NJ Food Guide

NJ Food Guide - June, 2009

Inside This Edition: New Jersey Food Reviews By The Jersey Shadow: The Brick Oven In Morristown, NJ and Irving's Delicatessen in Livingston, NJ


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The Brick Oven Of Morristown - Sometimes you have to say what the heck... show me what you have.  The Brick Oven Of Morristown has taken up shop along busy South Street in Morristown near the Community Theater and within walking distance to the Green.  I've been wanting to check this place out since it opened, but as you all know, I shall review no place before its time as reviews when a place opens are unfair and useless.  I let a place settle in, so when I show up there is the best opportunity to capture a place for what it is on any given day.
The restaurant is airy, comfortable and open for lunch as well as dinner with outside dining.  No outside dining this evening though, as it was raining.  The menu was broad with pizzas and traditional Italian fare, pastas, salads, fish and veal but it was the specials that caught my attention this night.  The very professional waiter went over the specials, not giving the prices, but I said what the heck and ordered a couple without asking.  I felt like taking a break from all the doom and gloom with the economy, and decided to just let them show me what they had to offer.


I started with a stuffed artichoke appetizer which turned out to be $14 dollars and change but was fabulous, plentiful and flavorful; then I moved on to the Filet Mignon special which turned out to be 28 dollars and change.  My generous portioned (better be for $28 plus dollars) filet was perfectly cooked, seasoned and presented on top of a heaping bed of spinach sauteed with garlic.  The dish was simply delicious and very satisfying.  The Filet also came with some potato wedges which were just okay.  With a soft drink my meal was approaching the $50 dollar mark which is expensive to say the least especially during these tough times, but there are plenty of far cheaper dishes to choose from.  My dinner partner chose the mushroom risotto with a hint of saffron which was said to be very tasty -- an empty plate attested to that.
Walking by this restaurant at lunchtime on a warm day, you often won't see an empty table, and I suspected this place was good.  With food like this why wouldn't it be, and with old- school service The Brick Oven of Morristown will in all likelihood be around for quite some time.  - The Jersey Shadow -
The Brick Oven Of Morristown
90 South Street
Morristown, NJ 07960
Phone: 973-984-7711


Irving's Delicatessen - Sometimes a restaurant comes along that fills a void, and when it does, the whole area is enriched for its efforts.  Set off a busy Route 10 in Essex County's Livingston, NJ, is Irving's Deli, an unusual sight for this area as it is next to at least three abandoned retail stores.  I knew this place was back there and I have been wanting to try it.  Today was the day, so the car I was in traversed the decaying parking lot and we were there.
The contrast between survival and failure could have not been more striking with a backdrop like this, and so we entered Irving's where we were given two tickets and seated at a newer but retro-style looking table.  The tickets upon entering reminded me of my youth at the long since defunct Wedgewood Cafeteria which was in Montclair.  Diner's got tickets there also for internal use.  I get it... nobody trusts anybody especially in New Jersey, and if I invested the kind of money they did at Iriving's, I'd want to be sure I knew where it all was and where is was going too.
There is one tried and true way to test a place like this out to see if they know what they're doing or not, and it's in the Pastrami they serve.  I was happy to see half portions on the menu as a full portion at a traditional Jewish Deli is way too much.  I ordered a half portion of hot Pastrami on rye with their extra lean option, fries and a coke.  The sandwich was delicious and would have represented a full portion most other places.  The fries were delicious as well, crisp and not at all greasy.
Iriving's is an intriguing place with a massive menu, including eat in or take-out, and they do catering as well.  The menu offers many options at Irving's and if hot Pastrami is not your thing, there is sure to be something that is.  My guest raved about the Corned Beef as being delicious as well.  Irving's has come to Livingston with an old- school tried and true formula... make it good, make it plentiful and make it memorable.  I will be back for sure. - Jersey Shadow -
Irving's Delicatessen
575 Route 10 East
Livingston, NJ 07039
Phone: 973-994-5100

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