Lunch/Mid-afternoon meal in Linden, NJ on Saturday
A Philly hound here who is attending an event at McManus Jr. High School all day this coming Saturday. We'll be looking to kill some time, probably between 3:00pm-5:00pm, and we'll likely be tired and hungry. Anyone have any suggestions for a decent restaurant/bar in the area where we can both kill time and feed ourselves? We'll be a group of 4 mid-late 20 somethings who would prefer not to spend too much money on the food, who require something informal as we'll probably be wearing jeans, and who would be thrilled to find both a decent beer selection and friendly atmosphere, though also wouldn't be opposed to something like a tasty little hole-in-the-wall Italian or other ethnic place. Basically, we are not familiar with the area and would like to know that there's good food to be had (of any variety, really) whenever we can escape the high school to get to it.
Thanks in advance for any suggestions and sorry if this post is kind of vague!
Linwood Inn on Wood Avenue. I think it's on the corner of Linden, but it's definitely one block from the train station (going toward route 1). It's just a bar/pubby place, but has very good burgers. I always go for the burgers, but they also have pastas, entrees, etc. Very friendly, and they will be open at the time you stated ... most restaurants won't be. Some of the pastas would definitely be suitable for a vegetarian, and there may be a couple of other possibilities.
For the Brew Climax Brewing is nearby
Best beer selection in the area by far is at Antoine's Tap Room in Cranford. Lot's and lot's of beer on tap. They also serve food.
Pinho's bakery is close and is a good quality bakery for a treat
It doesn't get much more hole in the wall than the Riverside Inn. Dive? By most standards yeah. It's a friendly place though and the food is cheap and good (imo) with an interesting menu.
For informal Italian I'd hid up Spirito's
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/408224 (chowhound thread)
If I were going to Linden I would not miss a chance to visit Pulaskis's Meats. I haven't been to the store, but I've tried their hams, sausages, and smoked pork chops. Very tasty. They are supposed to have excellent stuffed cabbage. I don't think it's a sit down place. You would have to get take-out and find a park bench and drink your beer out of a paper bag ;-). Here's a review of Pulaskis: http://www.nj.com/munchmobile/ledger/index.ssf?/munchmobile/ledger/stories/polishfood_05.html
Given that Linden is an old city, I'm willing to bet there are several "hole-in-the-wall" ethnic places. If you stroll around and use your nose, you might find a gem!
As for beer, there's a micro-brew pub in nearby Woodbridge - right next to the train station. I have not tried it. Others have told me the beer is pretty good, but the food is just OK. JJ Bitting. http://www.njbrewpubs.com/
The Oaktree Rd Indian Shopping district is about 6 miles from downtown Linden. Lots of Indian restaurants and shops. Really fun to stroll around.
Have a good time and let us know about the chow!
Unfortunately, there's nothing at all in Linden. There's a lot of fast food places in strip malls. The good news is that the high school is about ten minutes from downtown Cranford and 15 minutes from Westfield. You will get an excellent choice of restaurants between those two. Please do a search on those two on this board. You will most likely get tons of hits.
Ther are loads of Ethnic restaurants in this area. There's is a great mix of Latin Americans,europeans etc..A Columbian friend took me to a surprisingly good mexican restaurant there on the main Ave acouple of weeks ago ( I think it is called El Chalapeco, 503 Elizabeth ).Also Elizabeth is right there with loads of Spanish influenced,Portuguese BBQ and Brazillian places which are dirt cheap.Algarve at 656 Van Buren Ave
Elizabeth,is quite well received but i've not tried it yet.I often go to:
663 Monroe Ave, Elizabeth, NJ
This is a portuguese BBQ take out place that also has a large bar area,good atmosphere and friendly locals.It's dirt cheap and plentiful.It's off the main drag ,so it's 99.9% local portuguese imigrants.