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Bergen County area "recent" or all-time favorites...Italian, sushi, Mexican, Greek, and so on...

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ELA Mar 19, 2013 08:46 AM

I've been eating out a lot lately and have had some excellent meals lately...some all-time favorites and a few new ones.

Anything new in your world? I've been very much enjoying the burgers at ZinBuger -- yes, in Clifton, and yes, I know it's Passaic County, LOL, but it's close enough. I've had every burger on the menu by now and they are good. For my tastes, I like 'em. Anyone try the new location in Paramus yet? I've also always enjoyed Cheeburger Cheeburger -- they do it right! Top notch burger and experience. It's not a "fancy" place like ZB, and it's not trying to be. But I like it.

Where's your favorite Mexican? I've had to rely on two places just over the border in downtown Suffern, but what's in Bergen County?

Sushi -- in Ridgewood, small, little, out of the way, BYO, not well known place...Masago (S. Broad St.). Just try it.

Italian -- I've enjoyed, and always have, Savini lately. Some very good specials.

Greek -- Greek City (Ramsey). Any others? I found a great place while visiting a friend, but it's in Wayne/Passaic County. I'll go there when I am visiting, or plan a trip, but it's not like I am going to jump in the car on a whim and just drive there to get some food.

What have you been enjoying lately? Favorites? Old? New?

Thank you in advance...

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  1. Bosmer RE: ELA Mar 19, 2013 11:29 AM

    Burgers: I like Bobby's Burger Palace out of all of them.

    Mexican: For authenticity and zero ambiance go to Cinco de Mayo in Hillsdale and have some lengua or cabeza tacos. For more ambiance and delicious food try Riviera Maya Mexican Cuisine in Bogota.

    Sushi: Masa in Allendale is best.

    Vietnamese: Mekong Grill in Ridgewood.

    Italian: Just accept that red sauce is your destiny and just go to any of them!

    Greek: Axia in Tenafly is great.

    Chinese: Dim Sum Dynasty in Ridgewood for dim sum. For non-dim sum Lotus Cafe in Hackensack still has its act together.

    Bakery: Sook in Ridgewood performs at such a high level that all others pale in comparison.

    Barbecue: Finks in Dumont is #1. Not much competition in Bergen County. Bourbon Bbq is unreliable and Blind Boar just isn't very good.

    Pizza: A Mano in Ridgewood is fantastic. For an old school slice I like Tony D's in Westwood.

    Kosher-style deli: Nosher Rye in Allendale does it well!

    4 Replies
    1. re: Bosmer
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      ELA RE: Bosmer Mar 19, 2013 02:02 PM

      I like Bobby's a lot. I tend to give Cheeburger Cheeburger the nod, LOL. But Bobby's is down the street from my office, so that's the go to place. I guess by default I have given Bobby's the nod, LOL. But when I go to CC -- for my tastes, the burgers are excellent! BuCu is also right down the street from my office, just as close, and we go there. I like it, it's good -- but for my tastes, I rate the other two higher.

      I've heard about Cinco de Mayo, but not Riviera. Thanks for the heads up.

      I also know and like Masa. Different kind of place than Masago -- excellent fish, fresh, solid menu, has a flair for the creative if you like, etc. I get a lot of the same traits at Masago, but certainly a different ambiance. There are certain special rolls they do there, that I've had elsewhere and they just don't measure up. Try it. I need to head to Masa soon.

      Axia, Dim Sum Dynasty, Lotus, and Sook are all good. I like all of them. For Greek, although it can be pretentious and too much of a "scene" I like Varka very much for certain dishes. I'll go to avoid the bar scene, but the food is very good.

      I agree 1000% on Fink's...'Nuff said...LOL.

      For the deli -- I've been to NR and it was good. My favorite is the Kosher Nosh (Glen Rock). Hard to find an excellent kosher deli.

      Thanks for the tips.

      1. re: ELA
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        cantbeatgoodfood RE: ELA Apr 25, 2013 11:30 AM

        ELA
        Dont know which area you're from but i was shocked to see the cheeburger cheeburger on rt 17 in east rutherford was closed,and was told yesterday the cheeburger cheeburger on rt 46 e in little falls also closed up,all now are south jersey area...Agree their burgers are great.

      2. re: Bosmer
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        ELA RE: Bosmer Mar 19, 2013 02:13 PM

        You know, as far as Italian, I don't automatically accept the "red sauce" condemnation, LOL. Yes, most are, but I think there are some that are putting out very good food -- not just a typical old-fashioned menu and/or execution.

        I like Savini, and have always enjoyed the food there -- a lot of flavor, taste, quality food, excellent execution, and often the specials are excellent! I also like Granita Grill (Westwood) -- BYO, small, family owned and operated. Not fine-dining, but what they do, they do well. I like the flavor and taste I get whether I am ordering chicken or veal. The pasta is good -- I don't think it's made fresh on-site or anything of the like, but the pasta dishes I've had are good. I ordered zuppa di pesce or a similar dish there and the sauce, flavor, etc. made the dish.

        Coincidentally, also in Westwood, I've always liked Baci. Haven't been there in a while, but the food is always good, prepared well, etc.

        Another place I haven't been to in a while is Cafe Italiano (Englewood Cliffs) -- again, we are not talking Lunello, but what they do they do better than an average, run of the mill red sauce place. They used to always have a risotto special and that can be a make or break dish -- and every time I've had it, it has been very good/excellent. I've ordered many other dishes there -- again, good flavor, well done/prepared.

        There's a few more -- but while there aren't a lot, I think if you look around, depending on your likes/dislikes, you can find some "good" Italian spots.

        1. re: Bosmer
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          ELA RE: Bosmer Mar 19, 2013 02:16 PM

          Also, while it's not Bergen County...it's pretty close...Di Palma Brothers has many fans. Very popular.

          Also, haven't been there in a long time, but David's in Cliffside Park used to be very good.

        2. y
          yogi70 RE: ELA Mar 19, 2013 12:05 PM

          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/187407

          A pretty good list of people's favorite Bergen restaurants by cuisine.

          3 Replies
          1. re: yogi70
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            ELA RE: yogi70 Mar 19, 2013 02:05 PM

            Yes, I remember that thread...and I posted on it a few times. It started back in 2005, so I wanted to get some more updated feedback from people.

            Thanks for the top.

            1. re: ELA
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              yogi70 RE: ELA Mar 19, 2013 03:26 PM

              gotcha -
              although the thread started in 05', most of the posts are relatively recent. when im in the mood to try somewhere ive never been before, i always refer to that post. as for cuisines mentioned above:

              Burger: recently got over to bucu and enjoyed their burger. looking forward to trying some of the other new burger places like bucu soon. (dont get the sweet pototo fries, they were tasteless).

              Sushi - havent had recently, but usually always fall back on our favorite Fuki sushi in River Edge.

              Greek - have loved Axia since it opened. also really enjoy taverna mykonos.

              1. re: yogi70
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                ELA RE: yogi70 Mar 19, 2013 04:22 PM

                Very true. I followed the thread, and I posted recently as well. I was at BuCu last week -- and my friend didn't like the sweet potato fries either. I've had that comment. But again, everyone has their own tastes, likes, dislikes, etc. If you like Bobby's better, there's no reason to go to BuCu unless you are looking for a chance of pace. They are very close to each other (opposite sides of Rt. 4).

                Fuki -- I haven't been there in years, LOL. Last time I went, it was for take-out, and it was good. There is another good sushi place in Westwood or Hillsdale. The name escapes me, but several friends have talked very positively about it. I'll check. Also, good sushi, "rough" service -- Miyoshi (Hackensack). I hesitate to recommend it, but I go there and "like" it. I used to go there a lot, for lunch, dinner, take out -- and the fish is good, fresh, and they are good no frills sushi, but again the service is "rough". I don't know that I'd go there with 3 or 4 couples or for a fun night out, but I'd go there to eat (me alone, a friend). A few friends have complained that the place is "run down" but I just think it's more "basic" and no frills. They certainly don't renovate or upgrade anything, and the decorating is minimal, and Japanese theme, a few things here and there.

                Axia and Taverna Mykonos are two very popular and very good spots.

                Now, if you are talking River Edge...try A Taste of Greece...no frills, no table clothes, or linen napkins, etc. -- but good, quality Greek food. Very popular, has a good following. Does a lot of take-out, but if you are looking for a basic kind of place and you are more interested in the food than the ambiance -- check it out. I've had people go there and say they love the food, but they don't like the place. It's not dirty and the service is good. It's just small, basic, and not fancy at all. Try it.

          2. Curlz RE: ELA Mar 19, 2013 12:50 PM

            My go-to for Mexican these days is Fiesta Hut in East Rutherford. Does the place need a facelift and slightly faster service? Sure. But I go there knowing those two things, and they have THE. BEST. Mole. Seriously. Everyone I've taken there has loved the food.

            And for Greek, I stick with Stamna in Bloomfield (less than 1.5 miles straight off the Parkway) on the Montclair border. Octopus, sausage, makarounes...YUM

            2 Replies
            1. re: Curlz
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              ELA RE: Curlz Mar 19, 2013 02:03 PM

              Haven't been to FH...I'll have to try. Not easy to find a quality Mexican place, and some are more "modern" and not really authentic so to speak. It's the American version, LOL.

              I have not been to Stamna -- thanks for the heads up.

              1. re: ELA
                sixelagogo RE: ELA Mar 21, 2013 03:40 AM

                For what it's worth, Englewood's got the best "Real Deal" Mexican that I've had in BC. Las Maravillas De Tulcingo on Pallisades ave downtown.

                lasmaravillasdetulcingo

            2. e
              ELA RE: ELA Mar 20, 2013 07:03 PM

              Also...for pizza...I like the pizza at La Bella Roma (Paramus), more for the traditional type of pizza. If I want Sicilian pizza...Tirreno's (Mahwah) has the best Sicilian pie I've had in Bergen County.

              Thin crust seems to be very popular and there's plenty of places to get it. Another good spot is Brooklyn's Brick Oven Pizzeria (Hackensack). A few of the people from my office like to go there occasionally. I've tried to talk them into Lido, and when we've gone, they've all liked it very much.

              As far as other ethnic choices...Greek, Italian, Japanese/Sushi, Chinese, BBQ/smoke/etc., and on occasion, Indian.

              I also like Café Panache and St. Eve -- a lot. They are both excellent restaurants.

              5 Replies
              1. re: ELA
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                fourunder RE: ELA Mar 20, 2013 08:22 PM

                Also...for pizza...I like the pizza at La Bella Roma (Paramus)

                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                Do they still charge you to read the newspaper there?

                1. re: fourunder
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                  ELA RE: fourunder Mar 21, 2013 10:48 AM

                  LOL. They didn't charge me, and I read two of them. Seriously.

                  1. re: ELA
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                    fourunder RE: ELA Mar 21, 2013 04:49 PM

                    From another thread.....just to refresh your memory of my experience.

                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1874...

                    1. re: fourunder
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                      ELA RE: fourunder Mar 21, 2013 08:11 PM

                      Yes, I remember. I don't know what whoever's (it was) problem was. Seems so petty, juvenile, and simply offensive, bad business. Period.

                      I met one owner, Nick, and he just seems like a super nice guy. Very personable, friendly, takes pride in his work, commitment, etc. There's another guy there I met and he seemed like he was simply going through the motions. I am pretty sure he's not an owner, but it doesn't matter -- especially if he's the newspaper culprit. LOL.

                      I recently got a pie there -- and again it was really good. I don't "dine in" there a lot, more just eat and run, or takeout, whatever. The pie was excellent. I just get a really good balance on the crust, light, but just the right amount of crunch. Not some heavy, too thick, or too thin for that matter, crush. I get a lot of flavor from not only the sauce, but the entire pie. People say cheese is cheese, and I get that, but their sauce, which I know they add some things too, and whatever other ingredients they are using -- I just like the flavor, taste, etc.

                      Sorry it's a "never again" for you, but I am sure you have other places you enjoy -- much more too! LOL. Thanks again.

                      1. re: ELA
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                        yogi70 RE: ELA Mar 22, 2013 09:05 AM

                        +1 for La Bella Roma pizza in Paramus.

              2. sixelagogo RE: ELA Mar 21, 2013 03:45 AM

                Greek- Casual: Greek Village, Northvale
                Greek- Upscale: Mykanos, Fair Lawn
                Red Sauce Italian: Amici's -Bergenfield
                Mexican La Maravillas De Tulcingo- Englewood
                Puerto Rican: Lula's- Dumont
                Cuban: El Canay- Bergenfield
                Thai: Pimaan, Emerson
                Columbian: Mario Pollo, Hackensack
                Vietnamese: Mekong Grill, Ridgewood
                Burger- Tommy Foxes, Bergenfield (sometimes)
                Chinese- Dim Sum Dynasty, Ridgewood

                1 Reply
                1. re: sixelagogo
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                  ELA RE: sixelagogo Mar 21, 2013 12:39 PM

                  Nice recommendations -- thanks.

                  I like Dim Sum Dynasty in Ridgewood. Was turned onto it from a friend who I meet in Ridgewood once a week for dinner. I like Lotus in Hackensack as well. I used to like the original Look See in Fort Lee, but the one in Ramsey is hit or miss, and the service is most often sub-par, for me. I don't have a lot of other "go to" places for Chinese though.

                  There are/were a few places in Fort Lee that I liked.

                  What about Chengdu 46 (Clifton)? Years ago they were a "hot" place from what I gathered. Any relation to Chengdu 1 (in Cedar Grove)? I've heard the latter is excellent.

                2. e
                  ebchower RE: ELA Mar 22, 2013 07:10 AM

                  It's long gone, but the old Valley Fair in Little Ferry had really good pizza. People would look at me like I was crazy when I said they had the best pizza around.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: ebchower
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                    ELA RE: ebchower Mar 22, 2013 07:17 AM

                    LOL. Yes, I could see that look. LOL. You would never expect that...Valley Fair? LOL. Well, Hackensack is not too far. There was a pizza place that was pretty good in Ridgefield Park. Nothing special, but good pizza. I forgot the name, but it was "downtown" RP.

                    Also, from the Rt. 46 circle you could easily shoot up to Fort Lee and go to Pizza Chef. Sure, I know, it's pizza, and when you want a slice or three, you go. LOL.

                    1. re: ELA
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                      ebchower RE: ELA Mar 22, 2013 01:04 PM

                      I used to order a lot from Little Italy in Ridgefield Park for no other reason (aside from being local) than that the last 4 digits of their phone number was 1-2-3-4 and I always knew it off hand.

                      1. re: ebchower
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                        ELA RE: ebchower Mar 22, 2013 01:53 PM

                        LOL...was that the one on the main drag in downtown RP? I think there was more than one pizza place there. Don't remember.

                        1. re: ELA
                          e
                          ebchower RE: ELA Mar 22, 2013 03:13 PM

                          There were several on Main st, but this was right off the Route 46 bridge.

                  2. n
                    NJfoodLover RE: ELA Apr 3, 2013 12:15 PM

                    Burgers are really good at the Iron Horse in Westwood
                    Love Axia for upscale Greek
                    A Taste of Greece (River Edge) and Greek Villiage (Northvale) are both great casual Greek Place
                    Stamna in Bloomfield is wonderful too and falls in the middle price wise.

                    My favorite Sushi place was take-out only - Maguro in Rochelle Park. It is closed due to a fire but I hope it opens soon.
                    I really like Akasaka in Wallington
                    We don't have a lot of options for good Mexican but I like Riviera Maya in Bogota. I think it is one of the the best in the area.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: NJfoodLover
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                      ELA RE: NJfoodLover Apr 3, 2013 12:31 PM

                      A Taste of Greece is excellent...a favorite of mine.

                      Personally, I think the burgers at the Iron Horse have slipped over the past few years. I used to like them a lot, although I always liked Davey's Locker better...but...regardless, I have not liked the burgers at the Iron Horse in the past few years. Not sure what changed, but they've lost me for my tastes.

                      Thanks for the other tips.

                    2. l
                      lemarais RE: ELA Apr 5, 2013 09:39 AM

                      Simply Vietnamese (Saigon) in Tenafly never fails to satisfy. The NZ mussels in ginger wasabi are the stuff dreams are made of! Also, the Basa Fish is wonderful.

                      Old 76 House has wonderful food in a truly historic setting (George Washington was in the same room!)

                      Quinta Steakhouse in Pearl River is an off the radar gem, great steaks, seafoood (Lamb chops are memorable!) at surprisingly reasonable prices in a lovely environment. They also have a weekday $10 lunch-- 3 courses! Great stuff!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: lemarais
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                        yogi70 RE: lemarais Apr 5, 2013 02:42 PM

                        +1 for Simply Vietnamese. loved their Englewood and Fort Lee locations before they closed too (Saigon R and Mo Pho).

                        also have been meaning to get over to the Old 76 house, heard they have a great sunday buffet brunch.

                      2. y
                        yogi70 RE: ELA Apr 28, 2013 03:34 PM

                        for Indian, imo the best in Bergen is still Bhoj in Elmwood Park. My favorite dish is the lamb saag.

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