This week, we venture to Plainfield to meet chef Arman Saqe, owner of Jessica's Cafe. Arman has a vision to bring fine dining but in a casual setting. He and his sous chefs have many years experience as a team at one of NJ's best restaurants Lorena's in Maplewood. The menu is largely Italian - Neapolitan pizzas and pastas - though there are specials that are French inspired including a foie gras pizza. They also offer brunch on the weekend with classics like eggs benedict and french toast; and I assure you there will be a long wait in the coming months to get a table in the dining room.
BuyLocalNJ is what happens when brothers Andy and Chris, native New Jerseyans and owners of financial advisory firm Runnymede Capital Management, wondered, “What if we create a website that promotes buying local by interviewing business owners for our community?”
Join us in finding, supporting, and celebrating local businesses that are helping to build our communities by sustaining vibrant town centers, connecting neighbors, and contributing to local causes. Thank you for buying local!
This week, we venture to Basking Ridge to meet Joe Canderozzi, the owner of The Ridge Restaurant & Pizza which has been serving Italian comfort food for over 30 years. Hear about the family recipes that have been passed down over generations. With winter right around the corner, learn about their homemade soups to warm you up. Also hear about their best selling dishes, catering and delivery.
Chris speaks with Eugene Onishkevich owner of Green Point Juicery with locations in Verona, Morristown and coming soon (September 2019) to Maplewood. Green Point Juicery opened its doors in the summer of 2015 in Verona. They had two goals in mind: 1) bringing the purest, tastiest, and most affordable cold pressed juices to the community, and 2) committing to sustainable business practices. It is recognized as a sustainable business by the New Jersey Small Business Development Centers (NJSBDC) for its use of biodegradable products, use of seasonal local produce and its composting initiative.
Chris speaks with Michelene Lambros, owner of Soul Bowls in Scotch Plains, NJ. In 2017, Soul Bowls got its start as a food truck selling at the Scotch Plains farmers market. It build a loyal following and in 2019, Soul Bowls opened its first retail location on Mountain Avenue. Soul Bowl offers homemade food that is fresh, vegan and organic. From acai bowls to juices to raw soulnola, customers love the food! This is a true local story as Michelene grew up and is still a resident of Scotch Plains.
Chris speaks with Tora Uttarapong, owner of Proud Thai Cookery in Berkeley Heights, NJ. While many people are familiar with Thai food, Tora wanted to bring authentic Thai street food to NJ. Their drunken noodle has been a huge success and their Bangkok boat noodle soup is another unique dish that will surely satisfy your hunger. Not only is the food great, but Tora and his staff are wonderful people and it is well known in local the community. During the terrible snow storm earlier this year when many people were stuck on the roads for many hours, Tora delivered food personally when no other business in town even had a driver. This family run restaurant is a standout in the community.
Chris speaks with Craig Bass, owner of Bagel Café of New Providence, NJ. Craig worked many years on Wall Street but after 2008, he decided to go back to his college roots of hotel and restaurant management. While Bagel Café seems to be just a neighborhood bagel store, Craig has dreams of transforming it far beyond just bagels. A foodie at heart, Craig has already elevated the coffee with a signature blend that is arguably the best in town. His next step is bringing customers incredible burgers, including the Jersey burger with Taylor ham, egg and cheese. The future is bright for Bagel Café with a foodie pushing the menu far beyond just bagels.
Andy visits Marcy's Kitchen in Gillette, New Jersey. Mexican kitchen connoisseurs Marcela "Marcy" Navarrete and Hector Jimenez have been serving both quality interpretations of classic dishes and daring new ventures into the uncharted territories of food.
Marcy's Kitchen interior, designed as a reflection of a kitchen in Puebla, Mexico, reflects the comfortable sensibilities of a home cooked meal while also paying tribute to Puebla's artisanal storied past. The humble take-out restaurant offers the choice to observe passersby of Valley Road, or watch the art of cooking as it occurs in the dream restaurant of Marcela and Hector.
Andy visits Evelina Berc, Chef/Owner of Pierogies House, in Morristown, NJ. Inspired by the food of her hometown of Leżajsk, a small city in the Subcarpathian region of Poland, Evelina creates quality Polish cuisine and innovative ideas for a menu that includes pierogi, bigos, stuffed cabbage, and potato pancakes. In fact, the potato pancakes and handmade pierogi with sauerkraut and kielbasa are made according to her grandmother's own recipes.
Chris speaks with Jimmy Vardas, owner of Prestige Diner of New Providence, NJ. Prestige Diner was founded in 1967 and has been in the Vardas family since 1982. Despite its many years in business, they aren't stuck in the past. They have a full liquor license so they serve many NJ micro brews as well as wines and mixed drinks. Their food also keeps up with the evolving tastes of its customers with gluten-free offerings, locally sourced ingredients and their newest menu addition, the Impossible Burger which is 100% plant based. The service is friendly and warm. It is no wonder that there is often a line out the door at this historic diner.
Andy interviews Dylan Baker, Proprietor of Summit House in Summit, NJ. Summit House offers elegant cuisine inspired by the Garden State's diverse edible bounty – served with care in a warm, lively atmosphere.
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