What Does SFBA Have That NJ Doesn't?

Hello Folks, I’ll be attending a family potluck on Sunday evening and we will be hosting a family from NJ… I was wondering what kinds of food folks from NJ don’t have easy access to, or any cuisines that are not represented well. My extended family are all located in the San Francisco Bay Area… some ideas I got from polling friends included some Asian cuisines, produce, etc. but I decided to ask here for specific ideas. Thanks!

Are you planning to cook something, get takeout, etc.? And since it’s a potluck do you need something that can be served cold? How big a portion you planning to make?

I’ll think some more and will mention now that fresh figs are starting to become available.

Boy, is that topic title a snark magnet! :slight_smile:

Q. Why does California have the most lawyers and NJ the most toxic waste sites?
A. New Jersey had first choice.

Seriously, NJ is well fixed well fixed for Chinese food, probably less so Vietnamese, definitely not Burmese. (NOBODY tops SFBA in Burmese!) A tea leaf salad would travel well. Filipino lumpias work well at picnics, you can reheat them on the cooler edges of a grill.

Similarly, NJ is well off in Mexican and South American cuisines, but not so much in Central American. Pupusas?

Northern Italian (but definitely not southern) food might be novel to them. My go-to item as a single non-cooking guest at potlucks was always foccacia from Liguria Bakery.

You might also forget about ethnic specialties and focus on what we do well – bread, beer, produce?


Dungeness crab :crab: is a definite West Coast treat.
And I’m not convinced NJ is a center for Mexican food, at least not as it is practiced out this way. :slight_smile:

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The Mexican population in the NY-NJ area has boomed in recent decades, and the old meme about no good Mexican food in NY is no longer operational, IMHO, though there are regional differences (try and find Yucatecan in NY/NJ, or a good cemita in the Bay Area).

Come to think of it, burritos wrapped heavily in foil picked up on the way to the picnic and lightly reheated might work

Yes! I’d recommend a loaf of bread from Josey Baker or a sesame studded loaf from Tartine Manufactory on Alabama (no line for bread).

Easy. Proper sourdough bread. I miss my Toscana sourdough rolls. I hear they have them in DC, but that’s a hike.

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Laos, Cambodian, Californian uni.