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Mar 15, 2008 06:16 AM

Culinary Wasteland That Is New Jersey

Inspired by - which uses the title phrase...

Restaurant Nicholas
David Drake's
Keyport Fishery
Conte's Bar (Pizza
)Delorenzo's Tomato Pies
Delicious Orchards
Mr. Tod's Pies
Mamma Mia Ristorante
Whitehouse Subs
Little Saigon
Max's Trattoria 31
Chez Catherine
Flakey Tart
Phoenician Bakery
Mexican Food Factory
Pithari Taverna

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  1. Life is what you make of it

    Good diners
    Italian hot dogs
    Korean BBQ
    Dim sum
    And a ton of supermarkets and specialty stores to make your own culinary masterpieces

    1. The original comment has been removed
      1. Oh, frickin' please! I stand by the statement. Considering we are (I think) the most populous state based on density per square mile, I'd expect a great deal more. In Manhattan or Chicago, I could close my eyes, walk a few blocks then open them, and the odds are I'd be standing in front of an 'average' restaurant that's head and shoulders above 90 percent of Jersey's so called best. With several exceptions (ranging from Nicholas to Lorena to Shumi to Drakes to Origin et al--I've happily dined in most of them) what passes for 'great' here is usually mediocre, and what passes for 'good' is often awful. Let's take Opah Grille (a popular pricey place not far from me). Locals rave about it; you need reservations weeks in advance. But we found it to be p*ss poor. Finally, the NY Times reviewer ate there and all but agreed with us. Blech! I love New Jersey (I have every Springsteen song ever recorded, and I've watched and rewatched every single Sopranos episode. You got a problem wid dat or what? :-)))) ) but facts are facts. The state is, for the most part, a culinary wasteland.

        We'll soon be off to Provence for several weeks, and we don't plan to frequent more than a few Michelin star joints, But I assure you: the average mom-and-pop restaurants in the tiny towns dotting all of France blow the doors off of every place in Jersey but the top few. Make the best of it here. Rationalize all you want. But don't delude yourself into eating sh*t and calling it Shinola. Haute cuisine in the Garden State? For the most part.... fuhgedaboudit!

        1 Reply
        1. re: mmgpsych

          So you think Provence has better food than New Jersey. Do I have that right?

        2. Or how about just "South River, NJ" haha.

          Ria Mar
          Portuguese Fisherman
          3 or 4 European Provisions
          3 or 4 Portuguese Provisions
          New Brazilian Place
          Thai Place
          GREAT mexican place
          Polonia (on whitehead I think that is what it is called)

          On and On and On...

          Comparing a densely populated metropolitan city, with much commerce and wealth, such as NYC, Chicago, etc. with the entire state of NJ is just plain silly, but Culinary wasteland?

          Springsteen sucks, Jovi sucks even more! but NJ food is great. Culinary wasteland? you haven't traveled the US much.....

          3 Replies
          1. re: RPMcMurphy

            And a pretty good Chinese takeout, Sun Sun, right where Main Street meets Ferry St. Unfortunately, they don't serve brown rice. Good curry lunch specials, though.

            1. re: Potrezebie

              How is the new Mexican bar on Prospect St.?

              1. re: Passadumkeg

                I haven't checked it out yet. Seems like one of those places where you'd surely get looked at funny if you're not Mexican, but that hasn't stopped me with the rest of South River. haha. The sinage is all in espanol and there are quite a few Mexican cabs out front whenever I drive past.

                I'm reluctant to go in, due to bad ju-ju....i think a family member was once banned for life from the Prospect tavern. haha.

          2. The original comment has been removed