Robyn Lane

Robyn Lane

We all have our favorite foods that comfort us when we’re having a tough day. We have comfort foods for each season, and we have comfort foods that we grew up with that have been in our family for generations.

Let’s face it, comfort foods are our friends. I grew up on chicken matzo ball soup, stuffed cabbage rolls, macaroni & cheese, grandma’s pot roast, and a host of other dishes that have given me immense comfort.

Fall & Winter are the seasons people cuddle up to their favorite comfort foods most. These dishes keep us warm and cozy and take us back in time to the memories created by dear old mom, grandma, Aunt Sadie, and any other relatives who were responsible for putting these heartwarming dishes on the table.

This time of year, people are in search of that feel good dish that keeps them warm & cozy. No one cares about calories in the cold months. They care about being consoled by a big hot steaming plate filled with mac & cheese with all that ooey gooey cheese and the crunchy top.

They focus on the warm feeling of that first bite of a grilled cheese sandwich made with lots of butter in a cast iron pan, accompanied by a nice hot bowl of tomato soup.

I’ll bet a big plate of crispy Southern fried chicken sounds good about now, even if it is 7:45 in the morning as I type away.

At 7:45 am, I should be eating one of my “go to” comfort breakfasts; a 3 egg omelette loaded with melted Swiss cheese, a side of fat sausage links, rye toast with butter, well done home fries, and a hot cup of coffee. Where’s the closest diner, I’m starving!
Instead, I’m sitting at my desk with a cup of coffee and no breakfast, fantasizing about comfort food. I’m sure I’m not alone.

Let’s shine the spotlight on some of Jersey’s favorite comfort foods and some of the best places in the Garden State to get get them.

  • Macaroni & Cheese

    2 of the best places for mac & cheese are Local Smoke in Neptune City, or one of their other 4 locations, and Jameson’s Southern Cooking – 652 NJ-35, Neptune City, NJ 07753. If you’re looking for something fancy, try Gabriella’s Steak House in Red Bank.

     

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  • Fried Chicken

    The crunch gets me every time! Try Chicken Kitchen – 420 Shrewsbury Plaza, Shrewsbury, NJ 07702. Down in South Jersey, you have to try Henri’s Hotts Barbeque, 1003 Black Horse Pike, Hammonton, NJ 08037.

  • Pork Roll, Egg, & Cheese on a Roll

    They’d kick me out of Jersey if this wasn’t on the list. Suggested places for a killer PEC, Jovo’s Deli – West, 1715 NJ-88, Brick Township, NJ 08724, and Frank’s Deli & Restaurant – 1406 Main St, Asbury Park, NJ 07712.  Honorable mention to: Johnny’s Pork Roll and Coffee Too – 8A Monmouth St, Red Bank, NJ 07701

     

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  • Grilled Cheese

    Big kids and little kids will tell you some of the best memories were created eating this simple American comfort food. If you want to try one of the most inventive grilled cheese sandwiches in Monmouth County, check out Cardinal Provisions, 513 Bangs Ave, Asbury Park, NJ 07712. At one time they were serving a grilled cheese creation with shaved brussels sprouts, bacon jam, fried shallots and cheddar. You can also head to Somers Point for a killer variety of grilled cheese sandwiches at The Grilled Cheese and Crabcake Company, 55 W Laurel Dr, Somers Point, NJ 08244. The crab melt away is pretty special.

  • Chicken Matzo Ball Soup

    Comfort personified! Check out The Kibitz Room, 100 Springdale Rd, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003, or The Pickled Herring, 96 U.S. 9 & Rt 520 Marlboro Plaza, Englishtown, NJ 07726

     

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  • Country Fried Steak or Chicken Fried Steak

    One of my favorite Southern dishes! There are a few places that do it right here in New Jersey. Check out, Sandy’s Cozy Corner,  414 NJ-70, Lakehurst, NJ 08733, or Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, 825 Marketplace Blvd, Hamilton Township, NJ 08691

     

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  • Meatloaf

    Mom’s meatloaf is the best, but there are other places who serve meatloaf that taste like home. Try, Tops Diner, 500 Passaic Ave, East Newark, NJ 07029, or Donovans Bar & Grill, 1900 NJ-70, Manchester Township, NJ 08759

     

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    A post shared by Kandace Roby (@must.bee.honey)

  • Chicken Pot Pie

    I ate plenty of frozen chicken pot pies during my childhood, but nothing tastes better than homemade. Check out, Three B’s Bar and Bistro, 314 NJ-70, Lakehurst, NJ 08733 and one of the best in Jersey comes from The Smithville Inn, 1 N New York Rd, Galloway, NJ 08205

  • Chili

    I make a pretty mean pot of chili, but if I’m going out for a bowl of this comfort food, I suggest, Arthur’s Tavern,  700 Speedwell Ave, Morris Plains, NJ 07950. They also have some of the best steak in the state. You can also check out, Klee’s, 101 Boulevard, Seaside Heights, NJ 08751, and the award winning chili at Wally’s, 712 Long Beach Blvd, Surf City, NJ 08008

     

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  • Burgers

    I make a good burger, but not as  good as these places. Head to South Jersey for a kick ass burger from, John And Molly’s – 1291 Woodlane Rd, Eastampton Township, NJ 08060, or the place that always makes the top 5 burger list in New Jersey, Barnacle Bill’s – 1 1st St, Rumson, NJ 07760

  • Pizza

    One of the few foods people in Jersey fight about. Who’s got the best pizza? The best pizza comes from your favorite place, and we’ll leave it at that.  If you want grab a great pie, try, Slice House,  177 NJ-37, Toms River, NJ 08755, or Federici’s Family Restaurant – 14 E Main St, Freehold, NJ 07728.

     

  • Spaghetti & Meatballs

    I loved hanging at my best friend’s house every time her Italian grandmother was visiting from Brooklyn. Grandma Giuseppina made the best spaghetti and meatballs. If you’re craving this comforting meal, then try, Buona Sera, 50 Maple Ave, Red Bank, NJ 07701 or in Ocean County, Biagio’s Trattoria, 509 US-9, Lanoka Harbor, NJ 08734.

  • Pot Roast

    Grandma Rose made the best pot roast I ever had. But where to go for this homey comfort dish? Try these places. Pandora Diner, 1741 S Black Horse Pike, Williamstown, NJ 08094. According the South Jersey crew foodies, one of the best you’ll have outside grandma’s kitchen.  If you’re looking for Sauerbraten type pot roast, then you MUST try, Sebastian’s Schnitzelhaus, 43 Fort Dix St, Wrightstown, NJ 08562

     

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    A post shared by Matt Price (@_mrmakeithappen_)

  • French Fries

    Another food that has people fighting. Some like shoestring fries, some people like thick cut steak fries. I like mine salted and crisp. If we’re talking loaded fries, you have to try the loaded hand cut crab fries from The Galley Pizza & Eatery, 1313 Memorial Dr, Asbury Park, NJ 07712. You can also chow down on a Jersey Shore favorite, Jersey Freeze – 120 Manalapan Ave, Freehold, NJ 07728.  The North Jersey foodies rave about the fries at, Steve’s Burgers – 506 US-46, Garfield, NJ 07026.

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