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May 20, 2008 03:16 PM

East Brunswick & surrounding area

any good restaurants.

we've eatin at
Blue Water Grill - okay, but not great & the owners constantly stare at their customers, byo
Old Man Rafferty's - big variety and fairly reasonable w/bar
our favorites
Bistro Ole in Asbury Park, byo
Bistro in Red Bank, byo

but we're looking for more places in the surrounding area, that we don't have to drive to far to have a decent meal. please help?!


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  1. Nicholas - Redbank

    "The Grove" on Milltown Road (bar with great food)

    Sophies Bistro in New Brunswick

    Either polish place in South River

    Brothers pizza

    Blue Water Grill hasn't gotten a good review except for I think my father likes it for lunch for maybe a lobster roll?? I may be confused.

    1. Perrone's in East Brunswick
      Harvest Moon - NB
      Pithari Taverna - Highland Park
      El Meson - Freehold
      Gaetano's - Red Bank
      Sahara - NB
      Stuff Yer Face - NB
      Grove- Milltown
      Garlic Rose- Cranford

      plenty more if you are looking for particular style but this should hopefully lead you in some good directions.


      1 Reply
      1. re: yankeefan

        Perrone's is now Casa Nova 68. Still owned by the guy who last owned Perrone's, with an upgraded menu and liquor license. I like it, the food is always excellent; had one of the best filet's of my life there, the scallops with pesto are almost perfect.

      2. Don't know if you would be open to ethnic foods, The Grove in Milltown for good old American Fare, Sunny Palace on 18 for DimSum, Penang on RT1 north in Edison for Malaysian, Thanh Hoai II on RT 9 south in south Amboy for Vietnamese,East Hana, 275 RT 18 S for Sushi,Brothers is still the best for Pizza,Keum Ho Jung on Old Post Rd for Korean, Ria Mar in South River for Potrugese. Please remember that all of these restaurants pale in comparison to their counter parts in the city. But for our area they will do................... Barely.

        11 Replies
        1. re: currymouth

          going to try
          the Grove, Thanh Hoai II, Pithari Taverna & Sophie's Bistro.

          Ria Mar is okay for quick/inexpensive meal
          Harvest Moon - ugh
          Perrone's - wouldn't go back there at all

          some other favs of ours.
          Pad Thai - highland park
          Scalini Fedeli - chatam
          Soho on George - NB
          thai chef - montclair
          copper canyon - atlantic highlands
          ollie kleins - belmar
          & thai restaurant in old bridge (can't think of the name)

          but, just need additional places in or around east brunswick.
          thx for all your suggestions.

          1. re: eatinman

            Strongly suggest Pithari, my new favorite and its a BYOB. Get the octopus and the fried calimari, best Ive had in NJ by far.

            Whats the issue with Harvest Moon? thats a standby for me for beer and grub. that one hurt.

            I am anti-SOHO, but Im willing to give another try if you do same for Harvest Moon :)

            Origin Thai is in both Somerville and Morristown- great as well.


            1. re: eatinman

              Any time. The Thai in old bridge, Is it the one in the newer shopping mall on 516? I went there when it opened and they were still working out the bugs. Any good now? and can they do "Thai Hot"

              1. re: currymouth

                not sure what is 'Thai Hot' - but my experience w/most Thai restaurants is that they don't think you can eat really hot food. personally I enjoy it, but my wife likes it about medium spicy. and now one of the wait staff from Pad Thai works there, very sweet accomidating lady.

                in another life I use to eat at Pad Thai quite a lot, they were also concerned that you could take really hot food - but would make it as hot as you want - and their food has always been great. but sometimes you must put up with other persons desires - so we go their but order mild..

                1. re: eatinman

                  Thanks again. My wife and I are used to very spicy, She used to visit Thailand and Singapore on business and I have a West Indian background. Even when we ask for hot the kitchen staff tones it down in order to prevent dishes returning. We will try that Restaurant again and report back. Good eating.

                2. re: currymouth

                  Hey, currymouth,

                  There have actually been to Thai restaurants in that same space on 516. Not sure which one you went to, but the current occupant is Thai Thai, and we have never experienced any kinks. The food is very good though I can't say if they do "Thai hot" because I prefer mine on the milder side.

                  1. re: RGR

                    I pass it all the time taking the dog to the vet, but haven't noticed the change in ownership. I think maybe it's time to give it another shot. We need some place that can produce good ,spicy fare to put sweat on the brow. Thanks for the heads up.

                    1. re: currymouth

                      Just to be clear, currymouth, there has not been a recent change of ownership. That space was first occupied by Pooket. When it closed, Thai Thai took its place and has been there for quite some time.

                      1. re: RGR

                        That's fine. The last time we ate there it was Pooket. Now how is the food compared to the previous owners? Did you try it in the early days?If not , don't stress. we're due for another visit.

                        1. re: currymouth

                          We did eat at Pooket several times. It started out o.k., but as time went on, the quality of the food deteriorated. We have been to Thai Thai three times, and it is definitely a cut above.

                3. re: eatinman

                  River Thai, on Main Street in South River in my opinion is the best Thai restaurant in the area. Their Massaman (Mussaman) curry is great, as are the Thai Basil Noodles.

              2. Seven Hills in Highland Park, the food bar in the Hong Kong Supermarket in EB, the seafood rest. on Rt. 18 north (just n. of red lobster) in EB, Covellos on Rt. 35 N in S Amboy, just N. of the bridge, and Costa Verde in Sayreville. Rt. 28 in Edison is Chow Land. Maine Street in South River is a hoot. How's the new Brazilian BBQ?

                14 Replies
                1. re: Passadumkeg

                  I think the seafood place on 18 may be the Blue Water Grill- Id like to hear what others thought about the place? Live right by there and always love BYOs but havent tried out- heard mixed things from friends.

                  Is it worth a try?

                  1. re: yankeefan

                    Unfortunately I have tried it twice and both times wished I had gone to Red Lobster, At least they serve booze to dull the senses, the most critical of which is taste. For seafood We go to Morgan's fishery on rt35 in Sayerville, what they produce out of a tiny galley kitchen is truly remarkable. Soft shells are in.

                    1. re: currymouth

                      I've also had a couple really good meals from Morgan's. Love their mashed potatoes. Vegetable sides have always been prepared well too (I usually go with the spinach). For the Woodbridge/Perth Amboy/South Amboy area it's my go to spot for fish. .

                      My one trip to Covello's was less than memorable. I like to try soup or a simple appetizer when I try a place for the first time. I ordered the garlic shrimp appetizer and it was pretty poor. The shriimp were overcooked and the sauce was oily like from a bad pizzeria . I wouldn't tell anyone to avoid the place since it was my only experience there but I wouldn't eat there again either. I'm curious what other people like there.

                      1. re: jrd303

                        And the calamari with the pound of garlic and grape tomatoes.

                        1. re: currymouth

                          God, I guess I've been in Maine too long! Morgan's fishery next time! We used to walk to Covello's w/ it was on Washington Rd. It was like a family meeting place. We had lunch there after my dad's funeral. I do like their calammari and their tomato sauce. Only went to Blue Water Grill on the recommendation of my mom's neighbor. We had a good time. I'll stick to lobster rolls.

                          1. re: Passadumkeg

                            Passa, You must try this joint, It's BYOB but they supply the correct glasses, It's compact but very efficient, the owner/chef used to cook in hotels and decided to go out on his own. The basics are fresh, well prepared, and easy on the wallet. Soft shelled in season, flounder, the famous Calamari, the garlic mashed potatoes, the spinach, the Broiled platter, and you must try the lobster bisque, maybe not up to Maine's standard, but for NJ....... Not bad.

                            1. re: currymouth

                              The owner was the chef at Culinary Rennaisance in Metuchen. In the 1990's that place set the standard for modern or California Cuisine.
                              The Morgan Fishery is a hoot. There are only a few tables, zero atmosphere, plastic utensils, etc.
                              Having said that the food, especially the specials is on par or better with what the Culinary Rennaisance served many years ago.
                              You can't get more casual than this. Highly recommended.

                              1. re: tom246

                                My high school sweetie lived in Morgan. I know exactly where the rest. is, but my 92 year young mom, has some favorites and when we visit it is all we can do not to wind up at Ye Cottage Inn or some old farts place w/ a french name on Cranbury rd in E. Brunswick.

                        2. re: jrd303

                          Parents order out from Morgans weekly. Love it.

                      2. re: yankeefan

                        Hey, yankeefan (and others),

                        Blue Water Grill is in NYC. The place on 18 is Blue Water Seafood. We had dinner there once, and the food was horrible!

                        1. re: RGR

                          TY! I was thinking that myself. I go into EB often (grew up there) from the LBI area. And (we eat lunch) LOVE the hot food bar at the Hong Kong Supermarket on RT 18, across from Midstate mall. I almost did not want to mention it, as it has what 8 seats? It is a food court, sorta thing, about the BEST deal you coudl ever find for the food and the money. If you want elegant (heck even fast food McD's dining) this ain't it, but sure is good.

                          I did go the the American harvest BBQ on the last weekend I was there (last month) went before opening (I think noon) in the 11:o'clock area and did not get any lines. It was good (not the best BBQ you will ever eat) and the Combo platter is beyong a bargain.

                          1. re: Quine

                            Quine, Passadumkeg and I have been raving about HK Supermarket's buffet for quite a while now. The food is real chinese home cooking and the ladies really hook you up when they recognize you as a regular. Better than any take out in the area and at $4.50, a steal. As for the BBQ at American Harvest, It is good but not great. Looks like we can support a real BBQ joint and not posers like Big Ed's or Famous Dave's.

                            1. re: currymouth

                              Oh yes, I agree about the ladies, they are awesome. The food is amazing. Often I am not sure exacty what the things are i am eating, they vary so broadly and so fresh. Only once in years have I ever gotten something I didn't like. It was a (what I am sure is a very season dish) stir fry of melon shoots/tendrils, *hairy* melon. The texture just destroyed me.

                              And agreed the BBQ is good, no great. But my Combo plate from there, literally weighted over 3.5 lbs (it is $10, for a portion of eveything that is in the BBQ menu sides and all)

                              1. re: Quine

                                I'm 1/4 Chinese and my first wife who came from a Restaurant family is Chinese. And I must confess, some times I don't know what I'm eating. But like you've said the dishes vary so widely and all you have to do is try each one until you find your favorites. Mine are the vegetarian duck, and the pork chops.

                    2. I know someone mentioned 7 Hills (excellent recommendation) but did anyone suggest Makeda in NB for Ethopian? Love that place, great food and go with a group, it's such social eating.