New Jersey Dining: Bevacqua’s Reservoir Tavern

August 16, 2009

Bevacqua’s Reservoir Tavern
90 Parsippany Blvd (US RT 202) Parsippany NJ
(973)334-5708

Web Site: http://www.mypizza-store.com/

New York City gets the lion’s share of adoration from pizza fans, but those of us who live in the Garden State know that when it comes to pizza, we have some of the oldest continuing operating pizzerias serving traditional American pies anywhere in the country, particularly in areas like Trenton and Elizabeth, where we have legendary places like Delorenzo’s and Santillo’s that have been in operation for several decades. One of these top Jersey pizzerias is Reservoir Tavern in Parsippany, which opened its doors in 1936.

Reservoir Tavern isn’t just a pizzeria, it’s also a full service Italian restaurant and also has a full bar. While I would qualify their Italian offerings as solid Ital-Am red sauce fare, it’s the pizza that keeps me and many other locals coming back again and again. During prime dinner hours  it’s not unusual to see the Tavern’s huge parking lot filled with cars and no spaces to be found, and a 45 minute to one hour wait at the front door for seating. My best advice is to come early, if you can.

Reservoir Tavern, Boonton (Parsippany) NJ by you.

Main Dining Room

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NJ Dining: The 2009 Feedbag Burger Summit

July 26, 2009

burgersummit by you.

The First Feedbag Burger Summit, hosted by Citysearch‘s Josh Ozersky, was held on July 26, 2009.

Click to view hi-res slideshow

I feel very, very queasy. And I know that God is punishing me. I have proof of this, because the act of punishment, served in Biblical fashion with ketchup, mayonnaise and and pickle slices was witnessed by hundreds of people.

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NYC Dining: Pastrami Queen / Orwasher’s Bakery

July 17, 2009

Pastrami Queen
1125 Lexington Ave # 2
New York, NY 10075-0429
(212) 734-1500

Web Site: http://www.pastramiqueen.com

Pastrami Queen, NYC by you.

You’re definitely know you’re not getting Asian-Fusion cuisine when you see a sign like this.

The old school New York Jewish Deli is going extinct. We have perhaps less than a dozen notable places in Manhattan, let alone the five boroughs that conform to the classic Jewish Deli archetype where you can get a good Pastrami or Corned Beef sandwich, and I may even have to downgrade that dozen to less than a handful, including Katz’s, 2nd Avenue Deli (which re-opened in 2008 in a new location) , Carnegie, The Stage, Sarge’s and Junior’s (which has really focused on its cheesecake business now more than anything else, although they do a great burger). All of those landmark delis are either downtown or in Midtown. Other fine examples, like Liebman’s in the Bronx, are lesser known but are part of the city’s restaurant culture that is in rapid decline.

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NJ Dining: Green Door Cafe (CLOSED)

June 30, 2009

Green Door Cafe suffered a devastating fire on July 30, 2010. The owner plans to rebuild, but the restaurant is closed until further notice.

Green Door Cafe
1 Highwood Avenue, Tenafly NJ
(201) 567-8226

Green Door Cafe, Tenafly NJ by you.

Green Door Cafe’s Storefront in downtown Tenafly, NJ.

As a few of you may be aware, I am a resident of the sleepy hamlet of Tenafly, which is situated on the northeast side of Bergen County, adjoining the towns of Cresskill, Bergenfield and Englewood. Tenafly, while being a wonderful residential neighborhood, has a bit of an unfortunate reputation of being the town that eats restaurants.

One of the restaurants that recently got the axe was Blockheads, an outpost of a NYC-based burrito chain. So I was rather surprised this week as I was driving by its former location to find Green Door Cafe, a self described “Doorway to real food” which only serves “proteins which are antibiotic and hormone free or organic” and produce that is “organic or locally farmed seasonally. We restrict our purchases to foods raised naturally without the use of chemical pesticides or fertilizers.”

I was expecting the place to be owned by a bunch of hippies wearing hemp clothing. What I wasn’t prepared for was being greeted by the former owner of Blockheads when I went in, Leon Bell. “Hey! Jason! The Off The Broiler Guy!”

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A 2009 Big Apple BBQ Block Party Montage

June 13, 2009

Website: http://www.bigapplebbq.com

Big Apple BBQ Block Party Montages by you.

The 2009 Big Apple Barbecue Block Party, held in New York City’s Madison Square Park, was a blast as ever. This year Rachel and I only went for a few hours on Saturday, but it was more than enough barbecue to last us for a while! You can still catch the second day on Sunday if these photos are making your mouth water (click for slideshow of full size hi-res photos).

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NJ Dining: Tenafly Farmers Market (2009)

June 7, 2009

Tenafly Farmers Market
Open June 7  thru November 21, Sundays 9am-2pm

Web Site: http://www.tenaflyfarmersmarket.com

Tenafly Farmers Market Collage by you.

The Tenafly Farmers Market had its grand opening June 7, 2009. The Market will run on Sundays 9am-2pm all through the summer and into November.

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NJ Dining: Ultimate Banh Mi Sandwiches at Mo Pho and Saigon R.

April 25, 2009

MoPho
212 Main St, Fort Lee, NJ
(201) 363-8886

Saigon R.
58 W Palisade Ave, Englewood, NJ
(201) 871-4777

Related Article: Saigon R. and Mo’ Pho’

If you’ve been following the latest trends in the New York City dining scene, no doubt you’ve read and heard about the most recent Vietnamese sandwich craze — also known as the Banh Mi that’s sweeping the Metropolitan area. If you take trends at face value, you’ve probably also read the reports from Eater that the Banh Mi has “Run its course”.

The fact of the matter is, the Banh Mi is the right sandwich at the right time. And let’s face it, here in New Jersey, we’re a little slow on the uptake when following up on New York City trends. But I submit to you that when we set our mind to something, and when we get around to it, we do it better than anyone else.

The Making of the "Oink Mi" Ultimate Vietnamese Sandwich by you.

A few weeks ago — prior to the publication of the New York Times article which catapulted the Banh Mi into the front and center collective foodie consciousness — Chef KT Tran (of Mo Pho and Saigon R. fame) decided that she needed to add some new offerings to her menu, and I suggested Banh Mi, particularly as I knew KT could put her creative skills and 30 years of Vietnamese cooking expertise behind it. KT’ and her family have operated Vietnamese restaurants since the 1970’s in the New York Area, and we’ve been very lucky to have her in Northern New Jersey, where her bold Southeast Asian flavors are tailored to meet the tastes of a very diverse customer base.

The Making of the "Oink Mi" Ultimate Vietnamese Sandwich by you.

A typical store-bought Banh Mi from New York’s Chinatown. Usually these go for 2 or 3 dollars apeice. But there’s not much meat on this thing.

Fully aware of my past “Ultimate Sandwich” exploits with Chef Christine Nunn, at Picnic Caterers, Chef Tran knew she had to up the ante in over-thet-top sandwich insanity, particularly when competing with Nunn’s Rendevous at Burger Mountain, the Ultimate BLT and the Foie You.

We knew of one weapon in the Vietnamese culinary arsenal that could hold up to these giants: PORK. And lots of it.

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