Jersey Food

August, 2006

Inside This Edition: New Jersey Food - Jersey Shadow Review: Summit Diner in Summit, NJ And Thai Essence in Nutley, NJ 


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Feedback is always welcome on all of my reviews.  Drop me an email if you like! - Jersey Shadow - 



Were you - Born In Jersey?

Summit Diner - The Summit Diner in Summit, New Jersey is without a doubt one of the most unique places in all of New Jersey.  New Jersey is the diner capital of the world and the Summit Diner is quintessential New Jersey.  I stepped into this railroad style car diner and was taken back to the way diners used to be and the way many of them should be.  This place is carefree, laidback and delivers superior Jersey food.  No menus to read just look at the board have seat and eat. 
I knew what I wanted this day which was the classic Taylor Ham and cheese on a roll with Mayo.  It was ready in the blink of an eye but the very busy and very polite waitress noticed that it had egg on it and was going to send it back but I hungrily accepted it just the way it was.  Some things you just can't get any place but New Jersey and this is one of them and it was delicious and perfect. 
It's a delight to experience such an original place that is well run and doesn't feel pressured to change.  The fact that this place obviously hasn't changed is what makes the Summit Diner great and great places just endure time and survive as they should.  This place surely has provided many happy memories for those who frequent this local gem.  If you are waiting for me to say something negative about this place it's just not going to happen because while this place is not for the prissy diner who likes the dog and pony show it is for those in Jersey who know what good diner food is and where to get it.  Jersey Shadow -
Summit Diner
1 Union Place
Summit, NJ 07901
Phone: 908-277-3256



Thai Essence - On a suggestion from a Jersey Spin reader I recently checked out Thai Essence in Nutley, New Jersey and was impressed.  It was a little odd walking into this place in a heavily Italian neighborhood with pizza joints and nail salons in abundance but it was refreshing to see diversity.  Thai Essence is very authentic and the food was very good with only a minor observation.
I noticed right away how comfortable the dining room was and how simple the menu was.  I'm a big fan of the less is more when creating a menu and it's better to have fewer dishes done well.  I also noticed that this place was not only clean it was spotless and the service was impeccable and friendly.  Not everyone speaks English but there are some who do so there aren't language any barriers.  It's so nice to see such an ethnic place pay such close attention to detail by serving coke in the bottle.  You won't find many American places that would bother which such a detail but it really makes a difference.
I started with the Chicken Sate which was good.  This dish has kind of become just the basics which many do well.  Next up was a delicious house salad with an amazing sweet dressing ... very good.  I then had the Hot Beef for my entree and it was very spicy and very good.  The beef did have some fat around the edges which I'm sure was there to add flavor but perhaps it could have been cut off before serving.  My entree also came with an amazing spring roll which was really tasty.
The prices are very reasonable and the staff really appreciated my stopping by which is a very nice thing to experience.  Next time you are in Nutley it might be just the place to check out if you a hungry for something other than Italian. - Jersey Shadow -
Thai Essence
231 Franklin Avenue
Nutley, NJ 07110
Phone: 973-542-0128

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