NJ Old School: Belmont Tavern
This is what New Jersey is all about.
All the great places that your parents took you to when you were little, where they grew up.
Most of the parents of my friends either grew up in Brooklyn or Queens, NY (my folks), or Newark and the Oranges in Jersey (my husband's folks).
Brooklyn and Queens being hipper and more expensive than the rest of the universe, Newark and the Oranges have seen better days, for sure.
However, The Belmont Tavern, in Belleville, still has a big old school following.
I hadn't been to this place in 25 years and nothing has changed.
The same people are still there, same wood paneled walls loaded with photos of celebs and the food hasn't changed a bit.
The cast of characters at the bar are right out of Central Casting and the shrimp "Beeps" are still that good.
Belmont Tavern created "Chicken Savoy", that ridiculous platter of chicken with garlic and herbs doused in vinegar in the 900F oven, served family style.
"Gavadeel" & Pot Cheese (which is really Cavatelli), also known as "sinkers", still that good.
Sinatra & Dean Martin playing nonstop on the jukebox, and don't ask for Budweiser. Anheuser Busch pissed Jimmy off years ago and he won't serve any of their products.
Nice crowd keeps coming back for good solid food and a fun hospitable welcome.
"Go ahead, tell your wife to take a Christmas pin for her coat".
And I did.
When you go, be nice and don't piss anyone off.
12 Bloomfield Ave.
Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays to all my wonderful readers.
You make this all worthwhile!
(I have a cake recipe on a rare Saturday post tomorrow, just in case you need 1 more dessert for your holiday menu!)