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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Eatin' Good in Jersey

One thing you find when you travel the country is that after a very short time passes you begin to crave the tastes and smells of Jersey cuisine. You just can't get this taste anywhere else and though many places try (pizza, bagels etc) they come up miserably short.

Here is a short primer of some of my favorites, places that I have to hit when my "end of days" approaches.

Taylor ham and egg on a roll. Fugetaboutit, there ain't no other place that has Taylor Ham, much less that has heard about it. A wonderful roll made fresh in the bakeries of Paterson with the "iron cross" sizzling Taylor Ham , eggs sunny side up with salt, pepper and ketchup.

The Italian Hot Dog! A Pita like pocket made of Italian pizza crust stuffed with 2 deep fried hot dogs, fried potatoes, fried onions and peppers along with ketchup (naturally). Very few places have it and the ones that do are old world Italian and only in Jersey!

White Manna Hamburgers, Hackensack, NJ! A tiny greasy spoon serving the worlds only real, dyed in the wool, slider! Balls of fresh beef, squashed on the griddle and fried with heaps of onion (don't forget the slice of cheese!) Order some perfectly done krinkle cut fries and four "all the way" with cheese and prepared to be content for the rest of the day! Nirvana! Don't mind the line, it's worth waiting for.

What more can I say about Star Tavern in Orange, NJ? That it has the best thin crust pie anywhere? Is that really enough? Yes it is. Just look at the picture dammit! Look at that charring! Look at the artistic blend of tangy sauce and cheese. Better yet, just try it once, just once and you will know why I have been going there for 40 years!

R.I.P Zuchette's

At the corner of Walnut and Grove Street in Montclair stood Zuchette's. A neighborhood Italian parlor like one would find in many towns in Essex County. After a tough day of school, or a Saturday afternoon one could get a slice or a Italian Dog or any one of a number of "subs" the way only an Italian eatery can make them. Gone but not forgotten, I will always love you Zuchette's!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

I met Joe Lemire, producer and co-host of Uncle Floyd Radio dot com, at Jimmy Buff's in Kenilworth. Excellent sandwich! Pizza dough pocket stuffed with deep fried hot dogs, fried potatoes. and fried onions (peppers optional) ketchup and mustard. Highly satisfying and well worth the trip!


In a state that is known for awesome diners, one of the best is Mastoris in Bordentown, NJ. Breakfast, lunch or dinner, the portions are enormous and there is not one dud on the menu. 

Breakfast, however, is a particular favorite of mine and this place leaves all others far behind. The eggs and Taylor Ham on a roll is outrageous, huge and delicious. All baking is done on premises. But their claim to fame, with me at least is their cheese bread. A delicate pastry roll stuffed with creamy, sweet cheese. You are served a plate of the bread before your main course and I always buy a loaf or two to take home with me. All Hail Mastoris!

BBQ in Jersey is a term rarely used. Most amateurs who do their own smoke stuff to death and it turns out dry and flavorless. I'm a man who digs his pork and beef slathered with sauce while it's cooking. Places like that usually only exist in North Carolina, Memphis and Kansas City. Enter Bourbon BBQ in Midland Park. They have a tasters plate that will have you clutching your heart thinking that the big one is coming!

Yup, they do it right with a bunch of different sauces as well as deep fried pickle slices, butcher paper, soft white bread, great corn on the cob, monstrous portions. Head to Goffle Road and check these good 'ol boys out!

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