South Jersey Day Trip
Last Friday (1/30) I took a day Food Trip down and across South Jersey. It was my first day trip in a couple of months. Winter and the Holidays and the usual very busy January at work will do that. I left Scotch Plains at about 9AM and by 10:30 I was at my first stop, in Westmont NJ, the 50’s era McMillan’s Bakery, at 15 Haddon Avenue. They have no web site but they are mentioned in Peter Genovese’s excellent “Food Lover’s Guide to New Jersey”” as having great donuts. http://www.amazon.com/Food-Lovers-Guide-Jersey-Second/dp/B001O9CFVI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1233672640&sr=1-1 The bakery dates back to 1939 and the outside signage appears to be original, or at least from the 1950’s. I am not a big sweets or breakfast eater, but I do like a good donut once in a while. These were probably the best donuts I have ever eaten. They aren’t cheap, about $13 for a bakers dozen, but they are very big. Some are more like crullers than donuts. I bought a dozen assorted and I enjoyed an Apple Cider donut in the car before heading off to the next stop. My family and I dug into the rest over the weekend to high praise all around. Now I was off to Millville NJ, and Jim’s lunch, a downtown Millville institution for over 80 years. I first read about it in a blog about places to eat in Columbus Ohio, of all places. The gal who writes it grew up in South Jersey and heads back every once in a while and then reports on it: http://www.columbusfoodie.com/2007/04/16/south-jersey-edition-jims-lunch/ It’s everything she said. I love small town old-time lunch places that are still thriving in 2009. This was a truly authentic example. I got there about 11:30 AM and all 7 or so counter seats were already filled and most of the booths were filled as well. I didn’t want to tie up a whole booth by myself so I ordered take out to eat in my car. I ordered a double burger with cheese, and a chili dog. The double burger is not that big, the patties are only about ¼ pound each. They are cooked on a griddle and served with melted cheese, onions and a special sauce which seems to be a thin, tasty, gravy-ish sauce. The same sauce is used in the chili dog, which is split and grilled. Both were excellent. The Main Street of the town of Millville looks like a good place to take a walk, quite a few shops and artsy places. I also highly recommend the Glass Museum at Wheaton Village, which I had been to with my family many years ago when my kids were younger. It appears to be still going strong: http://www.wheatonvillage.org/ But today I had to move on, a few miles up the road and Joe’s Poultry Farm, in much more depressed Vineland. Joe’s has been written up on Roadfood: http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Overview.aspx?RefID=6099 It’s strictly a takeout operation, with only one meat on the menu, Roast Chicken. They insist on calling it Barbeque Chicken, but it is nothing of the sort, these are roasted rotisserie chickens. They sell them for about $7 per pound, along with assorted sides. I bought 2 chickens, 2 pounds of potato salad, and one pound of mac and cheese. All in all it came to $28 dollars. This was our Sunday dinner for 5 and leftovers last night, so $28 was very reasonable. The chickens re-heated very well, and were much fresher tasking than what you get in the supermarket, and the potato salad was among the best I’ve ever had. The Potato salad was nothing fancy, it appeared to be a basic recipe potato salad, but certainly homemade and very fresh, even two days later. I drove around a while in Vineland, which appears to be very down-at-the heels. In fact, it was time for my customary local tavern stop, and both places I had in my notes turned out to be boarded up. Instead I stopped at a local park called Giampetro Park to walk off some of the food. This park and lake looked very nice on someone’s flickr page, but on a snow flurry-ish dreary January day it just looked depressing. I decided to save my walk for later when I got home. Time to start heading back north. Usually when I take a day trip I take along a few home made CDs so I don’t have to bother with radio. But I happened upon an interesting local station in Vineland at 92.1 playing a lot of obscure oldies (The Drifters’ “When My Little Girl Is Smiling” is not on your average Oldies Station playlist, but it’s an old favorite of mine.) So I stayed with this station until I lost it around exit 5 on the Turnpike. (Edit:) I found a link to this station, you can listen live: Yes, the afternoon DJ's name is Lou Costello. http://www.wvlt.com/index1.html Last stop was the NJ branch of Tacconnelli’s Pizza, in Maple Shade: http://www.tacconellispizzerianj.com/ I called ahead and ordered one plain tomato pie and one cheese and tomato pie. The Tomato Pie is not the same as what we know as a Trenton Tomato Pie. Rather it’s pizza with sauce only. I had a slice of each in the car. The Sauce on the Tomato Pie was too overpoweringly garlicky for me (and I do love garlic). When we had a couple of reheated slices at home, we added grated cheese to it and they were much better that way. The Tomato and cheese pie, with the same sauce, was excellent. Nice place and nice people too, I’d recommend to eat in if you have the time. So that was that, an unusually good day in that every food stop I made was a winner. I can’t wait for spring.
post edited by ken8038 - 2009/02/03 12:49:13