Archive for June, 2008

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Keyport International Food and Music Festival Day 1

June 28, 2008

My plan was to go to Espresso Joe’s in Keyport for lunch today.  I got in the car and headed over to Keyport.  When I turned onto Front Street, I saw that it was blocked off and, much to my pleasure, a street fair was going on.  I love street fairs!  So I found a parking spot on a side street, and walked up Main Street.

Lining both sides of the streets, vendors of all kinds were selling their wares… clothes, jewelry, accessories, candles, specialty items, and more.  Then I saw signs that said 1st Annual Keyport International Food and Music Festival.  Wow! I had NO idea this was taking place, yet something was drawing me to Keyport today.  I love happy surprises! Read the rest of this entry ?

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Maru Restaurant, Route 18, East Brunswick

June 22, 2008

This evening we checked out Maru Restaurant in East Brunswick.  It’s in the same shopping plaza as Makkoli Seafood Buffet.  Originally I had wanted to go back to Makkoli, but then changed my mind and decided to try Maru instead.  In addition to Korean entrees and specialties, they also offer sushi.  And yes, they DO have Korean BBQ!

Sadly, I don’t know much about Korean restaurants but from what I could tell it was pretty authentic.  There were a few tables with chairs on the right and several tatami tables to the right. The decor is simple, nothing fancy.

Due to a questionable stomach, I avoided the (typically spicy) Korean food.  Instead, I opted for some miso soup and a couple of rolls.  The “castle roll” was essentially a California roll with eel and avocado on top and the crab and tomago roll which was just crab stick rolled in rice with some tobiko outside.  There was no sign of tomago (egg) to my disappointment.  Perhaps the server didn’t hear me correctly when I ordered.  I decided to eat the roll as presented to me.  With the exception of the missing tomago, they were both fine.

He decided to have the Bibim Naeng myunm, which is a cold buckwheat noodle and spicy beef dish.  He commented it was tasty.  They were sure to bring us the “banchan” — which is all the little side dishes that come with a meal.  I enjoyed the bean sprouts and diakon.  He, of course, enjoyed the kimchi.

It was a change of pace from the typical sushi restaurants we go to, however I don’t know if I would rush back.  I’d like to try some of the Korean restaurants in the Edison area some day when my stomach isn’t so ultra-sensitive.

3 out of 5 stars.

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Guest Writers Wanted!

June 20, 2008

Guest Bloggers Wanted!

I haven’t been writing too much lately because I’ve been busy with other (life) stuff that I am not at liberty to write about.  Don’t you worry, I will certainly continue to write about life off Exit 117A when I can.  But I’d like to extend an invitation to readers or writers of Aberdeen-Matawan area to write for this blog.

  • Just tried a great local restaurant and want to tell other foodies about your experience?
  • Just saw something new & interesting and think others should know about?
  • Got breaking news or just know something else others don’t know?

If this sounds up your alley, get in touch! I’ll set you up with an account here and we’ll take it from there.

djmarilyn AT verizon DOT net

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Kickin’ it at Kickys

June 4, 2008

Kickys Restaurant

We decided to give Kickys another shot tonight. I was hopeful we would have good service on a Tuesday night. Alas, my optimism was short-lived! There were only 2 servers in the whole restaurant for about 7 parties. As you can imagine, that led to slow service.

Sluggish service aside, the food was certainly enjoyable enough. We both opted for an assortment of sushi/sashimi/special rolls – no surprise there, huh? The dishes were fresh and nicely prepared. The wasabi was ultra-potent, too. Certainly cleared the sinuses.

Overall, I feel Kickys is a nice restaurant with some respectable fare, but don’t expect expeditious service. If you go with that in mind, you probably won’t be disappointed. I’ll likely call ahead and take out from now on.

3 out of 5 stars (for food).

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Pizza Loolu, Route 35, Hazlet

June 1, 2008

I took an 8 year old (daughter of a friend whom I was babysitting) to Pizza Loolu on Route 35 in Hazlet last night.  It is a new all-you-can-eat pizza buffet where Trilogy used to be in a small shopping plaza right before the Poole Avenue intersection.   It’s a great idea!  While the food certainly isn’t gourmet (then again what buffet food is?), for the price – $5.99 for adults, $3.99 for kids under 10 – you just cannot beat it. I am lactose intolerant, so the pizza was out of the question for me.  No worries for the dairy impaired,  they offer a salad and pasta bar!  So I was able to fill up on that. They had these little “hush puppie” type potato balls that were good and filling.

The kid said the pizza was pretty good. There were several different types of pies to choose from, and they offered that if you didn’t see it on the buffet, they would make it! We were both especially thrilled with the dessert selections: mini muffins, rice krispie treats, fudge brownies, and jello in an assortment of colors.

My only complaint was that there were no bread sticks or rolls available. Would have been nice to have with the pasta.

In any case, it was a cost-effective dinner. 2 buffets (1 Adult + 1 Kid), 2 fountain drinks (free refills) = under $15! I highly recommend it!  Great for kids!