Archive for the ‘Food’ category

Jersey Devil Wine!

April 25, 2012

The other night I tried Jersey Devil Honey Wine, produced by the Valenzano Winery located in Shamong, New Jersey.  While I never heard of the town before, apparently it’s located in the Pine Barrens, birthplace of the Jersey Devil, hence the name of the wine. As you can see in the (horrible) pic below, it has probably the coolest looking label ever, with the Armpit of America’s most famous monster (sorry, Snooki) surrounded by bees.

I know we’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but I’m totally judging this bottle of wine by the label.  With the fricken Jersey Devil AND bees, how could it not be bad?

So how did does it taste?  Well, it’s thick as syrup and cloyingly sweet….which is exactly how this connoisseur of fine wine likes it.  Just like the Manischewitz wine I grew up with.

So if you like wine that tastes like extra sweet grape juice with a touch of honey, give Valenzano Jersey Devil Honey Wine a try.  They also make a bunch of other wines, inspired by the fruits of the Pine Barrens, like blueberry wine, cranberry wine, and even “cranpagne.”

Eating Pizza ‘n Stuff

December 10, 2011

Pete & Elda’s in Neptune is a landmark bar and pizza joint at the Jersey Shore.  The place is most famous for its pizza challenge, where if you eat a whole extra large pizza, you win a t-shirt.  You can’t go anywhere along the shore in the summer without seeing at least a handful of people proudly wearing their Pete & Elda’s shirts.

Last week, the day finally came for me to earn my own Pete & Elda’s shirt.  Though my friends who have completed the challenge told me it really isn’t that hard, I still expected it to be difficult.  Eating a whole pizza definitely isn’t something I do every day.  When the pizza came, I realized I had nothing to be worried about.  The crust was paper thin, crispy, and slightly charred.  Just like matzo!  I knew I had this in the bag.  Check out the video below to see how I fared.

The challenge was a lot easier than I ever expected.  Despite the name “Double Extra Large” the pizza wasn’t big at all.  Now for a real pizza eating challenge at the Jersey Shore, I suggest eating a whole large pie at Three Brothers in Belmar.

Like the slideshow above?  I have more!

Celebrate an either late or really early Halloween by watching as I create a scale replica of Snooki out of pumpkins.

The New Jersey Turnpike isn’t a total waste – it has an IKEA!

A Taste of Jersey in a Can

March 9, 2011

A couple of weeks ago, I was at New Jersey’s mega farm store Delicious Orchards. And if you’ve never heard of it or been there, you’ll want to read this entry I wrote last year. Anyway, in between crates of vegetables I’ve never heard of, and countless varieties of vegetables I have, there was a table covered in giant cans of tomatoes. But not just regular tomatoes; these were Jersey tomatoes!

Made by Fattoria Fresca, the can has the official Jersey Fresh logo on it. Though, sadly, the term Jersey Fresh has been co-opted by the likes of Pauly D and the Situation to describe their beauty regimens. Although I thought that such a gourmet product would only be available in a gourmet store like Delicious Orchards, I actually saw them at my local Foodtown.

Now it’s well known that New Jersey produces the best tomatoes of any state. It’s not called the Armpit of America Garden State for nothing! Everyone knows that nothing compares to the taste of a fresh Jersey tomato, but we’re still a few months away from the summer bounty.  So, we’ll have to get them in can form for now.  I was a bit skeptical about how they would taste from a can. After all, don’t all canned tomatoes taste the same? Well, I was about to find out. (more…)

A Little Slice of Texas at the Jersey Shore

February 15, 2011

I give this place my squeal of approval!

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of dining at Jersey Shore BBQ, a Texas-style barbecue place right here in Belmar. Now I don’t claim to be an expert in the art of barbecue; my barbecue experience is pretty much limited to backyard burgers and hot dogs and the food at the ubiquitous Famous Daves chain. Still, I know good food when I see it, and I found it here.

Jersey Shore BBQ is located in a typical strip mall behind Main Street. But don’t let that description turn you off – some of the Armpit of America’s national treasures are found in strip malls. Just look for the black sign with a pink pig on it, and you’ll know you’ve found it.

Once inside, you’ll find the dining room to be laid back and unpretentious, qualities that are becoming increasingly harder to find due to the simultaneous gentrification and guidofication of the Jersey Shore. Though nothing fancy, the interior is warm and welcoming. And no need to wait for some hostess to look at a map of tables before telling you where to sit – this place has open seating.

But enough about that boring stuff. The main draw here is the food, advertised as authentic Texas BBQ. As mentioned above, the most authentic barbecue I’ve eaten is that of Famous Daves or Texas Roadhouse – another chain, in which everything is covered in some sweet and tangy sauce. Boy was I in for a surprise.

We started with the special “Ribs Appetizer,” which, appropriately enough, was just a plate of ribs – three baby back, and three St. Louis style. While I expected them to be glazed in that familiar sticky sweet sauce, these ribs were completely different. They were smoky and peppery and just so flavorful. Though it didn’t really need anything else, I poured some of the two different types of vinegar-based barbecue sauces on the table and dipped the meat in. Wow. The vinegar just punctuated the meat, elevating its taste even more. (more…)

Winter in New Jersey Still Sucks!

January 17, 2011

...except during the winter.

About a year ago, I wrote this entry about the rough winter we were having in the Armpit of America. Well, last year’s winter was pretty balmy compared to this year. In that entry, I bitched about us getting two feet of snow last year. That might has well have been two inches compared to the three feet we got a couple of weeks ago.

Yes, three feet of snow. None of which has really melted yet. Almost every single day since that major snowfall on December 26 has been at or below freezing. And the little amount that actually does melt or evaporate just gets replaced by a new snowfall, such as the one going on right now. Luckily for me, I work from home. I can’t imagine what it’s like for the millions of New Jerseyans who have to drive to work on already shitty roads made shittier by this horrible weather.

Despite the weather, I’ve still been having fun here at the Jersey Shore. One of the good things about this winter weather is that it keeps all the guidos from North Jersey and New York up where they belong. For instance, I had quite a pleasant, guido-less night at the Boathouse on Saturday. As nice as it is when it’s less crowded, it was weird seeing the bar as empty as it was. Either way, it was a fun night. The live music was provided by Daddy Pop, one of the regular cover bands that populate the Shore and the band that played at my sister’s wedding. They were pretty good, and I commend them for only playing one of these overplayed cover band songs. It was American Girl for those interested. (more…)