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Places for Sunday dinner in Middletown, Manalapan, Sayreville and Millstone

NJforager Aug 31, 2009 04:36 PM

Just got our kids soccer schedule and we are all over the state the next month. Looking for good, local, casual, not too pricey places to eat with our kids after late afternoon games in the following places: Middletown, Manalapan, Sayreville and Millstone. It can be a pub, pizza place like Contes in Princeton or a great Chinese, Thai, Mexican,or something funky with a different menu. (Just no Italian that is not amazing pizza) Kids are 8 and 10 but will eat anything. We usually end up at a horrid chain for lack of planning and everyone is starving. Just want some good food as we are stuck in Toms River and not many options. Thanks!!

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  1. c
    cantkick RE: NJforager Aug 31, 2009 05:08 PM

    In Middletown, if at Oak Hill fields, try Bando, a Taiwanese place on rt. 35 north. If at Thompson Park, try Manow (Thai) on rt. 520 a half mile east of the park. (Or from Oak Hill, 3 miles south on Middletown-Lincroft Rd, turn left at 520.) You'll find several threads here on both.

    1 Reply
    1. re: cantkick
      NJforager RE: cantkick Aug 31, 2009 05:36 PM

      Thank you that is perfect! I will look them up.

    2. r
      RPMcMurphy RE: NJforager Aug 31, 2009 05:50 PM

      Now that Sayreville Bar is no longer, I wouldn't recommend much in Sayreville. Also, the Soccer fields are on the edge of the town, so I usually recommend people head into South River, on Main st. for some food. To get there from the fields just follow jernee mill rd. to the bridge.

      Brazil Country on main, for Brazilian BBQ. or Krakowiak on Main for some Polish.

      There is a Thai place too, but I won't recommend it. The Mexican on Main/Ferry is great, but maybe not for kids, and they are small places, one of them being a more of a store with a few tables.

      Check out this post I did about SR restaurants.

      1. Angelina RE: NJforager Sep 1, 2009 10:50 AM

        Right next to Millstone in Jackson, is Solo Bello. BYOB and I found it here on the boards. It is family friendly and I recently went with a bucnh of family and kids and I thought it was good for the area. Here is the web:


        1. Angelina RE: NJforager Sep 1, 2009 10:52 AM

          In downtown Freehold (Boro) there is a great Mexican place, also BYOB. El Meson


          1. c
            cantkick RE: NJforager Sep 1, 2009 03:26 PM

            Some other thoughts. At the Manalapan complex you're not too far from Rt. 9. There are plenty of good places within 5 miles or so. For example, north on rt 9 is Tokyo Buffet, a Japanese (mostly) buffet. Lots of sushi and other styles. Not great, but decent. Going south on 537, near the hospital is Frankly Burgers and More which has receives very good reviews on this board. I'm not sure where the Millstone fields might be, but if it's the one in the boonies off 537, you're not too far from Frankly.

            1. r
              RGR RE: NJforager Sep 1, 2009 09:19 PM

              Since you say you are looking for something with a "different menu," I highly recommend Shirin Cafe, in the Design Center, on Route 9 South, in Manalapan. Delicious Uzbek/Russian cuisine. Thread here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/621249


              Also on that same stretch of 9 South is the Turkish restaurant, Marmara. But I haven't been there since new owners took over.


              Across the road, in the Bagel World strip, there's Just Good Food. Thread here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/607817

              17 Replies
              1. re: RGR
                Angelina RE: RGR Sep 2, 2009 04:58 AM

                Hi RGR! When did Marmara change owners? I have not been there either in ages, but I did not know about the owner change....

                1. re: Angelina
                  RGR RE: Angelina Sep 2, 2009 12:00 PM

                  Hey, Angelina,

                  It's sort of a funny story, though actually not so funny. Several months ago, our daughter came out to take care of some personal business. She, Mr. R., and I decided to go out for lunch at Marmara. We sit down, peruse the menu, and pick out several dishes. We give the waiter the order, he leaves, but a few moments later, he's back to tell us that they don't have one of the items we ordered. We ask for the menu again and pick out a replacement. Another few moments pass and he's back. Apologizing profusely, he informs us they didn't have the item we'd just chosen, as well as one of the others he'd thought they did have. He then explains that the restaurant had been sold, and that day is the last for the original owners. Thus, supplies are low. He adds that everything would be available the next day.

                  Great! Wouldn't it have been helpful for him to have told us right up front when we sat down that a lot of the menu wasn't available due to a change of ownership? At that point, thoroughly disgusted, we left and went to Manow Thai.

                  As I said, we haven't tried Mamara since the change.

                  1. re: RGR
                    Angelina RE: RGR Sep 2, 2009 04:56 PM

                    Thanks darling, RGR. How funny!!! Did you daughter laugh and say, "Why did I leave the city for this???"

                    ha ha!!

                    Thanks for the info.

                    By the way, I had such an incredible lunch today at Mumford's. OH MY! Sooo good. Hanger steak sandwich on a bagette, homemade ravioli with feta, sundried tomatoes, corn, peppers, basil...my husband and I thought we were back in St Barths!!! sooo good!! (Of course, no beach, lunch for 3 hours, and a nice bottle of rose'...oh well....I still loved the lunch!!!)

                    1. re: Angelina
                      RGR RE: Angelina Sep 2, 2009 08:37 PM

                      Glad to hear you enjoyed your lunch at Mumford's, Angelina. I fondly remember the great meals we had when they were in Long Branch. I've been to the Shrewsbury location a couple of times, but that was quite a long time ago.

                      1. re: RGR
                        Angelina RE: RGR Sep 3, 2009 04:45 AM

                        We use to frequent Mumford's when my husband was first courting me. :) Can't remember a THING I had, but it always was a special place to me. Back in those days, you could have thrown a plate of Spaghetti- O's in front of me and I would think it was fine dining! haa haa!!! Thank heavens I outgrew that! hee hee

                        RGR, again the lunch was really good. So good, I just was speaking about it again to my husband!

                        1. re: Angelina
                          RGR RE: Angelina Sep 3, 2009 05:17 AM

                          When Mr. R. and I have an especially delicious restaurant meal, we can sometimes rhapsodize about it for days afterwards. lol That's exactly what's been happening with our latest experience at EMP. steakrules85, who was with us, wrote a glowing review on the Manhattan board. If you haven't read it, here's the link: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/649508

                          Like you, I don't remember any specific dishes at the old Mumford's, but the delicious Southwestern-style cuisine was such a refreshing change from all the mediocre Italians that continue to glut the culinary landscape around here. How ironic that another one of those took over that space when Mumford's vacated.. I can't remember the restaurant's name, but Toni Froio was the chef, which I thought would bode well. Unfortunately, she was totally off her game at that point, and our meal was a major disappointment.

                          1. re: RGR
                            equal_Mark RE: RGR Sep 3, 2009 06:14 AM

                            Ahhh, Mumfords... Here are some memories (How about the prices?):


                            1. re: RGR
                              Angelina RE: RGR Sep 3, 2009 06:38 AM

                              I am about to follow that link to the review.

                              That is great Mark found the old menu. Still looks great. (Love those prices, too, Mark!!)

                              Is Tavolo now where Mumfords was? Or is that a different building. I get them confused. Tavolo was another meal that I choose to forget. I went once or twice and was unimpressed both times.

                              1. re: Angelina
                                RGR RE: Angelina Sep 3, 2009 07:20 AM

                                Thanks for the memories, Mark. With regard to the prices, at that time, I think they were considered fairly high-end. Definitely worth it!


                                Yes, Tavolo is in that location now. I've never been tempted to try it.

                                1. re: RGR
                                  Angelina RE: RGR Sep 3, 2009 07:39 AM

                                  Why did'nt you want to try another Italain-American restaurant? Since we are so limited with them in the Manalapan/Marlboro area. hee hee :)

                                  1. re: Angelina
                                    RGR RE: Angelina Sep 3, 2009 11:11 AM

                                    For the most part, we do our Italian dining in NYC. We've been to Scarpetta twice recently, and both meals were superb! Lots of luck finding Italian food of that high quality in our area! When we're at home in NJ, and we get a yen for Italian food (doesn't happen too often), we go to SamVera, which is fine for your basic Italian-American fare.

                                    1. re: RGR
                                      HillJ RE: RGR Sep 3, 2009 11:38 AM

                                      My family enjoyed your recommendation for Trattoria Trecolori back in July, RGR. From hot appetizer to wine pears we were smitten!

                                      1. re: HillJ
                                        Angelina RE: HillJ Sep 3, 2009 12:26 PM

                                        I have YET to ever be disappointed by any of RGR's suggestions for restaurants. She is MY Zagat. haa haa...My husband and I joke about that when we are looking for something in Manhattan. I tell him, let me find out what our little Zaget-ess would recommend!

                                        1. re: Angelina
                                          HillJ RE: Angelina Sep 3, 2009 12:30 PM

                                          That's funny & true Angelina. I wish dh & I had the time RGR has to enjoy & explore NYC dining though. THAT is truly a luxury.

                  2. re: RGR
                    RPMcMurphy RE: RGR Sep 2, 2009 12:29 PM

                    just keep in mind, as I didn't yesterday, that Shirin is closed on Mon-Tue. Ended up at the diner :(

                    1. re: RPMcMurphy
                      Angelina RE: RPMcMurphy Sep 2, 2009 05:00 PM

                      Oh you MUST ttry Shirin, RPM!!! Sooo good. I do not lie! That place is so great, like someone's grandmother cooking for you!

                      1. re: Angelina
                        RPMcMurphy RE: Angelina Sep 2, 2009 07:12 PM

                        Oh!, I've been!!! which is why I was dissapointed when it was closed!!!

                  3. m
                    Mr. Bingley RE: NJforager Sep 2, 2009 04:38 AM

                    you could also try Nilaam in Middletown for a good Indian buffet. It's in the strip mall at the intersection of Rt. 35 south and New Monmouth Rd.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Mr. Bingley
                      HillJ RE: Mr. Bingley Sep 2, 2009 07:10 AM

                      Neelam in Middletown offers a lovely Indian buffet but is a small dining room. How many in the OP's party would be a consideration. Also, I have not found Neelam to be child friendly.

                      1. re: HillJ
                        Mr. Bingley RE: HillJ Sep 2, 2009 12:10 PM

                        ah, you're right, Hill; I should have read the initial question a little more closely.

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