50 spots worthy of your last Jersey meal

50 spots worthy of your last Jersey meal

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10 Mart 2018 - 12:54

It's the moment you've dreaded all your life - your last day in New Jersey. Ever. You're moving to Ohio, you're retiring to Florida, who knows, maybe you're boarding the first shuttle to Mars. Whatever the reason, you're sad - sobbing uncontrollably - because you're leaving the Garden State.

But you want to go out in style, and make your last Jersey meal a memorable one. Where do you go? What would you order?

Here are restaurants where I'd hold my last Jersey supper - in some cases, breakfast and lunch, too. All would be memorable, fitting sendoffs. The restaurants range from deluxe to divey, and take in cuisines from around the world - Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Greek, Vietnamese, Thai, Turkish and more. There's a Taylor ham sandwich on the list, of course, but there's also a tuna sub, a grilled cheese sandwich, fried chicken, cheesecake, and much more. Even - the horror! - a salad. These aren't the best dishes in N.J., just the ones I'd order for my last dose of Jersey.

What restaurant would you pick for your last day in Jersey? What would you order? Let us know in the comments section.






Peter Genovese | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
Rose's special, Carmen's Deli, Bellmawr

Best sub/sandwich shop in South Jersey? My vote would go to Carmen's Deli in Bellmawr, just off the Black Horse Pike, the kind of place where specials are written on construction paper and the smudged sandwich menu, taped to a wall, looks like it went through the sub wars. The sandwiches are made quickly and professionally. The Rose's special, with prosciutto, capicola, regular and sharp provolone, soppressata and roasted red peppers, is beyond special. 


Peter Genovese I The Star-Ledger
Double cheeseburger with onions, White Manna, Hackensack

Here is one example where the experience is as important as the food. The White Manna in Hackensack - not to be confused with the White Mana in Jersey City - is the Fenway Park of diners, small, colorful, compact and oh-so-cute, with its glass-block exterior and red trim. Are there better burgers out there? Sure. But no burger joint matches the Manna for atmosphere.        





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Pulled pork sandwich, Hambone Opera, Trenton Farmers Market, Lawrence

The Trenton Farmers Market - actually in Lawrence - is the farmers market of my youth, and something from the Trenton area had to be on my list for sentimental reasons. Hambone Opera, open Thursdays-Saturdays, is wedged between butchers, bakers and produce stands; just follow your nose. The pulled pork sandwich is succulent and juicy, and the brisket oozes fatty goodness. 

N.J.'s Best Italian Restaurant: Stops 6-10
Saed Hindash NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
Butterfly pork chops, Toscano, Bordentown City

Bordentown City - not to be confused with Bordentown Township - is one of the state's overlooked, and most charming, small towns, and there's plenty of good eating on Farnsworth Avenue, the town's main drag. At Toscano, Emma's meatballs are a must, as is the homemade osso bucco gnocchi. But the butterfly pork chops are dynamite. You may never look at a pork chop the same way again.     



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