|The newly renovated interior of the Suburban Diner on Route 17 north in Paramus, where I enjoyed a Greek-diner staple, a filling bowl of thick pea soup without carb-filled croutons, below.|
Route 17 through Paramus isn't for faint-hearted drivers -- with shoppers cutting off other cars to turn into store driveways or leaving parking lots and barging into fast-moving traffic.
This is typical of small North Jersey communities, which line their state highways with malls and other businesses to generate property taxes.
There are only a few things that can get me to use Route 17, and two of them are the Suburban Diner and Trader Joe's, both in Paramus.
|The Paramus Trader Joe's is bigger than the store in Westwood.|
At the Suburban Diner on Thursday, my friend Gene bought me lunch -- a bowl of thick pea soup and hot tea.
Then, we drove about a mile north to Trader Joe's, which shares a building with Office Depot.
I know to start braking when I see the Stew Leonard wine store, where you can enjoy free wine-and-cheese samples.
I've purchased a few bottles of wine at Stew Leonard, but in recent years, most of my wine is delivered to my door as part of introductory wine club offers.
|My hand-held shopping basket at Trader Joe's.|
At Trader Joe's, I bought two 2-pound bags of sweet potatoes at 85 cents a pound; organic celery hearts, $2.29; a bottle of Trader Joe's hot Chipotle Salsa, $1.99; and two packages of Trader Joe's antibiotic- and hormone-free bacon, $4.49 each.
Also, Trader Joe's uncured beef hot dogs (antibiotic- and hormone-free), and uncured jumbo beef hot dogs, $4.49 and $4.99, respectively.
I buy most of my cheese at lower prices from Costco Wholesale, but can't resist Trader Joe's Sliced Jalapeno Yogurt Cheese, $4.79.
Trader Joe's also is my source for the best 100% whole-wheat pasta I've found, available as organic spaghetti, penne and fusilli for only $1.39 a pound.
Suburban Diner, 172 Route 17 north, Paramus; 201-261-2605. Open 7 days, 24 hours on weekends.
Trader Joe's, 404 Route 17 north, Paramus; 201-265-9642. Open 7 days.