In case you haven’t heard, the owner of Cuban Pete’s was arrested last week for serving alcohol in his sangrias. An old Baristanet friend, who moved out of town last year, decided to visit the restaurant Friday night and filed this, ahem, interesting report. Don’t skip the jump. The best part of the story is about four paragraphs down.

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We made the 40 minute trip from Wayne to Montclair tonight to take some friends to Cuban Pete’s. One of them is from Puerto Rico and wanted to try the cod appetizer and was looking forward to a cup of good, strong Cuban coffee to end the meal. I had been there before and had a great time, especially after drinking the “non-alcoholic” sangria. I had read about the owner’s arrest and was expecting maybe a 45 minute wait, but thought it was worth it.

So, we arrived at the restaurant at 7:15 and were told it would be a 45 minute wait. After having some tea and coffeee at Cafe Eclectic, we headed back over only to wait some more – we were seated at 8:30 and at a table with 3 chairs. We stood waiting for the 4th chair for about 3 awkward minutes until finally we got one.

The place was packed and we were prepared thinking they might be out of a few things and service may be slow. Our waiter came over and we said “Hi, how are you?” His response : a deadpan “Tired.” OK. We placed our order quickly and clearly but received sad news – no cod fritters for our friend, no limonada sangria and the dish my other friend order was gone too. We made the best of it and carried on.

Our appetizers came quickly and were delicious.  As we nibbled away, we were treated to some live entertainment too.  First, an angry customer who must have been waiting a very long time got in a loud argument with one of the staff and Dominick.  He soon left, red-faced.  Then, Montclair’s own Dick Grabowsky showed up wearing a neon orange outift with a shirt that said “Free Dominick”.  He waltzed around with sangria pitchers for a few minutes.  Our friends were impressed with all this excitement.

Then, after finishing our meal, which was delayed by about 5 minutes due to missing cutlery, we were looking forward to that coffee.  As we started to order the coffee, our waiter said, “We are not serving coffee at this time.”  HUH?  I was utterly confused, so I said “Do you mean you’re not serving it at this minute but will a little later?” No, not serving it at all he said – too busy for coffee.  Too busy for coffee?  What kind of restaurant doesn’t serve coffee?

What could we do?  We ordered some dessert and laughed it off, until we spied some younger patrons sipping something from what looked suspiciously like coffee mugs.  But by then we had already asked for the check and had had enough of Cuban Pete’s.  An interesting night out in Montclair, to say the least. 

129 replies on “Who Needs Sangria?”

  1. Wow – I guess after months in business things haven’t really changed too much. They’re constantly out of items on the menu! You can’t really go there hoping for your favorite item, b/c you likely won’t get it!
    “Free Dominick”?? The guy was illegally selling alcohol! And he had been warned before too! He knew the law and broke it! (And, once a friend was in there right after the first ordeal and he was talking about how he was going to start offering some traditional cuban rum thing!) If he was trying to pass the stuff off as non-alcoholic, who knows how many kids may have had some b/c their parents innocently thought they were drinking virgin sangria!

  2. Interesting, but it doesn’t surprise me. I like Dominick and have enjoyed eating at both Cuban Petes and Mexicali Rose (back when he ran it). But we had a similar experience at Mexicali Rose. It was early on a weekend evening (6ish), and very busy, and we were there with our two kids. We were still finishing our dinner and the kids were done and wanted ice cream. We ordered the ice cream, and were told they were not serving dessert at that point in the night because it was too busy. Very annoying and it kept us from returning for about a year.

  3. I’d like to follow up on butch’s comment.
    Not just kids might have had “non- alcoholic” sangria. Most likely, pregnant women had the sangria, in the belief it was OK.
    This whole thing is irritating on so many levels.

  4. And not just kids and pregnant women!
    A recovering alcoholic could be “set off” by drinking a glass or two of that!
    VERY irresponsible and DANGEROUS!

  5. “Then, Montclair’s own Dick Grabowsky showed up wearing a neon orange outift with a shirt that said “Free Dominick”. He waltzed around with sangria pitchers for a few minutes.”
    I would have gladly paid $$$ to see this.

  6. It’s mind numbing to think of how many lives he could have ruined. Pregnant women, anyone on the wagon or in revcovery. He needs to go to jail. Not just fines, he needs to go to jail. On top of that he is stealing from other restaurants who have taken the time to properly buy a license.

  7. Hold on here. I agree, if he was giving alcoholic drinks labled as “non-alcoholic” to unsuspecting minors, pregnant women, or recovering alcoholics, this is a terrible thing. But there has been no accusation of this, or claims that this happened from any patrons.

  8. I do happen to know a group of teenagers who were served sangria. I thought it quite strange. They weren’t carded. A week later the girl’s mother and I were there for dinner and my impression from drinking the sangria was that it was alcoholic.

  9. Joe, the quoted article on the other thread says inspectors from the alcohol commission were served the alcoholic sangria on four visits, and removed samples to confirm.
    I’ll wait to see what the complaint / indictment asserts and what evidence they present.

  10. I went to Cuban Pete’s about a month ago and had a nice(not anything to rave about)meal and sangrias. We were not asked if we wanted them with or without alcohol when we ordered. We were a table of 4; two of us are 22 , one is 21 and one 19 years old. there was definately alcohol in the sangrias, I don’t know what kind of alcohol, but we were all very tipsy when we left. We even walked around in the cold for about 45mins before we drove home to sober up a little. The point is, we all assumed they had a liquor license, they advertise sangrias like it’s their main attraction. I just don’t understand how they thought nobody would notice?

  11. Donna’s comment was accurate. My 17-year-old daughter, along with five of her friends, were served sangria when they went to dinner there several weeks ago. They were not carded and while they are quite mature, no one would confuse them for 21-year-olds. I’m now ashamed that I didn’t alert the town or the county; I should have. Like many others, I am fond of Dominick and wish him well but in addition to those pregnant women and recovering addicts he may be jeopardizing, he’s jeopardizing young lives as well as others by serving alcoholic beverages to youngsters who are likely to get behind the wheel of a car after their dinner, not knowing they’ve been drinking.

  12. Serving minors? If true, he should get the book thrown at him.
    MontclairMom, yes please next time report something like this out of a sense of community responsibility if nothing else.

  13. I really don’t understand how anyone can expect sangria not to have alcohol in it, as someone noted on the other thread. What the heck do you think you’re going to get when you order sangria?
    This is quite apart from the issue of serving alcohol to minors which, if true, is reprehensible.

  14. For alcohol without a license and for serving minors, by all means throw the book at him. He deserves it.
    But I think we can stop worrying about the duped pregnant women and recovering alcoholics. I mean, who orders sangria and doesn’t assume there is alcohol in it? If you know of any, there’s a bridge in Brooklyn that I’d like to sell em.

  15. Tinga does not have a liquor license and sells non-alcoholic “Sangria”.
    If I were at a restaurant and they didn’t have a wine list, or beer, or a bar I would assume it was a restaurant without alcohol.
    I think a pregnant woman or alcoholic person would certainly ask if the Sangria had wine in it, *most* of the time.
    I don’t see how there is *any* mitigating circumstance which excuses this in the slightest.
    Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.

  16. Ok I’ll grant you that sangria is suppose to have some wine in it, however if they can’t find the “time” to make you a cup of coffee- then I doubt they’d have the time to distinguish between regular and decaf when they do have coffee (which for some isn’t such a good thing)–or boozeless if so ordered—
    I am finding it hard to believe that people are waiting 45 minutes for a place that behaves this way—
    “Dominick” sounds like an ass but the people who are waiting 45 minutes, not knowing if they’ll have what they’ll expect to eat, horrible service, not know if they’ll have coffee sounds pretty unbelievable. And then paying a bill for it—your outta your minds.

  17. Yes Lisa you are 100% right. I don’t really think anyone bought one thinking there was no alcohol in it, but you never know. There is no such thing as a virgin sangria! You wouldn’t call it SANGRIA then! We assumed it had alcohol when we ordered, and since they weren’t carding, why not! Three out of our group of four could legally drink anyway but serving all of us was a bonus. I’m pretty sure there was more than wine in there too, unless New Jersey grows some really strong wines.

  18. Maybe it’s the “car wreck syndrome”. There is so much talk about the poor service, attitude by the employees and arrogance to the law from the owner that we all have to go and see for ourselves? It’s like a bad car wreck, you have to look but you don’t necessarily want to see what’s there…

  19. Mexicali Rose,when Dominick owned it, had virgin Margaritas! I would assume that a restaurant without beer, wine or liquor on the menu was serving virgin sangria.

  20. Ack! Maybe I’ll just stick to Cuban restaurants in Atlantic City or NYC where I know if I order a mojito or sangria, I’m getting the real thing! Going out to dinner should be a pleasant experience, no? That being said, I shouldn’t have to deal with the aggravation of not being able to order an adult beverage with my meal when I go out. BYOB was fun when I was in college but now it’s just a hassle.

  21. Wow. I am so confused. When my wife and I went, we enjoyed some sangria and assumed that it contained wine. There was no indication of “virgin” on the menu. I was under the impression that his license allowed limited sale of wine.

  22. You can go to lots of restaurants that dont have liquor licenses and order things like “strawberry daquiri’s”, etc. In Montclair, it seems believable that someone would think there was no alcohol – after all, hardly anywhere serves alcohol!
    But the burden is upon the OWNER to the follow the laws!

  23. Martta – have you had Cuba Libre?
    I DO love that Mojito Sangria that Cuban Pete’s has…I wanna make it at home!

  24. Butch: Yes! We were at Cuba Libre in the fall…wonderful place. great food, gorgeous decor, pleasant staff, good food…and mojitos!
    If you’re ever in the West Village, there’s a place called Cuba (how original, huh?) that’s also great…forget the street it’s on, though. You may have to wait a half hour to get seated but it’s worth it.

  25. My boyfriend and I were at Cuban Pete’s waiting for almost an hour to be seated. We were by the Sangria bar and we were under the impression that the Sangria were non-alcoholic. We order a pitcher with out meal (leaving behind the bottle of red wine that we brought).
    A pitcher later, we realize that we were feeling tipsy. The whole time, we thought that it was a virgin sangria. We were also curious because we noticed younger kids drinking Sangria and were not carded.

  26. crank,
    I need a life…I’m watching NASCAR with the sound off and I just listened to my cd of Inagaddadavita….baby, I still feel like I’m trippin when I hear the drum solo…

  27. “in a gadda da vita baby, don’t ya know that love you…” now, i’m listening to LA Woman by the Doors…I won’t play any music tonight recorded after 1973

  28. I think I am one of the few people alive that actually saw Iron Butterfly perform.
    Meanwhile, why didn’t someone tell me about Clap Your Hands Say Yeah BEFORE their 2 shows at Bowery Ballroom sold out?
    And Michael Rother (Kraftwerk, Neu!, etc.) is playing Bowery next Saturday & I have a conflict. Grrrrrr……

  29. crank,
    one of my favorite concerts was on a Sat in June of 1967 at Boston Common when I saw…Van Morrison, The Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane…what a show.

  30. Ice, it is “in-a-gadda-da-vida” (as in, sort of, la vida loca), I believe. Stoned memories are no excuse for grammatical errors.
    Did you ever read what happened to the missing 4th band member there? He was due someplace and never showed up. Something like 15 years later, they find his car, with his remains in it, down a canyon and hidden by brush. He’d driven off the road long ago. In his case, stoned driving may have been no excuse for death.

  31. Ah…Kraftwerk – one of my faves – in fact, my husband and I bought tapes (this was the pre-CD era), along Van Gelis, Philip Glass & Margie Adams in the birthing room when my son was born! And I wonder why he is the way he is….hmmmm….
    Off topic – I went to see “Children of Eden” this afternoon with a friend and was blown away with how amazing it was. Kudos to all involved in the production!

  32. I admire Dom from his days at Mexicali Rose and his ambition to startup his own cuban restaurant. I was one of the invitees at his soft opening of Cuban Pete’s, and I enjoyed the food that night and the variety of sangrias being offered. I had high hopes for his place, especially the “al fresco” sangria bar/patio (it could have been a really cool singles/meeting spot during the summer). Cuban Pete’s is not trying to compete with the authentic, bodega-style places, but rather offer a vacation/resort-theme dining experience, suitable for a Saturday night dinner out-on-the-town.
    I cannot imagine the sequence of events that have lead to this restaurant’s demise, except to say it can be resolved by hiring a consultant/partner that is experienced in restaurant management to solve the myriad of problems it currently experiences.
    I wish Dom all the best and hope he can turn his operation around into a successful restaurant experience for everyone. I would be extremely sad to see him throw in the towel at this juncture.

  33. There is plenty on non-alcoholic wine around to make a non-alcoholic sangria.
    This guy needs to go to jail for a long time.

  34. My GOD, what about the CHILDREN?!!!! Do we have anything like, oh, EVIDENCE to prove he was serving alcoholic sangria to minors/pregnant women/old ladies/Bill W/paraplegics/spotted owls?
    Good lord. For serving alcohol without a license, I say we huck the book at him and every Catholic priest in this town — who probably serve up something of similar alcohol content every Sunday in this town. For serving it to minors, which any restaurant owner knows would cost him his business, or any employee knows would cost him his job and some jail time, I say show me some evidence. That’s a weighty charge.
    If this thread clears some people out of there on a Friday night and sends all of the old ladies over to the halls of the Clairidge building looking for an antique temperance fountain with which to purify the blood of their fair town, I say go for it. I, too, wish Dom the best. I don’t know him as a person, but I’ve enjoyed his businesses and enjoy the role he plays in keeping independent business thriving in this town.

  35. Notteham, you’re an idiot.
    Yes, the ABC was in there on four different occasions and found alcohol in samples each time, read the quoted section of the article from Friday.
    If you are concerned with independent businesses continuing to do well in Montclair, support law-abiding establishments like Table 8, Giotto, Blu and Fascino.

  36. The Bird,
    Play nice…there’s no reason to for ad hominem attacks…the blog for is for posting opinions not for attacking.

  37. “…halls of the Clairidge building looking for an antique temperance fountain…”
    NOTTEHAM
    Are you referring to Dusty’s and Rusty’s Antiques in the lobby of the Clairidge Movie Theater? I just bought some beautiful side tables there (at a very reasonable price). Now I’ve noticed a lot of antique furniture all over the lobby – I guess that’s theirs too. We could use a cool antique shop in town. I like that place.

  38. I saw that guy in the orange jumpsuit. I thought it was the love child of Peter Frampton, Sammy Hagar and Roger Daltrey.

  39. Don’t pour the wine
    if you can’t do the time…
    don’t do it
    Keep your eye on the sparrow
    When the going gets narrow
    Baretta’s theme…or perhaps Dominick’s theme?

  40. Wow! It’d be really great if some of the people who posted had ANY IDEA AT ALL what they were talking about.
    FACT: The ABC has been fighting with Dominick for several months, having nothing to do with alcohol. They’ve been arguing about the word “sangria” in his sign and about the number of feet that tables are supposed to be away from his bar in the back room.
    FACT: The menus clearly state that his sangria contains wine-infused fruit, which, when cooked, burns off the alcohol. The finished product is just about alcohol-free.
    FACT: Patrons may bring in their own wine which they can add to their pitcher of sangria.
    FACT: Dominick’s restaurant has been wildly successful, which is causing other restauranteurs to get a bit jealous. One wonders if this is how these rumors begin.
    FACT: No proof has been presented by the ABC that Dominick did ANYTHING wrong, except perhaps allowing his patrons to add their own booze to his sangria.
    Meanwhile, let’s enjoy the best new restaurant that Montclair has to offer.

  41. Since when does it take 40 minutes to get from Wayne to Montclair? It takes me 20 minutes (with horrible Route 46 traffic) everyday.

  42. Anthony seems to have left a few things out.
    FACT: Cuban Pete’s has not yet been approved for a New Jersey wine sellers permit. So selling drinks with ANY alcohol in them is illegal(even if there is “just about” none after “cooking off the alcohol”).
    FACT: Dominic was warned more than once to discontinue such activities. Such warnings were ignored.
    FACT: Anyone that has ordered and drank the sangria in question can attest that there is more than just a tad of alcohol in them.
    FACT: Dominic was arrested for serving alcohol without a license. Check with the MPD dective bureau.
    FACT: Cuban Pete’s has been wildly successful(although thet’s not such an accomplishment in Montcair) but judging from the critizism ans customer’s experiences I’ve heard and read about, once the newness wears off that may be short lived.

  43. “Meanwhile, let’s enjoy the best new restaurant that Montclair has to offer.”
    Agree — everyone get to BLU!!! (And BTW, how did Aozoro score a 29 for Food in Zagats???)

  44. My wife and I went to Blu during the first week that it opened and the food was fantastic. They offered us a taste of one of their other entrees as a bonus appetizer and that was just as good. Unfortunately, everybody else found out about the place and it’s now harder to get in. We haven’t tried Fascino yet, but Blu is definitely one of the best.

  45. What does a pitcher of non-alcoholic sangria at Cuban Pete’s cost? Is it the same as the average price of alcoholic sangria. If so, that’s a great scam. I’d feel duped if I paid full price for a buzz and only got non-alcoholic sangria…

  46. “I saw that guy in the orange jumpsuit. I thought it was the love child of Peter Frampton, Sammy Hagar and Roger Daltrey.”
    Close Bejamin, but actually it was the combination of Gene Wilder, Nick Nolte(from the famous mugshot days) and Dee Snyder of Twisted Sister fame that is responsible for Montclair’s favorite son.

  47. When you go to BLU, don’t forget your magnifying glass, and the number of a good pizza takeout.
    I don’t think CP’s the best food on earth, but I do think they’re the LIVELIEST, HIPPEST fun eatery Montclair has to offer. It’s a vibe – and Dominick does seem to have the magic touch – with or without liquor – to make a restaurant work in this town.
    Another FACT: The ABC laws are extremely extremely convoluted and complicated; and there are DOZENS of other Montclair restaurants violating many of the statutes right now, without their knowing. Of course ignorance is no a defense, but perhaps some clarification by the ABC is in order.

  48. notteham – anthonyD
    Two dopes…
    FYI… Only wine and beer my be consumed in a BYOB.
    CAN A CUSTOMER BRING ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES INTO A LICENSED PREMISES?
    There is no regulation prohibiting this practice, however, the licensee has the right to permit or prohibit this practice as a matter of business policy. (See “Penalty – Effect on Use of Premises.”)
    ARE NON-LICENSED RESTAURANTS PERMITTED TO ALLOW CUSTOMERS TO BRING THEIR OWN
    ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES (“B.Y.O.B.”) FOR CONSUMPTION WITH THEIR MEALS?
    Unless there is a local ordinance prohibiting it, customers of an unlicensed restaurant may be permitted by the ownership of the restaurant to bring and consume only wine and beer. The restaurant can supply glasses,
    ice, etc., but may not impose a cover, corkage or service charge. Also, under no circumstances may spirituous liquors be permitted. There may be no advertising whatsoever of the fact that wine or beer may be permitted. Additionally, the owner may not permit wine or beer to be consumed during hours in which the sale of these products is prohibited by licensees in that municipality, nor allow consumption of beer or wine by persons under 21 years or by persons who are actually or apparently drunk or intoxicated. (N.J.S.A.
    2C:33-27.)

  49. “Another FACT: The ABC laws are extremely extremely convoluted and complicated; and there are DOZENS of other Montclair restaurants violating many of the statutes right now, without their knowing. Of course ignorance is no a defense, but perhaps some clarification by the ABC is in order.”
    Please share WHO and HOW.
    They may be “complicated”, but as a business owner who invests their entire life savings into a place (as Dominick once said) you surely would seek the advice of an attorney on several matters. And, any idiot would at least be able to figure out that if you have NO wine license, NO liquor license, and NO license at all – that you cant put wine or liquor in your sangria.
    CP’s was also selling the pitchers for the price an alcoholic version would go for, another message to patrons that they’re getting the “real deal.”
    I would most definitely NOT say that CPs is the liveliest place to go for dinner. The food is average, the service poor and the decor is campy. I went there ONLY for the sangria (which got us tipsy !) and I assumed it was legally made!

  50. “Also, under no circumstances may spirituous liquors be permitted.”
    I know when I first moved here, I was surprised to see at Mexcali Rose people bringin tequila for the margarita’s….
    I guess Dominick did this in more than one restaurant!

  51. I am pretty sure you can STILL bring Tequila to Mexicali Rose for Margaritas. In fact I have done this on more than one occasion, most recently in January.

  52. But I am just curious as to why *spiritous* liquors have gotten a black mark, as they pertain to NJ law. Is it because it takes less of them to become inebriated?
    I mean, if you drink enough of ANY alcoholic beverage, you’ll eventually get drunk. So why can’t I bring a bottle Jameson’s Irish with me for my hot toddy?

  53. Back in the day … I can remember patrons bringing their own tequila to Mexicali Rose so the restaurant could make margheritas for them … I guess the ABC wasn’t tipped-off to this occassional practice …
    How do “concerned citizens” address the ABC’s policies to reform and/or ammend them?
    My theory for why Montclair so tightly controls the liquor licensing is to avoid the “drunken town syndrome” which seems kinda outdated to me (town resident’s education and wealth is on the rise). Plus the licenses are a big money maker and not too many politicians want to be remembered for decreasing that monetary income (by allowing the sale of more licenses at looser requirements).

  54. Interesting thought: would the sale of more liquor licenses at regional-correct prices actually raise more income than fewer liquor licenses at inflated prices?

  55. It’s been said on other threads, but it’s worth saying again — one of the great joys of living in Montclair is the fact that so many restaurants are BYO! We moved here 18 months ago and time and again, my wife and I say what a pleasure it is to be able to bring a bottle (or two) of wine of our own choosing to a restaurant and not get jacked with inflated prices or faced with a menu of selections we know nothing about. Thanks, but no thanks, to more licences!

  56. Hmm… Table 8, BLU, Giotto and Fascino. Now those establishments seem intrinsically linked, don’t they? Might we not be shrouding our pitch for these places in some false altruism? I’ll state for the record that I do not own a business in Montclair nor do I have a personal stake in this argument. It just seems that a few too many people were really quick to take up torches against this one specific business owner. Having jumped on the Grabowsky pileon before, I understand how this type of mentality can work.
    I’ll amend my earlier argument about Grabowsky to say that I’m just glad Rainbow, Copabananas and the Wiccan shop are still in business, and I’ve really had no qualms with the cookie shop, the place that replaced Suzette, or the Church Street Cafe.
    That said, I’d hate to see Dominick lynched over UNFOUNDED statements like “he’s serving drinks to minors and recovering alcoholics.” So to my detractors, it seems the idiot wind is blowing through your ears now, doesn’t it?

  57. Notteham – I dont think anyone is lynching Dom over those unfounded statements. They were brought up as possible consequences of his actions, but what people are really talking about is the fact that he’s broken the law. And that he was warned several times, but continued to serve alcohol with no license at all. It doesnt matter whether he’s a great guy or whether people are bullying up on him – HE is the one who broke the law!

  58. Can we come out and say something to the effect of “he broke the law” when, according to the story, Dominick says he cooked off the alcohol in the wine. Is it even clear, posts on this site aside, that this arrest is even related to the earlier ABC incidents and wine dumping. It just doesn’t seem likely that a businessman would risk his entire livelihood just to get some wine into sangria. And what constitutes a “significant amount of alcohol”? Remember, we’re talking about wine here, so the alcohol content isn’t that great to begin with. What level of alcohol are we discussing here? Until more details become available, and considering Dominick’s a free man right now, I’m going to reserve judgment until more facts come in. This doesn’t seem to have such sinister underpinnings as many of these posts seem to believe. As stated earlier, the wine rulings seem somewhat ambiguous.

  59. It is a myth that alcohol “cooks off”. Some of it does, just like any sauce reduction, but not a huge amount.

  60. I meant to include, if you light the sauce or whatever directly with a flame then the alcohol burns off. But stove top in a pan, not exposed to direct flame doesn’t remove the alcohol.

  61. I know for a fact that Montclairmom is 100 percent correct. I have pictures of a birthday party my 17-year-old attended at Cuban Pete’s. On the table was not just the pitcher of sangria but a large bottle of wine that the girls brought in. I contacted the restaurant and complained. I did not contact the ABC or the town because I wanted to give Cuban Pete’s the benefit of the doubt even though there’s no way these girls look 21 and they should have been carded. Girls generally don’t risk embarrasment on a whim so they must have had a fairly good idea that it would fly. Virgin sangria or not, the management is clearly lax about enforcing even a fairly simple law. And just for the record — there were consequences for my daughter!

  62. Drop the dime on him everytime.
    Infused fruit holds alcohol better then anything. It won’t cook off.
    Beer and wine in BYOB… no spirits. That is the law.

  63. Not that it matters much, but in response to the comment about someone (notteham?) had about not having complaints about the “place that replaced” suzette’s, I think it may be owned by the same people who own/owned suzette’s. We ate there about a month ago and the charge showed up on my bill as Suzette’s.

  64. “That is the law.”
    Indeed. It goes something like this:
    “Not to go on all-fours; that is the Law. Are we not Men? “Not to suck up Drink; that is the Law. Are we not Men? “Not to eat Fish or Flesh; that is the Law. Are we not Men? “Not to claw the Bark of Trees; that is the Law. Are we not Men? “Not to chase other Men; that is the Law. Are we not Men?” 18
    And so from the prohibition of these acts of folly, on to the prohibition of what I thought then were the maddest, most impossible, and most indecent things one could well imagine. A kind of rhythmic fervour fell on all of us; we gabbled and swayed faster and faster, repeating this amazing Law. Superficially the contagion of these brutes was upon me, but deep down within me the laughter and disgust struggled together. We ran through a long list of prohibitions, and then the chant swung round to a new formula:

    Not to drink the sangria. That is the law.

  65. I want to drink Jameson with Miss Martta and the Trolls…it warms the cockles when huddled under the bridges of sighs

  66. May I recommend, instead of Jameson’s, Tullamore Dew? Or, if you want a taste of something darker in color and a bit “fuller” in the finish, Power’s? I have spent a fair amount of time with Irish whiskies. (And once, by supplying the name of a bar that didn’t carry Jameson’s to the company, they sent me a free Belleek Jameson’s pitcher!)
    It gladdens me to hear of others who also so love Irish spirits. Even if they distilled by the kind of monopoly that’d probably be illegal under US law.
    And Iceman, cockles are edible, but not so hot-tasting, little buggers. You’re likely to find them attaching themselves to the Bridge of Sighs.

  67. Tullamore Dew, that stuff is powerful! That’s for nights in front of a fireplace from where you don’t plan on moving your body for the next 10 hours or so. 🙂
    I love Jameson’s because, to me, it is just sooo smooth. Great when you have a chest cold. Just make a hot cup of your favorite tea, add honey and two fingers of Jameson’s. Won’t cure your cold but you won’t care.

  68. Ah, this conversation has warmed my cockles (where the heck are they anyway)…i also like Glenmorangie and walleroo’s choice, Laphroaig…a glass of single malt is even better than a glass of PBR…I wish I had an armchair under the bridge…brrr, my feet are cold

  69. Laphraoig!? Yikes, we got some tough, hairy-chested iodine-cum-Islay drinkers here (well, of course we do, they’re trolls, after all). All have great taste. Even walleroo suddenly seems somewhat to resemble a man to me. Slainte!
    Sometime I am going to have to share my cherished bottle of either Scapa or Highland Park 15 (both bought “on premises” as it were in the Orkneys) with you trolls. Or perhaps my 25-year-old Ben Nevis. The distillery “played” the village in the movie of “Rob Roy,” they earned such a big fee they revamped the whole operation and claim to have “discovered” barrels of the older stuff during the rehab work.

  70. LOL, Miss M,
    Once mine have dropped then I’ll be able to drink with u.
    Bar-Keep, Pabst all around

  71. Courtesy of Wikipedia:
    Cockles are the family Cardiidae of bivalve mollusks.
    The rounded shells are symmetrical, heart-shaped and feature strongly pronounced ribs. The mantle has three apertures (inhalant, exhalant, and pedal) for siphoning water and for the foot to protrude. Cockles typically burrow using the foot and feed by siphoning water in and out, sifting plankton from it. They are also capable of ‘jumping’ by bending and straightening the foot. Unlike most bivalves, cockles are hermaphroditic and reproduce quickly.
    Cockles are a popular type of shellfish in both Eastern and Western cooking. Consumption of raw cockles has been linked to hepatitis. Cockles are sold fresh as a snack food in the United Kingdom, and are eaten with vinegar. They are also available pickled in jars and, more recently, they are often sold in convenient sealed packets (with vinegar) containing a plastic two-pronged fork.
    They are an effective bait for a wide variety of sea fishes.
    The English phrase ‘cockles of my heart’ refers to the ventricles of the heart (Latin: cochleae cordis).

  72. Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
    How does your garden grow?
    With silver bells and cockle shells,
    And pretty maids all in a row.

  73. We need a good UK restaurant in Montclair. Kippers for breakfast, cockles in vinegar, haggis and blood pudding from Scotland, boiled mutton from Ireland. Yummy!

  74. BeanCounter, don’t forget the great Scottish delicacy (so beloved by cardiologists the world over) of deep-fried Mars, Snickers and Heath toffee bars.

  75. I agree. I’m one of the weird folks who actually likes some British cooking, like shepherd’s pie and haggis. There’s a great British food import store on Bloomfield Ave. in Montclair that carries things like Heinz spotted dick and marmite. And, candy bars you can’t find in the U.S. like Nestle’s Coffee Crisps.

  76. Yes, London Foods on Bloomfield Ave in Montclair is great for packaged and home-cooked food. Their shepherd’s pie is yummy.

  77. It’s Heinz as in the maker of ketchup. As for the dappled penis dish, well, they eat a lot of it in Patrick O’Brian’s novels on the Napoleonic era British Navy. But then, all those men together for so many months at sea in close quarters, the hunger building within them even amidst the scurvy….

  78. We used to take a trip to Kearny to pick up specialties for my wife’s grandmother especially plum pudding and mince for mince pies for Christmas. This, plus a daily bottle of Guiness, kept the old girl going to the ripe old age of 106.

  79. bunch of imbecils!!! kids? pregnant women? miodgets? elves? guys on the wagon? don’t order sangria which by dninition has alcohol if you don’t want to get drunk. Morons!!!

  80. HEY THERE,STOP TALKING BAD THINGS ABOUT CUBAN PETES JUST BECAUSE THEY ARE ONLY LATINOS AND BLACK PEOPLE WORKING OVER THERE .FIRST TRY TO DO SOMETHING GOOD AN DIFERENT AND YOU SEE THE RESULTS..BYE THE WAY VIVAN LOS LATINOS…..

  81. You gotta be joking!! Latinos and blacks working there has absolutely nothing to do with the italian, non-law abiding owner!!!

  82. It is my understanding that Sangria falls into some gray area of the New Jersey Winery loop hole in the Liquor License Statue. I have had some discussion with Dominick and some of my colleges about the ACB stand on Sangria and the statute is not definitive on this issue. The all-powerful ABC has taken a stance that might be over-reaching.
    I applaud Dominick for standing up for what he believes is his right to sell Sangria. However, a business owner has to abide by the law until a final determination is made.

  83. Law, schmaw. Only in America would we throw such a hissy fit about what Sangria might have done. Did the ex alkies go into trauma? Did the kids get drunk? Did anyone die behind the wheel from drinking the Sangria? Get hepped up about something imporant and quit acting like the Chief of Police already. Everyone’s a cop. Now we’ve got the Sangria cops. Let them do their job and let’s butt out. Hell, they’d laugh at this in Italy.

  84. I was never very impressed with Mexicalli Rose. I thought that the food was pretty bad but just figured that it was just a New Jersey thing.
    I think that the biggest crime here is the fact that a “cuban” restaurant refused to serve coffee.

  85. This story blows away the sangria. My family of 6 were physically accosted, pushed around by Dominic and 3 staff members in the back of this herrendous restaurant. Never in my life has this ever happened. Food sucked, service sucked, this place can’t go out of business quick enough. Stay away!!!!!!!!

  86. “Mo” will probably explain this one away by saying you were being needlessly provocative, Michael.

  87. How about those comments you were blurting out all night calling the waiter a nigger and then calling the owner a spic? Do you think that had something to do with it Michael?
    Mr. Root, I suggest you learn some manners and stay in west caldwell, then you won’t have to worry about picking up bottles to defend yourself in the back of a restaurant anytime soon.

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