of pizza, custard and diners

14 07 2006

They say you can never go back to your youth. I grew up in Ocean County, along the Central New Jersey shoreline. Now I know New Jersey has its stereotypes (thanks, Joe Piscopo!), and it’s a very crowded place to live, but there are three dining experiences that haunt me and call me (with a Joisey accent) to this day.

  1. Pizza. Chicago has thick pizza – California has fancy-schmancy pizza – and the rest of America has Dominos & Pizza Hut. “Dat ain’t pizza”. New Jersey & New York City are the only places on earth that make the real deal. (I’ve had pizza on the banks of Venice’s Grand Canal – good, but Dominic’s of Lakewood, N.J. tops it – really!)
  2. Frozen Custard. You may call it soft-serve ice cream, but along the Jersey Shore, it’s different – richer, denser (made with egg, I think), and better! Kohr’s makes this amazing swirl of orange sherbet & vanilla custard – “to die for, dahling”.
  3. NJ DinerDiners. New Jersey & Long Island, NY are lined with diners – shiny, roadside palaces with display cases filled with cheesecakes and eclairs. The menus have everything from meatloaf to lobster. The number one club is always a triple-decker sandwich of turkey, cheese, lettuce, tomato, and served with fries – not 16 fries, 3,000. The milk shakes come to the table in the Hamilton Beach mixer’s steel blending vessel. Diner coffee is also the best cup of plain-old American-style coffee available – nothing fancy, but darn good.

Hmmm – it’s 11:15 pm – if I race out the door, I can be at the Regent Diner by 3:15 am. Hope they have cheesecake tonight! Oh – don’t get me started on bagels!




3 responses

15 07 2006
Quinn McDonald

Ummmmm Frozen Custard. Nothing at all like ice cream. It’s the only possible reason to go to St. Louis–I just got back, so I know. But you can get frozen custard locally. For a nostalgic dip into the past, go to The Dairy Godmother, on Mt. Vernon Ave. in Alexandria’s Del Ray section. Liz is the real deal from Wisconsin, and her frozen custard comes in amazing flavors (Muddy Sneakers, Dusty Road, Dour County Sour Cherry) beats out even St. Louis. See the difference between frozen custard and ice cream at her website: http://thedairygodmother.com/whatis.asp

15 07 2006
Oboerista - thoughts from an oboist / coffeeist / dad » i just walked to dallas, and man - are my feet tired

[…] “Howdy, partnah – where’s the nearest diner?  I’ve walked a long way & could use a #1 club.” […]

16 07 2006

Another great place to get frozen custard in the Northern Virginia Area is:http://www.milwaukeefrozencustard.com/

Locations in Manassas & Woodbridge – worth the trip!


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