Jersey Food

Jersey Spin - September, 2008

Inside This Edition: New Jersey Food Reviews By The Jersey Shadow: TASSERT'S Restaurant in Florham Park, NJ and Florham Park Diner in Florham Park, NJ 


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


TASSERT'S Restaurant - (Closed) I decided it was time to check out Tassert's in Florham Park for lunch on a late summer afternoon.  Arriving midweek I was struck by the empty unset tables outside as this day seemed especially suited for some outside dining.  Inside was inviting with tall ceilings and a working brick oven.  The restaurant wasn't overly busy, but still a nice turnout for midweek.  The un crowded room helped to keep noise levels in a manageable range.
The lunchtime diners, on this day, seemed to be a nice mix of young professionals, friends meeting for a bite to eat and families.  The ambiance at Tassert's has a an upscale, laid-back, New York vibe to it which I'm quite sure will be a hit with all the New Yorker's either relocating here, working here or visiting here.  The prices aren't cheap but well within range for this area, while allowing for ordering a not too expensive lunch with attentive, friendly and highly skilled service, both at the table and in the kitchen.


Shoreguy Beachguide 2008


After a delicious and not too fishy tasting Caesar Salad complete with a
crust of bread, it was time for a favorite of mine... the Cuban Sandwich. 
My order arrived on a rectangular plate with fries in a cup and a small
dish of catsup... very New York but with a New Jersey price.  The sandwich
was mostly traditional with a little twist but overall very good.  The
pork was especially good as was the crusty bread.   My luncheon guest
ordered a salad which was topped with very flavorful and tender warm
shrimp.  The Blue Cheese dressing had something added to it that made it
unusually creamy, and again something unexpected, the salad was topped off
with some warm, very sweet, caramelized red onions -- a very nice touch.
Tassert's calls themselves TASSERT'S in big letters, but it's really not
necessary; after all the customer decides how big a place becomes in their
heart and pocketbook.  Big letters on a nameplate has never gotten me into
a place, but a big reputation will.  Tassert's does have a good reputation
which did live up to my expectations.
Tassert's isn't for the budget-minded diner, but rather for a more
discerning upscale one looking for a good meal with value for purchase. 
Tassert's has been in Florham Park for years, and with the product they
serve and the service they provide I suspect their best days are in front
of them, reaping all the rewards of the positive changes taking place in
this already superior New Jersey community. - Jersey Shadow -
TASSERT'S Restaurant
176 Columbia Turnpike
Florham Park, NJ 07932
Phone: 973-822-3712


















Florham Park Diner - The small quiet town of Florham Park is making its way into mainstream media as an extraordinary place in New Jersey.  The Florham Park Diner tucked somewhat unobtrusively in a strip mall on Ridgedale Avenue is long rumored to have been occasionally visited by John F Kennedy Jr.  Perhaps he fell in love with the extraordinary attentive and most appreciative welcome of the ownership customers receive when arriving at this quiet and friendly place.
I'm not impressed by best this or best that, nor am I moved by big ostentatious banners.  What impresses me is the food and the service at a place and if it's a Jersey Diner it better be good.  While the Diner wasn't invented here (that distinction goes to Connecticut) it was perfected here and New Jersey is home to the best Diners in the nation.
The service and comfort at the Florham Park Diner is first rate; however, the food is only average at best, and it is disappointing to say the least as I had hoped the food would mirror their most appreciative and efficient service.  I tried a very simple "Jersey Diner" dish called the Reuben with Pastrami which any Diner worth his its salt should get  right every time, but unfortunately the quality of the Pastrami was mediocre which made the sandwich mediocre.  My guest had the Tuna Melt which was remarked as average. 
It's a shame when a place doesn't live up to an expectation and with all the signs of best this and best that there is a real danger of complacency rearing its unforgiving head.  My rule is make it the best every time and to heck with trying to validate your hard work through some banner.  Validate your work with happy customers.  Any New Jersey Diner is fully capable of being the best and most prosperous especially in North Jersey and in Florham Park where the playing field is full of hungry dining fans just dying to put a place on top and keep it on top.
The front of house at the Florham Park Diner is first rate and with a little extra care when selecting ingredients and preparation, this place could and should be off the charts.  There is something special here that goes beyond food, but it is the food that needs work and that can be fixed.  If it is fixed, the line to get in will be out the door and they won't need banners to lure customers in, because word of mouth in New Jersey travels faster than a Brett Favre pass.  I will be rooting for them and will check back in time to see how they are doing. - Jersey Shadow - 
Florham Park Diner
182 Ridgedale Avenue
Florham Park, NJ 07932
Phone: 973-966-1008 


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