Cookbook Author, Food Photographer, Instructor at the Washington School of Photography.
That's YOUR route!?
If tradition in cased meats means anything to you, you owe it to yourself and your state to try the specials, either in on a club roll or as a "sailor sandwich."
If you choose to go for the latter, drop me a note and I'll join you there.
Okay, but the best selections will be in New Jersey, not New York.
While New Jersey has several great sources for Portuguese cheeses, they are no longer on Ferry Street and will have to wait for future Dispatches.
Was this once the location of the Mayflower Tea Shop?
A better question would be "am I obliged to rave about a place because everybody else does?"
Umm...If Nick, Zach, and Adam are all on one side, should I be on the other?
There is one group of people that will get A Mano; homesick Italian expats. New Jersey has tens of thousands of them and this is one of the few places in the state they can come to for a taste of home.
While items like fried hot dogs and grandma pizza are part of the New Jersey food scene too, I feel that it's important to go beyond them and explore more of what's there.
Saturday 9:00AM to 3:00PM
Sunday 10:00AM to 3:00PM
Sorry about that!
You should know that I only play Farmville because SeriousEats hasn't created its own online game.
In the eight years I've been living in New Jersey, I've been hoping to find the sort of diner that so many people pine for, but when I'm there, I just don't get it.
In any case, when I went from Edison to Princeton for some shopping this morning, I passed three diners and eight or nine Indian vegetarian places.
The diners are rapidly becoming a thing of the past.
To answer your question; I spent quite a bit of time deciding between the AFC and Great Wall and gave it to the Great Wall because of their larger fish department and seating in the prepared foods section. It is a very close call.
It won't be long until AFC opens a new store in Piscataway and that may or may not change the whole landscape.
And too those who are comparing Chinese supermarkets in Brooklyn and Queens, I think the criteria there are a bit different than in New Jersey because they are so often surrounded other Chinese shops and restaurants - especially in Flushing.
In New Jersey we expect - and we get - a real destination in itself. In the city, the neighborhood is the destination.
It's tough comparing them. Different days of the week, and then weekends vs weekdays. And of course, the fact that the best stuff winds up at Union Square or Headhouse doesn't help either.
The food landscape of New Jersey has been laid to waste by endless chain supermarkets, chain restaurants, and just plain chain stores. Whenever possible, I'm going to use the voice I have here to remind people that there's an alternative.
It's an important mission.
I suggest that instead of waiting for Trader Joes, you instead check out the amazing range of independent specialty shops in the Princeton/Kingston/Kendall Park area. Between the Whole Earth Center, the PA Dutch Market, The Great Wall Supermarket (Dispatch soon!), Cherry Grove Farm, and a host of other small shops, you should be able to find an amazing array of foods sold by local and independent retailers.
If you must shop at a chain - even I do sometimes - at least go to one out here in NJ that has easy access and free parking.
Bringing chain supermarket food from NYC to NJ is like traveling to NJ from NYC for fine dining. It just isn't as good as it can be.
Please though, I've spent the past 13 months writing these dispatches so NJ food shoppers can enjoy that astounding array of specialty shops we have. Give them a try.
It's a funny thing. The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area is loaded with great food resources and the only thing that's ever reported on is Old Forge Pizza.
I'll try to make that right.
As always, stay tuned.
I've got several seafood-driven dispatches in the works.
I spotted that menu and went for the scrapple. Given my recent experiences with "local" crabmeat in the Garden State, I just skipped it. Add to that, my normal "not the fancy stuff!" reaction and you won't find me ordering that anytime soon.(In New Jersey anyway.)
I'll get to local crab and local seafood in general another time. It's a whole separate dispatch.
The market issue is a very serious one here. The two best places to get New Jersey produce are Union Square and Headhouse - both close to New Jersey, but neither in it. Indeed, if you visit the farms themselves, you won't get what they offer in the big city.
Is there a best place in New Jersey to buy produce? I have some theories, but I'll be out of state most of May and won't be able to put them to the test until summer.
Thank you very much.
Funny you should say that because I'll be out of town for a couple of weeks, but I've already got the next couple of dispatches drafted.
I'm glad to hear that. I'll check it out soon, but it was the one on Oak Tree Road that had both great shopping and a unique food court. As for the produce, it seems that competition between Chinese mega-marts in Central New Jersey is really heating up. New stores and remodelings have really raised the bar.
Sadly, the Hong Kong Supermarket at the corner of Oak Tree Road and Park Avenue (About 3 miles from Patel and around the corner from that beer store I wrote about a few months ago.) has closed for good. It is deeply missed both for its great ingredients and its truly memorable food court.
Stay tuned - reports on both Chinese and Latin American mega-stores are coming.
They're about 1/2 mile north of Last Legg on Route 27 (called "French Street" here), just south of downtown New Brunswick and the big hospital.
I went with Four-meek-ah and they seemed pretty pleased.
Of course, whatever you say, don't pronounce it the same way as the countertop!
Both the Columbus and Cowtown markets are on the list of future NJ Dispatches but will wait because they're both kind of dismal and out of season.
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