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Nov 21, 2009 08:15 AM

SD hound in...Bergenfield!

Heading back to Bergen County and will take any suggestions ( I know we've got slim pickins here) that are not too far of a drive. Red sauce Italian is ok, good ethnic (not Greek, hubby not big on that), heck even a great panini place will do. No Mexican--we're spoiled in SD with some of the best.

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  1. How far are you willing to travel....and are you looking for inexpensive, moderate or expensive? Are you interested in Chinese. Korean, Spanish /Portuguese, Pizza, Sea Food/Fish, Steak, BYOB or other?

    Bergenfield may be limited....but Bergen County is not.

    2 Replies
    1. re: fourunder

      Not too far but we'll do all that. My kids like to do vegan but I am doubting that is in Bergen County near Bergenfield.....

      1. re: keena

        In neighboring Teaneck, there's a place called Veggie Heaven, which I believe, is Chinese Vegan. I'll give some thoughts to this and post shortly.

    2. Your criteria are fairly vague...but you certainly have more than slim pickings. Cuban Eddies in Bergenfield is great and cheap, you can't go wrong in Tenafly with Tenafly Kosher. Also there is a new healthy cuisine resaurant in Tenfaly (I forget the name but it is right next to Mr. Wok, across from Tenafly Diner). In Englewood good to Tapas de Espana (Spanish, not Mexican food), Baugarts, Kratiem (Thai cuisine, also lots of veggie selections) or Saigon Rose. If you are willing to travel a little head up to Duke Ocean Grill in Tappan for a little nicer ambiance and more expensive food. Or just head to Piermont and go Peter Kelly.

      As for red sauce can't go wrong with Andiamo in Haworth. It is an institution at this point.

      1 Reply
      1. re: rifkind81

        Perfect! Takes care of all types of food cravings-thanks everyone! I found that healthy one in Tenafly : Green Door Cafe, even got a nice review in the Times so we will try that one for sure.

      2. Just to clarify: Cuban Eddies is not in Bergenfield, but is in Dumont (a mere .5 miles away). Bergenfield just got its own Cuban Joint on Main street in a little shack by the post office (there have been at least 5 restaurants in the tiny spot since i've lived here)...Hope this one lasts, as I tried it out last week and had a great cuban sandwich (imho, far better than Eddies), tostones, beans and rice- all for 9 bucks.

        Not a fan of Veggie Heaven or it's adjacent Tapai noodle house in Teaneck...Have heard very good reviews of the kosher steak house etc. in Teaneck, though I have not tried.

        8 Replies
        1. re: sixelagogo

          It should be noted the Cuban place you mention in/on Veterans Plaza is really a take-out place. Cuban Eddies, which won an award for best cheap eats in a New Jersey Monthly readers poll, has a few tables to dine in.

          As for Veggie Heaven, I have never been. For Chinese, my go to spot is Lotus Cafe in Hackensack. VH has been around for 15 years and since the original opening of the Teaneck location has opened two others in Montclair and Denville. They have their loyal fans, especially within the Kosher community.

          1. re: fourunder

            funny, i live 5 minutes from lotus cafe and my go to spot for chinese is beijing duck house in bergenfield.

            1. re: dock


              Are you ordering off the regular or Chinese menu exclusively? I still have not yet made it for the Flounder in Seaweed.


              1. re: fourunder

                i go about once a month and order exclusively off the chinese menu. the first time i went i told the owner, who seated us, that i understood there was a chinese menu but i don't understand chinese. he just asked me what i wanted, fish, chicken, and he then gave me a few choices of each. i told him i like a dish with shredded pork and dried tofu with yellow chives. he seemed surprised (how do you know about that) but they did have it on the menu and it was pretty good. i've had steamed stripped bass, crabs, eel, a terrific pork belly (enourmous). and the peking duck is really well done. mostly skin and nice wrappers. i do like the flounder in seaweed, get the small portion, but it is a little too greasy for me. all in all it's not china 46 but it's pretty good. and not to dis lotus cafe, it's a good restaurant, i like the pork with mustard green, but bdh is more interesting and there is never a wait.

                1. re: dock

                  I respectfully disagree about Lotus Cafe, I find it overrated, and pretty ordinary boilerplate food. This Beijing Duck place sounds interesting, have to give it a try.
                  My go-to Asian in Bergen county is Wild Ginger in Ridgewood. The freshest ingredients with innovative dishes.

                  1. re: menton1

                    Chinese food kinda sucks around here....IMHO: I hate the American vs. Chinese menu idea and find it insulting.
                    ....Agree about lotus-I was disappointed by what I had, having found the food overly greasy, salty, yet quite bland.....Bejing Duckhouse in B'field was also a disappointment -didn't order from the chinese menu, though tried the peking duck and soup was lackluster and soup dumplings were the worst I've ever had... will not be going back.
                    The only place that I might even consider going back to is the chinese place in Tenafly right next to Tenafly gourmet (the one with the fish window who's name I never catch)...Decent, though not exceptional, and filled with -alas!- chinese people.

                    1. re: sixelagogo

                      In spite of the negative comments from people who have never been there, I recommend Wild Ginger in Ridgewood as an interesting change from a NJ Chinese resto. The dishes are a bit different, innovative, and the ingredients are super-fresh. They have lots of sushi as well, but I've never had that there.

                      P.S. As far as Alan Lee goes, there is a place in Greenwich Ct, Penang, that is absolutely EXCELLENT in every way, and is immaculately clean. I only wish it were closer to Bergen. So much for 3rd party chatter...

                  2. re: dock


                    No dis on Lotus son works with the owner's brother, so there's history and my family and I are treated very well there.

                    Considering the suggestion of Wild Ginger....

                    I've heard good and bad things about Alan Lee restaurants, but have never been....if you are like me and believe restaurant attitudes form at the top, i.e., the apple doesn't fall far from the are some of the bad things said on Wild Ginger (Ridgewood) on another thread:

                    * All the Wild Ginger restaurants, including Ridgewood NJ are very lacking in service and amenities.......

                    * All owned by Alan Lee. All with service and cleanliness issues.


                    Not my idea of a go to restaurant.

          2. The original comment has been removed
            1. BTW, keena, are you moving to Bergenfield, or is this a visit?

              16 Replies
              1. re: menton1

                I am visiting family. I used to live there a long, long time ago! So long ago--when I think the Beijing Duck House was Libonati's tavern. Figured since I've got the turkey duty on Thursday, I'd take it easy and enjoy the local spots on my off day. Not any real Cuban out here so I think we'll give that a go too. Many years ago there was a place in Dumont that sold Maine lobster rolls--pricey but good. I bet that is not there anymore either.

                1. re: keena

                  You may want to consider Casual Habana Cafe in Hackensack for Cuban.


                  Libonati's......were you a customer before or after they renovated into the ugly green? Who was your favorite bartender? Jimmy C, Jimmy P, Johnny or Max?

                  btw.....The Wagon Wheel is still open.......Sadly Tony passed, but I believe Donald Lib is still running it.

                  1. re: keena

                    We ate at Pimaan Thai in Emerson which was really nice and we liked it. I liked how the Tom Yum actually had more than 2 shrimp in it and the service was great. Forced into going to Tommy Fox's in Bergenfield--that food was worse than the food we had in Ireland-large portions of overcooked, dry gutbombs. Tried Green Door Cafe in Tenafly. Cute setting, really nice owner and waiters but the food was just ok. Veggie burger and sweet potato fries overcooked, pesto chicken special swimming in grease. The pear salad appetizer, however, was nice. The shrimp pasta dish was the best entree we tried but who serves pasta with no bread? So all in all, our time spent eating in Bergen County was nice but not memorable. Next time I'll try Beijing DH and the Cuban place.

                    1. re: keena


                      I sure I can relate to your experiences at Tommy Foxes and The Green Door. After reading suggestions for the best bar and burger in San Diego, including the best burger as rated from Gourmet Magazine, we went to the Waterfront on a past trip.....I left quite disappointed and couldn't believe the love for the place.

                      Better luck and experiences next time.

                      1. re: fourunder

                        Yes, there is always a lot of loud hype out there about local cuisine. Gourmet, Bobby Flay, et al do get a lot wrong about SD too. Do not believe most of what the food shows post about the "best" in SD! Next time post on the SD boards when you are going and I and the SD hounds will direct you to a better burger. Start with Burger Lounge and we can work our way up.
                        So yet again, back to Bergenfield in a couple months....anything else we should check out? Anything new? We can do anything around Bergen County or even in the local NY area (not NYC)

                        1. re: keena

                          It's a bummer your hubby's not into greek eats, as upscale greek really is Bergen County's "best of"...these places are NOT your typical gyro joints, but instead host some of the most innovative and well prepared food to hit the county in a long might have to get sneaky on him, but if you take him out to one of the nearby places, you just might fool a non-greekfoodeating hubby into loving the old country.

                          My personal favourite is Nisi Estuario in Englewood, though others prefer Axia in Tenafly...other spots include Oceano's in Fairlawn and Varka in Ramsey (though I have not been to either, the reviews are great.

                          As for non-greek eats, there's been a lot of hubub over Picnic in Fairlawn and i'm hoping to check it out towards the end of the month...its a BYOB run by Christine Nunan (sp?), a chef who's got a fair bit of local fame.

                          Further out, I can wholeheartedly suggest Culinaire in Montclair...its a BYOB that knocked my socks off last spring...everything (and i mean everything) was amazing...creative, balanced, and just about everything you'd ever want out of a small, chef inspired restaurant.

                          Finally, back to cheap eats-. Bergenfield's little cuban joint, El Canney, which I mentioned last year, is still rocking my's just about everything I've ever wanted in a cuban joint -- tasty, friendly, cheap, and their yucca is one of the best things i've ever put it my mouth...yes, its lacking seating (it's got a little 2 table garden along the side, but no indoor seating) but bang for the buck, there's no better carry-out in the area...

                          30 North Spruce Street, Ramsey, NJ 07446

                          AXIA Taverna
                          18 Piermont Rd, Tenafly, NJ 07670

                          747 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M, CA

                          Nisi Estiatorio
                          90 Grand Avenue, Englewood, NJ 07631

                          Oceanos Restaurant
                          2-27 Saddle River Road, Fair Lawn, NJ 07410

                          33 Walnut St, Montclair, NJ 07042

                          El Caney
                          48 W Church St, Bergenfield, NJ 07621

                          1. re: sixelagogo

                            +1 for Nisi and Axia - i've had excellent meals at both.

                            and to add one more spot for cheap eats - Bennies in Englewood

                            AXIA Taverna
                            18 Piermont Rd, Tenafly, NJ 07670

                          2. re: keena

                            Smashburger recently opened in the Shops at Riverside, Hackensack, but I understand they have also recently entered the San Diego market as well, so you may or may not want to consider a visit there. In Rochelle Park/Maywood, Bistro 55 is worth considering and if you are into casual family dining and pizza, Momma Roxy's opened on Passaic Street. In Little Ferry, Segovia opened a second restaurant with the intention of focusing on steak, but have since included more dishes from their original restaurant in Moonachie. If you are willing to try something different, the best steak in Bergen County is run by a Korean who's passion is the science of beef. The restaurant is Prime & Beyond located in Fort Lee.


                            Since you will not be arriving for a couple of months, I'll give some proper thought into your query. Meantime, you may want to mark the following sites for old staples, new openings and closing of restaurants.




                            1. re: keena

                              If you would like to try Traditional Korean, described as true comfort food and authentic, consider Sorman in Norwood.

                              I recommend the Mandoo and Bo Sam


                              Mandoo Bar
                              476 Bergen Blvd, Palisades Park, NJ 07650

                              1. re: fourunder

                                Many many years ago we used to love Park and Orchard down by the Stadium. Is it still any good? Also, any Italian? We did some place off Kinderkamack last year, forgot the name. It was decent red-sauce type place.

                                1. re: keena

                                  Personally, I think Park and Orchard went into a decline in quality and execution over the years and I have not been back in the past 5 years or so, so I'll let others with more recent experience comment.

                                  If you are looking for comfort Italian....which I know does not exist in San Diego, consider The Big Red Tomato in Fort Lee or Di Palma Brothers in North Bergen.



                                  Big Red Tomato
                                  1205 Anderson Ave Ste 1, Fort Lee, NJ 07024

                                  Di Palma Brothers
                                  8728 Kennedy Blvd, North Bergen, NJ 07047

                                  1. re: fourunder

                                    "Personally, I think Park and Orchard went into a decline in quality and execution over the years and I have not been back in the past 5 years or so, so I'll let others with more recent experience comment."
                                    my most recent experience there was about a year ago, and it was awful. the chef had recently left, and the new guy running the kitchen apparently wasn't working out so well. my shrimp was charred beyond recognition to the point of inedibility, so we sent it back and the second attempt wasn't much better. i was there with my brother who's been eating there 2-3 times per week for years (seriously), and they didn't get his order right either.

                                    i should ask him how it's been lately.

                                  2. re: keena

                                    We still love Park and Orchard....they have a huge menu, lots of great options for a vegetarian like me and an omnivore like my husband. Huge bar if you have to wait for a table and a nice wine list. Also celiac-friendly, which is a major plus for us!!

                              2. re: fourunder

                                Waterfront is the oldest bar in SD..
                                It has a great burger..fries blow, but the burger is quite good..
                                Obviously, you hit it on a bad is one of the best dives and is considered blasphemous to be running smack on it.
                                ; )
                                Burger Lounge isn't all that..imho

                                1. re: Beach Chick

                                  Is Fat City still open in SD? I had a great time there a few years ago...