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Mahwah/Franklin Lake eats

Hello everyone-
I'm travelling to this area next week on business. My client is in Franklin Lake and my hotel is in Mahwah. It will be a very busy schedule so I can't take hours out of my day for some good eats. I'll travel up to 10 miles.
A lot of the posts are vintage 2003 etc..so I'd like to ask for opinions for the following:
1. Pizza joint (loaded question, must serve good beer)
2. Italian
3. Indian
4. Steak
5. Seafood.

I don't want to break the bank but am willing to spend $30 for an entree+drinks.

Any and all opinions are appreciated!
Thanks,
Eric

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  1. 1) kinchley's in mahwah for classic NJ cracker-style pizza. not sure hwat you define as "good beer" though.
    2) unless you want "red sauce" there are very few choices.
    4) River Palm Terrace in Mahwah. although a good Prime dry-aged steak will likely cost about 30 dollars anywhere.
    5) Varka in Ramsey. Greek seafood restaurant. Again, like steak, good seafood isn't cheap.

    good luck!

    1 Reply
    1. re: tommy

      Thanks, Tommy..
      Good beer...well, I prefer local brews on tap (preferably). Everything from pilsners to stouts depending on mood. I've read about Kinchleys on other posts so I will definitely give them a try.
      Italian red sauce? As long as it has lots of garlic, I can go for it - or at least give it a try. So Route 17 is void of good Italian?
      Yeah, I understand that good steak is $$$ - here in Atlanta all eats are cheaper it seems. My company's per-diem dining policy is far from generous.
      I love Greek food so I like your tip...will earmark that for mid-week.
      Thanks again...
      Eric

    2. Pizza - Kinchley's is probably the best around but Roxanne's is right up the road and delicious as well. All fresh ingredients and a thin crust.
      Italian - in Oakland there is a place called Cenzino's. Best italian restaurant around IMHO. Also, Aldo's in Wyckoff (BYOB though) - haven't been in forever. Oh, and Cafe L'Amore in Oakland is also very good - BYOB too.
      Steak - River Palm is probably the only good Steakhouse around. There was the Brickhouse in Wyckoff but I don't think it exists anymore.
      I can't help you with the seafood because I'm not a seafood fan. Sorry!!

      Here are some other restaurants that are good:
      Ginger & Spice - absolutely delicious! Kind of like a pan-asian type of place.
      Brady's at the Station - delicious burgers
      Mahwah Bar & Grill also has really good burgers

      3 Replies
      1. re: lucienne78

        Wow, thanks for your great response!
        You mention places that were in other posts from '03-05 so that tells me they have staying power and worthy of trying.
        I think I have a good "plan of attack".....
        Thanks again,
        Eric

        1. re: lucienne78

          I tried Roxanne's last night and Ginger and Spice tonight. Both were excellent choices...thanks again.
          The Mason Jar was recommended and really close to my hotel...have you been there?

          1. re: lucienne78

            Hello Lucienne78-
            Ate at Cenzino's tonight. Very good. I had the sausage and herb stuffed ravioli in a demi-glace. Thanks for the tip!

          2. I also forgot to mention Look See for really good Chinese food. It's in Ramsey but right off Route 17.

            2 Replies
            1. re: lucienne78

              Yep..that's another well-liked establishment so I'll give it a whirl. I hope that my travel companions are adventurous - but hey, I've got the rental car. :-)
              Thanks...

              1. re: lucienne78

                Look-See is very near my hotel...it look inviting and may give it a try.Thanks Lucienne78

              2. Good Italian: Andrea's in Waldwick (byo) and Savini in Allendale (full bar). Arturo's in Midland Pk is good too and has full bar, but may be more than 10 miles...these are not "red sauce" places.
                Second Varka for seafood - really good and fun atmosphere
                Don't know about the beer selection at Roxanne's (same owners as Varka), but the food was decent when I went
                Kinchley's in Ramsey and Nellie's in Waldwick for delicious thin crust pizza.

                15 Replies
                1. re: Concetta

                  Arturo's is wonderful. Great wait staff, lovely menu and nice decor.
                  Varka is very special for seafood. You cqn select your own fish,everything is very fresh.
                  They also serve other dishes as well.

                  1. re: Raisel

                    thanks Raisel...Arturo's was also recommended by other locals...will probably give it a try...

                  2. re: Concetta

                    Thanks Concetta...Do you know if Nellie's takes credit cards? I never travel with cash and it seems a lot of places don't take CCs.
                    Roxannes was pretty good and their patio was very nice - their beer selection was all Anheiser-Busch crap on tap but decent bottle selection

                    1. re: cymbaline65

                      Hi Cymbaline - I'm guessing Nellie's takes credit cards, but don't know for sure. I grew up on Bergen county but now live in CA, getting back enough to stay abreast of some of the dining scene. I was never impressed with the beer selection at most NJ establishments; it seems like craft brew hasn't completely caught on yet...plus, with liquor licenses are so hard to get, most northern NJ places are byo.

                      1. re: Concetta

                        Hi Cymaline. I honestly don't know why people like The Mason Jar. I've never really enjoyed my meals there, but it sems like it's always packed. They're pretty big on BBQ, but I really don't think it's good. I think it's just a convenient place to go.

                        1. re: lucienne78

                          the mason jar has a pretty good burger. The BBQ and pizza aren't so hot. Overall not all that notable if you're just visiting.

                          Nellies takes whatever you got.

                          1. re: tommy

                            Funny you should mention the Mason Jar. I ate there last night as it's about 1/8m from my hotel and I was dead-tired from a long day. I was not impressed. My waiter was an idiot (rest of staff were teenagers but still very nice) and the food was bland. Mind you, I don't cook with much salt and most restaurants overdo the sodium - but there was NO taste in their white-wine cream sauce. Shrimp were thawed in the pan. Methinks I'll avoid it tonight for my last night. Thanks for your replies.

                        2. re: Concetta

                          That certainly explains a lot. I was wondering why so many places were BYO. I'll have to look into Nellies or Arturo's for my "last supper" here. Again, thanks for your feedback.

                          1. re: cymbaline65

                            since you ordered something other than a burger at the otherwise unexceptional mason jar, I'm obligated to remind you to not order anything but pizza at nellies. The exception there might be elkin wings or fried chicken. Order the pizza well-done.

                            Arturos serves Italian American good that you can get just about anywhere in the country. Nellies pizza, however, is unique to NJ for the most part.

                            1. re: tommy

                              Thoroughly enjoyed Nellies' garlic pizza and their Smithwick's on tap for $4.25/pint hit the spot.
                              When I return in a month, Arturo's is my first stop
                              Thanks....

                            2. re: cymbaline65

                              I would go to Arturo's. Nellie's, which is more like a bar & grill with great pizza. Arturo's is a full-on restaurant with bar.

                              1. re: cymbaline65

                                Tastebuds say Nellies....I'm in the mood for pizza. I am coming back in about a month for another week-long stay..will dive into the other suggestions then...again, thanks for the tips.

                                1. re: cymbaline65

                                  When you're back, give Andrea's a try - much like Arturo's but byo; they're close to Nellie's (on Prospect right off Franklin Tpk. in Waldwick). Extensive specials list and great regular menu items. I love their cavatelli and linguine w/white clam. Last time I was there, dad had their mussels appetizer w/hot red sauce - YUM!

                                  1. re: Concetta

                                    Thanks, Concetta..I'm heading back to NJ the week of Sept 10 so will give Andrea's a try. BTW, how much is the corking fee?

                                    1. re: cymbaline65

                                      BYOs shouldn't charge a corking fee, unless that's changed recently...

                        3. When you are back in Mahwah, I would recommend Lafayette Street in Suffern (maybe 10 minute drive). Marcello's and DaNinas for Italian and Priya for Indian. River Palm is too loud and noisy for me. I prefer the Park Steakhouse in Park Ridge or The Brickhouse in Wyckoff. Mahwah Bar & Grill has good burgers and menu choices.
                          Travel safely.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: Beco

                            Nice to know Priya still exists - used to go there in the 80s when I was in HS.

                            1. re: Beco

                              Hi Beco - The Brickhouse is closed right now. If you drive by it, it's basically only an outer shell of a house. Does anyone know if they had a fire??? Anyway, it looks like their going to be rebuilding soon, becuae theres a bank sign outside that says they are financing the project. I definitely agree about the Park Steakhouse. It's a very relaxing environment as well - nothing like you'd expect from a steakhouse.

                              1. re: Beco

                                I think I'll try Priya's or Arturo's tonight.....probably Priya's

                                1. re: Beco

                                  Hello Beco-
                                  I ended up on Layfayette street and ate at Cafe Dolce. Good pasta with clams/bacon in white sauce. Quite frankly, Google maps sent me in the wrong direction so I went with what was an interesting and unique look. I'd give the chow a solid B. Missed Priya. I know it was close by but traffic tripped me up...very busy for a Thurs night.
                                  Anyways, thanks for the heads up.

                                2. Glad you had a good trip to the Mahwah/Ramsey area, and great thread too. Even though I have never been a big fan of thin crust pizza, and I'm new to the area, I've been going to Kinchley's for as long as I can remember. Often crowded, perhaps too crowded, it's top notch by almost everyone's standards. Roxanne's (down the road on Franklin Tpk.) is a nice place. Nice bar, roomy, outdoor/patio area, nice setting. It's not a super, high-end Italian place, but it's not supposed to be. Pizza, some nice pasta dishes, etc. As far as the Mason Jar, I've been going there for a long time as well, but personally, I would take the MB&G over the Mason Jar. You are not going to find a steak place anywhere around here that's on par with the River Palm. I don't like the Park Steakhouse (Montvale) anywhere near as much. I go there -- change of pace, friends who like it very much, geographics, etc. -- but I think the River Palm is a good notch or two above it. There's nothing at this end of the county that is on par. Thanks again.

                                  Eric

                                  1. Roxanne's on Franklin Turnpike in Mahwah has the greatest pizza and terrific Italian food. Has a bar with TVs but also family-friendly. Also has outdoor eating area. Nice restaurant, good prices, good service.