Saturday, April 26, 2014

State Line Diner- Mahwah, NJ

A well-executed Reuben sandwich can often be considered to be one of life's greatest pleasures. Four simple ingredients and a condiment in the hands of a proper diner cook can be elevated to a meal rivaling the offerings of a Michelin starred chef.

That said, we stopped off at the State Line Diner in Mahwah today and I ordered what I usually get at a diner, a Reuben. My logic is that a diner should be good at the basic diner staples such as; Reubens, omelets, gyros, burgers and salads. 

This was one of the best Reubens I've had in a while. The rye bread was of good quality and grilled with butter, the corned beef (no, I do not get pastrami) was nice and lean, the sauerkraut was fresh with a bit of a tang to it, and there was just the right amount of Swiss cheese. They gave me a few mustard packets, but I went with the very nice thousand island dressing on the side. 

After looking through the rather extensive, and heavy, menu, Teresa decided on a panini with chicken, hot peppers, cheese and mixed greens on the side, also very good. 

Overall, good food at good prices with friendly service. Marcello took good care of us. 

Friday, April 25, 2014

Walden Frostee Freeze- Walden, NY

One of my favorite places to get a gyro is at the Frostee Freeze in Walden, just a quick hop in the car or a short walk from my house. I usually get it to-go and with an order of fries it's about nine bucks. The sauce is very good too. We occasionally get ice cream, but I usually stop for the food.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Half Moon Restaurant and Saloon- Kennet Square, PA

I saw the Half Moon Restaurant and Saloon on the Travel Channel a while ago, I think it was one of the burger episodes, and I put it on my wish list shortly thereafter. What appealed to me was the fact that they specialize in wild game and I am always in the mood for something different. The last time we were in the area it was Sunday and they were closed. This time we decided to pop in on a Saturday. 

Kennet Square is the mushroom capital of the world and it is also a fairly upscale, and trendy, little village near the Delaware border. It is also the home of Longwood Gardens, a remnant of the DuPont family. The restaurant is on the main drag and when we entered it was bright and roomy with friendly staff. We were four adults and two children and we were seated near the back.

We started with the chef's choice wild game sampler. Tonight it was bison, lamb (not really wild game), and elk. The bison was overcooked and tough, as was the elk, but the lamb was perfect. 

I decided on the wild boar sliders and there were three of them. One of them was rather dry as there was no relish on it, the middle one had just the right amount of relish and the other was swimming in the relish. Overall, they were good, but nothing any more special than pulled pork.

Brian, my son-in-law, tried the bison tacos and he really liked them, but he said he could eat a dozen more and there were only three small ones on the plate. Teresa and Nicole each has a veggie burger and they liked them. The kids shared a kid's meal of chicken strips and fries (we told Adam that he was getting kangaroo, shhhh) and there was plenty to share. 

Total bill was a C-note for four adults and town children, before tip. Overall I would say not bad, and not great either. Would I go back? Yes, I would. Would I rave about it? No, I wouldn't. My impression is that they are a bit overpriced for the quality and quantities, but that is possibly a result of being in a trendy town and having been on TV. My overall opinion then is middle of the road. The service however was excellent. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Fuddruckers- Middletown, NY

We've been to a few Fuddruckers in New Jersey and in South Carolina, so when I heard that the old Cheeseburger in Paradise in Middletown was being converted into a Fuddruckers I got excited. When I caught an article in the paper that they were opening today, well we decided that was what we were doing for dinner. 

We got there at about five and they weren't crowded, but there was some build-up when we left. I could see they did a nice job of converting the old Cheeseburger into a Fudds while retaining some of the old character. The center bar was still there and the manager said it still had the same drink menus as before. Since the two restaurants share the same parent company it seems logical that they combined the best of the two.

The bar area has table service, but we opted for the traditional Fuddruckers experience wherein one orders at the counter, pays, and takes one of those buzzers to a table to await the signal your food is ready. When it buzzes, you go up and get it.

I got the 1/3 pound Southwestern burger which had guacamole, bacon and pepper jack cheese on a fresh roll. I ordered it medium and it was darn close to a perfect medium. I added fries and a soda and headed to the fix in's bar where some peppers, pickles, and tomatoes were added to the plate, and cheese sauce on the fries. 

Teresa got a special 1/4 pound burger and she ordered hers a medium-well and it was a perfect medium-well burger. She added onion rings, excellent onion rings I might add. 

All told we were under twenty bucks for the whole thing. Very good food, nice clean place, friendly people. This is our new go-to place in Middletown.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Jake's Wayback Burgers- Monroe, NY

I like Jake's Wayback Burgers better than Five Guys and Shake Shack, and about the same as Smashburger. The quality of the burger is excellent and the prices are right. I'd been meaning to hit the new one in Monroe for some time now and a trip to the city led me past there on the way back. Sorry, bad pun. 

I had the Burger of the Month at $5.99. It was a double Chorizo burger with chipotle mayo, lettuce and tomatoes. It was quite amazing indeed and I would call it a four napkin burger, not from grease but rather from the juices. I added a side of fries for $1.99 and they were hot and crispy. Good, but nothing extraordinary. I also had the Shake of the month, salted caramel, at $4.29. It was large and delightful.

Overall, a great visit and I would suggest that you stop there sometime and see for yourself. Oh, I forget to add that this location has a few beers on tap as well.