Jersey Food

Jersey Spin - December, 2007

Inside This Edition: New Jersey Food - Jersey Shadow Review: Danielle's in Chatham, NJ and Tops Diner in East Newark, NJ


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

NJ Restaurant Reviews

Danielle's - I had heard about Danielle's and have been wanting to stop by for quite some time.  Recently I arrived with a guest for lunch.  The room was very pleasant and we were seated at a simple looking wooden table.  The chair to me was uncomfortable and seemed oddly matched to the table as I felt up too high.  Strangely, the table silverware was not set properly.

Some cold bread arrived with breadsticks and butter.  The bread was very average at best and a bit of a disappointment for an Italian Bistro where bread should be awesome.  I dove into my "Bistro Salad" -- it was good and it came with my Pasta Special for $9.95, a most outstanding price for this part of New Jersey.  The pasta dish was  good with chicken and artichokes, garlic and sundried tomatoes. 

My guest started lunch with a bowl of Pasta E Fagioli and certainly enjoyed it.  That was followed by a special entree, Caprina Salad.  The salad consisted of a very generous bed of Mesclun greens with goat cheese, craisins, goldenraisins, walnuts and shaved fennel.  It was very lightly dressed with a balsamic vinaigrette.  Too frequently, chefs have a tendency to drench a salad with dressing killing the flavor of the components.  This salad was perfectly dressed, very fresh and extremely tasty.  

The soup and salad, both generous portions, came to $11.95.  That was another good Jersey value.  The next time you are in Chatham you might want to put Danielle's on your dining consideration list.  - Jersey Shadow -

219 Main Street
Chatham, NJ 07928
Phone: 973-701-7790










Tops Diner - Along the very historic Passaic River sits this classic Jersey diner.  Upon entering I was amazed just how busy and thriving this place was on this day.  Tops is open 24 hours, the way it used to be all over Jersey and the way it should be.   It was clear just from walking in that all signs pointed to a great experience.

Dining alone, I was seated at a small comfortable booth and presented with a large menu and daily special menu as well.  Let's see what to order from the mountain of choices...  S.O.B. Burger... what's that?  Being from Jersey I just had to ask the waitress what it stood for and she didn't know, but said she would find out.  She did, I liked the way it sounded, and I ordered it.  Sauteed onions and BBQ sauce expained the S.O.B., and adding in some avocadoes and melted cheese, lettuce, tomato and fries which it came with and I was in heaven.  The burger was a 1/2-pound delicious delight.

This lunch special came with soup of the day and even a slice of pie.  With my soda and tax it was just $10.65.  The price was just as awesome as the burger and normally I don't eat pie for dessert at lunch but the waitress just arrived with a slice.  She wrapped it up for me and I had it the next day.

As critical as I am, there just isn't anything to even nitpick about here; this experience was thoroughly delightful and I highly recommend Tops.  If you like the Jersey Diner experience you will probably love Tops.  Tops is a great place and a great example of what good leadership, hard work and an obviously well-cared-for staff can accomplish.  Every customer I saw on this day, (and the place was very crowded) looked happy and very satisfied.

With a name like "Tops" there is much to live up to and my journey to East Newark, New Jersey, was not only worth it, but also quite unique and memorable.  Tops is a Jersey Diner of the highest caliber, with an efficient friendly staff and superior food made with fresh ingredients.  Local repeat customers abound here, both to stay and carry out a meal that most assuredly would please the most critical Jersey Diners. - Jersey Shadow -

Tops Diner
500 Passaic Avenue
East Newark, NJ 07029
Phone: 973-481-0490



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