Savoring the World’s Cuisine in the Garden State
New Jersey is a food lover’s paradise for ethnic cuisine, ranging from Indian and Italian to Japanese and Mexican.
You could travel the world for these tastes or simply take your taste buds on a journey through the Garden State to find a winner.
Mehndi in Morristown offers a variety of good Indian food, including the Dahi ki Tikki appetizer, a house specialty of fried yogurt with ginger, green chili and other spices.
The restaurant uses a clay oven, a practice that comes from the Punjab region of northern India, to cook several entrees, including the popular lamb chops.
The meat is marinated overnight and cooked over a hot charcoal fire, producing a nice oak taste.
Fornos of Spain stands out among the many good Spanish and Portuguese restaurants in the Ironbound section of Newark.
The fried calamari is a nice light starter. Follow it up with a tasty veal chop or camarones al ajillo, shrimp in garlic sauce.
In Hoboken, Cucharamama offers South American cuisine in a warm atmosphere with great outside tables. For an appetizer, the octopus in a Peruvian black olive and panca pepper sauce is a strong contender.
And don’t miss the classic Portuguese braised pork belly and mussels dish that is both tasty and hearty.
Princeton Borough’s Ajihei is widely regarded as one of the best Japanese restaurants in the state.
You can’t go wrong with any number of sushi options, including melt-in-your-mouth tuna, salmon and eel, at this tiny restaurant. Try the large rainbow roll or the sashimi.
Jose’s in Spring Lake Heights is the epitome of a hole-in-the-wall, but ignore the décor and concentrate on the taste of this inexpensive Mexican food.
The burritos and quesadillas are most popular, but the chimichangas – deep-fried flour tortillas with various fillings – will keep you coming back.
Visitors to Atlantic City would be wise to make the drive to nearby Egg Harbor City for Italian food at Tre Figlio.
Try the shrimp Antoinette appetizer, named after the owner, for a starter, followed by the francaise veal entrée sautéed with jumbo lump crabmeat.
Alexander’s Inn & Restaurant offers simple and tasty French food by the sea in Cape May. The caviar served with blinis, the inn’s homemade Russian yeast-based pancakes, make for an ideal appetizer.
The rack of lamb is simply served with garlic – and the generous serving will appease any carnivore. For dessert, try the homemade ice cream. Tip: Call ahead and give the chef 24 hours notice to taste their sweetbreads or licorice ice cream.
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