- If you did not grow up in or spend a decent amount of time in Teaneck, stop reading. Right now. Go check your email or play Tetris. As far as you are concerned, this will be the single most boring post I have ever submitted to this blog. And yes, that includes this one and this one.
- Let's consider this a first draft, or a nominating committee. Among other things, this list is very Cedar Lane-focused. That is due, of course, to how close I lived to Cedar Lane. I think half of the places on this list are or were within walking distance of my house. That makes a difference, of course, and I will entertain nominations to the final list that have yet to receive proper consideration. I've even left a blank below as a placeholder.
- I also did not go to THS, which puts all food served from a truck, as well as nearby Teaneck Road establishments at a disadvantage. See item 2, above, and we'll take it under advisement. I am sure that I can revise this list with the help of the three other contributors to this blog, not to mention the comments from others.
- Given the number of Teaneck residents who are orthodox Jewish, certain strict dietary restrictions are an integral part of the town dining experience. So noted where applicable.
10. Sammy's Bagels. I know some people liked the old Hot Bagels up on Cedar Lane, and there were some big fans of the bagel place on Teaneck Rd., but Sammy's was an institution, and you could never go wrong there. It's still there, and yes, it's still Kosher for Passover.
Updated - 4.1.09: A lot of people are suggesting that Hot Bagels on Teaneck Rd. should have taken the prize here. And, while I will check with my dad, I seem to remember that for a while he would drive all the way over there to get our bagels, passing a few other bagel stores on the way. If that's the case, I will have to make that change.
9. Pioneer Pizza. A relic of bygone Saturday afternoons, not to mention intimate lunches for 35 (to OB's credit, after 18 years . . . success!). Some may have preferred Victor's (see below), and there might even be a Coliseum fan out there, but two slices of pepperoni and a fountain coke at Pioneer was incredible. Long gone, but hardly forgotten.
8. Wing Out (Vinny O's Buffalo Wings). The time: 2:12 a.m. The place: Vinny O's. The price: 10 cents. LJT and I were recalling the other day that back in 2000-01 we used to go to the bar every Thursday night, stay until 1 or 2 in the morning eating 10 cent wings, and get up to go to work on Friday totally unscathed. Those days are gone. But the memories of those wings linger. It's still there, but if you saw the calendar/place mats from December, then you already know that the only Elijah they are saving a seat for is the one who plays QB for the Giants.
7. Cheese Danish at the Butterflake. Best bakery around, bar none. The cheese danish was my favorite of their many caloric delights, but it was all good. It's still there, and yes, it's still Kosher for Passover.
6. Cheese fries at Cedar Lane Grille. This one has an important qualifier: it has to be after 2:00 a.m. and you have to be drunk. If it is, and you are, melted mozzarella cheese mixed with ketchup and piping hot french fries is as close to nirvana as I need to get. It's still there, but the mix of meat and dairy makes this a no-no for our kosher friends.
5. (intentionally omitted) - this is a placeholder for what I assume will be some nominations for other candidates that I've missed.
Updated - 4.1.09: General Tso's Chicken, Empire Hunan. Glaring oversight on my part. This was a Saturday night special in our family. 5:00 mass, followed by a call to the chinese place next door to the old Blimpie (holla!). We went with the egg rolls, fried dumplings, peanut noodles, and a double order of the General. Always ready in 15 minutes, always hungry 16 minutes later. Kosher for passover: are you kidding, I don't even think this is kosher for Christmas.
4. Italian Hero from Victor's. They lost out on best pizza to Pioneer, but they made an Italian cold cut combo that was dripping with oil, mayo and all sorts of deli goodness. I have not had one of these in at least ten years. I have also not had a heart attack in the last ten years. I cannot see how that could be a coincidence. It's still there, but do your shabbos shopping elsewhere, ok?
3. TBO Fries. If you are questioning the inclusion of fries on this list twice, then you never had TBO fries. Mrs. Brown made some bad ass fries, but I always thought Mrs. Sumler took them to the next level. "Talk to me, TV, talk to me." God that shit almost makes me cry. They are long gone, but never forgotten.
2. Hobo con Queso. This was a serious contender for first place. Hungover on a Saturday morning? Marino, proprietor of the Five Star diner, would fry you up some eggs, melt some cheese on them, and serve the resulting artery buster on a bulkie roll. He'd throw some bacon or sausage on there, too, if you asked. Marino was the kind of guy would would bring trays of iced tea to the bank next door every few hours whenever the the air conditioner broke. No wonder I used to let him in early to do his deposits and get his cash for the weekend. Kosher for passover: you gotta be hobo con kidding me.
You want some Lipitor with that?
1. Bischoff's Ice Cream. An institution for 75 years. Hands down the best ice cream around. This is one of those old-fashioned places that has withstood the test of time, and remains a town-wide favorite. Great ice cream, decent food, and a staff with a disposition worse than Open Bar during prohibition all combine to make this place synonymous with Teaneck. Still there, and there may be some kosher options in the pre-wrapped foods, but nothing off the menu, ok? Someone correct me if I'm wrong and I will revise.
That's it . . . what did I miss?