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Is there any decent food in East Brunswick or is it still a wasteland?

Grew up there, left as soon as I could, need to go back to meet my father for a lunch or breakfast.

In the land of chain restaurants, bad pizza, and oily Chinese (no I did not like living there)...are there any new restaurants (opened in the last 10 years!) that are passable? My father will only eat pub-type food (burgers, etc.) or red-sauce Italian.

Thank you!!

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  1. I was going to mention the Korean restaurant, but if all you're looking for is burgers or Italian, that won't help.

    1. Brunswick Grove is a great go-to pub food..if you don't like the atmosphere you can trade off to 'Gusto' (where the second stuff your face used to be) and pay the a little more for atmosphere but same food.

      Franco's Italian Kitchen on 18 next to Colonial is actually...really good for 'red sauce Italian'. I wouldn't even call it 100% red sauce Italian as the owner/chef is, I believe, recently in the US from Rome? This place was surprisingly good for me and I've been a few times since. Imagine you're in Italy at a small 'locals' trattoria. I wouldn't call it 'restaurante'. (certainly MUCH MUCH better than olive garden! or carrabas!)

      My wife likes the seafood place (blue water seafood maybe?) I've never been.

      Lastly, Colonial diner has adopted a similar menu to that of Skylark....which is quite good. check out the website.

      You can always hit up South River for great Mexican/Portuguese/Polish/Belorussian/Brazilian.

      If you like sushi (from your name) there is a sushi place off tices lane right off RT18 behind where the old meat city (now a sleepys maybe?) thats rather good (but a bit pricey I think)

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      Brunswick Grove Restaurant
      327 Milltown Rd, East Brunswick, NJ 08816

      Franco's Italian Kitchen
      552 State Route 18, East Brunswick, NJ 08816

      3 Replies
      1. re: RPMcMurphy

        Thank you - I would eat Korean but unfortunately he won't....

        I am not a fan of the Grove but Gusto sounds interesting. Franco's too - is that in the same shopping center where a video store use to be? Maybe I'm thinking of further down? But I'm sure I could find it....that actually might be the best option - and btw I can't handle olive garden even though that was "the" place when I was a kid there ;)

        The colonial was my favorite diner...they have a website now?! That might be good if he doesn't want Italian. Don't know if he'll go for the foods in South River, I certainly would!

        Is that the same sushi place that use to be there? It's on the side of tices lane facing where Rickels (sp?) and Channel use to be? I remember going there just before I moved away and liking their sushi a lot. Unfortunately that's not "real food" to my dad!

        Thanks for all the recs :)

        1. re: lovessushi

          I think the sushi place you are referring to is Wasabi House. That place still exists. (I believe).

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          Wasabi House
          77 Tices Ln Ste C, East Brunswick, NJ 08816

          1. re: lovessushi

            Franco's is practically next to the Colonial Diner. There's also a great Middle Eastern food store next to it.

            I think your best bet is Gusto. Wife and I ate there once.. really liked it alot.. think upscale pub food, but many "ordinary" choices as well. Full liquor license.

            OK, it's a little more upscale than "pub" but still a great choice. Beware the annoying music:

            http://www.gustogrill.com/

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            Colonial Diner & Restaurant
            429 Lacey Rd Ste B, Forked River, NJ 08731

        2. While not in EB, have you considered Arthur's Steak pub on 644 Georges Rd in north Brunswick?.
          OK ,I would stay away from the steaks but they serve a pretty decent burger that can be ordered Medium rare and their Pork chops and onion soup are two of my favorites.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Duppie

            Thanks yCf...Duppie I am not a fan of Arthur's unfortunately...went there frequently when I loved there with my parents....but thanks for the suggestion!

          2. We lived in E. Brunswick from 1975 - 1998 and had a few good dinning experiences over the years. But, in this day and age good luck...

            1. What about Sunny Palace? I can't speak to the typical take out Chinese dishes but the cart service Dim Sum on Saturdays and Sundays from 11-3 is really good. You could have Dim Sum while dad has the more tame Americanized Chinese Fare.

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              Sunny Palace Fine Chinese Cuisine
              1069 State Route 18, East Brunswick, NJ 08816

              1 Reply
              1. re: angelo04

                Yes JerzeyShore I tend to think they're all gone. I lived there until 2004 and it was just...bleck. Angelo Sunny Palace sounds good except my father doesn't like Chinese either...

                I think I'm giving up and I'm going to ask him to come up to my area where at least we can have something that's more than edible...but in case he says no...thank you for all the input everyone!!

              2. I would agree with the second part of the question. The food in East Brunswick is still awful overall. I would go New Brunswick instead to eat lunch.