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Community Guide


December, 2003

Inside This Edition: Burrito Royale in Monmouth Junction, NJ; Washington's Headquarters Museum - The Ford Mansion in Morristown, New Jersey; Movie Review - Rudy; Martini Bistro And Bar in Millburn, NJ and Feature - Holiday Season In New Jersey 

Jersey Food - December, 2003

Burrito Royale sits inconspicuously along an as yet undeveloped stretch of Route 1 South in Monmouth Junction, New Jersey.  This tiny little free-standing Mexican restaurant has charm and individuality.  There is nothing tiny about the chili burrito I had on this day which was a great choice and really hit the spot.  The service and prices are superior, and the locals know where to go for great Mexican take-out or pleasant eat-in.  The atmosphere is no frills and very relaxing, perfect for a quick, enjoyable lunch when fast food just won't do.  At Burrito Royale it's good food fast, and it's always a pleasure to feature the little guy carving out a piece of the American dream and making it a reality.

Away from all the strip malls and busy town centers, this place is a perfect addition to the areas offerings of great take-out food.  Time is tight for people going out on their lunch break, but there was no wait on this day as locals pulled in and right up to the restaurant.  When I finished lunch and went to my car, there was a Mercedes Benz on one side of it and a BMW on the other so the people with the fancy cars know where to go eat for a solid value.

It's always nice to be able to drive along one of New Jersey's highways and discover a great new place.  Burrito Royale is definitely where I will be stopping for some delicious Mexican food when in this part of New Jersey.   

Burrito Royale - Monmouth Junction, New Jersey 

Jersey Treasure - December, 2003

Washington's Headquarters Museum - The Ford Mansion in Morristown, New Jersey, stands where it has since it became part of American history.  This very important Jersey Treasure was home and military headquarters to General George Washington and staff during the harshest New Jersey winter ever of 1779-1780.  Imagine a town of 250 growing to over 10,000 as the Continental army arrived.  Imagine also a knock at the door requesting the use of your house by General George Washington and staff, and you will have an idea of what is in store for you by taking a guided tour of this amazing piece of New Jersey and national history.

The year was 1779-1780 when this mansion, complete with servants quarters and a full indoor kitchen, took its place in history.  The National Park Service provides visitors a glimpse into the past with meticulous, daily, guided tours conducted by a very talented and extremely knowledgeable park ranger dressed in a typical military uniform of the day.  Visitors to the mansion will be transported back in time and left with a solid meaningful impression of what life was like at that time, and just how much the forces of positive change endured for themselves and America.

New Jersey played a great role in the formation of a great country and the Jacob Ford Mansion stands tall as a shining example of military and civilian cooperation and one of New Jerseys greatest treasures.

Washington's Headquarters Museum - The Ford Mansion - Morristown, New Jersey

Movie Review - December, 2003

Video Rental Pick:

RUDY - Rated PG - RUDY played by Sean Astin delivers one of the finest performances of his career as a self-driven young adult eager to shake his blue collar roots to the core.  Dreams are more than just dreams for Rudy as he struggles to turn them into reality.  His dreams are bigger than his God-given gifts of athleticism and book smarts, but Rudy discovers his true gift in this powerful film.  Rudy is based on a true story of an individual with more heart and drive than most anyone.  Rudy calls upon all his heart to compete both physically and intellectually with some of the most gifted and smartest in the land.

Just getting into Notre Dame was a monumental achievement for this young fighter and making the football team a dream come true, but he wanted even more and got it!  Never giving up and fighting to the absolute end, Rudy was rewarded with even more than he ever dreamed.  This touching drama proves that dreams do come true, and that self-determination plus a lot of heart can move mountains.  Rudy moves mountains and this sensitive and inspiring film will move even the most critical of movie-goers.

If insightful and touching albeit just a little sappy dramas appeal to you, then check out RUDY as a great example of this type of film, but be warned that it just might move you in ways you never imagined.

Jersey Clubs and Nightlife - December, 2003  

New Jersey stays up late on Thursday nights at the Martini Bistro & Bar in Millburn where the adults come to relax in a most enjoyable atmosphere.  On this particular night I was struck by a most eclectic group sipping their martinis and cocktails.  This predominantly over-thirty group looked like a who's who of Northern New Jersey.  Who really knows what all these people do or what their stories are, but if you like people watching, then this is the place to be.  I know for a fact that at least two charming ladies on this night with whom I shared delightful conversation are interesting and very accomplished New Jersey professionals.  It was such a treat just to relax from the day in the company of beautiful people.

The Martini Bar is trendy and very "Manhattan" in atmosphere.  The bartenders who wear black tee shirts with martini glasses on them are pleasant, professional and hard working.  As you may have already guessed from the name, the martini is their feature drink, but they also serve other drinks as well.  The music was low-key and pleasant when they played between their many breaks.  It's fairly easy to hear others talk which can sometimes be a challenge sometimes for people with less-than-perfect hearing.

It's not always easy to find a good conversation, a good drink, and a good crowd on the same night and even harder on a Thursday, but I found it here.  If you need to unwind from your busy life during the week, then check out the Martini Bar on Thursday's and unwind in style. 

Martini Bistro & Bar - Millburn, New Jersey


Jersey Feature - December, 2003

Holiday Season In New Jersey 

Many of us have fond memories of this time of year and hope that this holiday season will be among the most memorable.  Every year it seems one product is all the rage and this year the winner seems to be the digital camera.  New Jersey is always in high gear as everyone here knows, and after Thanksgiving it shifts into ultra- high gear as the family station wagon, turned sports utility vehicle, screams down the highway with a tree tied to the roof.  This ubiquitous holiday scene is repeated all throughout Jersey.  Humorous holiday memories are made this time of year.  It seems that most every family has a funny story and for my family it was usually cutting about a foot off the top of the Christmas Tree to get it to fit in the house because after all, bigger is always better.  After the tree is up or other traditional holiday decorations it's off to where else, THE MALL.

The very mention of the word "mall" at this time of year creates an image in one's mind of crowds, commerce, food and oh yes utter chaos.  The first goal on the trip to the mall is the capturing of the elusive parking space.  I used to be quite good at this but have found that of late it's best to leave this maneuver up to the professional shopper.  My days of fighting for a parking space this time of year are long-since over, and yes I do miss the humor and sometimes utter senselessness of looking for one spot with at least 50 other people.  I do go to the mall for my holiday shopping, but like many other things, I do it my way.  Curious as to how I do it yet?

Christmas Eve is my day to shop, and for others in New Jersey, this means ultra stress, but for me it means ultra relaxation and enjoyment.  My day starts at 10AM for window and in-store shopping at The Mall At Short Hills until about 11:30AM, when I wait outside my favorite restaurant inside the mall for it to open at noon; this way I don't have to wait for a table.  When I leave, the line is out the door, and I'm ready for more people watching as I return to the stores to pick up my gifts.  My approach to holiday shopping is only one of many thousands in New Jersey as everyone makes their memories in their own special way.

The Holiday Season In New Jersey is a place where memories are made as everyone makes use of our tremendous resources and great treasures.  Even those who have left New Jersey will surely remember the holiday time they spent in New Jersey as very memorable and definitely unique.

Holiday Season In New Jersey  written by Jerry Butler

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