NJ Food Guide - November, 2009

Inside This Edition: La Prente's in Belleville, NJ and The Stuffed Cupcake in Nutley, NJ

NJ Food Guide - Complete Listings



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La Prete's - The sun washed in La Prete's expansive front windows on this warm fall afternoon.  Good thing it was sunny outside because if it weren't for the sun beaming in we would have been eating in the dark.  It wasn't unpleasant, but it could have been a little brighter.  The food on the other hand was very good, especially the bread.
I went with a chicken and broccoli rabe sandwich with melted fontanella cheese on garlic bread.  The chicken was prepared in thin cutlets which is my personal preference because, for me, chicken cooked this way is much more flavorful.  It was a good sandwich, carefully and very professionally prepared.  My salad starter arrived with the meal so I went European and ate the house salad with Blue Cheese after my main course.  The salad was very fresh and very large.

My guest ordered the special Italian dinner salad which came in a gigantic bowl with salami and fontanella cheese in addition to a heaping portion of assorted greens, cucumbers cut in little squares and olives.  The salad was very tasty, but far too large for one person.  Prices were a little high for the area, but my meal was well worth it.   
Essex County is full of interesting dining and La Prete's appears to be well known to the people in the area and a favorite for special events and celebrations- Jersey Shadow -
La Prete's
369 Washington Ave.
Belleville, New Jersey 07109
Phone: 973-450-1555



The Petite Cafe / The Stuffed Cupcake - Ahh, the happy cupcake --- Cupcakes usually evoke fond memories:  Mom sending Johnny off to school with enough cupcakes for the whole class for a special celebration, cupcakes made for your birthday party or cupcakes made for the local bake sale.  The lowly cupcake, however, never attained the prominence that it holds today.  

How did this happen?  Perhaps the TV shows shot in Manhattan showing 20- something and 30-something women setting out on an evening trip to the local cupcake specialty shop brought attention to this delicious treat.  Perhaps the sudden popularity of the cupcake wedding cake made the difference.  Cupcakes piled on ascending tiers, simulating a luscious cake is a really clever idea. Cupcakes are showing up at afternoon business functions as well as evening cocktail parties.

Whatever the reason, the specially-made cupcake has arrived.  Shops are springing up all over the country and New Jersey will not be outdone. 

A shop that has received quite a buzz is The Petite Cafe / The Stuffed Cupcake in Nutley, NJ.  What can you say about a stuffed cupcake when it comes from a place called The Stuffed Cupcake other than it better be good for 3 bucks a piece.  Guess what, in this crazy world we live in today I never thought I would say that 3 dollars is a bargain for a cupcake, but who knows.  Okay, cupcakes aren't things that one should eat everyday, but the way I tell if something is a good value or not is, "would I buy it again?"  Yes, I would.

Upon entering the shop, it became very apparent that it is true to its name.  The establishment is tiny, and filled with every imaginable flavor and combo of cupcake and stuffing.  Some cupcakes are filled with mousse, some with custard, some with cream; all very tempting.  The variety of offerings is astounding.

I selected the Classic which was chocolate stuffed with white icing.  It was moist, without being soggy, chocolaty without being too sweet and totally delicious and most filling.  I also selected several other flavors to be shared.  Rave reviews all around. These cupcakes aren't anything remotely ordinary and their high quality and variety of choices will make them a hit on any desert table at home or the office. - Jersey Shadow -  
The Petite Cafe / The Stuffed Cupcake
231 Franklin Avenue
Nutley, NJ 07110
Phone: 973-667-7778




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