Thursday, July 8, 2010

New Jersey

Haru (Maplewood/South Orange area)
This was one of those all you could eat sushi spots. Although the 3 people I went with got sushi, I opted to get beef and rice. The beef and rice was pretty good, but the company is what made it fun--plus we brought some wine! I remember the waitress not being so great, but whatever. I probably won't go back, but not a bad spot if your looking for sushi in the maplewood/south orange area.

Sweet Basil Cafe (South Orange)
Normally, probably an awesome place--however, it was a bad day. I'm sure if I went back I'd have good things to say.

Boathouse (Belmar)
Drinking and dancing with friends. This place needs no detailed description. We always have fun here whether grabbing a beer or getting rowdy. They always have live bands in the corner so bring your dancing shoes. Its not a big space, but even more of a reason to grind on that blondie eyeing you down.

Waters Edge (Bayville)
I was down in Tom's River at my buddy AJ's house. His grandparents have a sweet house on the water with a pool and tiki bar. His dad also has a beautiful 36 ft cigarette boat which he takes us on whenever we are down. Waters Edge is a bar on the water that they usually go to while out on the boat. The restaurant/bar is a quick 10-15 minute drive from their house so they usually go there when Tony's Tiki isn't cutting it.

We probably had a good 8 people on board the cigarette, but that didn't slow this boat down as it ripped through the water. You could barely open your eyes when on this thing--next time I have to remember sunglasses. We pulled up to the Waters Edge and were about to dock out on the water, but for some reason they had a new rule regarding cigarette boats being docked by the restaurant. Everyone was pretty confused as they were just here last weekend and had no problems. The Waters Edge employee told us that was the owners new rule so we pulled away as AJ's dad didn't have bumpers to park alongside the wooden dock.

I don't know why the owner made this new rule, but he missed out on a lot of business. Not only did we have 8 people in our boat ready to eat and drink, but AJ's dad had friends coming. We waited for the 2 additional boats to arrive when we all decided to go back to AJ's house and hang out a Tony's Tiki.

We spent the rest of the day lounging around the pool and the tiki bar. I actually had a better time here than at the bar so I'm happy we didn't go. We cooked some delicious food and had some awesome drinks. A perfect way to spend a saturday.

AJ's dad made some banging clams on the BBQ. It was a simple recipe, but they came out so good. It was red pepper flakes, garlic powder, and beer. I would definitely recommend trying that recipe next time you want to fire up some clams.

Jack and Bills (Seaside, NJ)
Seaside, home of Jersey Shore isn't all guidos all the time. Sure, there are some bars that attract more of that crowd like Bamboo or Karma, but I think we know to stay away from them unless you have a blowout and a beater. Seaside isn't all aboutGTL (Gym, Tan, Laundry) as there are actually some pretty cool bars along the boardwalk.

After a day of drinking, we took a taxi from AJ's house in Tom's River to seaside. I can't really go into detail about the night, but it sure was fun. We stayed at Jack and Bills for the majority of the night before getting kicked out. We were playing beer pong with these girls and next thing I know, my friends were having some words with this guy. After going over to mediate, I still can't tell you what this guys problem was. Were we playing beer pong with his girl? Was he jealous of my dance moves? --Soulja boyyyyyyy! I don't really know what caused the fight, but the guy pushed me and the bouncers insisted on kicking both of us out. He told us that it was protocol. Personally, I think its stupid to kick out someone who didn't start the fight plus its even more stupid to kick both parties out as they probably will fight outside.

Our love for cheesesteaks kept us out of a fight. The cheesesteak was delicious and so much better than a bloody lip. We headed back to AJ's for the night where a few hours later I would have one of the biggest hangovers of my life.

I would definitely recommend going to seaside if in the area. There are definitely fun bars around the area as long as you stay away from certain places. Some assholes will penetrate the good bars too, so bringing your boxing gloves to seaside is just as important as an ID.

Bubbakoo's Burritos (Manasquan, NJ)
BubbaKoo's Burritos is a beach version of Chipotle. The guy behind the counter was probably the owner as he was really into helping me out. I let him talk about the process of making the burrito like he was the first one to think of the assembly line structure. I went with the carnitas and added a few other things as I went down the line including rice, cheese, salsa, and hot sauce.

Eating inside the cold air-conditioned QSR (quick serve restaurant) definitely added to the experience, but the burrito itself was pretty good. A bit pricey for the Jersey Shore as I probably spent the same amount as if I was at the Chipotle around the corner from my apartment in Manhattan. The place was empty so I wonder how business is treating them. This is suppose to be their busy season.

I ended my Bubbakoo's Experience with a Chaco Taco on the walk back to the beach. Overall, a decent experience but I probably won't go back.


I walk by Liam's pretty much every day as its located right outside the Fulton Street subway stop. I use to stop in every once and awhile when Liam's was Exchange. This was my first and probably my last visit to Liam's. Not that the food was terrible, but the bartender was just weird and made the experience incredibly uncomfortable. I don't know which was worse--her singing Eminem or winking at my roommate and I when she gave us our "BJs" (BlackJack Burgers). She made it so uncomfortable that I now walk on the other side of the street when going to the subway.

So on to the food. The food was typical bar food. I didn't think the wings were too good as they had globs of burnt sauce all over them; however, the Blackjack burgers were decent.

Like i said, probably won't go back.

Nestled on Beekman Street, Salud is a Latin/South American restaurant right by my apartment. After a wonderful day at the Fancy Food Show at the Jacob Javitz center, Stef and I decided to grab some dinner. She picked Salud because she liked their menu and it was walking distance. We sat outside on the beautiful summer night and enjoyed a great dinner. Not that the food was great, but the experience was. Having a nice dinner outside over a nice bottle of Pinot Noir was a great ending to an awesome day.

Salud offers a tapas menu so we got a bunch of small plates to split. We got the skirt steak, yuca fries, mexican corn, spinach, and plantains. Although nothing really stuck out--everything on the table was solid. Although I probably won't go back to Salud, I would recommend stopping in for a small plate or glass of wine.

Backyard chicken
Located right behind my apartment on Pearl Street, this tiny quick serve dishes out a small menu. The most popular item is the 1/4 chicken with two sides and a lemonade which will run you $6--what a deal. The portion of chicken is kind of small, but the two sides will definitely fill ya up. I got 1/4 chicken with mac n' cheese and oven roasted potatoes. Both sides were good, but nothing great. The rotisserie chicken had good flavor, but again--nothing great. I think the lemonade was pretty good. I'm not a huge lemonade fan, but this was made right. I think backyard chicken had good value as you got a bang for your buck. Its hard to get a meal in the city for less than $10 bucks unless you're going to Burger King or a local pizza joint (which will also probably cost you around $10). If I ever need a good cheap spot in the financial district--backyard chicken is a good option.

Located on Stone Street, The Dubliner was a big disappointment. My roommate and I were looking for a place to grab a quick bite and a beer. We walked to Stone Street in hopes of finding some kind of happy hour deal. We wondered into the Dubliner, not because they had any good deals but because we were starving and couldn't look any further.

The service was so bad that we actually got up to walk out. We were sitting for a good 5-10 minutes before our waitress showed up. Once she did show up she took our order and disappeared for another 10 minutes. All i remember is being so thirsty from the hot day that I made it clear that I needed a water right away, but that water didn't come for a good 10 minutes or so. We asked our server about the sampler platter that looked pretty legit. Had mozzerella sticks, pigs in a blanket, onion rings, wings, and some other goodies. She told us that there were 12 wings on the sampler when infact there was only 4. They also left out another component which I forget what it was. Not only did the food take forever, but it wasn't good at all. I know its bar food, but it was shitty bar food. I will never go back and I wouldn't recommend that place to anyone. Oh and there were fruit flies hoovering over my beer--GREAT!