Since last we spoke, there’s been a whole kerfuffle over at Pizza Town USA in Elmwood Park. The iconic pizza joint has been open for 64 years and become a spangly, red, white and blue landmark on the side of Route 46. Before you get nervous, no, it’s not closing. But, the original family has sold it to new owners.
This has gotten a mixed reaction from folks. Some are upset, hoping the pizza they love doesn’t change. Others say the pizza wasn’t even that good to begin with. And many say that the original owners were rude and hope that the customer service is better under the new leadership. Esther spoke to the new owners, who assured they will not be changing the way the pizza is made any time soon.
More on this saga:Meet Pizza Town USA’s new owners and their plans for the restaurant’s future
This is the first restaurant for Ugur (aka UG) Ocal, a native of Antioch, Turkey, and a current resident of Weehawken. His chef Nejdet Akdas also hails from Turkey. His last stint of him was at Istanbul Borek & Kebab in Cliffside Park. On the menu: ground lamb and beef pide (Turkish flatbread), grilled branzino with mixed vegetables, labne, tatziki and baklava. $$$. 35 West Palisade Ave., Englewood; 201-408-2550, antiochrestaurant.net.
Too hot to cook?These 8 New North Jersey restaurants will do it for you
Don Chicken, Fort Lee
Don Chicken is hot. It recently opened four outposts in North Jersey with two more planned for next month.
The most recent opening of this Korean-style fried chicken franchise is in Fort Lee. A small space (12 seats), it is primarily a delivery and takeout joint. You have a choice of eight variations of fried chicken. Among the most popular are the soy garlic and the sweet and spicy. The chicken is served boneless, whole, as wings, drumsticks or in a combination of 10 wings and 5 drumsticks. $$. 232 Broad Ave., Palisades Park; 201-482-0852, donchickenus.com.
Lakay Restaurant, West Orange
Lakay in Haitian means home, and that’s how Gregory and Marie Jean, the owners of the newly opened Lakay Restaurant, want their customers to feel: as if they’re at home, their son Marvens said.
The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday. For breakfast, Marvens said, spaghetti with Haitian spices is huge in Haiti, and thus it is offered at Lakay, with your choice of chicken, shrimp or vegetables. Also for breakfast: oatmeal or more. What’s for lunch or dinner? Grilled conch, fried pork, jerk chicken and lolo, a savory spinach stew. 470 Valley Road, West Orange; 973-323-9393, not website.
Yesterday, I stopped by the new Food Hall at American Dream Mall. It includes nooks of stylish seating, games like giant Connect Four, Jenga and corn hole, and (of course) places to eat. It spans 10,000 square feet and is located on the second level in Court A.
take a lookThe new Food Hall at American Dream Mall
Every now and again, we like to make a list of restaurants worth the drive. These are spots in New Jersey that have such great food, you won’t be mad about driving an hour to try it. Fortunately, in Esther’s latest list, all of the locations are pretty close to home.
destination diningThese New Jersey dining destinations are worth the trip
Cape May Brewing Company and the region’s most beloved convenience store chose the middle of one of the longer heat waves in recent memory to launch their collaborative beverage – Shore Tea. Beginning Thursday, thirsty folks 21 and up will be able to try this latest collaboration between Wawa and a regional craft brewery.
Love Wawa peach iced tea?Soon Cape May Brewing will bring you a hard version
That’s it from me! Until we meet again, here’s where to find more dining news:
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- $ Affordable (can get a filling meal for under $15 per person)
- $$ Average (can get a filling meal for $15 to $25 per person)
- $$$ Pricey (can get a filling meal for $30 to $40)
- $$$$ Treat yours