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Aug 9, 2010 02:33 PM

New to Montclair area: sushi, produce, burritos

Hi all! We just moved to Montclair from Brooklyn, and I've had a great time following up on some of the other Montclair-themed threads - Chengdu 1, for example, was amazing, and ditto the coffee chip ice cream at Mark & Julie's. However, there are a handful of specific questions that I wanted to run by the board. Any help is greatly appreciated.

1) We're pretty enthusiastic sushi eaters, but are also trying to be good doobies and stick to sustainably-sourced fish. This can make it difficult to go to a place like Tomo, where it seems to be purely omakase. While I don't expect to find a sushi restaurant that specifically emphasizes sustainable sushi (heck, there isn't one in all of NYC), is there a sushi place within driving distance that (A) is really good, and (B) would at least know the source of their fish (and wouldn't mind someone being a pain and asking about it)? A lot of sushi chefs get annoyed by this line of inquiry...

2) I know about the Saturday farmer's market, but is there a good source of fresh produce for the other six days of the week? A farmstand would be wonderful, but if not, is one supermarket notably better than the others?

3) Finally, is NJ any less of a burrito wasteland than New York? Anywhere with burritos worth driving to nearby?

Thanks for any suggestions. This is quite an adjustment, but looks like a great one so far!

Chengdu 1
89 Pompton Ave, Cedar Grove, NJ 07009

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  1. I grew up in Montclair but haven't been back in a looong time. Mexicali Rose used to be one of my favorite Mexican joints though. I wonder if it's still any good...

    3 Replies
    1. re: joonjoon

      I believe Mexicali Rose closed a couple of years ago.

      1. re: Anthony A

        Really? That's amazing...back when I lived there there was ALWAYS a 30min - 1 hour wait for that place. I wonder what happened...

        1. re: joonjoon

          The original owner sold Mexicali Rose a few years ago. After the sale, the restaurant really went downhill - the new owners tried relying on the name but people figured out that it was headed south. It then closed, and another restaurant was being worked on to replace it. Oddly enough, right before the new place was scheduled to open, it re-opened, again, as Mexicali Rose. I haven't been to this version yet.

          The original owner now owns Cuban Pete's, right on Bloomfield Avenue. It's a decent, casual place with some pretty good dishes on the menu. Service is a bit dodgy, especially when it's crowded - and it is as crowded as Mexicali Rose used to be.

          Cuban Petes
          428 Bloomfield Ave, Montclair, NJ 07042

    2. Hi, we are just moving to Montclair too (me from Queens!) and have the same desire to find fresh local food and good restaurants. I am very used to all kinds of ethnic food in Queens and wonder what good places are in town and around, preferably that are not on the main ave (those I know already). Any ideas? We can share experiences and observations....


      1. In Verona, the next town over, try Tortilla Sunrise on Grove St. I had their chicken mole a couple of months ago, and it was really good.

        Whole Foods has good (but pricey) produce. Sometimes the "Farm Stores" (there's one in Verona on Bloomfield Ave) will have decent produce. Also, from now until October or November, you can find real farmer's markets in other towns in the vicinity. This is a list of NJ farmers markets:

        1. In West Orange we like Los Tapatios for Mexican food -- the restaurant side as opposed to the bar side. They have really good tres leches there too.

          Tito's Burritos has spots in Summit and Morristown. I like their surfer dude burritos.

          Los Tapatios Restaurant & Bar
          10 Main St West, Orange, NJ

          Tito's Burritos
          26 Washington St, Morristown, NJ 07960

          1. Tinga's is decent for tacos and burritos, which is in Upper Montclair. There's a farm stand in Verona right on Bloomfield Ave that also appears at the Saturday market in Montclair.

            Nori Sushi is pretty good. The YAM YAM EEL is an awesome appetizer, sushi with sweet potato.