You all are simply fascinating!
I am constantly amazed at how people just get in their cars and drive anywhere for a (hopefully) good meal. Distance and cost is not an issue. While reading ppl's comments I see they travel around NYC down to Red Bank then further to LBI then over to Princeton then up to East Hanover then back to Fair Haven to eat a various places. Some of you must travel for an hour or more to eat with reservation made days or weeks ago. I can never plan that far ahead and after 15 minutes driving I start gnawing on the steering wheel to ease the hunger pains. Also, my diminutive wallet forces me to (literally) walk away from the superior and interesting places.
Someone drops the name of an obscure restaurant in a "small strip mall" and 10 ppl not only know who, what, where but have dined there RECENTLY and can give a mini review of their experience. My memory fails me of last night's dinner.
Many of you accomplish what I can only dream about. So, please, continue posting your reviews, recommendations, questions and everday thoughts so we all can freely "share" your entrees ... despite what the printed menu says.
Hi Tom. It also helps, at least for us living in NJ, when you have relatives who live in various parts of the State. I have a brother in northern NJ, and 2 sisters in the more southern reaches - one Ocean County and the other in Cape May County. I currently live in Union, however, where I live practically straddles Middlesex, so that's easy for me to get over too. Plus, I grew up in Monmouth County - so I'm familiar with many places there as well. Let alone being able to easily drive in NYC or PA even.
We haven't gotten around to trying many of the places that people have mentioned but I keep a file of many of the names so that if I'm in the area of one of those intriguing places I know a few places to try. Or of course, find some on my own and share them with others here.
And yes, sometimes it's fun to just get in the car, pick a destination randomly to explore and see what you'll find. NJ in particular is a fine state for doing this, as it really isn't too large and you can make a day trip out of nearly anywhere in the state easily.
re: tom porc
Ha! It's a little brother unfortunately and if it was left up to the oldest to pay I'd be screwed! Anyway, we all pay for ourselves :-)
It was interesting when we went to dinner in Atlantic City recently, Cafe 2825 (I wrote a review of this, very good meal). Dinner was very expensive and one of my BIL's is so NOT the type of guy to spend hundred's of dollars on a meal. That did get a bit dicey at the end, but he did know what he was in for, since he agreed to come along to celebrate my other BIL's 40th. Tough luck on him. He had to grin and bear it :-)
Just to chime in again on this one, and maybe brag a bit: one of the things I do to supplement my Social Security income is to shoot pictures for real-estate appraisers, a gig that takes me all over LA County and sometimes beyond. In the course of doing this I've chased down restaurants that I've read about on the LA CH Board, and sometimes have discovered and reported on ones that have not been previously mentioned. And sometimes, if a place is REALLY good and not ridiculously far away, or if I can justify going there by incorporating the visit into another trip, I'll go back with my wife and maybe some other friends. I love exploring anyway; being an active Chowhound just makes it that much more rewarding!
Ahem. I have to take two trains to go about 35 miles to get kimchi. I do it about once a week if I have time. My friends think I'm crazy, but I guess it's a matter of priority. Other people drive or take trains for long distances to see ball games or go to shows. I've got to have kimchi.
It's pretty much the same way out here on the Left Coast, Tom. People who whine about the dearth of good Chinese places on the West Side of LA regularly are urged to shut up and drive East to the San Gabriel Valley where the good stuff is...and we all do, and see nothing odd about it. Yuppoid professionals get in their cars and go looking for the good taco trucks in grubby parts of town to satisfy a late-night carne asada jones, just because that's where the correspondents on Chowhound have told them they would be. Hey, the creature wants food...so what's new about that?
re: Will Owen
I still find it fascinating, Will, how knowledgable ppl are about all the various eating establishments in the most improbable locations.
HillJ, my topic was moved from Mid-Atlantic to here by Chowhound but I bet your sentiments apply to all parts of the chowhound world.
Well said, Atlantis :) People are so generous and fearless! Can you imagine living in a large city where one can WALK to hundreds of restaurants. Who needs a kitchen when the city is your dining room.
Yeah, that's been my reaction to what I've seen on this site in the past couple of months since I discovered it. Absolutely fearless and willing to get out there and find food places that might or might not be great. Drive? So what? A culinary adventure is worth any kind of drive. That's what I've always believed, and to find people who think likewise is just wonderful.
What also really dazzles me here is the incredible generosity of time and effort and experience in sharing information, recipes, techniques, favorites, failures, and even family histories, not to mention the personal aspects so intimately involved in this ongoing obsession we call food.
These are the best people in the world, I am convinced, and I think we're just damn lucky to have a place like chowhound.com.
Thank you all.
tom, boy did your post hit home with me. For the longest time I thought the Mid-Atlantic Board was freestanding because I found it thru an online NJ news source.
I'm a jersey lifer ('cept a short stint in CA when my family moved) and have learned more about food destinations in our state from this specific Board than any other outlet for food info.
Thanks NJ CH's!