Roving Rita's Restaurant Review: Jacqueline's Pasta & Pizza (

On a steamy summer evening my companion and I decided to dine at a casual local eatery. Our decision was a difficult one; Gloucester City has become a mecca of modern dining choices unequaled in any other South Jersey locale.

While strolling the boulevard we came upon a tiny, well-lit establishment that boasted fresh pizza, pasta, and sandwiches, reasonably priced and quickly served. We hastened to enter and find seats among the rows of picnic-style tables.

The individual behind the counter suggested that, due to the limited space, we shout out our order when we had decided upon it. Always game for an adventure we researched the billboard-type offerings and stated our preferences. My companion ordered fried chicken (4 pieces for $6.50) and a slice of regular pizza while I opted for the crab cakes (2 for $7.50) and a slice of Sicilian pizza with extra cheese.

Almost immediately, I heard the sizzle of hot oil as the chicken began frying, an indication that Jacqueline's was not a fast-food establishment, but a carefully nutured, albeit casually framed, dining experience! Potatoes fried, crab cakes sizzled, and pizza baked as the frenzied cacaphony of professional cooks perfected our dinner, calling out its readiness with a cheerful, "You're up!"

Although yours truly may have dined in a more refined atmosphere I must confess I have never tasted a better crab cake in my life: moist, meaty, and crunchy with very little filler. The french fries were state of the art although my Sicilian pizza slice was a bit soggy and the sauce seemed bitter.

My companion's slice of "regular" pizza was truly tasty and crisp while the aforementioned fried chicken was the best I have eaten (I admit to stealing a piece off his plate) in a very long time.

All in all, a visit to Jacqueline's, located at 108 South Broadway, was well worth the stroll. I plan to visit, often.

Roving Rita's Review, on a scale of 1-5 stars, with a score of 5 being the highest rating:

Food: 3.5 stars

Ambience: 2 stars

Economy: 5 stars (inexpensive and a true value)

Cleanliness: 3.5 stars

Our next adventure will take us to another Gloucester City eatery that has been in existence for longer than Miss Rita has been able to hold a fork! Until then, gentle readers, happy roving!