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Jun 9, 2012 06:37 AM

Looks like we'll be leaving the Garden State

Hi all--I've enjoyed reading your reviews while we have lived here, and you have steered me toward many great places to eat. It seems that we will be leaving for either the NOLA or the San Francisco/San Joaquin Valley area at the end of the summer, so I'm looking for spots in NJ that you think mr. diva and I cannot miss before we leave! We live in Summit, and we will travel for good food. Just for points of reference, here are some favorites, and this is just a partial list:

Milburn Deli or Zappia's in Summit for Italian/Deli sandwiches
Mompou in Newark for tapas
Seabra's in Newark for Portuguese seafood
Casa Maya in Meyersville for Mexican (we don't think it's great by Texas standards, but it fulfills intermittent cravings--we'd love to find a place with traditional tacos ([garnished with cilantro, onions, and lime slices] and homemade tortillas outside of Manhattan)
Stamna for Greek in Bloomfield (disappointing the last time we went, overcooked and dried out meat)
Dinosaur BBQ in Newark (or Harlem, for that matter)
Above Bar (quasi new American)
Marjan in Morristown for Persian
Taka Sushi in Summit (this place is just OK, but the best we've found in the area)
Shanghair Bun in Edison
Grand Sichuan in Jersey City (good spicy beef soup and soup dumplings)
La Pastaria in Summit (pretty good local Italian; their extensive daily specials menu is good)

There are a lot of restaurants we go to in Manhattan and Brooklyn, but I am trying to limit this list to NJ. Where should we go?

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  1. Without thinking too hard about it:

    Definitely grab a bunch of friends and go to Chengdu 1 in Cedar Grove for authentic Szechuan!
    Blu in Montclair
    Denville Dairy for a cone out front and (sep of excellent ice cream), a real 'Americana' experience (kids, dogs, neighbors, etc.)
    Skylark Diner in Edison

    1. This may not be what you have in mind, but may I suggest The Clinton House in Clinton (Hunterdon County). A great old restaurant in a beautiful town and a nice drive (under an hour) from Summit. I've never been disappointed in over 40 years of dining there.

      1. El Senor Frog for Authentic Mexican, in Manahawkin, NJ.

        Per photo: "traditional tacos ([garnished with cilantro, onions, and lime slices] and homemade tortillas "

        1. I just got back from oh man the food there is amazing. If you love food you can't go wrong with either of your possible destinations, but there's just something about the culture and food at NOLA. Best of luck!

          If I were to leave NJ, I'd probably try to squeeze in one meal at the following joints:

          Nicholas, Red Bank
          Shanghai Bun, Matawan
          Chengdu, Cedar Grove
          Super Pollo, Brick
          Picnic Garden, Edison
          So Kong Dong, Fort Lee
          Jack's, Long Branch (Garlic buffalo wings)

          That's all I can think of for now.

          1. Lorena's in Maplewood.
            Orange Squirrel in Bloomfield.
            Element's in Princeton.
            City Tavern in Elizabeth.