I am lucky to live in NJ. Despite all the jokes on what exit do I live at, the pollution, girls with big hair and the big bad Jersey dudes that are out to get everyone, I really do love many things about my state.
First off, where else can you go to the beach, or skiing within 100 miles of each other? The food is great and I am a day trip away to great cities like New York, Washington, DC, Philadelphia and Baltimore. We are called the garden state for a reason and there is wonderful produce in the spring, summer and fall. Maybe my favorite part about being a Jersey girl is that I do not have to pump my own gas. I only pump my fists…….haha.
But let’s get back to the food. Living in southern NJ, I have access to some great stuff. While Philadelphia is only 20 minutes away, this little state can hold it’s own with it’s bakeries, restaurants and gourmet grocery stores. I really believe you can get a good cheese steak on the Jersey side of the bridge too. I really do love to go into the city but sometimes I also like to relax and stay in my own neighborhood.
If I want a nice lunch or dinner, I can eat local and go to La Scala’s Fire. This restaurant is a BYOB with modern décor and delicious food. It just opened a little over a year ago. They serve modern Italian and wood fired pizzas. I particularly like this Mediterranean salad which consists of seafood and arugula with a lemon olive oil dressing. It is my go to lunch if I am trying to eat on the light side. Of course, their pizza and appetizers are fantastic also.
And speaking of seafood, I love the Blue Point Grill in Princeton. Princeton might be considered central NJ but it is only a forty five minute ride and I will drive much farther than that for good food. The fish is so fresh and this fun lively place is also a BYOB. I had the crab and guacamole martini as an appetizer along with a mixed grill of barramundi and steelhead as my entrée. So good!
My kids love getting steaks from The Outback in Marlton. I do like steaks but I prefer to throw some on the grill while I relax with a cocktail on the patio. While my teenage son is salivating over the anticipation of his 22 ounce bone- in rib eye, I am looking forward to having this blue cheese wedge salad.
Now I saved my favorite thing for last. The tomatoes in NJ are the best. Even Martha Stewart agrees. I’m telling you I asked her if she thought that NJ had the best tomatoes. She agreed that their was something about the NJ soil that made them better than any other tomatoes. So there!
I just realized the front bucket is missing because it was in my cart when I took the picture. I usually roast 50 pounds of tomatoes every summer then freeze them for sauce and gravy later. We’ll talk about the sauce and gravy debate some other time. The corn, asparagus and peaches are also the best.
Summer is a produce haven in NJ. I love to roam the various farmers markets and produce stands. I am really excited for this summer to come because I joined a CSA at Fernbrook Farm in Chesterfield Township, NJ. A CSA is a community supported agriculture program where you can buy a share for the whole season and pick up fresh produce every week.
So follow along starting in June to see all the fresh produce I will be sporting. I can’t wait to experiment with some new greens and whatever else I get.
To see more photos of what I’m eating and cooking in NJ follow my Instagram page. Happy weekend!