Five Things I'd Like To Import From New Jersey and New York

I've been out for a while dealing with some family stuff on the East Coast--you know I'm not originally from Califas, right?--and while it was pretty draining stuff, I did still have to eat. While the town I grew up in has turned into a bougie commuter paradise (they've got a fancy Wegman's, for crying out loud), I eschewed a lot of the newer stuff and did the greatest hits of all the things I can't get out here.

While I'm so glad to be home where vegetables are plentiful and cheap, here are five of the things I wish I could have taken home with me.

5. New Jersey-style Italian Restaurants

There's a set of dishes common to nearly every sit-down Italian restaurant in New Jersey that is hard to find out here. Clams oreganata, for example, are unknown here, and fried ravioli too; veal saltimbocca can be found, but it's not the same. The best part about NJ Italian restaurants, though, is that nearly all of them are BYOB--and don't charge corkage.

4. Eastern European Food

Pörkölt, the pride of Hungarian restaurants everywhere.
Pörkölt, the pride of Hungarian restaurants everywhere.

Even those of us who aren't Eastern European know what Eastern European comfort food is. The town where I grew up was populated by people with names like Yuhasz, Angeli, and Nagy long before it was populated by the Parks, Patels and Hernandezes of the world. Hungarian, Polish, Russian and Czech food are commonplace, and there's nothing like a kielbasa and sauerkraut sandwich on rye bread and a hot bowl of potato soup with pepper.

Sponsor Content


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >