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Oct 5, 2013 10:08 PM

Were should we go!

We will try anything. Location Middletown. Will we travel up to 30 miles.

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  1. Are you new to the area? If you tickle the NJ Search engine above you find dozens of recommendations from NJ Chowhounds. My fast list:

    Drew's Bayshore Bistro, Keyport
    Nemo's, Keyport
    Matata Asian, Middletown
    25 Burgers (order the Mac n Cheese burger), Matawan
    Molly Pitcher Inn, brunch
    Porta, Asbury Park (octopus salad!)
    Shaka, Long Brach-Pier Village
    Kunya Siam, Thai Restaurant in Atlantic Highlands (curry puffs & drunken noodles beef)
    Splash of Thai, Westfield
    Spirito's, Elizabeth (ravioli, bar pie, garlic salad)

    8 Replies
    1. re: HillJ

      Fantastic list HillJ. I live in Middletown now also and second your recommendations. Especially, Spirito's in Elizabeth where my grandfather used to take me when I was a kid, great memories and delicious food.

      1. re: cke25

        Bringing my nieces and nephew to Spirito's tonight for their first visit and those wonderful ravioli.

        1. re: njfreqflyer

          What a nice Aunt you are! Have a blast and a slice for me!

          I've been enjoying Spirito's a very long time. My father owned a textile/bridal factory in Elizabeth. Going for Sunday dinners and late night bar pies was the only way to spend quality time with him when I was young. That garlic salad...nothing overly gourmet about it yet I would crave it...and smell like garlic for hours! The decor hasn't changed one bit...even those tiny glasses! No butter!! Ha!

      2. re: HillJ

        If you enjoy Indian food, head to Little India in Edison/Iselin area.

        Both the Indian markets, sweet shops and restaurants off Oak Tree Road offer an array of choices.

        Rasoi II Restaurant
        & Moghul's Sweet Shop are two of our favs.

        1. re: HillJ

          You keep agreein' with me, Hill, I'm gonna have to come by for dinner and drinks, and I can't say I won't have other local 'hounds in "Toe"..

          1. re: MGZ

            Anytime. I think we would surprise the hell out of each other!
            Where oh where does one find the most beautifully prepared pork cheeks (besides your place?) in Mon cty?

            1. re: HillJ

              I’ve tried to think about this one, Hill. Honestly, the only place in the Mon/OC I’ve had pork cheeks was at Trinity once. To be fair, we had made a gift to ChefMd, upon arrival, of a coupla pounds of smoked jowl. He later presented us with a salad that featured some of it.

              Otherwise, the closest I have been and encountered anything using the head of a pig was the result of my “point and order” approach at Dragon Palace in Edison. It resulted in a somewhat spicey, braised in soy and wine, chunky, pork cheek dish. Quite good, but I have no idea what it was actually called.

              Thanks to you and your post, however, I just ordered five pounds of whole, smoked jowls. JLTs, here we come!

              1. re: MGZ

                My bro when he's in the mood makes some amazing pork cheek but I don't find them out near as much as I would like in this area. Last time I had pork cheeks was in the W Village as an appetizer served along side pork belly and pickled watermelon...wound up there for an hour enjoying the dish good.

      3. PORTA. FOR. SURE.

        Skylark Diner in Edison

        1. Drew's and Nemo's would be on my list too.

          I'd add Nicholas in Middletown.

          Ivan & Andy's in Asbury (going with a "beef and booze" only approach).

          Dragon Palace in Edison is a personal craving I've been having lately. Moreover, if you're willing to go to that area, there are several solid Indian places worth playing with.* Here's a link to an old thread where a couple 'hounds contributed to creating a great nice list of spots: I haven't tried 'em all, but I'll vouch for dinner at Moghul and Rosoi. Plus, if you want a great food dork adventure, you can always take Route 1 to 18 on the way home and stop in Highland Park for a coupla White Rose burgers - "It's a long ride home, Honey. . . ."

          One last suggestion would be, if you are new to the area, to try the rueben at Kelly's in Neptune. It's not a fancy spot and I have no pretensions that it is a great restaurant, but that plate is sort of an institution around here and unlike anything I've encountered anywhere I've ever been. My personal preference is a pastrami rueben, cooked "well done".

          *Not to mention other Chinese and Korean. You'll have to search for "edison" and "chinese" or "korean" on this Board, or go to Google and try searching "chowhound chinese (or korean) edison chuck98". I assure you there's a decent amount to consider.

          1. Since you didn't limit your query to "where should we eat?" I suggest you also make a visit to Sickles Market in Little Silver and the H-Mart in Edison.


            2 Replies
            1. re: njfreqflyer

              If the OP enjoys at home cooking as well as dining out, absolutely. I'd add the Indian markets of Edison/Iselin for produce, spices and hard to find pantry staples at very reasonable prices along with the Cheese Cave in Red Bank for all sorts of unique cheese tastings, gourmet brands (sourced from small out of area food makers) and special hard to find cheese orders. Also their cheese board/lunch specials.

              1. Also, if you are new to the area, find yourself a copy of Edible Jersey magazine from a local Whole Foods or farmer's market. They are free at retail stops but can be subscribed to as well.

                EJ covers the food, wine and growing scene across NJ. Beautifully written & photographed publication.