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Jan 11, 2008 01:11 PM

What to eat in Colts Neck?

Hey guys,

I just moved to Colts Neck (near the high school) from the Ocean/Eatontown area, and I'm totally totally lost. Not only does it seem like there's nowhere to eat, there' in Colts Neck, period. Help! :)

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  1. Great zip code, terrible food choices. You're not far from Perkins. :)

    14 Replies
    1. re: jsfein

      Thanks man. I'm feeling better already. :)

      Probably driving a little north to Shanghai Bun for dinner though. I've been totally digging their buns and noodle soups!

      1. re: joonjoon


        Delicious Orchards is in Colts Neck. An excellent country food market, and they have an outdoor cafe that remains open even during winter.

        You might try I Cavallini, across the road from Delicious Orchard. Since Chef Toni Froio left, nobody who participates on this board seems to have been there, so you could take one for the team.

        Also across from D.O. is Christopher's Cafe. We haven't been there in quite a long time, but Chris is a talented chef, so it's worth checking out.

        You're not that far from Freehold Boro. Think El Meson for Mexican! :-)

        1. re: RGR

          Hi RGR,

          Thanks for the suggestions. I went to delicious orchards yesterday and got me some foie gras. :D The place is a little on the pricey side for my tastes but they do have some really good stuff!

          1. re: joonjoon

            Hey, joonjoon,

            When shopping at Delicious Orchards, it really pays to know what prices the local supermarkets are charging. While I agree D.O. is no "bargaintown," there are many items that are competitively priced and, sometimes there are items that cost less than in the supermarket. Also, they carry items that cannot be found elsewhere in the area. For example, we love D'Artagnan's merguez, and D.O. is the only place around here to get it.

            1. re: RGR

              Since Wegmans opened in Ocean Twsp., I have found myself going less and less to DO. While the quality and selection of fruits and veggies are superior at DO, for me the convenience of Wegmans outweighes the drive. I find that I only go to DO for pies during thanksgiving and a few trips during the fall for apples, cider and donuts. Thanks for reminding me to pay it a visit more often.

              1. re: bgut1

                Hey, bgut,

                Funny that you go to DO for the pies when I haven't bought one in years there because I'm not that crazy about them. I prefer to bake my own. However, when I don't feel like making my own dough, DO's ready-to-go shells are great. I do like their danish, especially the almond, and they make a mean eclair! (Those are things I don't bake myself.)

                DO is only a quick 10-minute ride down 18 from our house. I usually go there around 5:30 in the afternoon, at which point, it's generally quite empty of customers. However, DO is absolutely the *last* place you will find me before Thanksgiving. Can anyone say "zoo!"? A place that requires cops to direct pre-holiday traffic into the parking lot is a place that I stay far, far away from!

                1. re: RGR

                  RGR - While good, I too am not that crazy over their pies, however, family from out of state will not let me attend our annual Thanksgiving gathering without bringing at least one pumpkin and one no sugar added apple pie from DO. As far as I recall, its usually a zoo the day before Thanksgiving. We usually avoid the crowd by picking up our pies several days before.

                  1. re: bgut1


                    Yes, relatives do have certain expectations for holiday meals that must be catered to. In my case, it's my homemade French apple tart. :-)) Except for our daughter and me, there are no pumpkin pie lovers. :-( I have been known on occasion to make one just for us!

                    Thinking back now to the many years when my parents made Thanksgiving dinner, my in-laws were always included, and my mother-in-law always brought apple pies from DO. I think they were actually much better back then.

              2. re: RGR

                Hey RGR,

                Don't get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE delicious orchards. The place just makes me wish I had a fatter wallet and a bigger gullet. :) Can't have duck liver for lunch every day.

                1. re: RGR

                  DO has a ton of stuff that you really cant find elsewhere and for 99% of the items, these are the highest end so you really have to know that going in. Their meats, breads, fresh pasta, fruits are all extremely fresh and top notch and to me well worth the price.

                  The flat out selection is awesome and while some things can be very expensive, there are always options floating out there. I wish they had seafood there because they would do a good job with it Im sure but Im glad they instead choose not to have at all rather than do a poor job with the freshness.

                  Dont forget to try the cider donuts.

            2. re: joonjoon

              Me too joon. I've been seriously craving the spicy beef noodle soup and an order of soup dumplings.

              1. re: bgut1

                I love both of those dishes at Shangai Bun, but lately I've been ordering an 'American/Chinese' dish, Chicken & Broccoli. It's the best I've had in a long time, and course I like to lace it with the hot oil that is found on the tables. It's alot more comfortable to dine alone at Shanghai, of course I love west Lake as well.

                1. re: DrewBB

                  Hey Drew. Thanks for the suggestion. I'll probably get some tomorrow - either that or something else spicy (like jambalaya maybe) ;)

                2. re: bgut1

                  I had some beef noodle soup a few days ago. :) I'm in the middle of moving and I've been crashing at my friend's pad and going to ShangHai bun practically every day.

                  ShangHai bun's "regular" chinese fare seems to be done at a higher level than your typical takeout joints, so the rest of their menu might be worth checking out as well. They also have some tasty dumplings aside from the soup buns. And the Apple soda is curiously delicous!

            3. lol - welcome to my neighborhood :o)

              For delivery - Frankie Fed's is the top choice, in a pinch, the Sultan Wok in Englishtown delivers to us as well, but both the sushi and chinese food there are not that great.

              The shortest trips are in either direction on 537 - east to the area by 34 and Delicious Orchards used to be very good pizza at Tutta Italia, but they recently left to be replaced by Rosalia which is not as good. In that same plaza is Perkins (meh) and across 34 from DO is Christophers, which is not bad at all.

              To the west on 537 is the center of Freehold. Our favorites there include El Meson for very good mexican byo, and Cafe 360 for sandwiches and gelato.

              If you take the back roads (or Rt 18 one exit) to 79 and head west just past where the Acme used to be is a good Italian take out/full service deli/bakery/etc that also makes decent gourmet pizza called Serenellas.

              And we make the trip up 34 into Matawan often for either West Lake or Cafe de Thai or Shanghai Bun.

              Ummm... enjoy? ;o)

              3 Replies
              1. re: seal

                I love El Meson and the other restaurants in the Freehold area, I didn't realize how close I am to those places now. I went to the pizza place you mentioned and got some sandwishes yesterday and they were a bit underwhelming - I think next time I'll just get some meat at D.O. and roll my own.

                Colts Neck is so beautiful but so...empty. Argh! :) I guess I'll be doing a lot more driving than I'm used to. The good news is, within a 20 minute drive in any direction it seems there are tons of great options (Freehold/Matawan/Red Bank/etc)

                1. re: seal

                  Seal, I believe Serenella's is done. My friend went by on Saturday and he said there was a padlock on the door. Not a good sign.

                  1. re: Pink Pepper

                    Well, I guess that leaves just Frankie Fed's for our decent pizza choice in the area...

                    Thanks for the update Pink.

                2. As mentioned, Delicious Orchards and El Meson are two absolute favorites of mine in terms of good produce and great Mexican.

                  If something laid back and American fare, the Grist Mill is actually very good as well IMO.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: yankeefan

                    I can also vouch for Christopher's for lunch; I love their quiche and sandwiches and their hot chocolate was great. Don't forget Huddy's, on the other side of 34 from the orchard - it's got good bar fare and it's another place to go. Stay away from Delicous Orchards on weekends during holidays and apple picking time - it gets crazy in there and if you can go during the week you would be much better off. :)

                    1. re: shesallthat

                      The last few times I tried Christopher's the food and service were seriously lacking. I think the place is under new management, and Belle, the best waitress in Monmouth County has moved to other venues...

                    1. re: tom porc

                      tom, I think you meant to type Huddy's?

                      1. re: tom porc

                        This place?

                        I was so busy thinking about food that I forgot about bars. Is this the only bar in Colts Neck? :D

                        1. re: joonjoon

                          yes, Huddy's Inn. Food was good for pub and prices very reasonable. Families welcome.

                          1. re: tom porc

                            Huddy's is a little tacky...salmon came out of the kitchen RAW...avoid at all costs, especially if you are a neat/clean is a little/lot moldy.

                          2. re: joonjoon

                            There's always Mary Anns Inn on 537 east of 34 about 2 miles from the CNHS.....a classic workingman's bar, with a decent pie.

                        2. If you're under 100, you want to stay out of Green Meadows Inn. Orlando's Pizza- in the strip mall with the post office on Route 34- has decent pizza and cheesesteaks. Not great, but decent.
                          I've only eaten at the Colts Neck Cafe twice, and both times the food was good but the portions were skimpy.
                          I've lived in CN most of my life and I haven't had a great meal here since the Happy Apple Inn closed in the early 80s! lol

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: joslyn

                            It amazes me that Green Meadows is still going strong. We tried it once about 25 years ago. It must have been a family-friendly place back then because we took along our daughter who was about 10 years old at the time. I don't remember anything about the food, so I guess it was eminently forgettable. But what does stick in my memory is that we went there not knowing they didn't accept credit cards and only discovered it after we had finished eating. We didn't have enough cash with us, but the owner was willing to accept our check even though we'd never been there before.