MJ's Middletown [NJ]

Damn…how much were the wings back then?

I looked at Jacks website. They do 6 for 5.00 at happy hour. Is there a night where they have other wing specials?

I have no clue. We ate them at Anchor Bar and I don’t remember. Pretty much every time we went out to eat in Houston it was seafood and especially Mexican food, good Tex-Mex.

While the rest of America was doing the three martini lunch, we were doing the three margarita lunch, specifically Ninfaritas from Ninfa’s.

Three would flatten you and the backroom at the restaurant just east of downtown was a serious party at lunch being full of office workers.

Nobody went back to work on time or sober, different times.

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Where to even begin after last night’s spectacle?

My opinion of MJ’s has changed drastically in the short time I have gone there. It started out as decent when I grabbed pizza and wings after hockey with the guys. Then I ventured into meals and found the place to be borderline horrid. My mom and her friends LOVE this place. I guess I understand after last night, when really studying the crowd. This was a place for upper 40’s through 70’s. I don’t know how they maintain their “hot scene” image, at least in Middletown.

So why were we there? Well, Justin for the longest time has said what an ace he is at karaoke. My mom wanted him to put up or shut up and decided to treat us to MJ’s on Karaoke night. I kept my mouth shut, of my newly found pure and utter disdain for this place. My mom had no idea that Justin too thinks the place is horrible. Food aside, it is just not our scene. I look around and think, “This is why I hate New Jersey.”

Anyway, we get there around 8. Bar is PACKED for karaoke. We ordered drinks. It was $5 LIT night so I started with one of them. It sucked, and not just because I am spoiled by Barnacle Bill’s. It tasted like cheap tequila, coke, and not speaking from experience, cat piss. Glass packed with ice. Justin ordered a Buttery Nipple (butterscotch schnapps and Bailey’s). Mom has wine. A solid 10 minutes goes by and the manager comes to our table saying they were out of butterscotch. Justin said he would take a beer but she steered him in the direction of a Cinnamon Toast Crunch (Fireball and Rum Chata). He said he would take that. Another 10 minutes goes by and the manager is back. “I’m so sorry but we are out of Rum Chata.” 0 for 2. He ordered his beer despite her nagging him to try a Bailey’s and caramel vodka concoction.

First appetizer was the pretzels. Disgusting. Cold in the middle, overly salty, no flavor. The Olive Garden breadsticks of pretzels they were. Next up: boneless wings. Tolerable at least, decent heat, but no pop. Lastly: the nachos. One of the weakest attempts at such a simple dish I’ve ever seen. It was cold, the cheese was watered down and flavorless, the chicken was rubbery, and the guacamole looked like it was something that would go up to serve astronauts on the space station.

Wanting some time between apps and not knowing what to order, we were asked by the waitress 7 times if we were ready to order meals. 7 times. I counted.

Thoroughly disgusted and disappointed, and with karaoke in full swing, I ordered the first of two gin martinis (I had debated a flight of vodka shots to get me through the evening). I’ll commend them on those, they were good. Finally feeling buzzed, I was pushed to order a meal. My mom was paying and PUSHING us to order order order. Remember, she LOVES the place. I remember holding in my anger and trying to feign an “I’m already so full” spiel but as time went on, I gave up. I had a chicken BLT. Justin, equally horrified at the science experiment worthy food, ordered a Thai chicken wrap. He asked them to hold the ranch dressing because why on earth would Thai chicken come with ranch?

Anyway, his wrap was putrid. My sandwich was missing chipotle mayo, the bread was soggy, and the chicken had no flavor. NO FLAVOR ON ANYTHING! This was one of the worst assemblages of food witnessed in my life. I wish I had not reviewed them already because this would be a dinger.

As for Karaoke, it was poorly managed (I assume-- I hate karaoke and have never been to one). They called the same three or four people over and over again. The Miller Lite sipping crowd loved it, I assume all regulars. They only seemed to be catering to their regulars. Just when I was getting into one of the songs, a lady who resembled Ernest Borgnine nearly knocked me out of my chair when she got too close to take video. We were there forever, waiting, because we wanted to see if Justin was brave enough to sing. Sure enough, as we paid the check and I was getting ready to set razor to wrist, his name was called and he belted out Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5” before we hit the road.

MJ’s: Disgusting. Horrible. Can I curse? Fucking terrible. A disgraceful establishment that should stick to booze only and close up the God damn kitchen.


You can DEFINITELY curse, Greg. I was cursing as I read this. But I do have one question, and I think it’s the most important one…how did Justin do?!?

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You absolutely cannot fucking curse on these boards!


He did pretty good. On some songs, the music was louder than it should have been. Unfortunately, it nearly drowned him out but he made a recovery in the second half.



(Me adding jibberish because they still haven’t fixed that problem in the programming…)

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  1. I didn’t know the Buttery Nipple is an actual drink and not a shot!
  2. 9 to 5 is a fabulous karaoke pick!
  3. I went here to the Middletown and the Matawan locations exactly once each and it was HORRIBLE.

I went here once…literally once years ago when they opened. I have yet to return. :wink:


The Buttery Nipple ingredients are usually poured as a shot, but he likes it in a rocks glass. When The Globe does it, they layer the schnapps on top of the Bailey’s. I prefer the Slippery Nipple because I love Sambuca (also on the rocks).

We had just watched “9 to 5” a few weeks ago and he loved it. I found symbolism in his choice. Getting through a dinner at MJ’s was like an 8 hour shift.

Supposedly the Matawan location is superior, but I am not going to find out. I remember the original Buttonwood Manor. Went there a few times for special occasions. Aside from me, my parents who were in their late 50’s at the time would have been the youngest people in the place.


I am reminded of the VJ theorem,
Mediocre food + liquor license = success.
Sticking to pizza and fried food you can get away ok, anything past and you’re screwed there in my experience. It seems to draw seniors or near seniors who enjoy a night out of booze and big portions of slop and most likely lament the smoking ban daily

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Holy cow…the buttonwood! When I was a kid I used to work there valet parking cars. One night the other guy working with me says “come check this out”

He brings me to the lake behind the place and there is a Mitsubishi literally a foot from the water’s edge. The car I parked rolled down the hill and almost ran into the lake! I didn’t put the transmission into gear on a hill and I guess the brake wasn’t too tight. Luckily it didn’t fall into the lake or hit anything. I learned my lesson that night.


MJ’s gets too much attention on food websites. I’ve said my piece on them in other threads.

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You can skip the Matawan location. I can confirm it is not good. Also I hate that they have parking across the street of 34 which at that spot is 4 lanes and on a bend. It totally stresses me out.

I like this lesson in drinks. Thanks!


I’m dreading the one in Monmouth Beach opening. Talk about a town of missed opportunities!


I may have missed it, but where in mb are they opening? Not that I’m going lol…just curious

And yes, for an amazing town mb has a really bad food scene :confused:

Where Michael Angelo’s was. I think they’re calling it MJ’s Tavern & BYO. Seriously. I haven’t driven by recently to check progress since the sign went up some months back.

The food scene goes up and down. The saddest thing is the failure to have a decent corner grocery store.

Wow, that place is going to try and survive on food alone? That is going to be tough without liquor.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold