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Weigh In - What is your favorite restaurant...
10/27/2009 - By Teja Anderson
What Is Your Favorite Restaurant In Monmouth County?The original question was actually “What restaurant in Monmouth County do you frequent the most?” However, after the first 12 people we asked responded with their local pizza joint because it was “fast, easier than cooking, cheap, and they deliver” we knew that although everyone apparently loves pizza, we would not be discovering any great new restaurant recommendations to pass along to our readers. Instead, we asked what your favorite restaurant is and why? This time we got lots of great places, and found that the most popular places actually ended with ’s! McLoone’s, Rooney’s, Sallee Tee’s, Jessie’s, Val’s, Tony’s, Jack’s, Barnacle Bill’s, Mike & Nellie’s, and Nonna’s are all named for their owners or chefs, and people really liked that; they liked the personalities behind the restaurants, and took pleasure in seeing the owners there night after night…sort of like “Cheers,” where everybody knows your name.
A great water view was also a huge reason people loved particular restaurants. Salt Creek Grille on the Navesink River was mentioned, as well as Sawa in Long Branch (a hands-down favorite for sushi and hibachi lovers alike); both locations of McLoone’s Rum Runner on the Shrewsbury River and Pier Village on the Atlantic Ocean, got many votes, as did Rooney’s. People enjoyed feeling as if they were on a tropical vacation, far from New Jersey; thanks to the palm trees that get shipped in and planted every summer they are able to enjoy that ambiance.
Not surprisingly, however, it’s ultimately the food that makes a restaurant worthy of people’s adoration. Some of you had a favorite dish that you order every time, while others could rattle off a whole menu or just go with the chef’s recommendation. Our mouths were watering listening to some of the descriptions!
We should note that among the chains, Applebee’s was the standout with both young and old, with The Cheesecake Factory coming in second place. So read on. You may be tempted to try one of your neighbors’ recommendations the next time you feel like dining out.
Rooney’s in Long Branch. They have great lobster bisque and huge sandwiches.
Mike & Nellie’s in Ocean. They have the best Veal Francaise ever!
Osaka in Bradley Beach. I just love the hibachi.
Lubrano’s Trattoria in Wall. It’s just an awesome Italian restaurant.
The Cheesecake Factory at the Freehold Mall. I like everything on the menu!
Rooney’s was great. We just ate there!
Nonna’s in Marlboro. They do so well with food allergies. I just hand them my card of what I’m allergic to and it is never a problem. They are very accommodating.
Fuji in Shrewsbury. They have the greatest sushi, and Jenny makes you feel at home. She is the best!
The Anchor Inn in Union Beach. It’s family owned and run; the owner is the chef. I go there every night, and they know everyone’s name.
McLoone’s Rum Runner in Sea Bright. I go there because of the music. Bobby Bandiera plays there. Its unreal!
Fridays because the food and service are always consistent. Their signature Jack Daniels® steak is delicious!
Copper Canyon in Atlantic Highlands. They have amazing and delicious margaritas and mojitos. Their menu is non-traditional and inspiring. How can you go wrong!
Turning Point in Pier Village. It’s really great there, and they have the best breakfast dishes.
Mom’s Kitchen in Neptune. If you love family-style Italian cooking then this is the place! It is family owned, run, and operated. If you are lucky, Nicky (the chef and owner) will cook you something from special recipes tucked away in the family vault! My husband and his family have been going for over 50 years and I have been going every Sunday for over 10 years. I think the verb “obsessed” correctly describes our love for this restaurant!
Angelica’s in Sea Bright has the best food and atmosphere.
Rooney’s because of the view and being able to eat outside. You really feel like you are on vacation somewhere tropical with all the palm trees.
I never eat out any more. It’s too expensive.
Applebee’s. The food is always good there, and it’s a fun place to go with a big group of people.
Any place that has a great beer on tap, that’s good enough for me.
Sallee Tee’s Grill in Monmouth Beach. They are always so friendly there, and the menu has everything for the whole family… even sushi. My favorite appetizer is the Hot and Spicy Shrimp...WOW!
Sawa in Long Branch. Great sushi and you can’t get a better view, being at the beach.
What’s Your Beef? in Rumson for prime rib and salad. The have a great salad bar that is all you can eat, and you pick out your own cut of meat. It’s perfect.
I like Jack’s in West Long Branch. They have great wings.
I can’t afford eating out anymore. That’s a luxury.
The Trattoria Venezia in Matawan. They have the best pizza in the area by far.
The American Diner in Shrewsbury. They have the best chicken fingers.
McLoone’s in Pier Village because of the view, the food, and the prices!
Applebee’s because I like the mac and cheese there.
McLoone’s in Long Branch because he hired my daughter, and Tim (McLoone) is just a really great guy. He had the first restaurant in New Jersey to “go green.” Did you know that?
- Gary Ruggiero
Salt Creek Grille in Rumson. The food is amazing, and it has a great view of the river. I’m going there tonight for my mother-in-law’s birthday and I can’t wait!
(No picture) Val’s Tavern in Rumson. I love their Chicken Francaise and the spicy shrimp pizza, plus it’s an old-school atmosphere there. I like that.
Tony’s in Long Branch because of their thin-crust tomato pies; and Tony himself is like a Long Branch institution!
Barnacle Bill’s in Rumson. I love their seafood, and you cannot get larger shrimp anywhere else. They are enormous!
McDonough’s Pub in Keyport. The food is really good there and they have a lot of things that you don’t find anywhere else, like Sheppard’s Pie.
Buona Sera in Red Bank, but they are really expensive.
Jessie’s Café in Long Branch because I am allergic to dairy and they have dairy-free cheese…and they make the hummus without sesame.
We like Villa Pizza in Holmdel. It’s a good place to go, the service is fast, and it’s great for families.
-Karen and Ashley Cunningham
My mom’s cooking. I don’t like to eat anywhere else really.
Golden Jade in Middletown. I love the steamed dumplings and the wonton soup. I get it every time!
My favorite restaurant is Saigon II in Lincroft. I always get the shredded pork and rice; it is so good!
Kanja in Tinton Falls. They have the best, freshest sushi. I know because I used to work there!
Red Lobster because I like lobster.
Ray’s Seafood in Little Silver. I like that it’s BYOB, and everything there is excellent!
Moonstruck in Asbury Park. They have great pasta and shrimp choices.
Ichiban in Ocean on Route 35. I like the shrimp and steak hibachi.
Tuzzio’s in Long Branch. They have this great eggplant dish.
The Sitting Duck in West Long Branch has a great cheeseburger!
-Tomas Treshock, Jr.
Moonstruck in Asbury Park is the best for special occasions. They have such a great atmosphere and outdoor dining. I love the mussels with the small white beans.
Sallee Tee’s Grille. They have so many choices there…sushi, seafood, pasta, steaks. My favorite is Diane’s Spicy Shrimp and Calamari with Pasta. It’s like two meals in one, and I always leave satisfied.
Dunkin’ Donuts®, and I only eat the holes because I’m on a restricted diet!
Sallee Tee’s in Monmouth Beach because of the overall selection of food and the people there. But for a particular dish? Jimmy’s in Asbury Park has a veal chop stuffed with Fontana cheese and spinach. Fagedaboudit!
King’s Star in Monmouth Beach, because I just moved here from California and I can walk there. The chicken and broccoli is excellent, and there is no wait.
Squan Tavern in Manasquan. Everything is great...the atmosphere, the prices, the people. Try the Sausage Murphy. Hot!
Red Lobster because I like lobster.
We are Sawa lovers. The hibachi, the sushi, and the birthday disco ball really make it all!
-Jen & Jacob Ditzel
Sawa in Eatontown by the mall. I can get shrimp and filet mignon at the same time on the hibachi menu!
Nelly’s in West Long Branch. They have a lot of great stuff. Or Sallee Tee’s in Monmouth Beach is good too.
Giuseppe’s in West Long Branch has the best veal parm!
Brennan’s in Ocean Township. I always order number 18!
Mike & Nellie’s in Ocean because of their New York Strip.
Federici’s Pizza in Freehold. They make the best thin crust pizza.
Buona Sera in Red Bank. They have the best steak!
Vivas in Belmar. I like the Latin Flair. I like cuisine that is ethnic and different.
Sallee Tee’s Grille in Monmouth Beach because it feels just like “Cheers.”
Mahzu in Matawan. They have great sushi and hibachi.
Home. Mom’s cooking.
Wind and Sea in Highlands. It sits right there on the water and the atmosphere is really great. People arrive by boat in the summer.
McDonald’s®. I love to eat there. They have the best French fries, and even the healthy wraps are good. I’m not sure how healthy they really are though.
Who can afford to go to restaurants these days? The economy is so bad. I lost my job. Even a slice of pie is ridiculous!
Stella Marina in Asbury. I love the atmosphere, and they have an excellent wine list.
Outback Steakhouse™ in Middletown. The Alice Spring Chicken dish is excellent; chicken, cheese, onions, bacon, all that good stuff. And their bread is excellent, even though I shouldn’t eat it.
McLoone’s Rum Runner in Sea Bright. I love the view, the service is exceptional, and they have this really tasty seafood pasta dish!
I couldn’t possibly narrow it down to just one. I go out almost every night with my husband, and we don’t play favorites.
Norah’s Caribbean Restaurant in Long Branch. It just opened, and they have really authentic dishes like curried goat and oxtail stew.
Probably any of the Surf Tacos, or that new place by the mall in Eatontown, Chipotle. I like that kind of food.
El Meson in Freehold. I am from California and grew up on real Mexican food. They have the best there, the closest to being authentic.
Navesink Fishery in Navesink. They have great seafood, and it is always quiet and relaxing.
-Michael & Mike Jr. Keane
McLoone’s Rum Runner in Sea Bright. They have the best view. I love sitting at a window table; you feel like you are on a boat!
La Cashina in Matawan. Everything is home cooked and tastes delicious. The owners are really nice, too.
-Jennifer and Connor Keane
Nicholas in Middletown. You aren’t rushed, so you can really sit back and enjoy your food and your company.
- Robin Hirsch
The Peking Pavilion in Manalapan. They have good, familystyle food. I like their General Tso’s Chicken.
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