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Is Rabica in Teaneck worth its salt (or gnocchi to be specific)?

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Just ate at Smokey Joe's and felt like I paid way too much for way too little. Not satisfied with the flavors either. My kids were forced to eat cardboard chicken "tenders." (and I was forced to pay $8 for 5 cardboard chicken "tenders" each) so I need Rabica to be worth my time and money or I won't bother. I like Italian (specifically a good, fresh gnocchi) and I don't want to be disappointed.

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  1. Ate there last year with my husband, my salad was good but his eggplant parm was nothing exciting.

    Can't speak about the gnocchi

    1. Don't know about gnocchi, but I've never found anything worthwhile at Rabica.

      1 Reply
      1. re: morris

        I wish that weren't true.

      2. Why go to Smokey Joe's to order chicken tenders? Or rather, why complain about something that is not one of the specialties of the house? I'm sure they buy chicken tenders by the box, ready to cook and serve, already breaded, just like everyone else does. One may not be getting value in terms of portion size, but the question is whether it is enough for a kid's portion. How many times have I seen kids leave half their food on their plate, even with a kid sized meal? The optimal size of a portion, from a restaurant's standpoint, is just enough to satisfy the target consumer sitting there, without sharing plates (unless the plate is sized for 2, or Chinese food family style). If there is enough to typically take home for all or part of a second meal, it's too much. Nowadays, we expect more food than we can eat, and we complain at perceived lack of value due to the incorporation of the cost of the excess into the price. Is the complaint about the chicken tenders because of the lack of quality, lack of portion size, or both? Would the kids have eaten more? Or would they not have, but you had an expectation of more dreck? I'm sorry for ranting.

        4 Replies
        1. re: ganeden

          Cappucino neglected to mention that for $8, the five chicken tenders came with a beverage, a side and a cookie. And cornbread on the table. Ignoring the quality of the tenders for a moment, this is actually a very good deal!

          1. re: morris

            Here's the deal, a restaurant has to do things right. If they charge a lot, then they should do them very well. I know it is a Tex Mex place, but there are crayons on the table which means you might just have a few kids in there. With kids comes Chicken Nuggets...We are experts at chicken tenders/nuggets/fingers. These were the absolute worst we have ever had. There was NO chicken in them and that isn't an understatement. In terms of the tex-mex/bbq, I had wings which were non-descript, my husband the smoked bbq brisket which was non-descript, and the corn bread was not fresh or warm. Listen, people, they aren't doing it right and they are charging too much for the privilege. Enough. You do have to care enough to make good food Now onto Rabica which was very good. I had the portabella mushroom and roasted pepper appetizer with dipping sauce--divine and large portion, then we had gnocchi with pesto sauce--good gnocchi, wonderful sized portion. The desserts looked fresh and lovely (although the price was steep) but we passed. I felt very good about the prices and the variety of dishes. Carrot/ginger soup, French Onion, Zuchinni, various salads. I hear the 1/2 sandwich and soup is a great lunch choice. Rabica cares about the customer. Thanks to them. I appreciate it very much

            1. re: cappucino

              cappuchino: Thanks for the honest, rational review; it got me hungry just reading it.

              1. re: Foodtekie

                i was surprised. i don't think many teaneckers actually eat there. they should try it.

        2. I have been to smokey joe's twice and was dissapointed both times. By the service and the food. There portions are ridiculously small for the price and not at all impressive. The smoked chicken was the only dish that I thought was tasty but they gave me a very small leg and thigh portion that would maybe satisfy a child. I appreciate their concern for their customers but I agree with Cappucino, they are not doing it right. And most Teaneck places are not. The only places we go to are to Shelly's for the wood grilled fish, perfect pita (fairlawn) for falafel and shawarma or Chickies for a sandwich. The rest of the places have not been good in my experience. Rabica's fish is good but the pasta dishes are too fatty and nothing special. I understand that their cakes are ordered from Israel do it may be a good coffee and cake place but I have not tried them.

          2 Replies
          1. re: azna29

            Why would having cake imported from halfway around the world be a positive thing? Most cakes don't exactly improve with time. Note that I haven't been to Rabica and can't comment on their cakes particularly, I just don't understand why a business might do this.

            1. re: GilaB

              I don't know why they would bring them from Israel, a friend told me that the waitresses told her that they do (although this was a while ago). However, most people from Israel feel that the pastries and cakes over there are significantly better than they are here. I have not been to Israel in a long time and I don't recall the cake there but I don't think it would take very much to beat our cakes. As a dairy restaurant they probably thought a dairy meal is a good opportunity for a great dessert and could tempt people if they had really good stuff or something special.

          2. We were back again at Rabica. We were very happy. We wish others realize that this is a gem. Husband's peppered tuna steak was perfect, very steak-like, not overdone, tasty. Even the mashed potatoes were done well. Polite service. Just tasty food. We felt the pastas were very fresh and better than the norm elsewhere (again, excellent gnocchi done perfectly). Huge portions for the kids on the apps and mains. Again, passed on the desserts so don't know about that.