I have some bittersweet news to share. I’ve taken a job with a new company and will be leaving my wonderful role as a restaurant reporter for The Record newspaper. Which also means this is the last time I will write the North Jersey Eats newsletter. (Don’t worry! Someone will take care of it soon!)
It’s been an absolute pleasure writing about North Jersey’s fabulous food scene, and I’m so proud of the community we’ve built.
OK, on to the news.
The Smoking Crab & Seafood Co., Paterson
Andre McCullcum Gardner opened the first New Jersey outpost of The Smoking Crab & Seafood Co., a Southern-style seafood restaurant. His uncle, Bobby McCullum, is the head and founder of the Texas-based franchise company. On the menu: seafood gumbo, lobster and crab mac ‘n’ cheese, seafood rice, seasoned fries, fried catfish, and “all kinds of sauces” to dip your fish in, including Cajun butter and garlic jalapeno butter.
The restaurant is a BYOB that can accommodate up to 65 guests. The Smoking Crab is open seven days a week starting at 11 a.m. $$. 301 Main Street, Paterson; 609-832-5540, facebook.com/TheSmokingCrabPatersonNewJersey.
Too hot to cook? These 8 Northern New Jersey Restaurants Will Do It For You
Whose Cafe, Englewood
Formerly a flower shop, now a cafe. Whose Coffee is the brainchild of two recent college graduates, Shawn Zheng and Maxxie Chain.
Order one of the many specialty coffees or teas and enjoy a pastry from Balthazar in Englewood or a sandwich from Fort Lee-based Taiwanese company Sunmary. Among the sandwiches: turkey, ham and avocado toast. The cafe seats 20 inside and has a table outside. It is open daily from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., opening at 9:30 a.m. on weekend mornings. $ 41 Park Place, Englewood; 201-431-9172, dontcoffeenj.com.
Chicken bb.q, Westwood
A Korean fried chicken spot. In addition to a variety of fried chicken, the restaurant offers Korean street food, including rice cakes and fried rice. $$. 32 Westwood Ave, Westwood; 201-367-9534, https://bbqchicken.com/westwood.
New Jersey is full of historic food firsts. And like my final project with The Record, I dug into the history of some of those great innovations that we can claim as our own. First, the cultivation of the first highbush blueberry plant, which forever changed the commercial cultivation of blueberries. And for that, we have Elizabeth Coleman White to thank.
Jersey FirstsHow a Jersey Pioneer Changed the Blueberry Industry Forever
To keep track of what’s to come (the invention of condensed soup, the nation’s ill-fated first brewery, and the nation’s first distillery), check out this landing page:
Jersey History: New Jersey Innovation Stories, From Blueberries to Breweries
It’s all from me! Here’s where to find more restaurant information:
- $ Affordable (can get a hearty meal for less than $15 per person)
- $$ Average (can get a large meal for $15-$25 per person)
- $$$ Expensive (can get a large meal for $30-$40)
- $$$$ Treat yourself (over $50)