Archive for the ‘Jersey City Eats’ Category

Polish Meltdown

September 26, 2007

Sad news from the world of Jersey City last week. Tania’s one of our favorite restaurants in the Garden State shut its doors. The polish eatery on Grove St. has been vacant for the past couple of months now and no word on what will ultimately replace it.

Trouble started over the winter when the polish family that owned Tania’s sold and the new owner attempted to add some Turkish items to the polish cuisine. People went to Tania’s for the hearty eastern European fare not funky fusion.

Anyway, we raise a hearty glass of  Zywiec to Tanias and will say a prayer that someone, somewhere has the recipie for their potato pancakes.

JC

Two for Tea

March 23, 2007

Fans of the tea leaf should pick up today’s Star Ledger or visit Nj.com today since the paper’s ticket cover story highlights some of the new cafes and shops catering to tea drinkers.

Some of the shops featured include Montclair’s Cha Ma Gu Dao, Teaberry’sTea Room in Flemington, and Janam Indian Tea Shop in Jersey City.

JC

Excitables for the Weekend of Feb 9-11

February 9, 2007

It’s the weekend before Hallmark Valentine’s Day so most sane couples will be heading to restaurants for their evening out. If your special place has a table cloth be sure to make reservations today or tomorroThe Iron Monkeyw before heading out as it will likely be a busy weekend in the eats business. Our personal picks are Fascino and Table 8 in Montclair or the Iron Monkey in Jersey City. Heading into the city and have a few hundred dollars you want to unload, La Bernadin is your choice. Good luck getting a reservation on that one.

Thinking more about desserts? NJ.com has taken note of the holiday with write up on chocolate shops. Reads it here.

Elsewhere this weekend:

Murphy vs. Lecter — At the cinema this week it’s a showdown between Eddie Murphy’s Norbit comedy and the latest installment in the Hannibal Lecter series, Hannibal Rising. Norbit looks a whole lot like the old Nutty Eddie MurphyProfessor movies Murphy made a few years back and Hannibal is the back story to everyone’s favorite cannibal. We didn’t even bother reading the Thomas Harris book so we’re thinking movie-goers will opt for the red hot and Oscar nominated Murphy. With most of the country in the grips of a cold wave, the laughs are probably more needed than the scares.

Our pick, Eastwood’s Letters From Iwo Jima is probably more worthy of your $10 or try to catch Mark Wahlberg’s Oscar nominated turn in The Departed on the big screen before it lands on DVD.

The Plot Against Warm Weather — Speaking of cold weather, it’s not a bad weekend to curl up with a book. Three recent recommendations:

  • Plot Against America by Philip Roth — We just put this one down and were disappointed. Not because it was bad but because we could have followed Roth for a couple hundred more pages as he pondered a childhood in Newark with Charles Lindbergh as president.
  • Manhunt by James L. Swanson — JC is not really a big reader of Civil War history even as fascinating as it is, but this tale of John Wiles Booth’s assassination of Abraham Lincoln and his subsequent escape is a terrific read. Swanson’s Booth is portrayed as vain fop and is probably too good to be true but if you just go with it you’ll be rewarded.
  • The Cell by Stephen King — recently released in paperback, as all King books should be read, this one is eerily similar to King’s 80s masterpiece The Stand only with cell phones and about 700 pages shorter. We haven’t gotten all the way through it but we’re hooked.

What’s old is new — Looking to venture out this weekend. The American Museum of Natural History opens its new premanent collection on the origin of man. The NY Times does better justice on this than we ever could.

The Grammys, 8 p.m., CBS –– And the award for best use of a falling, old stocking goes to…wait that’s a different Grammy award. No the music whorefest that is The 49th Grammy Awards airs Sunday night. Better bet, 9 p.m. on NBC Donald Trumps apprenti wrangle with a hord of angry bees. Now that’s realty TV at its finest.

Have an event we should know about? Did we miss something? Drop us a line by sending us an email here.

Have a good weekend everyone.

JC

Something Special About Hudson County

January 29, 2007

It’s Hudson County Resteurant Week from today until  Feb 9. with most participating restaurants offering special menus to lure you and your dollars into their establishments. Most are offering three-course meals ranging anywhere from $13-$30 dollars and some even include weekends.

For Hudson County restaurants this is a great opportunity to save some dough on your favorite places, and for other Jerseycool.com readers this is your chance to take a road trip and explore some of the culinary delights the most urban county in the state has to offer.Check the web site before heading out since there are restrictions including some places not offerint Saturday menus. Booooooo.

Among the participating restaurants are Amanda’s in Hoboken, offering a 3-course meal for $30 (no Sat or Sun); Komegashi in Jersey City, offering a 3-course lunch and dinner menus for $13 and $23 respectively (no Sat or Sun); Frank’s Waterside in North Bergen, 3-course menu for $30, (no Saturday) and Harbor Bar in Weehawken, offering a 3-course dinner for $23.

A complete list of participating resterurants can be found on  Hudsonresteurantweek.com. 

JC

No Bling, But Plenty of Blintzes at Jersey City’s Tania’s

January 17, 2007

Tania’s Polish Restaurant
348 Grove St.
Jersey City, NJ,
201-451-6189

When JerseyCool was headquartered in downtown Jersey City, NJ, there was probably nothing better than a big bowl of borscht at Tania’s, a small out of the way restaurant just a block from the Grove St. PATH Station. If there is a restaurant in the state that better defines hidden gem, we’d like to know about it.

It would be easy to say Tania’s is special because of it’s novel. Let’s face it, there aren’t many places that specialise in Polish food, and certainly not many left in downtown JerseyCity where ethnic food tends to skew more toward the Latin American and Asian cuisines. But that argument would do a disservice to Tania’s, which simply serves some of the best food in the state regardless of ethnicity.

The place is nothing special to look at. Neat and basic there are tables up front and a bar along the side in the back. There have been some improvements over the years. A fresh coat of yellow paint covers the walls and paintings and photographs give the eye something to look at. We went for brunch on Saturday and mellow jazz music gave the place a beatnik feel that’s set a nice atmosphere.

There isn’t much to improve on when it comes to food. Tania’s is one of those places where we’ve never had a bad meal and we’ve had quite a few of them over the years. We started our brunch with an order of potato pancakes because if you don’t try them you should be shot. Crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside there isn’t much better on this Earth than Tania’s potato pancakes with sour cream and apple sauce. Now that the Bohemian Beer Hall in Astoria has resorted to some fast food tactics these are the best in the area.

For lunch my partner in crime went with cheese and blueberry blintzes. I left C to her bliss while I opted for the grilled kielbasa platter, a hungry man’s lunch made up of a kielbasa, easy over eggs and hash browns. Served on a hot plate I had to wait a few minutes before digging in — oh who are we kidding I dug right in and was rewarded with hearty fare.

If you’re going to Tania’s for dinner there are very few places on the menu to go wrong, actually there are no places to go wrong. Try the Polish combo, usually a kielbasa, pirogi and stuffed cabbage or opt for the lamb shank. Those not watching carbs may want to have a go at the pirogi and Tania’s will usually allow you to order meat and cheese combinations. A side of kasha usually goes well with almost anything at Tanias.

Service at the eatery is usually efficient if not overly warm and during the summertime there’s a garden out back. However, we recommend winter dining for Tania’s. As the weather gets colder there’s really nothing better than a hearty Polish meal in downtown Jersey City.

JC

Sad coda — we were upset on our recent trip to Tanias to see Casablanca has shut down on Grove St. A nice complement to Tania’s the small restaurant served some of the best Moroccan food we’ve tasted. Here’s hoping the owners have moved on to better digs.

It’s Pretty Good Greek to Me

December 12, 2006

It’s Greek to Me
194 Newark Ave.
Jersey City, NJ, 07302

Menu

We’re snobs when it comes to Greek food. Spending a few years in Astoria, Queens, where souvlaki is an art form, will do that to you. Alas, since making our way back to the Garden State we have not found anything close to a Kolonakis or an Uncle Georges.

So, we were a little hesitant when friends in Jersey City suggested we try a new Greek place on Newark Ave. While it was not like Prometheus bringing fire from the Gods, we were actually pretty inpressed by It’s Greek to Me, a ballsy, little startup that has seven other outlets in Jersey.

The brightly lit dinning area is no great shakes. It’s very much an eatery, but tables were clean and chairs were comfortable. More importanly, the pastichio and souvlaki were all excellent.

As with just about all medittereanean appetizers, it’s about the dip. We went with the assorted appetizer platter, which had a variety of hummus, Tzatziki and JC’s personal favorite, potatoe and garlic dip. Bread had good texture and there were enough veggies to break up the carbs.

I had the house specialty, seafood over orzo, which our waiter copped to as his favorite dish. I thought the seafood was pretty good, though you definatly get a lot more orzo than ocotpus, squid and shrimp. Everything was well made, but be mindful that portions are large. That includes dessert, which for me was a hunk of baklava, firmly driving a stake into the latest low-carb diet.

Overall, Greek to Me, doesn’t replace the yearly trip to Astoria to savor the culinary delights of simple, well made Greek fare, but it is a viable option for Jersey folk who don’t want to venture actross the river. 

JC