Jersey Food

December, 2006

Inside This Edition: New Jersey Food - Jersey Shadow Review: Soho 33 in Madison, NJ And State Street Grill in Bloomfield, NJ 


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

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Soho33 - is a very cool name for a restaurant and this one is located in Madison, NJ, on Main Street.  My main goal when writing about a place is to always be honest however painful it sometimes is.  I guess everyone forms some sort of an opinion about a place as soon as they walk in, and judging by all the framed this and that on the wall in the entry-way there seems to be many an opinion of this place.  I was getting excited about the upcoming meal.
The restaurant is very comfortable with nice big windows overlooking the street but unfortunately this better-than-average room to dine in was serving mediocre food  -- at least at our table on this night.  Before getting into what was mediocre let's take the positive first.  They hit a home run with me in their Caesar Salad which actually had some tomato in it and was awesome.  The Focaccia Bread and oil to start was great too.  My main dish was a Veal Scallopine which fell flat into mediocre land...  not tough, but not tender either and a little lacking in flavor. 
When a meal arrives at a table I don't expect to have to quickly taste it before deciding if it needs salt.  Really, if the meal is prepared properly salt is not needed.  I'd say that it's pretty arrogant... okay self confident not to have salt and pepper on the table for a guest, but if needed, I want it and that's it.  The waiter never stopped by the table until my meal was nearly gone, and then it was too late to even bother to ask.  My guest commented on how tender the chicken was but it lacked flavor.

I really liked the salad but it's just not enough to get me back in the door, so I probably won't be back unless someone or something drags me back.  The prices weren't particularly reasonable although being able to bring your own bottle of wine could make up for that pretty easily. - Jersey Shadow - 
Soho 33
33 Main Street
Madison, NJ 07940
Phone: 973-822-2600


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State Street Grill - While in Bloomfield recently I happened to to come upon the State Street Grill, just off of Bloomfield Avenue.  This place is very good,  upbeat and comfortable.  The menu is quite large and quite heavy with much to choose from.  I was very hungry and in need of a cheeseburger.  There is a real tendency to overeat in a Jersey Diner, but I went with the the smaller burger which was cooked to perfection.  This place has a lot of Jersey Diner in it and even sits were an older diner once stood.  It also has a nice restaurant feel to it and even a bit of a market feel with ready made food to go.
My burger was quite tasty and the fries were good.  I also had a garden salad which was much better than expected, very flavorful, complete with Italian dressing.  My guest had something called Tuna Jackets which were also quite good.   The dish consisted of tuna salad stuffed into potato skins, topped with cheddar cheese and served with breaded, deep-fried, zucchini sticks - -- very interesting dish.  I noticed that they serve breakfast all day...  a great Jersey tradition indeed.
After grabbing a photo, I could see just how much work went into revitalizing this small area and how nice it now looks.  Parking is still tight in the area, but there are some free spots in their small lot.  Unless you want to be a regular, it would probably be a good idea to check it out on an off hour so you can avoid the hassle of parking by getting a primo spot.
It seems as though the old Jersey Diner might well be competing with a more upscale new breed in the future if more places like this begin popping up.  As long as the food is good , who am I to complain about the changing landscape.  I do expect that New Jersey will always remain the diner capital of the world, always at the ready to handle most any diner's needs. - Jersey Shadow - 
State Street Grill
9 State St,
Bloomfield, NJ 07003
Phone: 973-748-3003   

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