A Jersey Toast to National Rum Day

The end of August is nearing and for my family that means vacation at the Jersey shore.  We like to enjoy ourselves and now that our entire crew is 21 and over (some of us more than others) I wanted to add a few more cocktails to our traveling liquor cabinet.  Today being National Rum Day seemed an appropriate time to share my new and favourite oldies for the libation that inspires thoughts of island vacations, breezy summer boat trips and for those of us who frequent Sea Isle—nights at Shenanigan’s enjoying a 302.**

Anyone who’s watched HBO’s Boardwalk Empire knows the Garden State is no stranger to smuggling, but if you need a bit of background, the largest “Rum Row” during prohibition stretched down the New Jersey coast from the New York to Philadelphia areas.  Notorious rum runner Habana Joe could be seen at night making his deliveries to and from the Raritan Bay.  Nowadays he’s mostly seen on cocktail menus at local bars like Jersey Boys Grill in New Milford. Their version is included below along with directions for the Bikini Martini and Smugglin’ Peaches:

Habana Joe’s Rum Runner:

1 oz. Each of Meyer’s Rum, Brinley’s Coconut Rum, Cruzan Mango Rum, OJ, Pineapple Juice. Mix all together and top with Bacardi 151.

Bikini Martini:

  • 1 oz. Citrus Vodka
  • 1 oz. Malibu Rum
  • 2 oz. Pineapple Juice
  • 1 oz. Grenadine

Shake first three ingredients with ice. Strain into a martini glass. Sink the Grenadine to the bottom and garnish with a cherry.

Smugglin’ Peaches:

  • 1 oz. Rum
  • 1 oz. Vodka
  • ½ oz. Peach Schnapps
  • ½ oz. Triple Sec
  • 2 oz. Apple Juice
  • ¼ oz. Lemon Juice

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into cocktail glass.

**Side note: That is “a” 302 for a reason.  The deceptively tasty frozen drink (strawberry daiquiri, Pina Colada, or the two twisted) includes two shots of 151 Rum.  Thus the name and your funeral should you overdo it!

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Jersey Represents in American Farmland Trusts Top 20 Farmers Markets

American Farmland Trust released the current Top 20 list for America’s Favorite Farmers Markets and New Jersey is represented by four markets–Bordentown (8), Medford Lakes (10), Toms River (19), and Ridgewood (20). The four placements tie the Garden State with Virginia for most honored state.

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May Homework: Tasting Table’s English Breakfast Menu

Tasting Table May 2011 “A morning meal that’s both brawny and polished.” Sounds like an advertisement for a nice brunch date but it’s the self-description for this month’s Tasting Table menu to try at home. As we enter the season of warm breezes there is now a reason to climb out of bed on the weekends. Celebrate the return of al fresco dining weather with a hearty, yet refined brunch including Earl Grey Gin Punch, Bacon and Potato Pie, and Cardamom and Current Pound Cake.

After I visit my first farmer’s market of this spring I’ll be trying my hand at the recipes and posting the results. Take a stab at one of the dishes yourself and email your pics to jerzEATS@gmail.com . You’ll get a shout out in the follow-up post and the first reader to submit gets the very first jerzEATS t-shirt off the press!

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A Little More Elbow Room: Jay’s in Maple Shade

Jay's Elbow RoomWhile unexpectedly meeting up with an old friend at New Year’s, we compared favorite dives. A bunch of names were thrown around and after three months I finally got myself in gear to visit one I thought I would never step inside of. Now whether it was JerseyBites.com’s “wing off” article that inspired me or the fact that I now had a bar buddy for safety in numbers I can’t say but the other week I made the visit to Jay’s Elbow Room on Route 73 in Maple Shade. You’ve definitely passed it before and probably, like me, gave it a passing glance and wondered how it could still be open. If you want the bar/pick-up spot hybrid favored by newly legals (not putting them down, I like to dance on the weekends on occasion and am no stranger to those well-known pubs too) then keep driving-it won’t satisfy those needs. But if you want to actually watch a game without getting rushed through your beer or go into debt stop in.

At my friend’s suggestion we needed to go on a Tuesday so I could try out the wings during their $9 all-you-can-eat special. Good stuff, but I always have to learn my lesson the hard way. Rules for Jay’s wing special:

1.  Do not eat a late lunch. To get your money’s worth you need two or more orders of wings and that will not happen with the afternoon’s supremo salad taking up valuable space.
2.  When your friend (who happens to be a dude and at least a foot taller than you) goes for the sweet and spicy variety do not scoff and order the hot anyway. I love spicy food but when eating several orders of said food it multiplies the heat. Also, Jay’s hot wings tend toward the salty side—great as a single order to enjoy with a beer or two, but any more than that and that salty heat is gonna kick you right in the joints of your jaw.[Disregard if you’ve done the Ghost Pepper Challenge and lived to tell about it.]

Check out their Facebook page for each day’s shot and drink specials. Currently they have $2 pints and $8 pitchers of Miller Lite and $1 dogs during every Phillies game (hot dog eating contests have been known to break out between friends—I was a witness); Bud and Bud Light $1 mugs, $1.50 pints, and $6 pitchers all day every day; and Flying Fish Fridays with $2.75 pints and $11 pitchers. They also do carry out service. So after you’ve worn out the bar (stays open until 3am under a grandfather clause) you can bring the party back to your house with a variety of bottles to choose from their fridge.

Jay’s Elbow Room
2806 Route 73 North, Maple Shade, NJ 08052
P: 856-235-3687
Hours: Mon-Sat 10am-3am; Sun 11am-3am

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Hop Over the Bridge to Easter Keg Hunt 2011

Easter Keg HuntRolling Barrel’s Easter Keg Hunt 2011 is a three-hour photo scavenger hunt from 12-3 pm during which you follow clues to uncover mini-kegs in businesses around either Manayunk, Phoenixville or West Chester.  An awards ceremony and after party at each of the three hub locations will take place at 3pm.
Hub Locations are:  U.S. Hotel Bar & Grill (Manayunk), Bistro on Bridge (Phoenixville), and Pale Horse Pub (West Chester).  Tickets are available for purchase both online or at the hub locations. $20/person includes an event t-shirt, entry to win prizes, and happy hour food and drink specials at the after parties.

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Dining Out For Life 2011

Dining Out For LifeThis year’s Dining Out For Life Philadelphia will be taking place Thursday April 28th. Over 200 restaurants across the Delaware Valley will be participating in the event benefiting thousands of men, women, and children. Each of the restaurants will donate 33% of the cost of your meal to the fight against HIV & AIDS.

As an extra incentive, the 20% Off Tuesday promotion is now in its 5th year. Any diner who makes a donation of $25 or more in their raffle envelope the night of Dining Out for Life will get a 20% Off Tuesday card in the mail entitling you to 20% off your food bill on Tuesday evenings all year long!

The South Jersey restaurants participating are: Andreotti’s Viennese Cafe, Barnsboro Inn, Cafe Gallery, Casona, Cork, Court House Cafe, Dream Cuisine Cafe, Nonna’s, Nunzio Ristorante Rustico, The Pop Shop, The Tortilla Press, Tre Famiglia, and the Westmont Diner.

Visit the website www.diningoutforlife.com for more information and to make reservations.

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April Specials for Canal’s of Berlin

Canal's of BerlinApril specials for Canal’s of Berlin came out today. Check the list out here – includes price breaks on Sterling Vintners, Barefoot Bubbly, Caravello Limoncello as well as New Jersey wines (DiMatteo, Tomasello, Heritage, Sharrott, and Belleview).

You’ll need a free club membership to get the special prices. Sign up online or in store.

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Haddonfield’s Veronica’s Restaurant Resurrected as Ralic’s Steakhouse

Passing by the old Veronica’s storefront on Haddon Avenue today on my way to a pre-Girls Night Out in Haddonfield coffee I noticed a new sign hung from the restaurant’s awning. Being my nosey (and general hungry) self I ventured inside to inquire about the change.
The host informed me they switched over last week and was kind enough to let me borrow a menu. The appetizers were especially interesting with selections like gopri, warm goat cheese topped with apricot preserve on a toasted baugette, and cevapi, ground and seasoned meat served fingerling style on flatbread with sour cream and an eggplant/roasted pepper spread! Unaware of the origins of such delicious soundin dishes, I Googled. According to the all-knowing search engine the cuisine is part of the Ottoman tradition.

Hopefully they’ll still be open tonight and I’ll get to try! Menu pic to follow 🙂

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$15 for $30 at the British Chip Shop-Haddonfield

Today’s Living Social South Jersey deal of the day is a $30 gift certificate for only $15 to spend in Haddonfield’s The British Chip Shop on authentic dishes like bangers and mash, classic battered fish and chips, and new fried fare like battered Mars bars.

I’ve stopped in to take a look around and grab a ginger beer but have not had the opportunity to check out the food.  I bought my deal and am excited to head back in during their 9am to 2pm Sunday Brunch for Cadbury chocolate French toast, Scottish Salmon, and bacon pancakes! Promotional value expires on August 24, 2011 www.thebritishchipshop.com

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Sweet Boutique in Cherry Hill Saves the V-Day

Jilly B's in Cherry Hill jerzEATS

Jilly B behind the counter.

Prompted to visit by news of a special Valentine’s Day promotion, I stopped by Jilly B’s Boutique & Treats in Cherry Hill to check out the shop and meet Jilly B herself. The promotion–$150 for a year supply of their small yogurt (works out to one treat a week for the year) or $100 for a 30-day supply—is a good deal for the one you hold closest to your heart (pun intended) especially considering the four percent hike in last year’s price of that old Valentine’s Day staple, roses.

Jill Schafer or Jilly B, a nickname bestowed upon the owner by her grandmother that encapsulates the whimsical and sweet approach of the shop, introduced me to the store’s wares. Jill said she loved frozen yogurt but wanted something tastier than most of the new franchises’ water and powder Jilly B store jerzEATSbased product and more sanitary than the self-serve option that’s popping up. Jill chose the California concept of pairing food service and retail like serve-ware, cute aprons, and jewelry and went with a milk and cream based yogurt low in fat and sugar and high in probiotics that’s a little more fun and tastier than everyday yogurt.

Taste I did. While every flavor I tried was nice I’d have to say hands down that my favorite is the sweet and tangy original—even better with a drizzle of their locally produced honey. The close runner up is their chocolate, a richer cocoa taste than I’ve experience with even some ice creams, and my top pairing that you must try your next visit is the peanut butter yogurt with berry melba sauce, a combo that took me right back to my favorite school sandwich! As Jill said, “You can go out and treat yourself and it doesn’t have to be a lot of money. It’s also about portion control.”

Red Velvet Jilly B jerzEATS

Signature Red Velvet cupcake

Jilly B’s cupcakes are the perfect portion if you have a serious sweet tooth craving, and are topped with what I believe is the ideal amount of cream cheese icing. You absolutely need enough to get a few licks off the top before getting to the full cake experience. My two choices were the signature Red Velvet and a seasonal that the customers just won’t let go away, the Jewish apple cupcake. Not to cheat on the Red Velvet but I think I may have a new favorite!

All in all, Jilly B’s is a great new place to stop in for a lunch break snack, dessert quick pick-up, or that last minute hostess gift. The space and Jill are welcoming (at least three people who knew her by name stopped in while she introduced me to the shop’s flavors) and I can’t wait to see the next new things from the store as Jilly B’s powers through its first year. Keep a look out going into spring and summer for more seating inside and out, a grab-and-go yogurt freezer, and seasonal flavors that might include new fruits like mango and pineapple.

Location: 100 Springdale Road, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003

Hours: Sun-Tues 11am-8pm; Wed-Thu 10am-9pm; Fri-Sat 10am-10pm

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