Geez, I get confused and I’ve lived here all my life…I know what you mean!
There are many places that I could recommend in NJ, but I’m going to tell you a few places that you will be relatively close to. The first you would have to drive about ½ an hour up Route 80 West to Exit 30, Howard Blvd. in Mt. Arlington. It is called Pub 199. Here is a write up I did a while ago, but never did post it on Roadfood for some reason:“Friday night we went out for dinner at Pub 199 in Mt. Arlington, NJ. We have been there before, but have not dined in their new addition part of the restaurant. This proved to be an experience - it is a huge dining hall with a massive stone fireplace and vaulted ceiling. As for the decor...let's see...we counted 22 deer, 3 bears (one black, two brown), 4 mountain goats, an Elk, 2 cougars, 6 fox, a beaver, and a couple of mink, pheasants and quail. I have never seen so many dead stuffed creatures in one place in my life. There was even a "lucky" table where you could dine right next to a life size coyote (oh I forgot there were about 5 of those as well....) taking down a deer. And while this type of decor is not my taste, I didn't find it disturbing enough to let it ruin my meal. Which is the best part...
Pub 199 is known for their seafood - most notably, the clams. The owner, who can be found on any given night doing anything from directing traffic in the parking lot to checking on tables to make sure you are satisfied, owns his own fishing boats and supplies his own seafood to the restaurants. The original room, before the addition, also boasts of yet more unfortunate beasts...Marlin and various other sea creatures. There are huge mirrored etchings on the wall depicting the captain and his boats.
From the menu you can order a combination of either 2 dozen clams and a lobster, or 2 dozen clams and a 22 oz. strip steak - for $18.95. Swear - $18.95. They have other items on the menu such as king crab legs, burgers, fried chicken but we can usually never get past the combo choices. This time around though, I did the 2 doz. and a bacon cheeseburger on someone's recommendation and it was very good - the bacon outrageous, actually. Bob got the 2 doz. and steak and it was excellent. We also got an order of the wings (hey.we were hungry!) and they were great as well. All this, plus a pitcher of beer ran us $50, plus $10 tip. SO worth it.
The only thing worth noting, and I am not sure if this is a bad thing or good thing - the noise level is well... LOUD. So many people in there and all chatting away. We didn't mind it at all..I actually think that more noise actually creates more intimacy because no one knows what you are talking about....”
We just went there again Saturday night and split a 7 pound lobster and a couple of dozen clams. The 7 pounder cost us a mere $55.00 and was outrageous. If you like seafood, and don’t mind the aforementioned atmosphere, it is well worth the ride.
If you are in the mood for steak, there is Steve’s Sizzling Steaks on Route 17 South in East Rutherford. If you go, ask for Blaze (one of the owners) and tell him his friend Sue from High School says hello.
There is also a steakhouse in Rutherford on Park Avenue called Mignon’s that we love. A little pricey, but it is a BYOB place and you save a bundle on alcohol.
Here is their website:
I reviewed it here: http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=834&whichpage=6&SearchTerms=mignon%27s
Then there is the whole plethora of NJ Hot Dog Joints. You are within driving distance of a good number of them. Rutt’s Hut, The Hot Grill, Callahan’s you name it. If you are interested in any of those I can get you directions.
If I can think of anymore, I’ll let you know, or if there is something specific you are craving I’ll do my best to point you in the right direction. Sorry this post is so long…slow day here for me with the Holiday!