irish i may

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Fives Favorites for the First Time: New Jersey

This is my very first link up with Hallie at Moxie Wife.  I am enjoying her writing and also her really fun community of readers.

The boys and I flew in from Dallas just two days ago, on a rainy August evening that reminded me of my first flight into Newark 27 years ago.  I had flown in from my home airport,the green, pristeen, Orlando International.  I landed in the part of New Jersey that makes visitors think that the "Garden State" was nicknamed by a satirist.  I thought to myself, "I am landing in hell.":

But you can't judge New Jersey by its industrial corridor, and even places that are not scenic have much to recommend them, like employment. Newark, too has many of its own virtues.  Here are five reasons (besides family, friends, and two great jobs) that we are happy to be back home in New Jersey:

1. Italian Bakeries:
One of our favorites, by the way, is Calandra's, which has their original location in beautiful Newark.  We really missed our zeppole di San Giuseppe the last couple of years.

2. Sandwiches like this:

This one is eggplant, roasted red pepper, and fresh mozzarella with a balsamic vinaigrette. I got mine today from Anthony and Sons and I nearly wept from joy!

3.  Jersey Pizza: truly, once you are spoiled by New Jersey/ New York pizza, it is very hard to find something comparable in other states. Of course we still ate pizza in Arkansas, we just complained obnoxiously. 

4. Chinese food that is not from a buffet.  One of our local faves is the Hunan Room in Morris Plains. Try the delicious Szechuan crispy beef. 

5. Bagels. Although I grew up in Florida, thanks to my Bronxite father and the Bagel King, which opened in Winter Park when I was just 9 years old, I was in college before I tasted a frozen bagel.  There are more good bagel places in New york, of course, but our little local shop, Time For a Bagel,  is excellent!

There are many other reasons to love New Jersey, but, hey, its a foodie state, so these stand out.  Now that I have made myself hungry, I think I will stop for that  bagel on the way to work!

Chin up,


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