Archive for November, 2007

Lalezar Rounds Out Montclair’s Diverse Menu

November 21, 2007

718 Bloomfield Ave.
Montclair, NJ 07042
(973) 233-1984

Ethnic food in Montclair is a bit like driving up Claremont Avenue, there are a lot of stops and plenty of time to look around. There are dining establishment with everything from sushi to Ethiopian to Cuban cuisine and everything in between, but one of the best and most consistent spots in town is Lalezar, at Turkish restaurant tucked away on the western slope of Bloomfield Ave.

Lalezar’s exotic tapestries and décor complements the fine Turkish cuisine. The quality of the food is evidenced by the large groups of families and locals that crowd into the two-tiered dining hall for the good eats inside. The families are also indicative of some of the fairest prices in the city with hearty meals between $10-$20.

We’ve eaten at Lalezar several times over the past few years and have yet to be disappointed. If you’re a first timer try several of the generous mideastern spreads on the menu. Hummas, babaganoush and the usual suspects are all there but we recommend the Ezme, chopped tomatoes, onions, peppers, garlic and walnuts to start the evening off with a kick.

Another favorite is the Sigara Boregi, crispy phyllo wrapped with feta cheese and parsely.

There are several tasty fish dishes on the menu but lets face it when you go to a Turkish restaurant it’s all about the lamb and there is much to choose from at Lalezar, namely the doner kabobs, Kuzu Sis, lamb chops and the superlative Adana Kebap, ground lamb with onions, red peppers and garlic. Be warned it has spice to it.

Lalezar also has live Turkish music on weekends (there is a cover), belly dancing and makes good use of its Web site with an extensive listing of the menu and a new order online feature for people taking out.



Back From Tampa With A Tan

November 19, 2007

Hey there Jerseycool is back from a much needed vacation down south in Tampa where the temperature is a hot 40 degrees higher. We make an aside to thank the newly wedded Jeff and Julie McCloskey who were the blessed instigators of said vacation and wish them well on their honeymoon, marriage and endeavors afterward.

Now, to the food. We come bearing recommendations to all of you frozen folk here in the northeast who may be flying south for the winter.  In terms of good eats if you are in the Tampa or Clearwater area you will do no better than Frenchy’s, a four-restaurant chain in Clearwater beach that has the friendliest staff and makes the meanest Grouper sandwiches on the gulf. Our personal favorite was the Buffalo Grouper, which was pretty darn spicy in its mild flavor but was topped with a cool, blue cheese dressing. C was also fond of the Grouper Takitos, a highly recommended special that we are hoping becomes a staple on the menu.

We stayed in Clearwater Beach for a week but made it north to Orlando for a day where we were unfortunately unimpressed with Universal Studios. Nice idea but there needs to be a bit more uumph to the proceedings. Other than the Mummy ride, we found ourselves twiddling thumbs an awful lot. Oh, and someone needs to do something about the lines at the Jaws ride.  There you have it.

Rollarcoaster fans need to put Bush Gardens Tampa on their list. We suffered from a bought of insanity and rode the Shakra roller coaster not once but twice.  The coaster, which features a 90 degree drop is an intense experience that unfortunately made the rest of the coasters in the park feel a bit like a booger.

For beer lovers don’t miss the daily beer tastings where you can sample some of Anheiser-Bush’s finest beers (no kidding, remember the company owns brews around the world like Tiger Ale) and get a lesson on pairing beer with foods and how to spot a “beer-ready” glass at a bar.

OK, locals so that’s what Jerseycool did on his vacation so now that we’re recharged look for some upcoming reviews on local haunts like Orbis, Giamboto and Lalezar in the near future.