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Nov 10, 2008 05:43 AM

Freehold jury duty -- where to go for a quick lunch

Mr C is on jury duty in Freehold. Any recommendations for a good quick lunch?

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  1. Ibby's on Main Street just down the street from the courthouse. Great shwarma.

    11 Replies
    1. re: jsfein

      Not to hijack the thread, but has anyone tried the Peruvian place sort of across the street from Ibby's?

      1. re: cranrob

        Do you mean El Familiar (it's Columbian BTW)? If so, then no I haven't but I have been to the location in Toms River and it is excellent.

        1. re: bgut1

          I've heard that El Familiar in Toms River is good but I haven't been.

          I have however been to El Familiar in Freehold and it is the opposite of good. Lousy is the best descriptive word I can think of. And, for some reason, I think it was because they had arepas on the menu as a new item, I tried it again and had the same reaction. Just plain bad.

          1. re: seal

            seal - That's very surprising if run by the same people.

          2. re: bgut1

            It was not completely Colombian -- they had some Mexican food on the menu, too. We looked at the menu the other day and found it sketchy, to be honest. And the plates we saw coming out of the kitchen confirmed that because it did not look like made-from-scratch Colombian food.

            If I were in the poster's shoes, I would skip El Familiar and go to Ibby's -- the falafel and shawarma are excellent. I'd also skip that lousy Mexican place closer to the train tracks with the outdoor seating and colorful interior (cannot remember the name of it for the life of me) -- lousy chips, salsa tasted like it was from a jar, high prices, etc.

            1. re: glutton

              You are referring to El Meson. I totally disagree with you. Imo, the chips and salsa are just fine, and the food is well-prepared and very tasty. I don't know if there's an equivalent expression in Spanish, but as the French saying goes, "Chacun a son gout!"

              1. re: RGR

                This is heartbreaking. If El Meson is the best Mexican I can expect to get in the area, then I miss California more than I thought I would. Seriously, is this the best Mexican that the area has to offer? Those were store-bought chips. Store-bought.

                1. re: glutton

                  glutton, i feel your pain. having lived in san diego for almost 10 years, i.....i.... dunno what to say. stick to the little mom an pop shops scattered around. they are as close as you will get. believe me.

                  wife is going to san diego soon and was going to fed ex me some carnitas while there, want some? ;-)

                  1. re: glutton


                    If, like longtime residents of this area, you had to put up with Casa Comida (in Long Branch), which for years was the only Mexican restaurant for miles around, you would feel that the arrival of El Meson was a miracle!

                    I've not been to California since 1972, and I don't recall having Mexican food there at the time; therefore, I can't make that comparison.

                    So, your major complaint about El Meson is, in your opinion, lousy chips and salsa?

                    Have you tried any of the many other Mexican restaurants that have opened since Mexicans started populating the area several years ago? To be honest, we have not. But if you have, I'd be interested in hearing which, if any, you feel is better and/or more authentic than El Meson.

              2. re: bgut1

                Post deleted... trying again. After dinner at Ibby's last night, we popped our head in to the Peruvian place (Definitely Peruvian) and grabbed a menu. It's not El Familiar... it's a few doors down. It's called "Los DueƱos el Sabor". Smelled great in there, and will try it next time we're in the area.

            2. re: jsfein

              j - thanks for the suggestion. He enjoyed the shwarma at Ibby's today and plans to go back again.

            3. There's also Cafe 360 on Main. Great gelato!


              5 Replies
                1. re: bgut1

                  Maybe I should post about it on the Ibby's thread, but I wasn't exactly bowled over by our recent first experience there.

                2. re: RGR

                  You are aware that the URL posted for Cafe 360 is just a generic domain placeholder?

                    1. re: JessKidden

                      Oops! Thanks for the correction, JessKidden.

                3. The pizza place across Main from Federicis....I'm blanking on the name right now. Anyway, they do a great tradtional sfingione/sfinciuni. Basically square Sicilian pie with tomatos breadcrumb, capers, olive, and anchovy for flavor. If you're anti-anchovy you hardly know they're there. Best I've had in the area, but then again I haven't seen anyone else make this Sicilian specialty either.

                  I enjoyed their regular pizzas as well, every day they have a wide variety of "slice" pies ready to go.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: TomT

                    I think the place across from Federici's is Stefano's.

                  2. Follow-up: Thanks to all for your suggestions. Mr C lunched at Ibby's on both days of his jury service. It was convenient and he loved the food -- espcially the falafel.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: val ann c

                      Feds or the Court Jester, cant go wrong at either place, and they are both walkable and next door to each other