New Jersey: What is good here?


(For the Horde!) #1

What is New Jersey most famous and good for beside Trenton tomato pie?


(Junior) #2

I would say Italian Hot Dogs are a very “jersey thing” as well as the infamous pork roll egg and cheese sandwiches.


(kg) #3

As a Philly girl, NJ is pretty much restricted to the southern end of the state. I grew up going to the (south) Jersey shore: boardwalk pizza, fudge, soft serve ice cream, salt water taffy (yeah, I ate very healthy on vaca :wink: As notjr notes, egg, pork roll and cheese sandwiches on a hard roll.

As an adult? BYOBs in Haddonfield and Collingswood–especially good Italian.

Some great fine dining in Cape May. I especially remember a Christmas dinner at the Ebbitt Room with mom a few years ago. Decades earlier, before Cape May was trendy and we spent two weeks at 24 Jackson Street every year, the Virginia Hotel had introduced mom to the wonders of gazpacho soup, a love that endures to this day. We were happy to see that the Ugly Mug was still there and still serving a great turkey sandwich.


(For the Horde!) #4

Thanks so much. I haven’t had any of these. Are they easy to find?


(For the Horde!) #5

:slight_smile: Can I get it close to where I live? I live close to that Trenton Princeton area if it rings any bell.


(kg) #6

Sorry Chem, I’m not very familiar with that area, But I have to believe there are places in Trenton that have good versions,


(Tom) #7

That’s funny, as a S. Jersey guy we hit S. Philly for everything from steak sandwiches & hoagies to hole in the wall mom & pop Italian restaurants.

CherryHill & Marlton have a lot of highly rated places with liquor licenses and Collingswood & Haddonfield do have some very good BYOB’s, many of which are S. Philly transplants.

Will also have to throw a pitch to “some” of our Diners that still serve a fresh ground 8 oz burger cooked to order & and super jumbo in-house breaded onion rings.


(kg) #8

Love those diner onion rings , , , Have never seen onions that large in any market near me,


(Tom) #9

One place that has them along with a veal or chicken parm that overlaps the plate is Georgine’s in Bristol PA. Very reasonable too.


(Tom) #10

Georgine’s would be closer to the extreme N. east section of Philly. Another place that has the jumbo onion rings is Hathaway’s Diner/Sweetwater bar & gril in Cinnaminson NJ. Little pricier but big portion and among the best. They are about 10 minuted from either the Tacony or Betsy Ross.


(kg) #11

I’ll make a note of these spots. Thanks!


(Joon) #12

Hey Ck, are you new to the area? I can’t imagine not being able to find Pork Rolls near Trenton, the home of Taylor Pork Roll.

To me the other big “Jersey” food experience aside from the usual suspects is the neighborhood Italian joint. Red sauce, franchese, marasala, that sort of thing.


(Tom) #13

I have had them all, I think Taylor is the BEST !!!


(Junior) #14

My wife has been buying some odd brand of pork roll like “Steve’s” or something, they have a spicy pork roll that is really good.


(Tom) #15

I have had Taylor, Trenton, Case & I think Hormel. Taylor rocks dude, gets the loins going!


(hs) #16

Wow, that takes me back. Taylor ham on hard roll was a staple in our high school cafeteria in northern jersey many many years ago. Subs were another great regional specialty of course.


(Elwood) #17

It’s funny, I was born in the Garden State, and, having “retired” young, returned to the Shore after having lived/worked all along the Acela Corridor. Consequently, I still get occasional e-mails from folks I knew along the way asking questions about eating in Jersey. Yesterday’s inquiry from a former partner going to visit her kid at Princeton basically echoed CK’s OP. So, two birds with one stone and all . . . .

New Jersey’s culinary fame, in my mind, is tied to a couple things. Geographically, the climate, soil, and stretch of coastline means that certain produce - tomatoes, corn, asparagus, cantaloupe - and certain seafoods - scallops, lobster, fluke - are of standout quality and well worth seeking out seasonally. Culturally, New Jersey is located between the East Coast’s two largest cities - each with centuries of immigrant influences that have bled out into our neighboring State and dramatically influenced the foodscape.

Pizza, Tomato Pies, red-sauce Italian restaurants are, in a way, the confluence of these two factors and deserve some appreciation when eating here. Personally, I’m a fan of the ultra-thin crust popular through the center of the State (and arguably taken to an extreme along parts of the coast). If you look for it, you can even find a scallop or lobster pie appearing on menus alongside plate-sized veal parm deliciousness.

There’re some fantastic Polish/Eastern European foods to be had in a couple of pockets - South River in Middlesex County comes to mind. Likewise, the last three decades have brought a large number of Asians into the central part of the State. Indian, Korean, regional Chinese cuisines have all blossomed in and around the Edison area. Any food-centric visit absolutely must include a detour to that area.

Others have noted the famous pork roll. That is undeniably “Jersey”. Just remember, a PR,E & C is best ordered to go so that the foil wrapped around the sandwich is given a few minutes to steam the whole package together.

Other things also come to mind. Diner culture (if you will). White Rose/White Manna system burgers. Fried hot dogs. Then again, nothing is more Jersey Lunch to me than a fried fluke sandwich with Swiss, lettuce, and tomato.


(Joon) #18

You nailed it! Now where can I get me a fried fluke sandwich?


(Junior) #19

Gotta wait till next summer now Joon. (can I get mine with all the above, plus tarter sauce?)


(Junior) #20

Actually it was Case’s Tangy Pork Roll that I was talking about, it’s very good.