3 Morris County, NJ Food Spots That Indulged My Palate

Good food should not be hard to come by when you live in New Jersey. Being born and bred in Brooklyn, I am always on the hunt for new solid N.J. eateries, and spots that I have not frequented in the past.

Alas, I have struck food gold. Here are three Morris County. New Jersey restaurants that satisfied my fervent desire for quality fare.

The Hidden Chickpea — 143 Main Street — Madison, N.J. — Sunday & Monday 11a.m. – 4 p.m.; Tuesday – Saturday 11a.m. – 7 p.m.

The Hidden Chickpea in Madison, N.J.

I have been a vegetarian now for three years. So, I am always looking for wonderful, hidden gems to tantalize my tastebuds without sacrificing my animal-free foodie lifestyle.

When a vegan restaurant opened up on Main Street in Madison, New Jersey, in October, I knew I had to give The Hidden Chickpea a shot.

Maggie, my longtime girlfriend, and I had two delicious dishes. She enjoyed The Bowl–roasted kale, cilantro lime rice, craisins, walnuts, roasted heirloom tomatoes drizzled with lemon dill vinaigrette.

Yes, it is as good as it looks, and is gluten-free to boot (please look at cover photo).

I inhaled the Mushroom Roasted Chickpea Flat–chickpeas roasted with vegan parmesan, basil, garlic topped with spinach, mushroom and vegan mozzarella. The mouth-watering offering was another huge hit for us, and you will not miss the meat and dairy, I promise you this.

But the beauty of The Hidden Chickpea lies in its awesome, chill Manhattan Lower East-like vibe, down to the earthy yet modern decor and funky music it plays.

Additionally, the Hidden Chickpea’s craft iced tea and lemonade beverages provide a welcome relief to any warm New Jersey day. I will promise you this: if you are a vegan or vegetarian, you will find something delicious to eat at a reasonable price.

Butter & Jam — 30 Cook Plaza, Madison, N.J. — Breakfast, Lunch and Brunch | Seven Days, 8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Butter & Jam’s Spinach & Goat Cheese Omelette.

Are you looking for a great Sunday brunch establishment? Well, why not try Butter & Jam, an awesome place for breakfast during the week, too, for that matter.

I had a delicious Smoked Salmon Omelette, crafted with spinach, tomato, crème fraiche, gruyere, smoked salmon and toast points.

How can you go wrong with any type of food made with salmon, I ask you? Well, you cannot, unless you are not a fish fan, of course. But I digress.

Maggie dined on a Spinach & Goat Cheese Omelette, made with baby spinach, herbed goat cheese and toast points, with a side of home fries. It was another big hit with us.  

My only gripe with Butter & Jam is that it charges $4.50 for a cup of Joe. Come on now. Otherwise, the food is delectable, and the service was topnotch.

For people whose mornings are booked up, there is Pico & Gauc, as Butter & Jam coverts into a modern Mexican eatery at night.

Days and hours of operation are Tues – Wed | 5:30 PM – 9 PM and Thurs – Sat | 5:30 PM – 10 PM.

Angelina’s Italian Trattoria — 184 Columbia Turnpike, Florham Park, N.J. (Cresent Plaza).

Days and hours of operation: Closed on Mondays; Tuesday – Thursday: 11:00 am – 9:00 pm; Friday – Saturday: 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.; Sunday: 1:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Try the Margherita slice at Angelina’s.

What New Jersey restaurant list would be complete without an Italian joint? None, I tell you.

I love pizza and write about my favorite food in the world all the time. Therefore, I have had several people urge me to try Angelina’s for its tasty pizza, and I am glad we did.

On a beautiful sun-kissed Sunday afternoon, we visited Angelina’s, where I devoured a Margherita slice–fresh mozzarella, basil and San Marzano tomatoes. It was as scrumptious as advertised. The tangy sauce and crispy crust, along with the low-moisture Mootz, highlighted the pizza’s excellent existence.

But I knew one slice was not going to be enough, so ordered a simple House Salad–Romaine lettuce with tomatoes, onions and black olives, to go along with it. That hit the spot.

We will back again soon enough.

Note: I would appreciate it if you checked out my newly published children’s book, Cha-Cha Chicken Sneeze, on Amazon. Please click the above link to purchase.

— Jerry Del Priore


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