Tasting Jersey

I’ve been asked what I’m missing about not being in Texas. Of course I miss my family and friends, but it’s the food! Specifically BBQ & Mexican food! Mmm.
There is just something about brisket. It just hits the spot! Doesn’t matter whether it’s sliced or chopped, on a bun, (even a slice of bread), in a salad (yes I said salad), or in a taco, which is my favorite with some guacamole & salsa. It just melts in your mouth like a piece of beefy heaven.
Fortunately there is this ONE local place (because they’re not on every corner in Jersey) called Local Smoke that we ate at a few weeks ago that had brisket that tasted like it came straight off of barbecue pit in Texas. When I took that first bite, I swear I saw a star (the lone star from the Texas flag).
While BBQ is pretty much a staple in my diet, I usually enjoy having Mexican food at least every week or two.
It’s been 5 weeks. 5 weeks since I sat in a Mexican restaurant & had chips & salsa & guacamole while I wash it down with a Corona or margarita! And that’s just the appetizer, which I’d follow with beef enchiladas smothered in queso with beans and rice or chicken fajitas.
On the flip side, it’s been a culinary trade off. There are pizza and Italian restaurants everywhere (like BBQ and Mexican restaurants are back in Texas).
Chicken parmigiana is my absolute favorite Italian dish! And I’m not just saying that because I stumble over reading Italian words & not sure how to pronounce some of the words like arancini (which is the baseball-size risotto balls I ordered at a place called Ninuzzo’s & they are absolutely amazing)!
Although I have gotten looks of disapproval when I order it without pasta. (Because I just don’t care for pasta & as much as I’m trying to embrace new things I don’t really see that changing). And that’s how it’s served.
One of the more interesting restaurants we went to is Rossi’s (which is rich with history & had memorabilia like Joe DiMaggio’s jersey on the wall, that it felt nostalgic just being there). They serve their chicken parmigiana over a type of pasta called pencil points, which is apparently a Trenton thing (because that’s where the restaurant originated before it relocated to Hamilton). So I ordered sweet potato fries instead. Totally worth it!
But the pizza, or as they call it here, tomato pies, is simply divine! It really does taste different here. The crust is thin & crispy, yet pliable. Everyone here folds their slices like a taco and eats them like that. At first it felt weird to do that, but when in Rome (or in this case Jersey)…
So far, I enjoyed the tomato pie at Palermo’s the best. I ended up splurging and having 3 slices, which I never do! And that was after having the Palermo salad, which was the most decadent and savory salad I’ve ever had. It was romaine lettuce mixed with grilled zucchini and eggplant, artichoke hearts, and slices of mozzarella that looked like white medallions tossed with olive oil and vinegar.
Needless to say, I’ve had to run a little extra (ok a lot more actually) just to offset all of the incredible food I’ve been indulging in. That being said, time to get up and for a run!
Until next time y’all! ❤️

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