Archive for the ‘Getting Grub in Jersey’ Category

Allen’s Clam Bar

I think we’re gonna need a bigger table.



The East Hanover bar that trolls grammar nazis

I have worked in Livingston on Route 10 for 2 years but I rarely traveled on Route 10 because my home lay to the east. Ever since I moved out west I travel that road every day and that was how I became familiar with Bogey’s. it’s a small tavern, has a bar in front and some tables in the back. My girlfriend recently ate there and said the food was pretty good (which is high praise coming from her). What makes the place interesting is their signage. For years they have had signs that have grammatical errors or words incorrectly spelled. In the beginning I thought it was an accident but the repeated nature of it makes me believe that it is intentional. Some would even say they’re trolling.





After seeing this sign I decided to ask about it since supposedly this wasn’t the first time. The owner stated that it was an error the first time but when it happened again they decided to leave it be. Several weeks later, as a joke, it seems someone “fixed” the sign.








A month or two later we saw this sign which mocks the business name, but misspells the key word. 




Last week this sign went up. And that’s when I knew that it had to be intentional. It’s nice to see a business with a sense of humor. Now when I pass by I smile instead of grinding my teeth.

The Roadside Diner(saur)


The RoadSide Diner is located at the circle at the intersection of Route 33 & 34 in Wall, NJ. It is a quaint little diner only open for breakfast and lunch and its well liked in the community. What sets it apart from other diners is the present of a dinosaur in its parking lot. Created by renowned local artist Jim Gary, the aptly named Diner-saur, was placed here because this was one of his favorite places to eat. Ever since 1993 it was here unless it was on loan somewhere. The stegosaurus has become a permanent fixture here since Gary’s death in 2005. Gary was most famous for his lifesize dinsosaurs that he made out of car parts, many of which can easily be identified upon close inspection.

Since most of Gary’s dinosaurs are now on semi-permanent display at the Science Museum of Tallahassee, if you want to see one of his works up close this is one of your few opportunities. Besides, you can stop in and get some good old fashioned comfort food at the same time. Just make sure to check their hours, they don’t do dinner.




my girlfriend posing with the diner-saur

Jim Gary on wikipedia

WAWA is expanding in northern NJ

WAWA is expanding in northern NJ

It is a beautiful day when WAWA opens a store in northern NJ. If you lived north of 195 you really didnt get much chance to shop at WAWA. There’s hundreds of them thruout southern NJ, but virtually none north of Monmouth county. One opened in parsipanny 2 years ago and I am lucky enough to drive past it to work every day, but for most residents of northern NJ, WAWA is a treat you only get when you go down the shore in the summer. 

No more.

Today they opened a store in Kearny and dozens more are planned thruout the northern part of the state. This is truly a fine day. 

But I’m still calling them subs, I don’t care what they call them down south.

What’s in an MRE and how does it taste?

I used to go urban exploring. A lot. Ever since I bought a house… not so much. Back when I did go out a lot I worried about possibly getting stuck in the middle of nowhere. I’ve actually been stuck in the sands of the Pine Barrens and if it weren’t for a very helpful Wrangler owner, I would’ve been stuck for a while as I was far from the main road at the time. Combine my outdoor exploits with my fear of a zombie apacolypse and it would make sense to be prepared to survive on your own for at least a few days. I stocked up my car with food, water, first aid supplies, emergency blankets and the like. This was 5 years ago.

I remembered I still had this food in my trunk. I started thinking about expiration dates. Most of the food fit into one of two catagories. Military MRE’s and food stuffs that you mix with water. That and dried fruit like raisins. I figured that the food was maybe 5 years old but there were no expiration dates listed on the MRE’s. Were they still safe to eat? I’ve heard MRE’s aren’t terribly good to start with, but after 5 years? In a car that’s gone thru hundred degree summers and 10 degree winters?

I decided to open one up. I would start with the grilled chicken since it sounded the most appetizing of all the ones I’d bought. (the others were meatloaf, beef ravioli, vegetarian and spaghetti and meat sauce) I had bought these from a military store near me. Apparently these are honest to goodness MRE that would be served to our troops as it says “manufactured for US Government, Resale is unlawful”.


When i opened up the sealed pouch the entire inside seemed… dusty. Turns out there was a package of M&M’s, just like you would buy in the store and it had cracked open, spilling M&M’s everywhere. in the 5 years since purchase they had been ground to pieces and there was chocolate dust everywhere. I had to clean the powder off everything before I continued.

Here is what’s in the MRE:

one cardboard box containing grilled chicken in a vacupouch
one cardboard box containing minestrone soup in in a vacupouch
2 packets of apple jelly
wheat snack bread in a vacupouch
one brownie in a vacupouch
the heater pack
cocoa beverage powder
one spoon
a packet of supplies including
moist towlette
iodized salt
breath mints
spiced cider apple flavor drink
instant iced tea power drink
salt free seasoning blend

Now, first off, I heard every MRE comes with a tiny packet of tabasco to help with the taste. WHERES MY TABASCO? As it happens, it would’ve helped greatly. I read the directions on the heater pack and was confused. The way it reads it heats one item. But there are two things that need to be heated, the chicken and the soup. i tried to stick both in the heater pack but then it wouldn’t close. I removed the soup, poured in water and waited 15 minutes after placing it up against *some thing*, in this case, a water bottle.

While I waited for my chicken to heat, I examined the rest of the items.

Next up: the fudge brownie. It had dried out, and was one step shy of being crumbly. I took a bite. It was barely edible. I threw the rest away.

Next up: the wheat bread snack and apple jelly. First of all the apple jelly was practically pure corn syrup. I spread some on the bread. The bread was in excellent shape. It looked like hard tack, the stuff they gave WWI soldiers, except that stuff is hard as a rock. This wasn’t exactly moist, but it was quite tasty actually. It was markedly better when I added butter, which is technically cheating, but IDGAF. I ate it all.

Next up: powdered iced tea drink. I had a half empty water bottle so I poured the powder in there and shook it up. It tasted better then snapple in a can. I drank it all. I normally am not a fan of powdered drinks because they usually have an aftertaste. As powdered beverages go, it was pretty good.

Next up: the chicken. The way the heater pack works is you stick the vacupouch in the heater bag and add about an inch of water. You fold the top of the bag over and wait about a minute till the packet starts warming. You then stick it in the cardboard box for 15 minutes. I was unsure about the process, but it worked. I removed the vacupouch and debated how I was supposed to heat the minsetrone soup. I decided jsut to add more water and do the process again as instructed.

I tore off the top of the chicken pouch. Since there’s no knife or fork, jsut a spoon, I broke off a piece of the chicken. I know they sell chicken in a vacupouch in the grocery stores and this was pretty similar. It smelled more like tuna then chicken, and texture wise it reminded me of tuna as well. if you’ve ever had chunk tuna that was large pieces and didn’t eant to flake apart, this was the same deal. The chicken was rather bland, but for a 5 y.o. MRE it was… acceptable.

My cat was intrigued though.

Last up: the minsetrone soup. The process for heating it didn’t really work. I emptied the soup into a bowl and microwaved it. Let me first say I’m not a fan of minestrone soup. I took a bite. Let me say again, WHERE’S MY *)@#)@! TABASCO! I could’ve eaten the rest of it I suppose. If I was stuck in the wilderness and had nothing else to eat. Maybe. or if my alternative was go cannibal on the body of my friend who died yesterday. Needless to say, neither was the case here, so it went in the garbage.

Overall opinion:

For a 5 y.o. MRE, the contents were edible. I didn’t get the runs or get violently ill. It’s purpose in my life would be emergency rations if i was stranded somewhere. It would fulfill that role but barely. I would say that if I had any other options, I would go with them first though. You can see all the photos here Also, after I went thru this process I examined some other food items that had been stored in ym trunk. They expired in 2005 and 2006. That means these MRE’s are probably 7 years old.

I decided to try the other MRE’s and I posted what it was like here

White manna (with two N’s) wins!

The new show Food Feuds recently came to Jersey to settle the question of which White Manna is better? Jersey City with one N or Hackensack with two N’s? The outcome to me was never in doubt, but it was intersting to see the history of the two and the differences between the two burgers. I didn’t know that there were 5 WM’s I always thought it was just these two (the others all went under). As for the burgers, the biggest difference is that Hackensack uses a small potato bun which is about the same size as the burger, while Jersey City uses a full size bun which dwarfs the mini burger. To me this was always a turnoff: too much bun. As for the rest of the burger, hackensack is about 1.6 ozs and has no seasoning and has tons of sliced yellow onions. Jersey City’s are smaller, has a higher fat content, uses salt and pepper seasoning and uses diced white onions.

Gotta stop by tomorrow and congratulate the winner. Course it might take 2 hours to get my order.

So which one is better? Hackensack or Jersey City?

Food network show to decide which White Man(n)a is the better one.

I’ve eaten in both, but I frequent the one in Hackensack much more often. Obviously living 2 miles away makes it more convenient, but I just think it’s got better food. It does one thing: burgers. The one in Jersey City is almost like a trucker diner as it has all manner of food. Plus they serve the little burgers on full size buns, which if you ask me, is silly.

What do you guys think: Take part in the poll and tell us why!

set your tivo’s cause my son’s gonna be on tv

When we went o the As-Buried Park zombie walk, a cake was presented at the afterparty by Buddy Valostro, start of the TLC series, Cake Boss. Afterwards they interviewed some of the zombies, including my son. No guarentee that his interview will make the episode, but at least you’ll be able to see the cake, and you’ll definitely see me.

The episode airs 6/22 at 10 pm on TLC.

Bergen record reviews some north jersey burger joints


White Mana: an obvious given. I go once a month at least

Mini-burgers: white mana wanna be. wouldn’t go out of my way since it’s in N Arlington. If I was in the area, I’d give it a shot though.

Five Guys: too far away.

Jersey burgers: doesn’t make me wanna run out and try them

Fuddruckers: basket of frings please! with a boylans root beer of course!

Bobby’s: I saw them with a line of people waiting to get in. I had no idea what this place was. Now I do and I’m dying to try it out.

Burgers Deluxe sounds so good I may just swing by there tonight or tomorrow.

unusual buildings now home to quirky food eateries

like burgers from a gas station or hot dogs from a railroad car

Burgers from a gas station? Coffee from a Fotomat? Hot dogs from a train? Yes, in North Jersey you can get all three — as well as prosciutto from a bank, espresso from a train station and cocktails from an 18th-century barn. Thanks to pricey real estate, the area has become home to some interestingly set restaurants — some of which you may have driven past a thousand times, never knowing they served food.

Here are a few worth checking out next time you pass:

Roseee’s Filling Station: 79 Harrison Ave., Garfield; 973-478-7674.

You don’t have to think too hard to figure out what this roadside diner used to be. The former Sunoco gas station has retained much of its auto-themed past, filling up customers with uniquely named salads and sandwiches in the two-bay garage where tune-ups and oil changes were performed prior to 2000.

Longfellow’s Coffee 2 Kiel Ave. (corner of Route 23 and Kinnelon Road), Kinnelon; 973-283-1551 or

If you drove up to the 7-by-17-foot kiosk prior to 2004, you could get photos printed, copied or enlarged in a parking lot Fotomat. Now you can get coffee, lattes and other hot and cold beverages, all without getting out of your car.

Hot Dog Caboose 211 Greenwood Ave., Midland Park; 201-444-2531 or

The 100-year-old caboose, which pulled up the rear of an operational train in Pennsylvania until the mid-1970s, previously acted as a gift shop and model train store in its current location. Since 2006, it’s ditched the Lionel memorabilia in favor of serving jazzed-up Sabrett hot dogs, hot sausages, ice cream and soda.

La Strada Deli 231 Godwin Ave., Midland Park; 201-670-9233 or

These days, the only accounts being balanced at this former New Jersey First National Bank are those of local diners picking up lunch. Since 1993, Italian favorites have filled the renovated space, homemade stromboli and bruschetta among them. Other chilled items are kept safe in the downstairs walk-in refrigerator positioned in an old vault.

Café Angelique 1 Piermont Road, Tenafly; 201-541-1010 or

The Tenafly railroad station has seen its fair share of history between its opening in 1872 and closing to passenger trains in 1966. It’s also seen some since, having served as a clothing store, a beauty salon and, beginning in 2004, an upscale French-inspired café where coffee and confections are always pulling into the station.

The Barn359 Sicomac Ave., Wyckoff; 201-848-0108 or

In 1779, in the midst of an agrarian age, the building was erected as a barn. In the early 1920s, it was converted into a tearoom. And in 1929, in the midst of Prohibition, it was flipped into a speakeasy, providing homemade booze for workers from the local silk mills. The food followed soon thereafter. In May, The Barn will celebrate its 80th anniversary as a burger, rib and steak joint where the booze flows legally and only the diners graze.