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Best cities for food by Lyndhurst?

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Hello -- I'll be moving from the SF bay area for a job in Lyndhurst, and am trying to figure out where to live. Any opinions on what would be best city for food within a decent public transit commute of Lyndhurst? Diversity of ethnic cuisines, a wide option of cheap eats, and good pizza are the main criteria.

Thanks!

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  1. The closest would be Rutherford, only 2 miles away, lots of restaurants and food choices in the downtown area. The only issue you will have is "good" pizza. Slice pizza in NJ SUCKS. Bar pie pizza can be good, but you'll need to travel.

    1. Hate to say it, but with the need to be "within a decent public transit commute," your options just got VERY limited. Hoboken or Jersey City are probably your best options if you're not going to have a car around here, and commuting from JC could be a bit of a pain.

      Lyndhurst is on an NJ Transit rail line and buses come through the town from other places (including NYC), but the public transit system isn't the greatest here. If you're used to going all over the place on the BART, this will be an adjustment.

      Restaurant-wise, Lyndhurst is (mostly) full of pizza and red sauce Italian places, with a pathetic (imo) handful of other mediocre options--except if you want an excellent authentic Italian sub! Rutherford has a few good spots (it's across the hwy from Lyndhurst, but a long walk--1.5 to 2 miles--if you want to get to the 'downtown' area where the restaurants are. Montclair is within reach in terms of mileage, but I don't know if you can get there from here by bus without it taking a bit too long considering how close it actually is. Nutley might be a possibility.

      Depending upon where in Lyndhurst your job is, you may not have an option other than a bus. If you want to PM me and tell me where the office is, I might be able to give you some additional thoughts.

      1. Pizza is not all doom and gloom in NJ. I'm looking forward to trying a new place right in Lyndhurst on Valley Brook Avenue named Francesca's....

        http://blogs.northjersey.com/blogs/se...

        1. All things being equal I'd recommend to anyone moving to NJ to live right near where you work. The traffic congestion is unbelievable, even compared to Bay area traffic.

          1. We live in Rutherford - without a car, former Berkeley residents, most recently Brooklyn transplants and committed non-car-owners - and love it. There are some good places (Nazar, Greektown Gyros, Red Basil for ok not great Thai, decent pub fare at the Station) plus a lot of Italian places. I wouldn't say however there were lots of diverse restaurants - the Chinese food is not good - we don't eat pizza out so can't comment on the pizza places.
            You would really have to research the NJ Transit routes to know where best to locate - our location is excellent for us, with both train and bus to the city right at hand (I need the train because I work in Secaucus) but from some locations you pretty much have to go into the city and back out to get where you need to be (I don't know of a way short of this to get to Lyndhurst from JC or Hoboken). From downtown Rutherford the 190 stops by the hotels in Lyndhurst before getting on the highway and the 76 to Newark goes along one of the major streets in Lyndhurst.
            Rutherford has no supermarket but is served by both Peapod (Stop & Shop) and Fresh Direct. We've been very happy with Peapod - no more schlepping, what a joy, and the quality of almost everything has been great (only got one not terrific piece of London broil and a bad sour cream in nearly a year's worth of deliveries).
            NJ w/o a car is certainly possible (and the traffic here is horrendous) but I would suggest taking a close look at transportation before committing to anything.

            4 Replies
            1. re: buttertart

              I'm not truly familiar with the area, but Ridge Road from Lyndhurst - North Arlington - Kearny and Harrison have a pretty diverse cultures and many food places along the route south. If you are a Soprano's fan, PizzaLand is just off Ridge Road. Newark and Ferry Street is also easily reached on the route. Heading north, Rutherford has been mentioned, but one more town up is Wallington (known as Poland on the Passaic) with a number of quality Polish options available

              1. re: fourunder

                That's true about Ridge Road and Newark.

                1. re: fourunder

                  Pizzaland looked closed the last few times I passed.

                  1. re: Applecheeks

                    I've seen some chatter citing the death of the owner......RIP

              2. Rutherford definitely has the largest and most varied assortment of restaurants in that area...

                http://neofill-dining.com/city-state_...

                It's also probably the most attractive and suburban of the towns in SW Bergen...

                Bus #76 goes from Downtown Rutherford and runs along Ridge Road through most of Lyndhurst. About 10 min travel time.

                Buttertart-- Have you ever been to Tina Louise in Carlstadt? It's supposed to be excellent Chinese/Asian food.. (Don't know about transportation there, though...)

                1. Having lived in Lyndhurst for many years and having friends who still live in the area, I would agree Rutherford is a good place for a few nice restaurants. That said, and I don't mean to burst your bubble, you will not find anything in Rutherford near the quality of better restaurants in the SF Bay Area. My partner is from the Bay Area and we travel there a lot. In fact, we are most likely moving there in a few years. To find a wide selection of really good restaurants with the same quality that you would find in SF, you will most likely have to travel into NYC.

                  PS...I currently live in Hoboken and yes there are some good restaurants here, but if you are venturing out this way, you may as well just go a very short distance across the Hudson river into NYC. Many Hoboken restaurants have gone down hill in the past few years and are showing signs of wear and tear. If you do venture into Hoboken though, you must try Amanda's. It is the best in town.

                  44 Replies
                  1. re: ttoommyy

                    Have to concur with ttoommyy here...Lyndhurst and Rutherford just aren't what I'd consider FOOD towns. There's a lot of food here, most of it is utterly mediocre, imo. For someone coming from SF/environs (my brother lived there for a while), I think Hoboken is the right place in terms of food options (and that certainly includes NYC) and for transportation purposes.

                    1. re: Curlz

                      The OP is working in Lyndhurst, he/she wants to live close by. There's enough food in Rutherford to be satisfied. There can also be an issue of living urban or suburban. One can always hop a bus/train to the Big Apple on a weekend to the REAL food town!

                      1. re: menton1

                        Precisely, we do that all the time. Rutherford suits these former Prospect Heights, Bklyn (and erstwhile Berkeley, CA) residents just time.

                        1. re: buttertart

                          "Rutherford suits these former Prospect Heights, Bklyn (and erstwhile Berkeley, CA) residents just fine."

                          Really buttertart? Where do you go? I went to Cafe Matisse last year with friends who still live in the Rutherford area and I was disappointed. Gloppy sauces, overly large portions and less-than-stellar service. I would love to know some really good places in Rutherford for the next time my friends want to get together "out there way." Thanks.

                          1. re: ttoommyy

                            Sabor Peru, Greektown Gyros (home of some seriously delicious french fries), and Nazar (Turkish) are all very good. We wouldn't go to Café Matisse on a bet - looked at the menu and said "oh no", overloaded dish descriptions, yuck.
                            We like living there because we are close to the city and that's where (other than at home) we do our serious eating. It's as fast to midtown on the train or bus than it was from Grand Army Plaza - where the same situation obtained, big deal meals were always in the city.
                            If this person is to be dependent on public transit Lyndhurst is a PITA to get to from JC or Hoboken, with their broader range of restaurants - although having worked in Hoboken for 10 years it was never on my list of where to look when we were looking.

                            -----
                            Sabor Peru
                            8 Highland Cross, Rutherford, NJ 07070

                            1. re: buttertart

                              That's helpful...thanks for the reply buttertart!

                              1. re: ttoommyy

                                You are very welcome, friend!

                            2. re: ttoommyy

                              http://www.sorrentoristorante.net/

                              Sorry, can't help you with the portion sizes......

                              1. re: fourunder

                                Hi forunder, thanks for this - I didn't know about it. Would you say it was the best Italian in the Rutherford/East Rutherford area? Must try.

                                1. re: buttertart

                                  IMO La Sicilia in Belleville is the absolute best red sauce "Italian" (really Ital-American) place in NNJ... And try a slice of the Palermo Pie while waiting for your mains...

                                  1. re: menton1

                                    Funny, my hairdresser (a food maniac, from Singapore) just mentioned La Sicilia to me the other day. Must get there.

                                    1. re: buttertart

                                      Okay, so I'm really curious to know...if you live in Rutherford and don't have a car, how do you get to a restaurant in Belleville? This is what I was trying to tell the OP.

                                      And I have to agree that there isn't much worth recommending/returning to in Rutherford proper--but I Sabor Peru and Sweet Avenue Bake Shop are probably the exceptions.

                                      ETA: Did anyone see the review of the Lyndhurst restaurant in last Sunday's NYTimes? That right there is a perfect example of my view of most of the places in this town...

                                      -----
                                      Sabor Peru
                                      8 Highland Cross, Rutherford, NJ 07070

                                      1. re: Curlz

                                        By having friends.

                                        1. re: buttertart

                                          i.e. by using a car - your friend's car.

                                          1. re: huiray

                                            Yes, but if there is a way to get there on NJT, which I haven't yet researched because I've only just heard of the place, I would use that before arranging to do so with friends.

                                            1. re: buttertart

                                              Ah. :-)

                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                NJT Itinerary Rutherford Stn --> La Sicilia :-)

                                                 
                                                1. re: huiray

                                                  Ah, huiray, you're sweet - is that the 76? We get to the Ironbound on it. Good to know, next opportunity!

                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                    Uh, note the last leg is a walk of just under a mile across the Passaic...pleasant enough I suppose in Spring and Fall, to build an appetite before and a post-prandial for the digestion, as they say. :-)
                                                    Note: downhill going to the place, looong uphill going back up Belleville Turnpike to Ridge...

                                                    Maybe a drink in Mollys after that climb from the Passaic before hopping back on the bus home or after a poke or two around the Turnpike & Ridge. :-)

                                                    1. re: huiray

                                                      Oops, didn't see that, but on a fine Spring Sunday afternoon, wth not.

                                            2. re: buttertart

                                              I wasn't being snarky with that question, but thanks for proving my point--getting around this area of NJ isn't always easy/efficient without a car.

                                      2. re: buttertart

                                        b,

                                        At the very least, i would say it's a contender. The chef's history includes a place that was once regarded as one of the top five Italian restaurants in the state, Lantana's in Secaucus.. If you like traditional Italian fare with quality ingredients and not fluff, than I would say it's a very good place. If you look at the gallery pictures, the chairs in one of the photos cost over $500 a piece, so it will give you a good indicator of the ownerships attention to details. My friends in the restaurant business all say it's very good to excellent. Most have fallen out of favor with Il Villaggio's since they fired the past chef. Jerrry's is a dinosaur by today's standards. Three places also worthy of mention are:

                                        Casa Guiseppe in Lyndhurst

                                        http://www.northjersey.com/food_dinin...

                                        Sal Anthony's in Carlstadt

                                        http://www.zagat.com/r/sal-anthonys-r...

                                        Vesta in East Rutherford

                                        http://www.vestapizzeria.com/index.html

                                        Vesta can be considered expensive for some....but someone has to pay for the mortgage and new liquor license. SAl Anthony's isn't great but it's a nice inexpensive BYOB.

                                        -----
                                        Sal Anthony's Restaurant
                                        312 Hackensack St, Carlstadt, NJ 07072

                                        1. re: fourunder

                                          @fourunder
                                          @buttertart
                                          Have either of you gone to Park and Orchard recently? It used to be pretty decent when I lived in the area...
                                          http://www.parkandorchard.com/P%26O/H...

                                          1. re: huiray

                                            Nope. Heard from a friend that it wasn't all that good (he went a couple of years ago) except for the wine list. But would be interested in others' opinions.

                                            1. re: buttertart

                                              Why not check it out yourself? It might turn out to be a fine place by your lights...and I would like to hear about it!

                                              1. re: huiray

                                                It's not all that good. Quantity over quality. No real vision. Just a mess of a menu trying to appeal to the masses. Do they even have a proper chef? Ugh.

                                                1. re: tommy

                                                  Sad to hear.
                                                  I just pulled out their dinner menu - yes, I see that their current menu is indeed an enormous grab-bag of stuff. I seem to remember it being a single-page (or a 2-pager) menu years and years ago with just a few choices for each course. Interesting that they get good reviews from so many people/newspapers etc...

                                                  1. re: huiray

                                                    Rarely do I comment in the negative about places, but Park & Orchard hasn't been good for while and I have no regrets saying so. The quality of the food that comes out has no attention to detail or standards. The crab claws appetizer is a poorly frozen product. . The soups are weak of any substance or flavor. My favorite dish there, The Le Ruth's pasta, was served to me on three separate occasions that were obviously extra remains from a previous order. Over-cooked pasta and crawfish with separated cream sauce. That sealed the final fate for me.

                                                    With regards to their highly touted wine list, many of the notable wines are not in inventory.....it just reads well. As for their Asian food, PF Chang's is better and that is not saying much. If you look at their website and the pictures of the food, it looks very pedestrian today.

                                                    1. re: fourunder

                                                      Why did you make me look at those photos? My God they have blurry photos on their website! Talk about poor attention to detail.

                                                      The lead-off photo of the salad with 2 plastic cups of what appears to be creamy dressing is a gem: welcome to 1986.

                                                      1. re: tommy

                                                        "1986" ? 'xplain, please?

                                                        I must say when I patronized the place in the, yes, late 80's and early 90's there were no plastic cups of salad dressing, not that I can remember. I do seem to recall, but could be wrong, salads already tossed, with cups of extra dressing in porcelain/glazed pottery cups if you wanted it... :-)

                                                        1. re: huiray

                                                          It's a very 1986 presentation. Not specific to the restaurant. YMMV.

                                                      2. re: fourunder

                                                        One more reason not to darken their door, attempts at Asian / fusion absolutely do not appeal. Thanks for the heads up.

                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                          I could never understand how they serve Grain Bread with Chinese Stir Fries.......

                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                            Yet "Asian" fusion is quite prevalent and sought out (by the younger folks, at least) in California for example, so I understand, and is being put forth by 2nd and 3rd generation "Asian" people. Of course, it needs to be properly done, not just a mishmash that does not come together...as is the case at P&O, I gather from the comments here...

                                                            1. re: huiray

                                                              It can be very good of course but somehow I'm not feeling that P&O is a place where it is.

                                                          2. re: fourunder

                                                            Thanks for the comments!

                                                      3. re: huiray

                                                        Given what I've heard and read my $$$ dining will remain elsewhere!

                                                  2. re: fourunder

                                                    Thank you forunder, I've been looking for a really good Italian place in the area and this looks to be it. We used to frequent (and love) Queen in Bklyn Heights - and will go back eventually - but it's nice to have something close by. Will try it and report soon.

                                                    1. re: fourunder

                                                      What do you think of Di Palma Brothers in North Bergen for red-sauce Italian?

                                                      ETA: Ah I see you approve of it: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7084...

                                                      Reachable from Rutherford Stn by NJT with one transfer, under an hour, so it seems.
                                                      Reachable from Lyndhurst Stn or at Valleybrook/Ridge by NJT with a little more effort and time, so it seems.

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

                                                  3. re: fourunder

                                                    Went to Sorrento last night (because of forunder's rec, which had been burning a hole in my pocket) and had a super salad starter - sliced avocado, shaved asparagus, Italian parsley, and crabmeat, with crushed pistachios and a very nice olive oil.
                                                    Then sphagetti alla chitarra (something I'd never tried before) with an excellent tomato sauce and light, tender meatballs. The portion was ENORMOUS.
                                                    My husband had an asparagus - mozz - prosciutto appetizer and veal with wild mushrooms, both of which he enjoyed very much.
                                                    The appetizers were from the specials menu, the main courses from the regular one. $80 w a good tip.
                                                    Thanks, forunder, this is a very nice place and easy walking distance from us! As Queen was to us in Brooklyn Heights, so this will be here.

                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                      Nice to hear you enjoyed Sorrento......thanks for the detailed review.

                                                      a btw......recently I was told there was a good Dim Sum offering @ China Chef in Secaucus........if you have not been.......keep it that way. The food was not worth the visit.

                                                      1. re: fourunder

                                                        I have had other food from there and put it this way, I'm not surprised. Secaucus has one and only one place worth going to in my experience - 7 years working here - Giovanni's Deli for the sandwiches (and characters behind the counter).

                                                      2. re: buttertart

                                                        Nice to read about it, thanks. A place for me to keep in mind when I am next in the area.

                                                        BTW have you tried out La Sicilia in Belleville yet?

                                                        1. re: huiray

                                                          Nope, not yet!

                                          2. This thread was useful to us and might be to you as well, vinchar - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/667884

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: buttertart

                                              I really appreciate all of the advice and buttertart's link! This move is likely to happen in the next 5-6 months, so I'll post here down the road and let folks know where we went/what I think.

                                              1. re: vinchar

                                                Sounds good, please do.

                                            2. Rutherford for sure.

                                              1. You could take the bus up and down Ridge Rd from Lyndhurst to Kearny and back and sample everything from Scottish (The Argyle) to a myriad of Latin American places in Kearny and Harrison.
                                                In Rutherford, one of my favorites remains Sabor Peru (on Highland Cross, off of Park Ave.)

                                                -----
                                                Sabor Peru
                                                8 Highland Cross, Rutherford, NJ 07070

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: phDuh

                                                  Sabor Peru is super, the food is delicious and very interesting and I love the guy who runs it. Always fun to go there.

                                                  -----
                                                  Sabor Peru
                                                  8 Highland Cross, Rutherford, NJ 07070

                                                2. It'll be tough in NJ without a car. Unless Public Transportation (usually NJT) has greatly improved since I lived there in Lyndhurst (12 years; I left at the end of the 90's) moving around and sampling the local food and places and going afield to do so is hard without a car. When I was there I would have to go into NYC, change buses, say, (at the 8th Ave/40th Street terminal) then back out, to get to Montclair for example, if I wanted to do it without a car. In fact, it might be an idea to consider living in NYC itself if food diversity is really important to you and then hop on the express bus from the 8th Ave terminal to Lyndhurst. I used to do that, to-and-fro between NYC and Lyndhurst, before I got a car, when I wanted to go into the city. The express bus got off Rte 3, goes past the hotels on Rutherford Ave, then goes down Ridge, Valley Brook, Stuyvesant, Kingsland Ave, across the Park St bridge into Nutley, down Washington then Kingsland St - at least at that time.

                                                  Within Lyndhurst: Red-sauce Italian places - La Cibeles & Angelo's on Ridge btw Rutherford Ave & Valley Brook; Vivo on Valley Brook before Stuyvesant. Nothing that great about them. Mazur's Bakery on Ridge just south of Valley Brook was pretty decent, mobbed at the weekends. There was a fairly extensive Korean grocery on Ridge a few blocks down from Rutherford Ave but I think that has gone away, pity. On my last visit to the place the mix of shops on Ridge on the first few blocks down from Rutherford Ave had all changed (that Chinese place and the interesting Bistro there have gone away, there are now a couple of Italian joints and a Japanese place there I think plus the wine/liquor stores and various odds-and-ends)

                                                  5 Replies
                                                  1. re: huiray

                                                    Oh - the Lyndhurst Diner (at the corner of Kingsland & Riverside just before the bridge into Nutley) was/is a local institution of sorts, open 24 hours. Diner-type food, not bad, really...and great when you are hungry at 3 am and/or on your way home after a night of carousing in NYC... :-)

                                                    The Colonial Diner on Orient Way just a stone's throw from Rutherford Ave was a great place for heart-attack breakfasts done on a sizzling flattop the old-fashioned way in an old-style diner place... :-) Not open that late, if I remember correctly.

                                                    -----
                                                    Colonial Diner
                                                    27 Orient Way, Lyndhurst, NJ 07071

                                                    Lyndhurst Diner & Restaurant
                                                    540 Riverside Ave, Lyndhurst, NJ 07071

                                                    1. re: huiray

                                                      Just as an update: La Cibeles has been closed for a couple of years, and the space is still vacant. The Colonial Diner has completed a complete overhaul, and while the menu remains pretty much the same, it has expanded its space. (and I think the food has taken a turn for the better - it's one of my favorite places for breakfast and lunch)

                                                      -----
                                                      Colonial Diner
                                                      27 Orient Way, Lyndhurst, NJ 07071

                                                      1. re: phDuh

                                                        Aha, thanks.

                                                        Regarding the overhaul of Colonial Diner - Aww, it used to be nice to walk into a teeny place with booths that was such a throwback to an older age with food to match... :-)

                                                        -----
                                                        Colonial Diner
                                                        27 Orient Way, Lyndhurst, NJ 07071

                                                        1. re: huiray

                                                          Yeah, I do agree. I love throwbacks!!

                                                      2. re: huiray

                                                        p.s. to the OP: The express buses I have in mind are De Camp buses (not NJT buses), running between Lyndhurst and the Port Authority terminal (8th Ave/40th Street) in NYC. I did a quick check and bus routes 32, 44 and 99 still run... http://www.decamp.com/ticket_informat...

                                                        I had a former colleague who commuted every work day between Nutley (across the Passaic from Lyndhurst) and Queens (was it Brighton Beach?) via the PA.

                                                      3. Unfortunately for you NJ's public transit system is designed to get people into NYC from towns like Lyndhurst. It is woefully inadequate for traveling between towns within the state. Not that it can't be done, but it takes some doing to figure things out. I've known a few people who have done so successfully, but it usually means taking a mix of buses and trains with numerous transfers along the way. The state is not a friendly one for those who don't own an automobile.

                                                        That said probably the best "food towns" within a reasonable commute of Lyndhurst are Hoboken and Montclair. They are two towns that have a concentration of good restaurants and decent variety. Morristown is a bit farther away but also has some good places to eat, but isn't a realistic commute without an automobile.

                                                        NJ isn't lacking in quality restaurants but for the most part they tend to be scattered here and there. You'd really need an automobile to be able to sample them.

                                                        1. Buttertart: Re/ Rutherford-Belleville: A 10 min bus ride, bus runs right down Ridge Road. I believe I mentioned it in an earlier post...

                                                          4 Replies
                                                          1. re: menton1

                                                            Yep I know, have used that route to get to the Ironbound. Thanks.

                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                              Well, get over to La Sicilia, it's a great place.

                                                              1. re: menton1

                                                                That we will. I'm seemingly getting more out of this thread than the OP!

                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                  Nah, I'm sure the OP is taking all of this stuff in.
                                                                  p.s. I'm getting lots of updated info for myself too... :-)

                                                          2. Rutherford - Village Gourmet (sort of upscale diner choices - lunch specials very cheap. There is a Cuban place across from Village Gourmet, I don't know the name. My daughter loves the place.
                                                            Risotto House - I like it and it is always crowded when we go.
                                                            Lyndhurst - Il Cafone - Italian. They have an early bird menu.
                                                            North Arlington - Michael Angelo - One of my favorite Italian places.
                                                            Kearny - Argyle Fish and Chips, Mi Pueblito Mexican, Lily House Chinese,OEmigrante Portugues, and there are a few Peruvian places with good food and large portions.
                                                            On the other side of the river is La Sicilia Italian (highly recommended), Topaz Thai (best Thai I've ever had, won a few NJ Monthly awards for best Thai - customer voted. Up further on Washington Ave in Nutley is Queen Margharita. Italian - great veal dishes.
                                                            Anyone who said they can't find decent food in the area suggested is crazy. By no means am I saying that these places will compete with the NY restaurant scene. I am just saying you can get a decent, tasty, flavorful meal in the suggested area.

                                                            -----
                                                            Risotto House
                                                            88 Park Ave Ste 2, Rutherford, NJ 07070

                                                            Topaz Thai Restaurant
                                                            137 Washington Ave, Belleville, NJ 07109

                                                            Mi Pueblito Mexican Restaurant
                                                            412 Kearny Ave, Kearny, NJ 07032

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: Applecheeks

                                                              Good to know about Village Gourmet, for some reason it didn't seem very appealing from the outside. Risotto House ditto.

                                                              For the best Rutherford cheap cheap with fantastic French fries (some of the best I've had anywhere), Greek Town Gyros can't be beat. Huge portions, and very nice people run the place.

                                                              Agree with your daughter on Mambo Tea House (the Cuban) - super nice people there too.

                                                              Don't forget Sabor Peru, exciting and unusual Peruvian food, father and son operation - Japanese Peruvians. This place would go super big in Brooklyn, I think. No 'tude, though, just great food and the son who runs the front of house is very fun.

                                                            2. There's a place called "New York" nearby that I hear has some good food.