Saturday, June 7, 2014

Fish tacos, diners, cafe au lait, pappardelle and more

Four Mexican Tacos with grilled fresh tilapia and avocado at Taqueria Los Gueros in East Rutherford, including salsas, lime wedges, cilantro and extra spicy onions from the free condiment bar, below ($7.95).

"Extra spicy" is no idle boast when it comes to this fiery combination of onions, carrots and hot peppers. They are seriously hot.


When lunchtime hunger pangs strike, I usually reach for one of the energy or snack bars I carry with me.

But on Thursday, I knew I was only a couple of miles away from Taqueria Los Gueros, an informal Mexican restaurant with branches in Englewood, East Rutherford and Passaic city.

I loved the scrumptious Tacos de Pescado or Fish Tacos I had at the Englewood branch, but when I walked into the East Rutherford restaurant, I couldn't find them on the wall menu.

I told the woman at the register what I wanted -- fish, cilantro, onion, salsa fresca and avocado -- and she told me to order the Mexican Tacos, which come with a choice of meat or seafood, fried or grilled ($7.95 for four).

I also asked for seltzer, which was free.

East Rutherford v. Englewood

The East Rutherford restaurant is much bigger and busier than the Englewood branch, and the wait for the food was longer.

Although the tacos were as delicious as I remembered and made with two corn tortillas, I thought the piece of fish was smaller.

In Englewood, where one cook and one waitress work, the place is small enough for her to bring your tacos to the table; in East Rutherford, they take your name and you pick up the tray at the counter.

In East Rutherford, tortilla chips are served with your food, but I gave them back. Four tacos with grilled fish are $8 in Englewood, $7.95 in East Rutherford.

After you get your order, the next stop is to pick up salsas, lime and other additions to your tacos, above. You order at the counter below, where I found the employees both pleasant and helpful.

The East Rutherford branch of Taqueria Los Gueros is in a shopping center at 93 Route 17 south, East Rutherford. It is open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (201-340-4361). On Tuesdays, some tacos are only $4.99 for five. 

The well-maintained Colonial Diner shining in the rain on Thursday morning (27 Orient Way, Lyndhurst; 201-953-3192).

The interior of the original diner, which is said to be about 70 years old. I stopped there with friends, but didn't eat or drink anything, because I was saving room for the fish tacos I was planning to have for lunch.

About four years ago, this addition was added, and it blends beautifully with the old diner. Check out the shiny ceiling with a scallop-shell design at the far end.

A large bowl of cream of potato soup was $4.10 at the Suburban Diner, 172 Route 17 north in Paramus (201-261-2605).

Mighty Leaf Organic Earl Grey Tea was $2.25 with refills of hot water.

A close-up of the Suburban Diner's Greek Salad with extra anchovies a friend ordered ($12.70).
The 16-ounce cup of Cafe Au Lait comes with a piece of chocolate for $2.75 at Aroma Espresso Bar in Westfield Garden State Plaza, Paramus (use the mall's J.C. Penney entrance).

A few ounces of 100% whole-wheat Garofalo Pappardelle from Jerry's Gourmet in Englewood dressed in Kirkland Signature Basil Pesto from Costco Wholesale in Hackensack with added pignoli nuts, one of the ingredients in classic pesto that also is available at Costco. 

Mouth-filling pasta with pesto

Whole-wheat Garofalo Pappardelle from Italy has gone up to $2.59 a pound, a dollar and 20 cents more than a pound of organic whole-wheat pasta from Trader Joe's and Whole Foods Market.

But those stores don't carry this thick ribbon pasta in whole wheat, which fills the mouth and is completely satisfying, especially when dressed with Basil Pesto from Costco Wholesale.

The last time I enjoyed the dish, I added a handful of pignoli nuts before tossing the al dente pasta and unheated sauce together is the warm pot I used to boil the pappardelle.

The only caveat is you need to cook the pasta about 3 or 4 minutes longer than the 8 minutes listed on the package.

100% Italian olive oil

Finding all-Italian extra-virgin olive oil isn't as easy as it sounds.

Many bottles and tins contain a blend of extra-virgin olive oils from Italy, Greece, Tunisia and other countries.

On Friday, at Jerry's Gourmet & More, 410 S. Dean Street in Englewood, I found a 3-liter tin of Colavita Extra-Virgin Olive Oil made completely from olives harvested and pressed in Italy.

At $20.99, it worked out to about $6.99 a liter.

I also paid $6.99 a liter for organic extra-virgin olive oil from Turkey at the International Food Warehouse, 370 Essex St., Lodi.

Also at Jerry's, I picked up two complete Meals To Go -- restaurant-quality dinners with sausage, peppers and onions, fettuccine in a veal ragu, zucchini flower, heart of palm salad or a vegetable for $7.99 each.

Among the free samples, I loved the Truffle Cheese and the Smoked Gouda. 

Before Jerry's, I stopped at Balthazar, the artisanal bakery at 214 S. Dean St. in Englewood, for a baguette ($2) and half of a sliced batard of Pain de Seigle, its signature rye bread, which is made with beer (1.2 pounds for $3.50).  

$7.99 watermelons

At ShopRite in Paramus on Friday, watermelons with and without seeds were $7.99 each, but the latter were oblong and twice the size of the round, seedless ones.

I selected a heavy watermelon with seeds that a woman rejected because it didn't make the sound she desired when she thumped the end with her hand.

A 64-0unce bottle of Langers Cranberry Pomegranate Juice with no added sugar was on sale for $1.49 or $2 off. But a half-gallon of ShopRite Lactose Free 1% Milk was the usual $3.49.

Last Monday at the Paramus ShopRite, fresh free-range, grass-fed boneless shell steaks from Nature's Reserve in Australia were on sale for $6.99 a pound.

Golden Pineapples and Jumbo Cantaloupes were two for $5. 

Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please try to stay on topic.