Archive for the ‘Route 34’ Category

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Shanghai Bun

May 12, 2008

I just tried their steamed dumplings and vegetables and tofu soup.  Nothing to write home about, really.  In fact, I’ve had better.  I guess it’s the Dim Sum that really sets them apart, eh?

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Smart Car Alert

May 2, 2008

Bistro 34 has their very own yellow Smart Car. I still don’t have working digital camera or else I would have snapped a shot.

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Cafe de Thai, Matawan

February 10, 2008

I enjoy Thai food. Unfortunately, due to stomach issues, I must eat the mild selections. Though my palette enjoys the spicy stuff, I pay for it later. In any case, I have wanted to try Cafe de Thai (on Route 34) ever since I moved up here. For some reason, the combination of French and Thai food sounds like a winner. And many of my Chowhound compadres have had good things to say about the place. So I convinced the man that we needed to take a break from the sushi this evening.

First impression: it’s a cute place. The decor, while basic, exudes a certain coziness. The lights were dimmed, which lent an air of simple romance.  So, it was more French, than Thai in that regard.

Had I been in the mood, I would have gone next door to Wine Nation for a bottle of Riesling to accompany the meal, but we simply had a pot of hot green tea and some water.

I started with the Tom Kha Gai soup, which was quite good and hit the spot. It came in a generous bowl. His first course, Maryland Crab Cakes, he found to be tasty.

For my main course, I had the Chicken Pad Pak. It was your run of the mill pad pak, nothing to rave about, but certainly good. His grilled shrimp came with a scoop of wild rice and a green salad. He said were good.

I saved room for the Pumpkin custard, which was just as good as my fellow Chowhounder raved about. It was the perfect, not too sweet ending.

Overall, nice place, decent food. I’d like to go back to try the French side of the menu another time.

3 stars.

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Shogun Legends, Wall Township

February 7, 2008

In our neverending quest to try all sushi joints in Central NJ, our travels took us to the new Shogun Legends on Route 34 in Wall Township. It is owned by the same people who own Shogun Bey Lea in Toms River.

Overall, it’s quite nice. The decor is contemporary and elegant, and the big aquarium is quite the eye-catcher. The main dining area downstairs is big, and there is a nice bar area as well as private party room. We dined downstairs (by the sushi bar). I wanted to go upstairs to check out the hibachi area, but perhaps another time.

I started off with the savory sesame noodles. They were good, nothing spectacular, but tasty. He had the 8 piece sushi appetizer. I forget what was all included, but it was 2 each of 4 varieties. One, however, was some sort of scallop roll in seaweed – it was very, very good.

For my “main course” I had the Pa-Pa Dragon roll – eel, tuna, avocado, with a honey walnut in it and caviar on top — very unique, very yummy! I also, simply, had an eel roll. He had the Flaming Heart roll – which for the life of me I forget what was in that – and a plain Philadelphia roll. No complaints from him.

While we still think Kanji – and Ichiban – are tops, Shogun Legends is definitely good enough to warrant a return visit.

3 stars.

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Here’s some BIG news!

December 15, 2007

The Kwik Shop on Route 34 is closed! Out of business. Kaput.

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Kicky’s Restaurant

November 4, 2007

After our Mall excursion, we decided to dine out this evening opting for the new kid of the block – Kicky’s on Route 34 in Aberdeen. I’m going to be generous and say overall it was an okay experience. It certainly wasn’t my worst experience dining out, but not my best either.

The decor is quite sleek and interesting – especially the banquets and the 10-person glass enclosed table. The food is actually pretty good, too. The only area that needs improvement is service. While there appeared to be sufficient servers, it seemed some signals were crossed.

Our server was courteous, I’ll definitely give her that. There seemed to be some confusion with our water, though – you see we ordered a bottle of sparkling water. Almost immediately after she scurried away from our table – the water guy comes to fill our glasses with regular water. We didn’t stop him thinking that once our server came back with the bottled water we would simply say we needed other glasses for the sparkling water. She did notice our water-filled glasses and said, “I’ll be right back with glasses for your bottled water.”

When she came back, she went right to serving the other table beside us. That’s fine, I thought. When she’s done there she’ll go get the other glasses. Nope. She did come over to our table to take our order and rushed away without mentioning anything about the other glasses. OK, whatever. No biggie really. We chugged the regular water and replaced with the sparkling water.

Our appetizers did not come together, though. That’s a bit of a dining out pet peeve of mine. I think most courses – especially appetizers – should be served at the same time and definitely when it’s only a party of 2. I don’t think one person should start eating before another. Especially in a “nice” restaurant, but I digress. ;)

Furthermore, it was served by one of the hostesses. So when our server came back, she apologized for not bringing extra glasses for the sparkling water and not serving the appetizers together — but blamed other people for it. Service is a team effort, I realize, however blaming it on other people just made *her* look bad. She should have simply apologized and left it at that.

Anyways, all that aside, like I said it was okay. Not great, but not horribly bad either. I think for what we paid for it should have been a great experience, though. I know they are new and are probably still working out the kinks, so I will give them the benefit of the doubt this time. We still tipped our server accordingly. But I’m not sure we’ll be back any time soon.

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Collingwood Flea Market

November 4, 2007

We came, we saw, we… *yawn*

We left with some socks, an eggplant, and a zucchini.

Yep, that exciting! :)

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Shop Rite vs. Stop & Shop

November 3, 2007

When I lived in Red Bank, 9 out of 10 times I would do my grocery shopping at the Foodtown. It was mostly for convenience and I had gotten used to its layout. Not to mention the Super Stop & Shop on Newman Springs Road did not overly impress me. I guess it didn’t impress many others either – according to this blurb it’s closing down and will re-open as a Super Foodtown.  Huh.

So when we moved here to Matawan, the big question was “Where am I going to do my grocery shopping?” I asked my local friend Jokerelli what grocery stores were in the area. He said I had 2 choices: Shop Rite or Stop & Shop, both of which are in Aberdeen.

I’ve always liked Shop Rite. It’s got a nice selection of produce, lots of prepared food items (Sushi! Chinese!), and big selection of just about everything else. So that’s where I’ve been doing most of my shopping.

However, on a whim, I popped into the Shop & Stop this evening. It’s big, clean, and surprisingly has a impressive selection of just about everything. In fact, unlike the one on Newman Springs Road, this one has whole aisle devoted to International foods! Lots of Asian/Thai/Indian/Spanish/European items! It’s also got a large area of strictly organic/health food stuff, too. Big pharmacy, housewares, rental movies, even a “Dollar Zone”. Color me impressed! I think I will be popping in more often.

I must say it’s good to have 2 great options for food/grocery shopping nearby. :)

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Oriental Grocery Store

October 17, 2007

I went into the Oriental Grocery Store (Hop Shing), next to Lombardi’s, in Aberdeen this evening. So good to know that is there! Obviously not as good a selection as the Crown Palace Asian Market in Middletown, but it’s good to know I can get some basic stuff close by. :)

I quickly perused the few rows of Chinese staples and found some curry sauce. Not the usual Singaporean curry sauce I get, but I thought ‘curry sauce is curry sauce’. I came home and made a nice potatoes, eggplant, and chick peas in curry sauce dish. It was most definitely edible, however the sauce was a bit on the bland side and too mild for my liking. I looked at the jar and it was mild sauce. Doh! I need to make sure I get at least medium hot stuff next time – for more flavor!!! I need to grab some chili sauce next time I’m in there as well. :)

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Pumpkin Patches, Hayrides, Corn Mazes, Oh My!

October 9, 2007

I have to say I am loving my commute home, especially this time of year. I know it certainly does not feel like Fall out there – 80+ degree temps in October make for an extended Indian Summer! The drive along Route 34 from Belmar through Farmingdale and Colt’s Neck on north into Marlboro and Aberdeen is full of glorious Autumn sights to behold. Every mile or so there are farms and roadside stands decked out and advertising “Pick Your Own Pumpkin”, “100s of Halloween Costumes on Sale”, and “Corn Mazes”.  I want to go on a hayride dammit!

This certainly is my favorite time of the year. I just wish the leaves would start changing in earnest. Then it would truly feel like Fall and Halloween just around the corner.

According to the forecast, temps are going to drop into the 50s later in the week. I’m probably going to kick myself for saying this, but… “It’s about time!” :)