Photo of the Day: January 8, 2018

This sub was a two-hander: a chicken cheesesteak with hot peppers, from Luigi’s in Matawan. The bread was crispy and thankfully sturdy enough to hold the sloppy fillings on the inside.

Photo of the Day: January 4, 2018

This is what it looks  like when you want even your leftovers (from Sahara 34) to look presentable. I made myself some garlic-lemon spinach to go with the other ubiquitous middle eastern condiments.

Restaurant Review: Sahara 34 (Matawan, NJ)

I just came from one of the best meals I’ve had in a long time, and probably the best middle eastern meal I’ve ever eaten. Period. Sahara 34 is located in a little strip mall in Matawan. The place has been there forever. The menu reads “Under New Management”, but it was all new to…

Updating Esposito’s Pizza and Pasta (Matawan, NJ)

When I first reviewed Esposito’s, it was part of a Takeout Joints column for pizza and Italian food. I only ate there once before this past week. It was good, but I did not remember much. Most encounters here have been takeout, notably their award-winning sesame seed crust pizza. But a couple of days ago,…

Photo of the Day: September 9, 2017

I was not a big fan of West Lake in Matawan (overpriced and average) but I’ll be damned if that was not the best wonton soup I ever had. The wrappers were paper-thin. October 2016.

Photo of the Day: August 7, 2017

You’re looking at one of the best slices of cake I’ve ever had in my life. Period. Go figure that it was actually at a vegan restaurant. I make fun of them a lot and do not believe in the lifestyle, but the Loving Hut in Matawan, New Jersey did know how to cook, and…

Photo of the Day: June 7, 2017

Chicken Ravello. A simple dish consisting of thinly-sliced chicken breasts covered in Mozzarella and Marsala wine sauce. Garnished with roasted red peppers and asparagus. The ingredients manage to represent the tri colore of the Italian flag. Trattoria Rustica, Matawan, New Jersey.

Photo of the Day: May 27, 2017

I find that a lot of times, photos don’t do good food justice. That’s the case here. Everything else I photographed at Shanghai Bun in Matawan did not come out so hot, except this one due to the crimping patterns on the dumplings. Most authentic Chinese restaurant I’ve ever eaten at. Ox tail soup, spiced…

Takeout Joints: Pizza/Italian Volume 2

Following the first part of my “Takeout Joints” column, here are three more pizzerias and Italian restaurants in my area. They each offer something different, from a special crust to childhood memories, and finally some wild and wacky slices you will not find anywhere else. Esposito’s Pizza and Pasta (Matawan) Three words: sesame seed crust. Without…

Takeout Joints: Chinese/Asian Volume 1

“You can’t swing a dead cat” without hitting a Chinese takeout place near my hometown of Hazlet. Like pizzerias (reviews of which to come at a later date), they are everywhere. But for every gem there are three or four that are just average, and a couple more bordering on abominable. Many seem similar on…