My 10 Best Roadfood dishes in 2009
I haven't been doing trip reports for a while, but I'm still making day trips. Instead I thought I'd list my 10 best roadfood items I had during 2009. The only criteria is that each place had to be a new stop for me.
These are not in any particular order, but I've numbered them so maybe it will be a little easier to read:
1. Pizza at La Sicilia - Belleville NJ. For the past 6 months or so the Newark Star Ledger Munchmobile has been visiting local pizzerias, usually 5 or 6 a week. For the most part they have not been impressed. But they raved about this place, so off we went. Very cozy storefront location on Belleville's Main Street and a very friendly place to eat. My wife and I couldn't decide which pizza to get so we got two, a Palermo, which is a large square pizza done sort of margerita style, and also a large sausage pizza. The best two pies we have had all year. BYO, with a well stocked wine store conviently located next door. Our waitress was super too. We will be going back soon. What a find. Thank you Star Ledger.
2. Welshie's Deli - Sea Isle City NJ. Very old deli in a seaside town. Best Sub of the Year, the Sidewinder. A Buffalo Chicken huge sub with blue cheese, american cheese, and buffalo sauce. Terrific. This may have been the best travel day of the year, made several other good stops (See #7 below).
3. Bark Hot Dogs - Brooklyn. Excellent Hartmann's Hot Dogs with some of the best homemade toppings I've ever had. Expensive though.
4. Korean Fried Chicken - Park Lane Deli - Lower Manhattan. Part of a hot & cold salad bar at $5.99 per pound. The chicken is unbeliveably crispy and tasty. And it travels well. I have taken out and and brought it home after work and it's just as good.
5. Chicken Marsala at Atillio's Tavern - Dover NJ. This was our first trip to thier new location so it counts as new. More upscale than the old grocery store in Denville, but it's on a US Highway (Rt 46) and it's a free standing building on the side of the road so it's roadfood. A terrific dish, excellent service and reasonable prices.
6 . Bureks at Djerdan Burek - Clifton NJ. This mini chain of about 5 restaurants has now come to NJ (they started in Queens). A Burek is a sort of a stuffed pizza but without the tomato sauce. The chicken and beef bureks were equally good and very filling. Mostly take out at this location.
7. Fried Shrimp & fries at Twistie's Tavern - On the bay in Strathmere NJ. Totally off the beaten path old tavern facing out into the bay. Excellent fried food (the non- fried stuff looked good too) and friendly people. Just down the block from the overrated Deauville Bar & Grill. Go to Twistie's instead.
8. Nurnberger Sausage Links at Nurnberger Brauhaus - Staten Island. My two beer-drinkin' pals and I made a day trip to several old taverns on Staten Island ending up here. This was the real deal. The links were thin sausages and excellently done, bursting with flavor. Much smaller than nearby Killmeyer's (which gets all the press) but Nurnberger's food is better, IOHO (in our humble opinion, all 3 of us, we had lunch at Killmeyer's).
9. Bakery Pizza at Corropolese Bakery - Norristown Pa. This was so good I've already made a return trip, just last week. huge 30 slice sheet of pizza for only $16 with excellent sauce and cheese. Kept my family of 4 fed for 3 days.
10. Sausage Stromboli at Botto's Market - Swedesboro NJ. Biggest stromboli I have ever seen, must be a foot and a half long and 6 inches wide, and very tasty ground sausage and cheese. A bargain at $11.95.
Honorable mention: Best unexpected pour: Forlini's - NY. My wife and I make an annual trip to NY's Chinatown for lunch and poking around. On our day last March the weather turned bitter cold and before facing a long walk back to the PATH train at the end of the day, we decided to find a place to have a drink or something to warm up. I remembered Forlini's, an old school Italian restuarant on a side street in Chinatown which has not changed in 50 years. We ordered two glasses of the house chianti and were each given what must have been an eight ounce glass of very decent wine, for only $14 total, served by an affable professional bartender. What a treat. Forlini's somehow survives in what may have been Little Italy 50 years ago, but long since has been in the middle of Chinatown. We plan to go back for dinner some day, we looked at a menu and the prices seem very reasonable for Manhattan, but we were still full from our Chinatown lunch. Totally warmed up and fortified, we were ready for that walk.
So, as Frank once said, it was a very good year, food-wise anyway.