—Chef Adanesh Ashghedom had to learn how to cook (in-demand) Dominican food on the fly, even though her native cuisine was Ethiopian. The result, Ada’s Latin Flavor, was a success in Long Branch for nine years, but now Ada has moved her restaurant to Asbury Park with a new name: Ada’s Gojjo. Her cooking style has also evolved, with the menu now split between Ethiopian dishes like Doro Wat (buttery red pepper chicken) and Kik Alitcha (addictive turmeric-spiked yellow split peas) and classic Dominican dishes like Churrasco and Platanos Fritos. Ada’s Gojjo, 1301 Memorial Drive, Asbury Park; 732-222-5005
—From the owners of the longstanding Long Valley Pub & Brewery comes OMG Burgers & Brew. The restaurant, which opened on November 13, has high cavernous ceilings, exposed wooden beams, and Sputnik chandeliers, fittingly expansive for the mountain setting. The menu has Jersey touches (Taylor ham), German touches (pretzel bun), even the meatless Impossible Burger gets a spot on the menu, which also features 10 local and 10 national beers. (If you’re really looking for a treat, they also have adult milk shakes.) OMG Burgers & Brew, 141 Schooleys Mountain Road, Long Valley; 908-867-7778
—House of ‘Que is days away from opening in Weehawken, marking the second location for the restaurant (the first is in nearby Hoboken). It offers Texas-style barbecue (stacks of pork ribs, Frito Pie, mounds of brisket, etc.), with two full bars and that good old stunning Hudson River view. House of ‘Que, 500 Avenue Port Imperial, Weehawken; 201-706-8755
—Make-your-own burrito spot Bubbakoo’s Burritos has opened in Oakland. (Formerly the most northern spot for the largely coastal chain was in Parsippany.) Bubbakoo’s Burritos, 350 Ramapo Valley Road, Oakland; 201-644-7944
In the Works:
—Carol “Chubby” Montenello loved running Chubby’s Luncheonette in Hopewell Borough so much that she chose to spend her final hours there before her death in October 2015. Montenello had run the comfortable, untouched, 1950s-era neighborhood restaurant for 36 years, with index cards acting as handwritten menus. They closed down officially in 2012, but it looks like Chubby’s is planning a return, with a job posting up already looking for a general manager. There had been talk of reopening the restaurant (rechristened Aunt Chubby’s Luncheonette) within 2018, but you can follow their posts on Instagram for real-time updates. Aunt Chubby’s Luncheonette, 1 Railroad Place, Hopewell; no phone yet.
—Beloved NYC pizzeria, Artichoke Basille’s, is making its first foray into the state with a location in Hoboken, set to open in “early 2019.” Construction is just underway, so no pizza fires are burning just yet, but once they do open they plan to hit the ground running with five New Jersey locations. Artichoke Basille’s Pizza, 96 Hudson Street, Hoboken; no phone yet.
–Bagel options in Hudson County should be getting even better with the (possibly late 2018?) opening of the Brooklyn Bagelry on Washington Street in Hoboken. The bagel shop already uses its 40 year-old family bagel recipe (supposedly perfectly chewy and crunchy) at its first location in Aberdeen. The Brooklyn Bagelry, 832 Washington Street, Hoboken; no phone yet.Click here to leave a comment