had found some ciabbati rolls that were perfect for them, made my own sauce and meatballs - had a feast!

                                                          2. Ya know, it's funny...I've lived in NJ almost my entire life and I've never heard of most of these foods/sayings. And I don't pronounce things with that accent either (at least not to my knowledge, maybe I sound different to other people).

                                                            9 Replies
                                                              1. re: Pan

                                                                I grew up in Lawrence, which is near Trenton/Princeton/Ewing. People always said us (609) area code people were more PA than Jersey, so maybe that's why all of this is foreign to me.

                                                                1. re: SarahEats

                                                                  NJ has a definite North and South -- indeed, in real estate law there are two types of "closings," one type in the north, another south of Toms River.

                                                                  I'll only add one food item: "muzadell" --bastardization of "Mozarella." The Sopranos nails alot of those (Italo) Jerseyisms.

                                                                  1. re: SarahEats

                                                                    Lawrence -- you're on the "cusp" -- not really south Jersey, despite your area code, and certainly far removed from north Jersey. Not only that, you've got such an influx of people from all over working in the Princeton vicinity that I think you need your own unique identity and area code.

                                                                    1. re: CindyJ

                                                                      My first reaction was that much of Lawrence is too "posh" to use some of these terms (I'm kidding... I have strong roots in that area myself). But Lawrence/Trenton vicinity definitely seems much more South, even though people from Cherry Hill will scream, "Trenton??! That's not SOUTH Jersey!" A lot of times now, a huge swath from Mercer across to Northern Ocean and Monmouth Counties (and up into Somerset & Middlesex) is actually called "Central Jersey"... and all of these "regional" designations will probably seem ridiculous to anyone from states 8 to 10 times the size.

                                                                      1. re: allegro805

                                                                        Maybe, but don't forget those states 8 to 10 times the size may not come anywhere near NJ in population.

                                                                        How many times the size of NJ is Alaska!?

                                                                        1. re: allegro805

                                                                          The area code thing works well for me -- north is 201 and 973, central is 908 and 732, and south is 609 and 856.

                                                                          Someone asked me for a restaurant recommendation in Passaic and I said, "I don't even know where Paramus is!" despite having grown up barely 20 miles from there.

                                                                          1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                            That works... or, north gets NY TV stations, south gets the Philly stations! After reading all this, now I'm craving for a Hoagie Haven (Princeton) cheese steak. Or a slice from Frank's Pizza in Denville.

                                                                            1. re: 2m8ohed

                                                                              Frank's Pizza in Denville, ah I loved that place (I grew up in Rockaway) but it's gone now. Bought out by some franchise or another. Haven't had a slice there yet but it probably can't compare.

                                                                2. DW reminded of a few other NJisms this morning:

                                                                  - Sloppy Joe - in NJ its corned beef, turkey, russian dressing and cole slaw on thinly sliced rye bread, the rest of the country defines it as ground beef in a spicy tomato sauce oon a roll.
                                                                  - Sub Sandwich - In NJ we had sub shops where you bought long rolled sandwiches with lots of toppings. In CT its called a wedge and in the midwest its on a hoagie roll.

                                                                  39 Replies
                                                                  1. re: jfood

                                                                    OH yeah, forgot about the Jersey sloppy joe!

                                                                    And the sub sandwich is called something different all over this coast. On the West Coast it's just a sub... but in South Jersey it's a hoagie, in New England it's a grinder, except where it's a spuckie (from spucadella), and in Milwaukee it's a garibaldi or an Italian sandwich.

                                                                    Also you can get a "misto" at most wooderice/Italian ice shops, which is gelato swirled with wooderice.

                                                                    And this may not be strictly Jersey, but I remember always ordering pizza "with polpett' and impastat'" -- polpett' being meatballs (sliced very thin while cold) and impastat' being the usual quasi-Napoletano dialect for ricotta impastata, or thick ricotta.

                                                                    1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                      In the Boston area, a sub is a sandwich on a roll, usually with oil, pickles, onions, meat and cheese. It is not heated up. Not served on a spuckie roll, but on a sub roll. A spuckie roll is small- kind of a french roll. Spukie rolls are often served at suburban style chinese restaurants.
                                                                      A grinder is a "sub" that is heated in the oven, and usually includes shredded lettuce. You will mostly find grinders made at greek style pizza places.

                                                                      1. re: macca

                                                                        I grew up in central MA and never saw a basket of any sort of bread or rolls brought to the table before the meal at any Chinese restaurants out there. When I first moved to the South Shore and the waitress at a Chinese restaurant put the basket of rolls on the table... I was baffled--- Why was she giving us sandwich rolls??!?!?

                                                                        1. re: mangorita

                                                                          Weird, hih? I am not sure, but I think it is a greater Boston custom. I grew up on the North Shore, and thought nothing of it!

                                                                          1. re: macca

                                                                            Woah, I really don't know about this. I grew up in Lexington, Brookline and Cambridge and never saw any bread in a Chinese restaurant. But I am Chinese, so maybe they put the bread away when they saw me? Because I swear, I would have gotten up and backed away from the table slowly if that had occurred.

                                                                            1. re: thejulia

                                                                              Not sure- but I know that the suburban Boston restaurants serve bread. THe restaurants we went to when I was a kid were mostly Kowloon and Diamond Head ( long gone), and both of them served bread. There was also a take out places in Malden and Melrose ( long gone, too) that included bread with take out orders. I can't speak to Brookline and Cambridge, as we did not go there for Chinese when I was a kid.

                                                                      2. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                        I've never once heard of the Jersey sloppy joe? What region/years was this?

                                                                        1. re: allegro805

                                                                          Union/Essex county and I also hear Bergen and Monmouth. Years go back to my memory 1962 with Kartzmann's in Union through the 70's with Goodman's in Elizabeth and continuing to Tabatchniks, Eppes Essen, Don's, Millburn Deli in Livingston, Short Hills and Millburn iin the 80's, 90's+.

                                                                          Look up sloppy joe and there is an url in which a deli in West or South Orange invented in 50-60 years ago.

                                                                          This is no flash in the pan sandwich and those of us who have been lucky enough to have over the years are very defensive of this great contribution to food lore.

                                                                          Now to get off my soap box.

                                                                          1. re: jfood

                                                                            Wow, Tabatchniks! That was around the corner (cawnuh) from me growing up in Springfield in the 70s. And Don's! Those big bowls of pickles and sour tomatoes on the tables rocked. As did the (pizza) pies from LaStrada's, in Millburn.

                                                                            1. re: dixieday2

                                                                              Tabatchnicks-Eppes Essen was in Livingston too, I did not know about Springfield. Do either locations survive? Are there others?

                                                                              1. re: The Engineer

                                                                                RIP for Tabatchniks and Don's
                                                                                I understand that La Strada is still there but not certain
                                                                                I undersatnd Eppes still hanging on

                                                                            2. re: jfood

                                                                              I grew up in Philly and went to college in No. Jersey (South Orange to be exact). The NJ Sloppy Joe was a shock to me! A sloppy joe is made with ground beef and tomato soup!

                                                                              Also a suprise was a sub (it's a hoagie!) with vinegar??? Ew!

                                                                              And in No. Jersey it was italian ice, in So. Jersey/Philly it was wooder-ice. And wooder-ice is beter than italian ice, hands down.

                                                                              And NJ Stromboli (a pocket of dough filled with pizza toppings) was different than what you got in Philly (bread with cheese and pepperoni woven through it).

                                                                              There was a pizza place in So. Orange (Sunrise?) that made a non-traditional steak sandwich that this philly girl loved - steak and salami fried together with provolone. It was unique. Awesome!

                                                                              I don't miss No. Jersey, but I do miss the food.

                                                                              1. re: Divamac

                                                                                There was a Tabatchnick's in Edison, on the corner of Wood Avenue and Oak Tree Road. I loved Tabatchnick's -- when we were sick and Mom was sick too, we had to have Tabatchnick's chicken in the pot.

                                                                                Eppes Essen was great too, but you can get sloppy joes even at non-Jewish delis like the Woodbridge Deli on Amboy Ave. Must be a central/northeast thing, because they'd never heard of it at some random deli in Flemington I went to once and none of my South Jersey friends have ever heard of it.

                                                                                There's a chain of ice shops called Rita's -- usually it's called Rita's Water Ice but in Central and North Jersey and New York the signs say Rita's Italian Ice. Same exact food, just different names.

                                                                                God, NJ stromboli... sigh.

                                                                        2. re: jfood

                                                                          Here in New York, what you call a "sub," we call a hero.

                                                                              1. re: coll

                                                                                Oh, this is really fun!

                                                                                "The term hero originated in New York in the late 19th century when Italian laborers wanted a convenient lunch that reminded them of home. The name is credited to New York Herald Tribune food writer Clementine Paddleford, who wrote in the 1930s that you needed to be a hero to finish the gigantic Italian sandwich."

                                                                          1. re: jfood

                                                                            jfood, godloveya, and I realize this is an ancient thread, but where in CT is a grinder called a WEDGE?

                                                                            1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                              in ffd county. the first time jfood was forced to order a wedge he thought he was to receive a triangle shaped sandwich. to his surprise he received a hero sandwich.

                                                                              1. re: jfood

                                                                                ITYM a sub. A hero is a hot sandwich. Or can wedges be hot?

                                                                                Mr. Garibaldi, help!

                                                                                1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                  Check out the link above: It says: "Wedge (served between two wedges of bread) — Prevalent in Yonkers, New York and other parts of Westchester County, New York, The Bronx, lower Fairfield County, Connecticut, and portions of Upstate New York." To me a hero is any sandwich on Italian bread, hot or cold. On Long Island you never hear any other term.

                                                                                  1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                    Hey DU...hope the little Uber is doing well.

                                                                                    As a fellow NJer, yes a sub is cold and a hero is hot. In CT the wedge can go hot or cold. A little further up 95 near New Haven, the term changes a bit. A grinder is cold and a hot oven grinder is hot.

                                                                                        1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                          609 is NOT NJ. Dems were almost fightin' words when jfood thought it was directed at him.

                                                                                          1. re: jfood

                                                                                            Wasn't 609 the area code for south Jersey, the land of the Hoagie, panzerotti, and Taylor PORK roll; where they talk funny? Or have I forgotten?

                                                                                            1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                              Growing up in NJ there were 2 area codes, 201 and 609. Those of us lucky enought to have the 201 always felt that the 609 southerners were more Philly types that tried and true blue-blooded NJers. Then within the 201, those of us in Union, Essex and Passaic county felt the people in Morris, Bergen and those places in the NW were not true NJers either. Typical caste system.

                                                                                              1. re: jfood

                                                                                                I was 201 in Middlesex, no wonder I'm confused! Smile.

                                                                                                1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                  won't hold that against you, at least you might have had a 3-digit exit number to go by.

                                                                                                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                    Me too... Middlesex was split between 201 (then 908, then 732) and 609, and you could seriously tell as soon as you were heading into the 609 -- much, much, MUCH more rural, all the streets had names like Boondocks Corner - Unnecessarilylongnametown Road (because they connected two tiny hamlets) and it was hard to find restaurants.

                                                                                      1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                        The meatball wedge had better be delivered hot.........................
                                                                                        Growing up and spending lots of time in the Bronx, the local Italian deli or restaurant would make a sub type sandwich by cutting a portion from a large Arthur Avenue bread.
                                                                                        Years ago, they cut a wedge from a round loaf, later on there were long breads and the loaf would be sliced with a 45 degree angle to get the bread for the individual sandwich.
                                                                                        I was born in New Haven where we order Apizza, and subs, grinders are hot sandwiches from Greek owned pizza joints (who cook pizza in pans). I went to college in Philly almost 40 years ago and ran into the hoagie, The roll is squarish and softer than a sub or grinder roll,.
                                                                                        I now spend half my week in the Merrimac Valley (Lowell-Andover-Lawrence) area of Mass. There it's a sub, served hot or cold, unless the restauramnt is Greek owned when they understand that a sub in the oven is a grinder.

                                                                                      2. re: jfood

                                                                                        Only in a reallt small part of ffd county can you find a wedge.
                                                                                        Wedge is a northern/western Bronx-Yonkers to White Plains name. Somehow a few 'gavones' came over the border, but they're still down county.
                                                                                        In the rest of the county it' still a sub or grinder.

                                                                                        1. re: bagelman01


                                                                                          Jfood cannot make this sh&t up.


                                                                                          Jfood has to get up the Merritt to Katz's for a pastrami sandwich.

                                                                                          1. re: jfood

                                                                                            I am giggling at your use of the word shizz. ;) I didn't think you knew how to bark that way. HA HA!

                                                                                            I still contend the word grinder's got nothing to do with Greeks. My family is Italian and my grandparents served up grinders--cold ones--no oven in the deli to toast 'em. They were fabulous and tough to get your mouth around, they were so packed with meat. Similar ones can be found in Hartford at Maple Giant Grinder (they're Italian, too) and Franklin Giant Grinder.

                                                                                            jfood, you definitely must get to Katz's. Too bad you are a man of anonymity. I would enjoy meeting you for sure and am sure Scargod would as well. Regardless, enjoy your pastrami and don't forget a Dr. Brown's soda to wash it down.

                                                                                            1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                              that's where jfood does not get an A+. Most would order a Celray, but jfood sticks to the cream. Jfood's MIL brought a pastrami from Katz two weeks ago from her drive from Oxford. Hard to believe jfood used to eat these every weekend living in NJ and there were choices of where to get them.

                                                                                              1. re: jfood

                                                                                                I'm a black cherry gal myself. Every weekend and choices, no less! Sigh.

                                                                                                1. re: jfood

                                                                                                  I'm with you on the Dr Brown's cream :) Best partner for pastrami.

                                                                                    1. reminds of the blues brothers and having a "wish sandwich".

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                        That was the first thing that came to my mind reading the title to this thread, too! (But I've never been to New Jersey.)

                                                                                      2. LOL, yous all have me whispering these long-forgotten words out loud and my co-workers are staring. . .:-P

                                                                                        I moved to Florida 10 years ago and my accent is failing (had to teach myself to say "Floor-ida" and "oar-ange" so the locals wouldn't look at me weird) but whenever I walk into my local Staten Island-native owned pizza shop and ask for a "lawge pie," it all comes crashing back. ;-)

                                                                                        I'm from Bayonne, we always said Italian ice instead of "water ice" like those freaks from by Philly. . .but I distinctly remember all the Italian manglings from my non-Italian family. . .mannagawt, etc. -- even my Polish aunt would say "Maddon'!" when she got frustrated. Watching Sopranos does bring a lot of that back. . .

                                                                                        I never liked buttered rolls for breakfast, though my dad did. My breakfast was always "coffee regular, plain with cream cheese, not toasted." I hated toasted bagels. :-D

                                                                                        And to me, Blimpie was synonomous with subs, because our Blimpie was one of the first, that had an actual meat slicer and smelled of oil and vinegar. A BB (Blimpie Best) in those days was a work of art. . .

                                                                                        12 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: Covert Ops

                                                                                          Oh yes Blimpies, a true NJ invention


                                                                                          It was the sandwich of choice in DC during college when i did not have enough money to go to Booeymongers and they delivered to the dorms (a big plus on a friday night).

                                                                                          A made my own buttered roll or begel since a roll from the bakery was 7-cents, a bagel 8-cents and a buttered roll at the deli was 20-25-cents and couldn't afford it.

                                                                                          Memory lane is a fun time.

                                                                                          1. re: Covert Ops

                                                                                            You poor soul. If Blimpies is your idea of a "true" Jersey sub, then you haven't had the real thing. Don't know where in Florida you're based, but if you run across a Mike's sub shop that'll give you something close to the original. Mike's is out of the Point Pleasant area and has been spreading in the Tampa area. Also in Tampa, there is a local shop (Subport) that is the real thing.

                                                                                            1. re: srcusa

                                                                                              I repeat: This was not a Blimpie like you see in the Hess stations today. It was an actual sub shop, a really awesome one at that. IIRC, Bayonne was the second location after the original Hoboken Blimpie Base.

                                                                                              As a side, the link from jfood above seems to indicate the Blimpie founders might have been inspired by Mike's. . .

                                                                                            2. re: Covert Ops

                                                                                              I'm also from Bayonne! There are so many food terms that I still pronounce automatically with an Italian accent. Here in California it can be taken as pretentious or hip, I don't care. Before they were trendy and sold at every cafe, we used to have to make the "bish-cot'" at home, anisette or almond. Pizza was "ah-beetz'" Final syllables were often aborted: ricotta is "ri-ghut'," "prociutto" is "pro-zhoot'" and "provolone" does not end in "ie" or "ey." The r's were rolled in "oregano," with heavy emphasis on the 2nd syllable. Common use of the term "pasta" is relatively recent; we used the particular variety name, don't dare call macaroni "spaghetti." The plural on the pizzaria signs was often spelled "pizza's." And then there's the frequently heard exchange before mealtime, "Jeet?" "No, jew?"

                                                                                              1. re: BellaCalabrese

                                                                                                My teenage stepson, who grew up in North Carolina, refuses to eat pierogies (pair-UGH-ees) until I pronounce them per-ROW-gees. :-P

                                                                                                1. re: Covert Ops

                                                                                                  You know he'd be in for a load of sarcastic teasing if he ever asked for pair-UGH-ees in Bayonne - those people are relentless once they latch onto something like that.

                                                                                                  BTW, Italian Blimpies were the best as far as I'm concerned. Togos is as close as it gets here in CA, but you basically have to design it yourself or they'll throw American cheese and other non-Italian contaminants in.

                                                                                                  1. re: BellaCalabrese

                                                                                                    Well, they're actually pronounced "pyehr-UGG-ee". "per-ROH-ghee" hurts my ears. (So does "rih-KAAAAAAAAAH-duh")

                                                                                                    1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                                      I visited Poland 2 years ago and ate many a milkbar pierogi and they definitely pronounce "pyerrrr-UH-gie" in Krakow and Warsaw

                                                                                                      Mr Taster

                                                                                                  2. re: Covert Ops

                                                                                                    I went to college in very Polish Pittsburgh, where "peh-RO-gees" were on the lunchroom menu every day (and come to think of it, that's how my Ukranian stepmother pronouced it, too).

                                                                                                    Is there an Italian connection with them? Or is there a large Polish contingency in Jersey?

                                                                                                    1. re: julietg

                                                                                                      Bayonne NJ is very clearly divided into ethnic neighborhoods, usually tied to the nearest church. While I grew up downtown, in the "Irish" part of town, my father is full Polish and he and my aunt attended Mt. Carmel. It's very much a mix -- with the top 3 being Irish, Italian and Polish, followed by Slovak, Greek, Hispanic (mostly Puerto Rican, with some Mexican too), Filipino, etc. You can tell which are the most dominant, because the 3 major beauty pageants, and parades that went with them, were Miss Columbus, Miss Claddagh and Miss Polonia. :-P

                                                                                                      1. re: Covert Ops

                                                                                                        I gather then that we both grew up near St. Henry's, the main Irish church (w/St. Vinnies running in 2nd place.) The neighborhood also had a lot of Jews. I am Irish, Italian Catholic and Jewish, My mother made an Irish/Italian stew with stewed tomatoes in lieu of the usual sauce. It was fabulous!

                                                                                                        1. re: BellaCalabrese

                                                                                                          I grew up by St. Andrew's, which is definitely the main Irish church. . .that's why at Holy Family (at least in my day) the Senior Skip Day is traditionally St. Patrick's Day, so all the St. Andrew's girls can go to the parade in NYC.

                                                                                                          AFAIK St. Vinny's (10 years ago anyways) is exactly half Italian and half Filipino. I remember in some post here on Bayonne Jim Leff recalled some fantastic Italian church suppers at St. Vinny's, though I've never been. The Filipino may have stemmed from a Filipino priest they had there in the 90s that was very popular.

                                                                                                          My mom grew up at St. Henry's and her neighborhood was pretty mixed, she recalls, mostly Italian and Irish. The Jewish neighborhood and the synagogues were up on Avenue B and in the 30s. . .the yeshiva's next door to the library.

                                                                                                          OK, I'll quit hijacking this thread with personal recollections of home. If you want to talk more about Bayonne, e-mail me at denise dot covert atsign gmail dot com. :-)

                                                                                              2. What a great thread--and happy to hear from Brooklynites confirming the existence of NJ-NY trans-bay culture zone. From my 50s and 60s Italian Brooklyn, it was always a "slice" if it wasn't a "Sicilian" or just a "pie". It always was a "livewish sangwish", they were never subs or hoagies or grinders but always "heroes" (hot or cold), and it was always "lemon ice", regardless of the flavor. On summer nights, I'd be asked by my folks on the stoop to go the corner to Pilato's Pastry for 2 large lemon and 2 large chocolate lemon ices. And to pick up a News, Mirror, and 2 packs of Pall Malls on the way back. Finally, what do others say about a frank-hot dog linguistic fault line? Not until I moved to Chicago for a spell in the 90s did I ever ask for or think of asking for anything but a frank. Cheers.

                                                                                                21 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: obob96

                                                                                                  obob, interesting on the hot dog front. Brain exploded when i saw ur comment.

                                                                                                  As I remember from the NJ side of the NJ-NY line (we used to go to staten island for gas and beer) we used to say "a dog" but when we went plural, we slipped to "a couple of franks." Never remember calling it "a couple of dogs." Interesting how the brain works.

                                                                                                  On the water ice flavor, I was a cherry guy. Gotta love the bozo-red lips when ur done. :-))

                                                                                                  1. re: obob96


                                                                                                    Interesting that you mention the use of hero and being from Brooklyn. I grew up on the shore, but spent a few years also in the Hackensack area - while the wife was from down in Jackson. In the pre-cable days, we were limited to the New York stations in the north half of the state and the Philly stations in the south half of the state (including Jackson). Hence, the media from those two markets had tremendous influence on the language and phrasing - not to mention team loyalties. While growing up only about 30 minutes from the wife's home, I would never even think about being a Philly fan yet her father had Eagle season tickets.

                                                                                                    Anyway, the use of hero seems to be a distinctly a North Jersey thing resulting from the proximity to Brooklyn/NY. Philly's influence has much of South Jersey calling it a hoagie. However, the shore area is (or at least was 20+ years ago) most definitely more in favor of using the word "sub." A grinder would only refer to a hot sandwich - meatball, eggplant, egg & peppers, etc.

                                                                                                    1. re: srcusa

                                                                                                      Jfood from Elizabeth chiming in on sub versus hero. In the Big-E a sub was a cold sandwich and a hero was a hot one.

                                                                                                      You went to a "sub shop" for a sub. You ordered your deli meats (chick/tuna salads not an acceptable sub ingredient back then), your cheese, your tomato, your lettuce, a little O&V, place the top on and slice straight across, none of this diagonal stuff. They came half or whole. Big change when a sub shop started offering a hero sandwich in probably late 60's early 70's.

                                                                                                      A hero was hot and was usually sold by a pizza shop. Not a lot of choices. Your basic meatball, sausage (and peppers), maybe a chick-parm. Very "fancy" places offere an eggplant-parm. You ordered a metball hero, a suasage and pepper hero.

                                                                                                      1. re: jfood

                                                                                                        Yep! You could have a "gabagool sub" but a "veel 'n peppuh heeeero".

                                                                                                        1. re: Das Ubergeek


                                                                                                          veal? fancy shmancy 'hood. the veal parm served in my 'hood was oval in shape and was the product of "The Jungle." At least the sawsigg and peppa heeero did not use disguises.

                                                                                                          I bet you won;t see or here that in the OC.

                                                                                                          1. re: jfood

                                                                                                            We're talking about the same food product -- ovular, heavily breaded, just cut into pieces and jammed into a hero roll with peppers and onions.

                                                                                                            And you can get a truly great, worthy of New Jersey "sawsij 'n peppuh" at Sabatino's in Newport Beach, but that's a topic for the LA board.

                                                                                                    2. re: obob96

                                                                                                      From my early childhood days in B'klyn, I also remember lemon ice as the generic term, but we also referred to it as ices -- pronounces "eye-sis."

                                                                                                      1. re: obob96

                                                                                                        We always said "Italian Ice" growing up (70's Livingston and New Providence). I learned the word "frankfurter" from the Friendly's menu. (they also called a hamburger a "Hamburg Sandwich." Is that a New England thing or just a Friendly's thing?)

                                                                                                        1. re: The Engineer

                                                                                                          I bet you learned franfurter from Stanley's or Union's five points dog diner.

                                                                                                          1. re: jfood

                                                                                                            You would have lost that bet... I started "frequenting" Friendly's in kindergarten. I've Never been to Stanley's, and the first time I went to Galloping Hill aka Peterson's (is that where you mean?) I was in my mid 30s.

                                                                                                            Just thought of another word though... "Gravy" meaning tomato sauce. Not sure if its an NJ thing exclusively, but definitely heard here often.

                                                                                                            1. re: The Engineer

                                                                                                              E, hard to believe anyone grew up in SPringfield and did not go to Stanleys at the intersection of Morris and Millburn Aves.

                                                                                                              Gravy is an old Italian term for marinara. Not sure if NJ can take credit for that one.

                                                                                                              Good weekend

                                                                                                              1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                Oh OK now I remember... Stanley's Diner. I grew up in New Prov, not Springfield (close enough) but I was curious passing by Stanleys on my way to piano lessons in Elizabeth. I think I went in once in college, long after I learned "frankfurter" anyway.

                                                                                                                But about gravy. I doubt its an Italian term, I assume you mean Italian-American? I think this might be one for Patricia T O'Connor...

                                                                                                                1. re: The Engineer

                                                                                                                  It's definitely Italian-American, since it's English language, but I did hear people in Naples talking about "sugo", which is the Italian word for "gravy". And it's common to most Little Italies -- I've heard it in Providence and in Seattle and San Francisco, not just Brooklyn and Jersey.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                                                    "Sugo" is the Italian word for "sauce," as I learned it, and as this online dictionary states:


                                                                                                                    However, notice that they translate "sugo di carne" as "gravy"!

                                                                                                                    1. re: Pan

                                                                                                                      I think we've had this discussion -- it may be a dialectical thing, because I know "salsa" as the word for sauce.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                                                        That's also a word for sauce. Yeah, it could be a difference in dialects, sure. I don't speak or understand any of the Southern Italian dialects.

                                                                                                                2. re: jfood

                                                                                                                  our NY/NJ family uses sauce to mean marinara, gravy to mean a tomato based sauce with meat, such as the ragu on your meatball parm hero.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                                                      When Ubergeekette arrives you will have many homecooked meals. A couple of frozen meatballs (Rao's recipe with a little red pepper flakes) plus a MV plus a little sauce and cheese on a roll will be a "special" meal soon.

                                                                                                                      Good luck w Lamazze

                                                                                                            2. re: The Engineer

                                                                                                              My grandmother (NJ) used to always (and still does, I guess) say, "I'll fry some hamburg", but that usually referred to eating a hamburger patty on a plate, not on a sandwich.

                                                                                                              1. re: allegro805

                                                                                                                Oh weird. My grandma used to say that too. I just thought it was 'cause she'd been born in England (around 1906).

                                                                                                          2. Grew up eating lots of 'pizgetti' ! ;o)

                                                                                                            1. The Millburn Deli was the center of the New Jersey sloppy joe world for many years, and it is still in business, using the same recipes. For many, many years, the place was manned by older gentlemen in white deli coats who worked for Terry, the owner, and kept the place spotless and efficient.

                                                                                                              The turkey sloppy was full of great, homemade Russian dressing and really, really creamy cole slaw made with extra-heavy duty mayo. This was not a diet item.

                                                                                                              They were famous for their dairy "Friday Joe" which was a layer of great egg salad, a layer of delicious tuna salad (rye in between) and a layer of cole slaw and Russian, cut in three big pieces, with a small pickle to go with it. A million calories, but oh, what a meal.

                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: rruben1

                                                                                                                RR, you will create quite a battle with many of us using the term "center" with the NJ Sloppy. You will find many who will vote South Orange, others Elizabeth, others Union and then we move south and others will claim all the way to New Brunswick. FYI - the Millburn deli changed ownership in the early 90's and the new ownership changed many things for the better but were smart enough to keep the Sloppy in its almost original form. The Friday Joe is a nice derivative of the Sloppy but it a far cry from the original.

                                                                                                                You need also to remember the demographics of Millburn-Short Hills before using the word "center". Short Hills, prior to the 60's was not over-inviting to Jews. As we migrated from Newark, South Orange was more open-armed and inviting in the Western push, and the Sloppy Joe originated, according to lore, at the Town Hall Deli in South Orange in 1934 and reportedly ralated to a deli in Havana Cuba. Not Millburn-Short Hills. Other bedroom communities of Newark, Union and Elizabeth, boasted delis that served much better Joes than Millburn ever dreamed of. Kartzmann's in Union and Goodman's in Elizabeth, for example.

                                                                                                                Others will chime in as well, but after eating Sloppy Joes in many NJ places since 1963 I would state that the Millburn Deli, although fantastic and fed my family almost every Saturday afternoon for 15 years barely makes the Top-5 in its Sloppy presentation. Others that made better, unfortunately, are no longer in business. In fact, just within 5 miles, two others made better, Tabatchniks and Don's. Both are now closed. :-((

                                                                                                                Sloppy Joes are now a Road Trip item as I live in CT and you cannot even buy a good pastrami sandwich up here, no less find a deli that will slice a nice Jewish rye paper thin on the meat slicer, place some good Jewish Corned Beef, some fresh roasted turkey, some Russian dressing and cole slaw, and then have the foresight to slice in three piece.

                                                                                                                What a memory.

                                                                                                                1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                  Thanks for the "FYI." It was my firm that did the "closing" when Terry sold the Millburn Deli, so I was quite familiar with the change in ownership. My law office was fifty yards from the Deli, and I took out from there pretty much every day. Our day off was meat loaf day, Thursday, at Oscar's Sandwich Barn. My cardiologist took a full history.

                                                                                                                  Terry's turkey was fresh-roasted, not cut from a water-injected, shrink-wrapped ball of faux poultry, like my pals at Tabatchnicks, and his cole slaw was, to my taste, far superior. As for Don's, I ate there about a hundred times under social pressure, and never "got" anything about the place except the snottiness of the patrons and the great burgers. Everything probably tastes better in retrospect, and perhaps it feels better, too.

                                                                                                                  As they say, there's no accounting for tastes, the turkey joe at Millburn Deli was iconic. The corned beef and pastrami were dreadful, because it wasn't a Jewish-style deli, it was an old German deli. Tabatchnicks, on the other hand, had those amazing Empire National Hot Dogs on that old roller grill. I can still taste them. It was a garlic fest.

                                                                                                                  1. re: rruben1

                                                                                                                    TY. Full agreement in order of greatness:

                                                                                                                    - Hot dogs - Don's, Tabatchnicks, Syds (Don's and T's are actually Bests HD's not Empire)
                                                                                                                    - Hamburgers - Don's, but no number 2 except me at my grill
                                                                                                                    - Turkey - Millburn, Dons and I agree w you on T
                                                                                                                    - Cole Slaw - Gotta give Don's the nod with the extra carrawy seeds, OMG I can still taste it
                                                                                                                    Snootiness - Hard to beat Don's, anyone who's clientele strives to have a black and white photo of themselves stuffing a dog in their mouth on the wall says it all. But Don would do anything for his customers. And how hard was it to have a great burger at a booth only to see a picture of your MIL staring down at you. Marty's, oops Bagel Chateau, had snootiness cornered on Millburn Ave. Not the staff, Marty is a Prince, but the customers. Hey guys, it's just a bagel and some eggs, relax please.

                                                                                                                    Glad i can get back to visit and still have some of these treats.

                                                                                                                    1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                      born and raised in n.j. now in MIami and suffering the change in food. do you know what ingredients made Don's burgers #1? There are not any great burgers in Fl.

                                                                                                                      1. re: sweetshoppe

                                                                                                                        jfood only wishes he knew the secret. it did not appear they had any special seasoning, but jfood thinks it was the grind and the beef.

                                                                                                                      2. re: jfood

                                                                                                                        Anyone recall Frankie's ? It was near Palisades Amusement Park.

                                                                                                                2. Sorry,

                                                                                                                  Tabatchnicks were NOT Best's, they were Empire National, full casing 4 to a pound hot dogs, out of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, for at least the past 12-15 years. We're talking T's from the Millburn Mall on Vauxhall Road, near Syd's.

                                                                                                                  Syd's were Bests, but not Tabatchnick. I have dogs in my blood--my Dad worked for Sabrett for 41 years, so I know my tube steaks.

                                                                                                                  And the cold cuts at Millburn Deli, except the turkey, were Thumanns, if you ever wondered.

                                                                                                                  1. Oh I mourn the loss of Don's, and to a lesser extent "Eppies" and Celentano.

                                                                                                                    Eppes-Essen in Livingston is still there, but totally totally different and the food is only so-so these days. Besides, Moe died, and Barry went to Livingston Bagel.

                                                                                                                    I remember when the Tabatchnicks in West Orange burned down, it was aroud the corner from my Grandma's house, and we went down to watch. I can still picture the fire hoses stretched on Pleasant Valley Way, and every time I smell smoked salmon, I think of that.

                                                                                                                    Don's coleslaw, which as far as I am concerned was the best on Earth.... mmmm.. it was celery seeds not caraway.... and the chocolate layer cakes... and... anything there.


                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                    1. re: Sethboy

                                                                                                                      Don's had the best burgers I ever ate surpassing syd's in bradley beach in the 40s. do u know what ingredients made Don's burgers so different and great?

                                                                                                                    2. rita's "water" ice calls what an earlier poster referred to as a mixto a "gelato" which is totally baffling to me. it's a blend of soft serve custard and the aforementioned water ice. tasty but a definite misnomer.....but all in all ya gotta love those rita's ices.

                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: spinach

                                                                                                                        A Misto at Ritas is also a combo of water ice and gelato. However, with the Misto, the two are combined and served with a straw, kind of like a milkshake. In the gelato, the two are layered in the cup and eaten with a spoon.

                                                                                                                        1. re: QueenB

                                                                                                                          Oh such great NJ memories - The food, the delis also Hill City Deli in Summit - still there I think and great sloppy joes, Morristown Deli - great tuna sandwiches and chicken soup, now here is an oldie no longer there from the 70's Turner's Deli in Westfield on Central Avenue - Great hot pastrami on chewy rye with "real" deli mustard, and all those great "slices" from corner pizza places in Essex and Union Counties. Fresh subs where the meats were either Kohler, Thumanns, Schaller & Webber or Karl Ehlmer (a real treat - especially their german bologna and liverwurst) sliced as ordered not at 6AM for a sandwich made at noon. Fresh Kaiser rolls for lunch that were ever so fresh at 8AM and stale by 8PM since they were all natural ingredients. Going back even further my Aunt used to bring great cold cuts, rolls and salads from a place called Trusons (spelling??) on 204th street in the Bronx in those blue and white check containers. My father used to love that german potato salad with the potatoes sliced ever so thin. And finally "real meatball subs not the soy filled frozen ones places try to convince you are homemade these days and sausage made with fennel to bring out the true pork flavors.

                                                                                                                          1. re: QueenB

                                                                                                                            ok you got me there. my point was gelato isn't ice,,,,water, italian or otherwise. a nj misnomer without a doubt.

                                                                                                                        2. ok you got me there. my point was gelato isn't ice,,,,water, italian or otherwise. a nj misnomer without a doubt.

                                                                                                                          1. my favorites in nj and in ny...italian ice, hard rolls, chicken parm calzone and cheese pizza....in nj wawa makes the best coffee.

                                                                                                                            10 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: kzgirl38

                                                                                                                              Give it up for WaWa. I wish we had them in New York.

                                                                                                                              1. re: MaspethMaven

                                                                                                                                Or in Los Angeles!

                                                                                                                                Mr Taster
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                                                                                                                                1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                  Wawa is a philly thing that creeped into the 609 area code. It's not 201 so not a true NJ thing. Ooops I mean a true northern NJ thing

                                                                                                                                  1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                                    According to Wawa's history at http://www.wawa.com/wawaprofile/pro-h... the company started as a textile factory in New Jersey in 1803(!!) but the first actual convenience store opened much later in Pennsylvania.

                                                                                                                                    So..... technically, it *is* a true New Jersey thing, though you can't define it with area codes since the telephone didn't exist when the company started!

                                                                                                                                    Mr Taster
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                                                                                                                                    1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                      Very nice MT.

                                                                                                                                      But I think i have more molecules than you in the splitting hair argument.

                                                                                                                                      OK the phone came later but it's still a 609 company and not a 201.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                                        We had them in Middlesex County growing up (201, then 908, then 732) -- north of the Raritan River... so they're not just a 609 thing. They're no longer there (not sure why)... but man, those cheese sammitches... wow.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                                                                          Since Middlesex County wants to be more like Northern NJ than 609, they are no longer there because they got kicked out. :-)))

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                                                                            Truly... their "shorti" (tm) hoagies are so tasty! Anything you find at 7-11 or similar dreckish convenience stores pale by comparison. The concept of having an actual deli inside a convenience store is a phenomenon that should have caught on nationwide. Sadly the pre-processed, pre-packaged, pre-sliced slop is all most people in this country know.

                                                                                                                                            Viva Wawa!

                                                                                                                                            Mr Taster
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                                                                                                                                      2. re: jfood

                                                                                                                                        That's funny, my husband and I joke that the northernmost Wawa is the "official" dividing line between north and south jersey.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: GinGin

                                                                                                                                          Just a thought. Could Yankee's/Mets fans vs Philly's fans be a line of demarcation? That would put Middlesex County in the north.

                                                                                                                                2. You are taking me back! The Sloppy Joe's from Town Hall Deli in South Orange were classic. I didn't know how local they were until I moved to Morris County when I got married.

                                                                                                                                  Anyone else ever have a "Pizza Sandwich" from Joel's Pizza in WO? Don't know why it was so good -- good sauce and good bread I guess. But it was simply a good sub roll with their homemade sauce and mozzerella baked open in the pizza oven, then closed. They were cheap and a bit hit in jr. high and high school.

                                                                                                                                  My first visit to Eppes Essen (with my HS boyfriend and his family -- who were Jewish) and I order a BLT with mayo -- LOL. I didn't know! His dad teased me that the gentile alarm was going off in the kitchen.... Hey, it was on the menu...

                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: eamcd

                                                                                                                                    Wait, a BLT at Eppes Essen? As in bacon-lettuce-and-tomato? Are you sure it wasn't PLT -- pastrami (fried like bacon), lettuce and tomato?

                                                                                                                                    And mayo is pareve.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                                                                      Alas Eppeys is not kosher.

                                                                                                                                      in fact they now serve cheeseburgers and if you can believe it kosher salami and swiss. sounds good but not very kosher and the kicker a turkey club with bacon.

                                                                                                                                      So a BLT is perfectly believable.

                                                                                                                                  2. Another Jersey boy here. Originally from Bloomfield now in Monmouth County.
                                                                                                                                    I still say liverwish, meatball sub, and Italianish words like la-zine, moo-za-rell, ra-gaht, and chi-chis.
                                                                                                                                    Never had a real sloppy joe as I dont care for corned beef but when ordering a "sub" I could expect ham, provologne, capicola, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, peppers and oil & vinegar. No questions asked. Nowadays they ask which number and you have to find the right combination from a long list. "Do you want mayo on that sub?" Mayo on an italian sub?!
                                                                                                                                    Dont remember eating out much back then but do recall going to the Claremont Diner. I think it burned down ... not sure.

                                                                                                                                    Only other jersey-ism (I think) I can add is asking for jimmies on my ice cream cone.

                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                    1. re: tom porc

                                                                                                                                      "Never had a real sloppy joe as I dont care for corned beef "


                                                                                                                                    2. Remember Sausage sandwich's "italian style" Italian pocket or pizza bread stuffed with deep fried potato, peppers, onion and great italian sausage with fennel seed. I got mine at Jimmy Buff in West Orange. Great stuff - only down side this stuff will kill you

                                                                                                                                      1. One thing missed that no longer exists; take out draft beer in white paper cylinders w/ white paper caps or taking your own pitcher and walking home w/ it to wacth a Yankee's game (preMets). Birch beer too. I go into withdrawl for soft shell crab sandwiches, Italian hot dogs and pork roll and kielbasa sandwiches. Maine sucks for Jersey food, bad bread, except for seafood rolls.
                                                                                                                                        WaWa is in Middlesex County, but I feel it oozed up north from Panzarriti Land.
                                                                                                                                        Although not an alum Grease Trucks at Rutger's too.
                                                                                                                                        Sandwiches on corn rye; mmmmmm.

                                                                                                                                        1. I grew up in Trenton, near the old Chambersburg neighborhood, which was Trenton's Little Italy for many years. Everyone I knew was pretty adament that we were in Central, not South, Jersey. We ordered "pie" (sometimes "tomato pie," which is a Trenton thing) or a "slice." Everyone I knew who was Italian back then called tomato sauce "gravy," as in "My mom's makin macaronis with gravy." A friend of mine, from Burlington, once commented that New Jerseyites have a habit of adding "s" to certain stores--KMarts, Acmes--as in "I hadda stop at the KMarts on the way home."

                                                                                                                                          Oh and everyone I knew called the Taylor's stuff "pork roll." Case's made great pork roll, too. Porkroll and cheese on a hard roll was one of my favorite's from Stewart's.

                                                                                                                                          My revelation that not everyone tawks this way was when I moved to Madison, WI for grad school. I went into a place (great place!) called Ella's Deli. It was a Jewish deli. I ordered a chocolate soda and they brought me a huge chocolate ice cream solda. No. I meant seltzer and chocolate syrup.

                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: SharaMcG

                                                                                                                                            Ahhh....Strombolis at Stuff Yer Face in North Brumswit... Greasy Tony's in the Biggedy New Brunfus...my all time fave in the ol' home boro of Highland Park...White Rose System. Not just a great late nite burger and BLT joint, mind you, but a SYSTEM people. The system was a bunch of rehabbed ex-cons from either North or South Carolina who rocked the flat grill like no-ones biz!!! One person's entire job consisted of saying "Ketchuponyerfrahz?" very rapidly and with heavy suthun drawwwl. In my Little Jewish Town of HP, this was as exotic as you could get. And the answer to the ketchup question was of course, YES dammit!!! Still missin their grub after 23 years in California...

                                                                                                                                            1. re: adamshoe

                                                                                                                                              I'm born & bred in Philly -- now work with many Sout Philly girls. The do indeed make macaronis wit gravy on Sunday. They buy gabagool and pro-shoot. Their mothers or grandmothers refer to something that is 'medicahn (that's a corruption of "american") with derision. We all go downa shore on weekends and remember buying those Boardwalk Fries along the board in Wildwood or OC. We also feasted on Mac 'n Manc (a slice from Mac & Manco's), also on the boards. You could also get a pork roll sammich. Afterwards, we might have a whudder ice, or maybe a sno-cone.

                                                                                                                                              My sister used to live in MN, where her kids would buy " a pickle and a pop" at local sporting events. Now THAT'S weird.

                                                                                                                                          2. I have lived in NJ for almost my entire life and i have never heard of most of these foods and in most cases pronunciations....to me they sound like brooklyn not NJ

                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: faleentoby

                                                                                                                                              Den you must be in Ho Hocus or one of dem upscale places. I return and can hardly understand my working class uncles. I tlee telemarketers from Jersey taht they have a sexy Jersey accent. I love it.
                                                                                                                                              Ya know it depends on where ya live. For such a small state, there are ata least 2 very distinct accents. Sout Jersey sounds like Philly: the Hooly Ghoost wants a Coooke. And Nort Jersey like a New Yawkah. Then there's the Independent Universe of Princeton....

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                Alas, me, a born and raised hudson county girl, now living in "upscale" HoHoKus, just one county north and its a culture shock. I always have to check myself when ordering out loud in a deli for fear of the "look" from the locals. Thank goodness I never had the typical hudson county accent, gannoli, gabaghoul, ricort, etc., but sometimes it slips. Boy these people dont know what they missed. Still can't find a decent pizza or red sauce, so I cook it myself. Forget about Italian Ices, they think Ritas is the bomb. What happened to the man who scraped the lemon or chocolate, we never had funny colored ices. We also had the ice cream man, we had snow white. When you didnt have enough money, Gunther would crack a twin popo in half for you, always root beer. Im glad I grew up where I did and Im glad I live where I live now.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: doxy216

                                                                                                                                                  OMG jfood forgot about the root beer twin pops.

                                                                                                                                            2. I like the fact that in NJ you can get a real sloppy joe, not that manwich garbage.

                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: MattInNJ

                                                                                                                                                Or a smokey Joe, not that fried fish garbage.
                                                                                                                                                Gimme a butter roll. Order that in the world and see the looks ya get.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                  I have been on a buttered roll kick for the past month. Need to save $ and still fill up, no brainer!

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MattInNJ

                                                                                                                                                    Try asking for a buttered roll in Maine. They give you the most quizical look and then look for the jacket w/ the long sleeves when ya try to explain what a Kaiser roll is.

                                                                                                                                              2. Tomatoes. I miss *real* NJ tomatoes.

                                                                                                                                                And waffles with ice cream - I had a craving once right after we were married and my husband looked at me as if I had two heads when I asked if he wanted one.

                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                1. re: vcavett

                                                                                                                                                  As a kid I spent many summers on my Aunt & Uncle's farm in Monmouth County (Central New Jersey). Part of the farm, about 300 yards from the house, was leased to a tomato farmer. I can still taste those tomatoes a lifetime later.