Friday, April 24, 2009

Curiosity: Satisfied

By Millicent K. Brody

I recently spent an entire Friday satisfying my curiosity, and loved every minute of it. There were places I wanted to go and things I wanted to experience, but they were NOT in Central Jersey.

Before heading to the Turnpike, I visited the new Whole Foods Market in Union. Although it did not have my favorite cranberry nut rolls, it did have a case full of delicious flagels (a Flagel is a flat bagel). Wandering over to the fruits and vegetables, I marveled at the lovely lemons, delicious apples, and various types of berries. Whole Foods may not be in your exact area, but it is definitely worth a trip.

Popping a couple of bags into the trunk, we headed to Jerry’s Market on South Dean Street in Englewood (pictured above). If you go, park your car and follow the trail of folks rushing to shop. From artisan cheeses to delicious candy to shelves of balsamic vinegar to wine from every region, bags of pasta that would easily serve twenty-five, and fruits from every corner of the world, Jerry’s has just about everything a foodie could want. If you’re not in the mood to cook, the shop also has a full counter of prepared meals for take out. I booked dinner reservations at my friend Carol’s house. We decided we’d each select our favorite dish and enjoy it at the dining room table at her Fort Lee apartment.

But you cannot leave Englewood, without a visit to Balthazar’s Bakery. It’s an absolute MUST! Known as an outlet, guests have the pleasure of watching a stream of bakers prepare all of your favorite desserts from behind a glass window. And although counter space is almost miniscule, you'll have serious problems making final choices. To start with, I selected a seven-grain loaf, sticky buns filled with colossal raisins, giant chocolate chunk cookies, and an apple galette (a free-form tart.) The good news is, I don't live in Englewood, for if I did, I'd surely be the size of an elephant.

From there, we headed to the Promenade at City Place Mall in Edgewater. We wanted to visit The Greek Taverna. We’d been to their Montclair location and were ready to enjoy another round of Garides Sta Karvouna, charcoal grilled jumbo shrimp with fresh herbs in a lemon olive oil sauce, and a gorgeous Greek Taverna salad filled with tomatoes and fresh feta cheese. After dinner, we strolled the mall, then treated ourselves to a dish of homemade coffee ice cream from Baumgart’s. We never left New Jersey, and we had the greatest day!

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