The Best Local Thing I Ever AteIn our column, The Best Local Thing I Ever Ate, we ask local chefs, restaurant owners, and food lovers to share their favorite dish in the area. These are the kind of meals that you crave, dream about, salivate over. The meals that you order over and over again.

This month, three picks that are sure to satisfy the need for comfort food in the coldest of winters:

We received several tips from readers about their love of the Bacon Jam Fries at Stuffed Burger (150 Valley Road, Montclair, NJ, 07042) The fresh cut fries take Jersey’s Disco Fries to a whole new level. They’re covered with Havarti Cheese then topped with Bacon Jam, Chipotle and Garlic Aioli.

stuffed burger


Reader Martta Kelly is a fan of the Chicken Lollipops at The Yellow Plum (1099 Broad Street, Bloomfield, NJ):

“A friend of mine, a regular reader of Baristanet, turned me on to this restaurant and now, like her, I am hooked. One of my favorite appetizer/small plate dishes is the Chicken Lollipops. Marinated in sesame sauce, these are tender, juicy, Korean-style chicken legs, that you eat by hand with dipping sauces. The marinade is to die for and will keep you coming back.”

the yellow plum


Reader “firstdog” offers a sweet pick — a slice of Gina’s Bakery (110 Walnut Street, Montclair, NJ, 07042) Brioche french toast—warm, buttery slices of sweet brioche covered in slivered almonds and powdered sugar. Yum!


Do you have a “Best Local Thing I Ever Ate” to share? Want to show some love to your favorite chef or restaurant? Send it to us here and it may be featured in upcoming editions.


11 replies on “The Best Local Thing I Ever Ate”

  1. My best food in Montclair delirium tour would begin with a falafful from Beyond Pita on Church Street….then a slice of pizza at Villa Victoria…then a French Toast Brioche…and finally a coffee icecream at Applegates.

    As a child, the chicken salad filled popover at the Wedgewood cafeteria.

  2. You have good taste Frank. LOVE the falafel from Beyond Pita. The whole concept of pickles on my falafel was new to me once, but now it would be odd without them.

    And Applegate’s mint choc chip is perfection.

  3. Thanks State Street Pete..The Beyond Pita falafel is heavenly because it tastes like being in a beautiful garden. I think that i had one at least five days a week last Spring. The pickles add to the taste of freshness, i think. I ask them to only put a spash of the tahini sauce because it winds up all over me…my clothes…my hair! (i think that I devour it)
    I LOVE Applegates mint choc chip too…. i feel like its a part of me!

  4. There was a time long ago when Gencarelli’s had the best pizza in town hands down. It used to be located where Egan’s is now.

  5. Correct, Pete. An institution in that section of town for years. The pizza was strictly take out as you entered on the right. A small but cozy restaurant in the back with just enough room for an occasional jazz trio, pre Trumpets. I recall it being a small family place with good food. Everyone minded their business, just like today. I think they even had an old-fashioned toilet. You know, the box and the chain thing.

    Everything on the menu was homemade. What I wouldn’t do for a piece of their lasagna!

  6. silverleaf, you brought me right back. Very Little Italy. Nothing like that around any more, but Anthony’s (cheesecake) does have a bit of that feel, like you’re getting to share the stuff that was made for the family.

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