Category Archives: Restaurant Reviews

Healthy Garden

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73 East Main St.
Moorestown, NJ 08057
856-234-2522
Free delivery!

This place has all organic, healthy foods and it is delicious! They have breakfast, wraps, pizza (!) and dinners and all are low fat, low calorie, and high protein.

We had the Medditerranean Platter appetizer, consisting of falafal, quinoa tabouli, hummus and wheat pita, and mixed greens with tomato. It wasfresh, flavorful, and satisfying.

I had the veggie burger wrap, which was full of veggies and had a really yummy homemade veggie burger innside, as well as a very light dressing.

The bf had the Rainbow Green warp, which was grilled tilapia and veggies with miso dressing. He loved it, especially the tons of spinach.

Finally, we got the mashed sweet potatos, which are made with honey and cinnamon and served with apple slices for dipping, mmmm.

The prices are reasonable, no more than Chinese food takeout, and the staff is really nice. We will definitely order from here again!

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Naked Pizza

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I just tried a pizza from Naked Pizza in Ewing, Nj, and it was delicious! They use all natural ingredients, no chemicals or hormones, skim mozerella, and a crust made with whole grains. It is truly a guilt-free pizza. I loved the fresh taste of the whole ingredients and the fact that there is no extra grease dripping from the slices. Yum!

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My First Taste of India

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Monsoon Indian Cuisine

Address: 4180 Dearborn Circle

                 Mt. Laurel, NJ 08054

Liquor License: No (BYOB)

Reservations: Accepted/Recommended

Dress: Smart Casual

Pricing: $$ (surprisingly affordable)

Website: www.monsoonindiancuisine.com

For years, I insisted that I did not like Indian food. Friends tried to convince me to try it again, and I always had an excuse when, in reality, I had never really given it a chance.  That is, until I tried Monsoon in Mount Laurel, NJ. While getting ice cream one night, we passed a restaurant with really interesting decor visible from the outside, most notably the frosted plate glass windows with East Indian style arches that allowed for a view of the modern dining room. We decided we had to try this place, regardless of my preconceived notions of Indian food.All I have to say is, I am so glad we tried this place, it is amazing! Immediately upon entering, the aroma of spices awakens the senses without overpowering them. The decor is sparse yet modern and intriguing; backlit Indian art pieces intermingled with contemporary lighting fixtures and flooring make for an upscale yet casual dining experience.  While we wish our server had explained more  to us about the food, (since we tried to make obvious that we had never ordered Indian food before,) he was nice and attentive in bringing us anything we needed. Since Monsoon is BYOB, we picked up a bottle of Riesling (which I read online pairs well with Indian food,) and an ice bucket was brought to us immediately.  The menu offered many choices including very reasonably price appetizers (between $4 and $7,) and a several selections of breads and naan.  Monsoon also offers a Tandoori menu; Biryani (long grain rice with spices, mat and raita,) menu;  Non-Veg main course menu containing chicken and lamb; and a Vegetarian main course menu, as well as several tasty and inexpensive desserts (4 of the 5 choices were only $3.95!).  Below is a brief explanation of the dishes we tried; mind you, we had no idea what we were ordering, we simply read the descriptions and decided to take a risk, which made the experience even more fun!

Appetizer:

Aloo Papri Chaat  – Lentil wafers topped with spiced potatoes, chickpeas, and a perfect blend of sauces. ($4.50)

This appetizer was amazing!  I was surprised to taste that is was served cold, but this really made the flavors come out. The dish had a really appealing mixture of textures and flavors; crunchy lentil wafers, grainy chickpeas, and soft potatoes. It also had several sauces, including a dark, sweet tamarind sauce, creamy white yogurt-based sauce, and green cilantro chutney. It really was a treat for the senses, since it had so many elements and yet everything came together so nicely. I would definitely order this again and again.


Bread:

Assorted Bread Basket: Naan, garlic naan, tandoori roti and parantha ($9.95)

It seems  like most of the dishes here have a lot of sauce, so it is necessary to order at least one type of bread to soak it up and believe me, you will want to, since the sauces are so delicious! The naan is crispy outside and chewy inside, warm, and flavorful; perfect for dipping into the savory sauces offered with the main courses! The garlic naan was my favorite, but the naan (flatbread), tandoori roti (whole wheat naan) and parantha (layered whole wheat bread) were also delicious.

Main Courses:

Entrées are serve with basmati rice. I tasted mine, as well as my boyfriend’s dishes, both of which are described below.

Chicken Tikka Masala – Chicken Tikka in an herb-infused tomato gravy ($14.95)

This was my entrée, and it was delicious! It consisted of marinated chunks of chicken (tikka) in a spiced sauce (masala), which had a perfectly balanced amount of spice which left my mouth tin entréegling and wanting more at the same time! The sauce was rich and flavorful and tasted amazing when spooned over the rice, as well as scooped up in a yummy piece of naan. I was absolutely in love with this dish and while the portion isn’t huge, it is rich enough that I was not left hungry after the meal.

Lamb Roganjosh – Lamb curry cooked with cardamom ($15.95)

This was my boyfriend’s entrée and while I just had a taste, I enjoyed that the lamb was well-cooked and the brown sauce had a rich, spicy curry flavor. Also tasty with rice or naan.

Desserts:

Desserts only cost $3.95, so we each got one and tasted the two we ordered. They are the perfect size (just a few bites after a big meal,) and what I liked the most was their authenticity. Monsoon does not offer inauthentic desserts such as American ice cream or cake, instead, desserts are house-made Indian specialties, which, it turns out, are delicious!

Galub Jamun –Milk and flour (like a dumpling,) fried and served in a rosewater syrup infused with cardamom.

This was my choice and it was absolutely fantastic! The dumplings have a fluffy texture once entered into the syrup, which has an exotic, sweet flavor. I was expecting to be put off by the rose flavor, but instead, I was intrigued and really loved the hint of earthiness it gave the syrup. One serving is 3 dumplings, which are small and just enough to satisfy a sweet tooth after a hearty meal.

Gahar Halwa – Carrot pudding with almonds, raisins, and cardamom.

This was my boyfriend’s choice. It was tasty, though definitely not a dessert by American standards. It was a bit heavy and rich, since it’s main ingredient is carrot, but the flavors were really interesting and the texture was chunky and the slivered almonds on top were delicious. Very good, though I preferred my own dessert.

There is no question that we will return to Monsoon. I have heard that they have a great lunch buffet, so perhaps we will try it out. This was a wonderful choice for our first time having Indian food in a restaurant and I am now officially an Indian food fan!

*Photos courtesy of Monsoon Indian Cuisine

The Bent Spoon – Artisan Ice Cream!!!

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The Bent Spoon

Address: 35 Palmer Sq W. Princeton, NJ 08540

Hours:

Tue-Thu 11 am – 10 pm

Fri-Sat 11 am – 11 pm

Sun 12 pm – 10 pm

Website: www.thebentspoon.com

 

Today, I went to Princeton for the first time in a while and decided to stop in at The Bent Spoon for a sweet treat on this humid afternoon. What a great decision!  To begin with, I love the entire concept of the place. They use hormone-free dairy products (which I believe is the only way to go; especially for women,) and organic and local ingredients whenever possible. They have a great assortment of sorbet and artisan ice cream flavors, which they rotate fairly often and post on their website. They have more traditional flavors, such as chocolate and vanilla bean, but I prefer to have fun mixing the more unique flavors. Today, I chose dark chocolate-habanero, sweet basil, and honey (the basil and honey were made with local ingredients). Even though the flavors do not seem like they would go together, I loved the interesting flavor profiles and the silky smooth texture. The chocolate-habanero had just the right amount of peppery zip mixed in with the rich chocolate; the basil (my favorite) was light and refreshing; and the honey was sweet and creamy and topped with a drizzle of local honey (can you say, “yum?”). I also had a taste of the blue cherry peach sorbet, which was  juicy and delicious, though I generally prefer the richness of ice cream over sorbet.  I will definitely try this place again and recommend it to anyone who loves ice cream and/or trying unique and risky flavor combinations.  Despite the price, ($4.75 for a medium, which includes up to 3 flavor choices) it is on my unofficial “Must List” for summer.  It is important to note, though, that they only accept cash, so be sure to hit the ATM before you satisfy your sweet tooth!

 

 

Yokohama – Amazing Hibachi!

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Yokohama Sushi and Hibachi
Address: 300 South Lenola Road, Maple Shade, NJ 08052
Style: Asian
Reservations: Yes (online)
Liquor License: Yes
Pricing: $$$
Website: www.yokohamacuisine.com

I have recently become a fan of sushi and my boyfriend and I go out for it fairly often. We normally go to Mikado in Maple Shade, NJ, which has really great sushi, however, the last time we were craving Asian food we decided to try something different and have hibachi at Yokohama, which is also in Maple Shade. It was, hands down, the most fabulous hibachi I have ever had! Though it is in a strip mall,upon entering I was impressed by the hip, modern Asian decor. They offer the standard hibachi fare, but it is going to be hard to visit another hibachi restaurant after tasting the food at Yokohama. We started with the wasabi shumai appetizer, which was a wonderful blend of different textures and flavors; I especially loved the strong wasabi kick. Their soup (which, along with salad, comes with the dinner,) is an onion based clear soup, which I like better than the traditional miso. The fried rice (they use sesame seeds, which is a nice touch,) was to die for. I had the scallops and filet mignon dinner and the meat was incredible. My boyfriend had the steak and shrimp and we both had the same opinion of our meals: the seafood was super fresh and the meat was tender and delicious. (I don’t think I could go there without having the scallops again, they were so good!) The chefs are friendly and the drinks are good, but pricey (I had a Geisha martini, which was sweet and tasty). We left thoroughly satisfied and plan to go back VERY, soon!

The Tortilla Press – Collingswood, NJ

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Address: 703 Haddon Ave
Collingswood, NJ 08108

Phone: 856-869-3345

Website: www.thetortillapress.com

Hours: Monday – Thursday: 11:00 am to 9pm
Friday: 11:00 am to 10pm
Saturday: 10am to 10pm
Sunday: 10am to 9pm

Liquor License: No

Reservations: Accepted

Price: $$$

My boyfriend, friends and I have been to The Tortilla Press in Collingswood, NJ several times, and each time, we have been impressed and extremely satisfied with our meals. The atmosphere is great – hardwood floors, large windows and unique, colorful art pieces that are for sale are hung around the restaurant. The service is also excellent; the host/hostess will take your phone number and call you when a table opens up so you can walk around the quaint town of Collingswood while you wait for your table. Servers are helpful and attentive and food arrives quickly. The prices are not cheap, but they are not outrageous, either. The food is well worth what you will pay for it. A complimentary bowl of tortilla chips and a trio of dips (spicy salsa, milder salsa, and a bean dip – all very tasty) arrive promptly to tide you over while you peruse the menu, which includes a variety of meat and seafood dishes, as well as some vegetarian options (many dishes can be made vegetarian upon request, as well). I suggest bringing a bottle of tequila and ordering a pitcher of the restaurant’s margarita mix. There are 3 flavors available, though I have only tried the classic lime. It is homemade and not overly sweet – hands down the best margarita mix I have every had in  a  restaurant. The pitcher is $12, but each pitcher makes at least 6 margaritas, so you will spend much less money on drinks than you would at a Mexican chain restaurant.

Their website states: “We combine entrees familiar to the American palate with the deliciously fresh tastes of Mexican seasonings and sauces, giving a distinctive Mexican influence to each dish.” This is accurate. Nothing on the menu is particularly foreign, though each dish has some kind of unique spin on well-known Mexican favorites. I am a HUGE fan of Latin food and I love that each of the dishes I have tried combine Latin ingredients with textures and flavors that I enjoy in other types of food, as well (such as chipotle mashed potatoes). Below are the dishes I have tried and my opinions:

  • Guacamole Made to Order ($7) – The absolute best guac I have ever had. No contest. It is creamy and the spices do not overwhelm the taste of the avocado.  It is perfectly seasoned and the texture is great – not too chunky, not too smooth.  Mmmmm.
  • Coconut Habanero Shrimp ($20) Fire grilled shrimp with a sweet, spicy coconut & pepper confetti salsa. Served with  chipotle  mashed potatoes, grilled pineapple & fresh green beans.     This entree was very good.  The shrimp were perfectly cooked, juicy, and seasoned well.  The salsa had a very unique flavor; it was subtly sweet with a hint of spice, but neither the sweet nor    spicy nature of the salsa overwhelmed the taste of the shrimp, nor did the coconut, which I appreciated. (In fact, I found myself spooning up the sauce after my meal was done.)  The chipotle mashed potatoes are tasty and I like that they give the dish a Mexican-American fusion-like spin.  Green beans were fresh and cooked well and lend themselves well to the sauce. I would definitely order this again.
  • Honey Lime Scallops ($20) Served with poblano~spinach rice & a delicious fresh vegetable medley.                                                                                                                                                                                                            This is my favorite dish on the menu. The portion is generous (6 large scallops) and the honey lime sauce is absolutely delicious. It is light, sweet and compliments the shellfish perfectly. The scallops were beautifully cooked and I loved that they were served in a little dish, apart from the rice and veggies, making it easy for me to mop up the sauce. The veggies were fresh (squash and broccoli) and I appreciate that the are not seasoned heavily so I can enjoy them with the honey lime sauce. The poblano-spinch rice is light and tasty and again, I enjoy eating it with the honey lime sauce. I do wish the rice had a bit more flavor from the poblanos, but I am not a huge fan of rice in general so I tend to be critical of anything involving rice.  I would order this again and again and suggest it to any fellow scallop-lover.
  • Smothered Shrimp & Scallops Burrito ($18) With spinach~poblano rice, queso fresco and tomatillo salsa. Served with jalapeno potato salad.                                                                                                    I tried this out on a Friday during Lent, when I could not eat meat. It was the first time I had been to The Tortilla Press.    While I enjoyed the meal, I most likely would not order it again. The portion was very large and a bit rich for my liking, as I found it difficult to taste the seafood because of all or the other components in the dish. However, the tomatillo salsa is tasty and I love the queso fresco, which is both on top and inside of the burrito.  The jalepeno potato salad is the highlight of the dish. It is the perfect combination of chunky and creamy and a bit spicy. It adds a  fun American-style picnic flair to the meal. I have the same comments about the rice as in the above entry, but overall, I enjoyed the dish and it obviously led me to come back repeatedly.

I would recommend The Tortilla Press to any fan of Mexican food who is looking for a unique meal and a comfortable dining experience.