Takeout Joints Vol. 3: Italian and Asian

The first installments of this column have been broken down separately into pizza/Italian and Chinese/Asian. Because I’ve slowed down a little bit on the takeout lately, I am going to combine the two for Volume 3. Below we have one of each, and my, how vastly different they were in quality!

Photo of the Day: March 16, 2018

A literal mountain of breaded eggplant, ready for frying before becoming Eggplant Parmesan. Going with a higher percentage of Panko to the usual Italian seasoned breadcrumbs is the key. Less sodium, more crunch.

Photo of the Day: February 13, 2018

The first of three pictures from Nonna’s in Englishtown begins today. As a bread-loving Italian, there is no better way to start off a meal than with a spread like this. Homemade, warm, crusty bread, and a dish with two kinds of olive oil, butter, and tapenade.

Restaurant Review: J.J. Bitting Brewing Company (Woodbridge, NJ)

Where do you go when you have a craving for quesadillas? Why, the J.J.¬†Bitting Brewing Company, of course! All kidding aside, this was the first time I had eaten here in over two years. When I worked in Perth Amboy once upon a time ago, coworkers and I were here at least once a month….

Photo of the Day: January 29, 2018

I’d probably weight 50 pounds less if I did not have a love for bread. Who in their right mind could look at that and not want to dive in? Esposito’s Pizza and Pasta, Matawan, NJ.

The Recipe Book: A Taste of Purgatory

Eggs in Purgatory, that is. This is the classic Italian peasant breakfast (and hangover cure) that is remarkably simple to make. I first learned of its existence on an episode of Parts Unknown last season, where Nigella Lawson cooked it for Anthony Bourdain. If you can get your timing right, poaching the egg just enough…

Photo of the Day: December 3, 2017

Isn’t this a beautiful scene here? A sandwich from Taliercio’s with imported prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, roasted red peppers, and balsamic vinegar on crusty Italian bread with a glass of Federalist Cabernet.

Restaurant Review: Taliercio’s Ultimate Gourmet (Red Bank, NJ)

If there was ever a place that belonged on some kind of Food Network or Travel Channel show in this area, it would be Taliercio’s Ultimate Gourmet in Red Bank. Part deli, part restaurant, part Italian market, there are just too many decisions to be made the moment you walk in the door. I admit,…

Do You Remember…Cafe Pasta (Staten Island, NY)

Why do certain restaurants pop into our heads? Ones that we are fond of, and some we wish we had still forgotten. That’s where this series comes in. It’s not quite in the “Restaurants We Miss” territory. These are just the places worthy of a quick reminisce, or maybe because I cannot remember enough about…

Photo of the Day: August 11, 2017

A simple chicken parm from my second visit to Nonna’s in Englishtown, New Jersey in the spring of this year. It’s one of the best I’ve ever had. You will note how little sauce there is. Some might take issue with that, but for me, it’s perfect. Less sauce = crispier chicken, and boy was…