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What is your "guilty pleasure" restaurant?

You know the place you go but dont like to tell people you go there and actually love the place. And, tell us your favorite item on the menu. Whether its fast food, a chain restaurant, or a neighborhood hole-in-the-wall!

Mine is Pasta Fair. I seriously love their house sauce, and their cheap white bread dipped into the overly-vinegary house dressing.

Come on chowhounds, theres nothing to be embarassed about! (ok, maybe a little) No one will be made fun of, insulted, or judged.

We might discover new places here.

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  1. I love to go to the Larchmont Diner for a deluxe cheeseburger on toasted english muffin with mustard, mayo and ketchup, side of onion rings. I never tell anyone I go there.

    1. White Plains Galleria, Food Court. What is it called, the sandwich place, Charley's Subs or something. Turkey and Cheddar melt with mayo lettuce and tomato. Their turkey tastes so fresh, and their bread is toasted just right. I'm not even embarrassed to admit it, because normally turkey tastes way too processed for me. Man, I could go for one of those right now.

      1. I've posted about this before, I'm sure, but I guess it belongs here as well.

        In Englewood, NJ, there is a pretty standard Tex Mex place called Blue Moon. It is definitely no place to go out of one's way for, with the exception of one thing: they make a hell of a bowl of chili, called Full Moon Chili. It's made with large hunks of tender beef (sirloin), no beans or tomatoes, and a good dose of spicing. The good thing is that it loses nothing as a takeout order (sometimes I'll do a takeout combo of that chili with a schwarma from the place across the street.)

        But if you're going to stay and make a meal of it the beef chimichangas are also not too shabby (and probably closer to a 'true' guilty pleasure.)

        2 Replies
        1. re: TongoRad

          You summed up Blue Moon in a nutshell. I've been making special trips to the Wyckoff location (and to the Ridgewood location before that when it was open) for years solely for the Full Moon Chili. It's awesome. (But I don't recommend getting it topped with sour cream. It turns the chili into a white gloppy mess as it breaks down.) But as for most of the rest of the stuff? It's OK, but nothing special. But man, that chili...

          Speaking of Mexican food, I love going to a real casual Mexican restaurant in Lodi on Rt. 46 called El Norte. Great food, and Monday night is All You Can Eat! You can pick soup, and about 20 different entree foods, and they make each plate fresh and bring it to the table. Awesome chips and salsa too. The enchiladas and tacos are my favorite. It's very casual, with a largely working class crowd. I go every two to three weeks. It never super busy, and for $9.95, it's probably the best restaurant value in North Jersey.

          And if you want really good traditional chili, take a ride to Hot Dog Caboose in Midland Park. This is the most bizarre, most surreal, most AWESOME food stand in NJ. They serve out of a converted railroad car, and the food is great, especially the chili. Large chunks of meat, beans, and they spice it to your liking. If you want, they even give you the spice in a separate little cup. I don't know what's in it (probably a mix of peppers and vinegar), but it's great! Oh yeah, and the hot dogs and fries are great too!

          The car is next to railroad tracks on a gravel road, and you'll feel like you're in rural Vermont until you peek down the road and see all the cars whizzing by on Godwin Ave. to remind you you're smack dab in the middle of Bergen County suburbia. Their hours are somehwta limited, especially in Winter, but check them out!

          Other "guilty pleasures" for me - Bourbon chicken at the mall stands, Chick-Fil-A sandwiches and fries, and Rita's custard (especially strawberry, which is getting harder to find)!

          1. re: zhelder

            That Hot Dog Caboose sounds great! Thanks for the rec.

        2. Folks, please help us keep this board focused on the restaurants that are unique to this area. We've removed a few off topic responses-- if you'd like to share your guilty pleasures at chain restaurants, please start a new thread on the Chains board, where such restaurants are discussed. Thanks for helping us uncover great chow in the Tristate area.

          3 Replies
          1. re: The Chowhound Team

            After shopping, or even mall walking at The Westchester I either indulge in a plain yogurt at Baby Yogurt or a number 1 combo at Ranch One. In the spring when I don't mind standing on the line outside I can be found guiltily ordering a feast at Walter's hot dog stand in Larchmont.

            1. re: lucyis

              Tell me more about Pasta Fair. I've never ventured near enough to even look at the menu. Is it sit down of buffet?

              1. re: MasterofLightChick

                Finally did make it to Pasta Fair thanks to the first poster. It is totally a guilty pleasure but very enjoyable. The pasta is homemade so you can't go wrong there. The vodka sauce actually rocks and I crave it at times. They also have broccoli rabe with tons of garlic which makes me happy. I'm pretty sure the bread is fresh baked there as they offer pizzas though your choice for butter comes in a plastic container with a peel off top. Oh well...enough of the house chianti and you could care less. It's totally old school but sometimes better than Pasta Nostra depending on the specials of the week there and I'm not kidding!

          2. Colony Pizza in Stamford (coming soon to Fairfield) has to be the ultimate GUILTY pleasure I've got goin' right now. First of all the pizza is small enough to eat yourself, but not too small where you feel hungry still. But that not even the half of it... On top of said pizza, I get pepperoni (the size of small softballs), sausage from DIRECTLY ACROSS THE STREET and just to put the big fat cherry on my big fat pie, hot oil. Oil infused with jalapenos.

            Ok, that turkey on wheat I just had for lunch aint gonna cut it... I can get pizza if I go to the gym twice tomorrow, right?