Nj throwback thread, what places would you bring back?

Let’s here it folks, what places do you fondly remember and wish could come back to life? Granted it’s a different time and age, and many probably couldn’t survive today, but who do you miss?

I will ramble off a few monmouth county spots, my home turf.

Hook line n sinker: I used to hang there 3+ nights a week in my early 20s. It was like cheers. My friends and I would meet all the time and down copious amounts of beer and mainly epic cheese burgers. The cheddar sauce, beef quality, fresh rolls, and bacon all played well together to make my most memorable burgers. I obviously knew the bartenders and they were like family. They would cook the burgers at the bar and I was known for the “bacon sandwich.” This was code for a giant cheddar burger, medium rare with literally a dozen strips of grilled crispy bacon and a side basket of fried shoestring onions. This burger blew anything out of the water and still does. I would pull off like 5 or 6 pieces of bacon to eat on the side. I’m pretty sure I took about ten years off my life hanging there :smile:

Ok that is my first one. I’m heading out for some meat now lol. More to come…

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The old Ruby Palace on Rt 35. I remember going there with my family when I was a kid and eating Americanized Cantonese food. Non gourmet, no filet mignon in the egg roll just roast pork kinda food. I’d like one more Christmas eve there with my parents.


Good call @seal I have eaten here many dozens of times. I used to work on Bethany Rd in hazlet so this was a staple. I was a big fan of the Marnier shrimp and pretty much everything there. The soups were great and those huge eggrolls were tasty. Good portions and fair prices made this place a winner. Did the owners ever open a new spot?

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Jade Fountain in North Arlington, NJ. Chinese buffet to die for. Many good memories of being a young kid going with my family. Jules on West Side Ave. in Jersey City. Best homemade Italian food, also like going to Cheers, we always knew people at a few tables every time.

Good stuff Jeff. Food memories with friends and family go far.

Hopefully this thread will evoke some good memories and make people feel happy :smile: I’m having some good flashbacks now.

I’ll get into some Italian places soon. I’m waiting for some well known gents to make an appearance first. @MZ if the z man doesn’t have a few mind bending and inspiring stories to tell then I’m shutting this thread down!

@NotJrvedivici will undoubtedly have some epic tales to tell. My popcorn is ready!

I’m going to ask for a pass until Monday to give my list, too much to type on my phone.

If I could have just one more hot fudge sundae from Grunings, I would be very happy.


We will let you slide jr…this time! ; )

@coldbeer70 let’s hear about this sundae.

I miss the old Stewarts on rt 36 in highlands. Crappy food, good looking jailbait serving carside eats on roller skates, and tasty rootbeer. Let’s not forget about the several dwi checks I may have gone through at this parking lot.

@joonjoon must have some bitching stories as well. I almost forgot buddy.

Man this thread is bringing back some crazy memories!

Had many a Christmas Day meal there (after movie) and they had a Chinese menu too. The general tso’s thread seems to have been deleted. The movie referenced (you tube) opening and closing scene is of jade palace restaurant- which is located in the raintree plaza in freehold. I verified what I saw by looking at google earth street view. Ruby palace was originally Tahiti Gardens and it is where I took my wife on our first date - so that is where I would like to go one more time. So many Bell Labs luncheons at Ruby’s …

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A little highway-side hamburger stand called Anthony Wayne’s. Lived “at the corner of” route 46 and route 23 (later route 80). The place was amazing to watch operate during a lunch in its heyday. Orders would be called back to the grill man by the counter workers and the grill man just kept up with it all. The counter could be 2 or 3 deep and the food just flew.

They did a thin burger and it cooked very quickly over their real, hickory charcoal fire. The busier they were the better the result. Their business went from utterly booming to bearly making it very quickly. Not their fault, really - just change. It was my favorite guilty pleasure lunch or dinner for that matter. A small piece of heaven that ran for over 50 years.

Jackie Coopers Celebrity Deli in Metuchen.


Nope, I think if you check it got moved to culture and media discussions as general tso apparently did not have a residence in Jersey.


Wow…I wish I had gotten to try this spot. I would cook every type of meat I make with wood if time permitted. It seems like it is a dying art today in the restaurant world. Very few places cook over wood and I don’t know of any locally that do burgers.

They moved my bacon thread too. I wanted to learn about some cool NJ bacon dishes but I guess it is what it is.

You’re just missing your sinker sandwich.

Go on, buy a pound grill it up and put it on a burger. Get it over with so we don’t have to keep hearing about it.

You know you want to…

I have to say I have two…
One still exists-- Denville Dairy. But when I went as a kid, it was a freestanding double-windowed walk up building in the lot of a bank. They moved to their current location over 25 years ago, and whenever I get in there I still think fondly of the original, probably because we usually went there in my dad’s convertible with my dog riding on the boot. DD is still a true slice of Americana, as far as I’m concerned. And I still love their ice cream!

The other spot used to be in the Morris County Mall and it was called Oriental Yum-Yum. It’s where my dad took us for our first real ( I remember cans of LaChoy chicken chow mein in the house) Chinese food and introduced us to Moo Shu and Peking duck. I fell in love with the cuisine there, and it became our go to spot for birthday dinners. I’d love to see with that menu looked like because I have no clue what else was on it besides our standard items.

Zelbe’s in Belmar. I had my first of many buckets of steamers there and none can compare.

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Because I’m nothing more than an over grown child and can’t wait till tomorrow here’s my list.

La Fontana, New Brunswick NJ. This was the definition of fine dining, from the cherub fountain when you walked in to the thick valour wallpaper the chandeliers and mirrored ceilings the place oozed opulence. 5 servers including the captain per table the service matched the quality of food and surroundings, I’ve never experienced anything like La Fontana in its prime.

Caruso’s, Plainfield NJ. Small Italian restaurant tucked away off of Rt 28/Front St was this gem. It’s were I got engaged and where you could find me nearly ever Sat night in the early 90’s. Husband and wife team he was the chef she worked the front of the house and they provided and excellent fine dining Italian experience. Then he had to get involved with one of his dishwashers and the whole thing, including their marriage went down the drain.

The Luna Bell Diner Rt 1&9 Woodbridge NJ. When I was a child my father owned and operated The Meadows Diner on Dowd Avenue in Elizabeth. (my father lived in a trailer behind the diner as he and my mother were first married, I was literally conceived and born into the business) He would get up at 4am on Sundays to go to the diner and do his baking for the week, I would join him. On our way we would stop and have breakfast at the Luna Bell diner, I’m almost tearing up typing about this thinking back on the memories of how special it felt going to work with him. Great memories and even better home fries!!

Pumptown Corners, Edison New Jersey. This was my family’s restaurant growing up. I learned how to cook, had my first drink and kissed my first girl (a hostess I think that thought I could get her a raise) and learned everything a young man needs to know about the business. If you’ve never been in the industry it’s hard to explain what it’s like to grow up in the business, my bus stop was at the restaurant. I would go to school take the bus here, do my homework in the office put on my apron and be to work by 4pm. Washing dishes, then salad and prep to cooking behind the line over the years I learned every aspect of the business here.

2000 Park Ave. South Plainfield NJ. Where I cut my teeth in the business outside my family. I was a manager at 18 years old and my Sr. year of high school drove from school to here and stayed till closing. 18 years old, getting paid $9. Per hour (less than half an adult manager would make) too young to drink on premises and too honest to steal I was every restaurant owners dream come true. While at my family’s restaurant I learned the business here I learned about life. I continued to work here even after starting my current business simply because I loved the place, the family that owned it and the business in general.

Local to Monmouth County

American Pizza Kitchen, Tinton Falls NJ. Where the current CJ Mc Loons is currently located this was a small open kitchen family Italian restaurant when I moved to this area 20+ years ago. For $12.95 you couldn’t get a better meal anywhere. One of the best fried calamari I’ve ever had, even my father in law from Brooklyn loved the place!!

Hanna’s Rt. 35 Eatontown NJ. This place was never great but for whatever reason we liked it and went frequently.

Ashes, Red Bank NJ. Caveat their 1st year of business only When Ashes first opened as a true cigar club and restaurant it was just cool. It helped usher in the “hip” Red Back scene and for that first year it was a neat concept and experience which was well executed, but short lived.

That’s my list for now. My thumb is numb!!

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Damn, I loved that little place.

Their menu was a classic - hamburgers, cheeseburgers, hot dogs, french fries and a great steak sandwich. Toward the end they added some green things.

The calls from the counter people to the grill man went something like this - “1 burger; two cheese; 1 steak, three potato, 2 dogs” and the grill guy just kept the beat. There would be 8 or ten orders working on that grill at once.

The place started out as a nicely built (brick) outside stand. The front was later enclosed and two dining areas added, on on either side of the grill . The place was furnished with actual antiques and anchored by a large grandfather clock. As time went on the tables and chairs were subjected to some really badly done repairs and the clock stopped working. But until the day they closed, the food was as good as it even was.

Sorry for going on a bit - but as I said, I really did love that little place.

Hey @NotJrvedivici how bout Charlie Browns in Metuchen so you could collect what they owe you?