NEWS, SPORTS, COMMENTARY, POLITICS for Gloucester City and the Surrounding Areas of South Jersey and Philadelphia

34 posts categorized "Roving Rita's Restaurant Review" Feed

Rowan Field Hockey Records 3-1 Win Over Montclair State

MONTCLAIR, NJ – The top-ranked Rowan field hockey team scored three straight second-half goals to record a 3-1 win over Montclair State, and clinch the NJAC regular-season championship. The Profs are now 15-1 on the year and 5-0 in the conference. Julia Patrone had a goal and an assist, with Amber Powell and Vanessa DiDonato each adding to the Profs’ total. Rowan needed to come from behind as Montclair State took a 1-0 lead early in the second quarter, at 16:38. Powell tied the game as she scored from in front of the cage at 39:35, for the first goal of her career. Patrone’s goal at 49:41 would be the eventual gamewinner, as the sophomore tallied her team-best 18th goal of the season. DiDonato added the insurance goal just two minutes later off a pass from Patrone. Rowan dominated offensively, taking 28 shots in the game to just three from... Read more →

Gloucester City Residents Have A New Trash Hauler; Housing Office Inspects 566 Properties in March

William E. Cleary Sr. l CNBNews Seaside Waste Service is the City's new trash hauler (CNBNews photo) GLOUCESTER CITY, NJ (June 13, 2022)(CNBNewsnet)--The city received two bids for the collection of trash and recyclables. Seaside Waste Service of Hammonton, which submitted the low bid of $1,748,601 for three years was awarded the contract. The other bid of $1,796,222 was received from Central Jersey Waste and Recyclables. Dumping fees are approximately $81 a ton. In 2021 the city paid $478,604 in dumping fees and in 2020 the total was $453,228. Seaside Waste Service will be picking up both trash and recyclable materials on the same collection day. The new trash hauler will service 849 homes each collection day, five days a week. Seaside Waste Services, according to their website, is a leading provider of non-hazardous solid waste and recycling collection throughout central and southern New Jersey. We service over 2,000 commercial... Read more →

Two Jefferson – Health New Jersey Hospitals Earn 2021 Leapfrog Top Hospital Award for Outstanding Quality and Safety

Highlighting its nationally recognized achievements in patient safety and quality, Jefferson Cherry Hill Hospital and Jefferson Stratford Hospital were each named a Top Teaching Hospital nationally by The Leapfrog Group. Announced today, the Leapfrog Top Hospital award is widely acknowledged as one of the most competitive awards American hospitals can receive. The Top Hospital designation is bestowed by The Leapfrog Group, a national watchdog organization of employers and other purchasers recognized as the toughest standard-setters for health care safety and quality. “This recognition points to our singular focus on patient safety and quality,” said Jefferson Health – New Jersey President and Chief Operating Officer Brian Sweeney. “We are proud to be among this select group of healthcare facilities nationwide honored as a Top Hospital by the Leapfrog Group.” More than 2,200 hospitals were considered for the award. A total of 149 top hospitals nationwide were selected as Top Hospitals, including:... Read more →

New casinos 2021 in New Jersey

online casinos for real money". (December 10, 2020)--New casinos 2021 in New Jersey are getting set to light up the gambling world in the state. Ever since playing at casinos became legal in the state from the 26th of November 2013, the casino scene has gone on from strength to strength. 2021 is setting up to be a grand year with new casinos 2021 in New Jersey getting set to come on stream. The regulatory agency, the New Jersey Division of Gambling Enforcement is doing a great job of licensing new players in the industry and regulating them to ensure that subscribers get a fair and responsible gaming experience. As long as you are 21 or over, and you are living within the jurisdiction of New Jersey, there are no legal barriers stopping you from enjoying your favorite - online casinos for real money. New casinos 2021 in New... Read more →

Rutgers' Graduate School of Education/Abbot Leadership Provide Summer Training for Educators/Parents

By Lisa Intrabartola After navigating remote learning on the fly this spring, educators will be tackling the challenges of teaching during the pandemic again this fall. Rutgers has been rolling out services to help teachers and families prepare for an anticipated hybrid approach to in person and remote learning in public schools. The Graduate School of Education (GSE) is offering a series of online workshops for educators and is looking to transform student teaching to help its partner districts. The National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) has also launched an online forum to support schools, and the Abbott Leadership Institute (ALI) at Rutgers University-Newark is assisting caregivers as they adapt to change. “People are desperate for information. There is not a lot out there,” said Nora Hyland, associate dean and faculty director of teacher education with GSE at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. “Our programs have always addressed issues of inequity,... Read more →

Brooklawn School Property 4-Sale; What's Up At Paulsboro Marine Terminal? ; Johnny Hockey & Buddy Robinson; New Freeholder; Strike A Pose

William E. Cleary Sr. | FOR SALE! BROOKLAWN CHURCH PROPERTY—The former St. Maurice Roman Catholic Church, 401 Community Drive, Brooklawn which was purchased by the Brooklawn Board of Education for $720,000 in 2014 is up for sale. The asking price is $785,000. The Board had planned on using the buildings for classrooms and administrative offices but the development never materialized. file photo The property, which is adjacent to the Alice Costello Grammar School, is situated on 2 acres with frontage on U.S. Route 130 south, close to multiple businesses, retail, and other numerous amenities. The listing states it is an ideal property for a daycare, private school, non-profits, professional offices or redevelopment. The total footage of both buildings is 7,013 square feet. The broker handling the sale is Wolf Commercial Real Estate has offices in South Jersey and Philadelphia. For More Information Contact Phil Costa (856)-857-6300 or (215)-799-6900... Read more →

CNB Business News: Mount Laurel Retail Plaza to include Qdoba, Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza

MOUNT LAUREL TOWNSHIP -- Development around one of Mount Laurel's busiest shopping centers continues to grow, after developers announced a brand new retail plaza is set to be built along Midatlantic Avenue near Route 38. According to a press release from MSC Retail, which led the development, the 10,000 square-foot plaza is set to include a… Read more →

BlueJeanFoodCritic: Prime Time Beef and Ale

Prime Time Beef and Ale “Hand-Carves” New Life from Former Neighborhood Watering Hole; Celebrates the Spirit of 19th Century American Protectionism Roslyn, PA…When Roslyn native and Abington High School graduate Kimberly Shire used to pass by Carney’s Tavern in 2005, then a dark and smoke-filled local watering hole at 1139 Easton Road, she never dreamed that one day she would be co-owner of a revitalized and welcoming spot for hand carved sandwiches and domestically brewed and distilled beers and liquors in the same location. Newly renovated and now open for business, Prime Time Beef and Ale is redefining the term “neighborhood-corner bar” by providing a family-friendly corner pub with a twist. The twist comes in the form of an open carvery kitchen, where beef, pork and turkey are roasted on-site and served with aged provolone, broccoli rabe and specialty rolls. Carveries can be wet (with gravy), dry (without gravy), extra... Read more →

CNBNEWS BUSINESS SCENE: Every Meal Comes with 20 Minutes of Free Time

New San Giorgio® Oven Ready Penne lets you serve a great tasting meal faster. Harrisburg, PA – Ahhh… Just think of it, a delicious baked pasta meal for the entire family and 20 minutes left over to do whatever you want! Go ahead pinch yourself; you are not dreaming. Introducing new Oven Ready Penne from San Giorgio®. Now busy moms can make their favorite casseroles without having to boil the pasta first. Specially developed to cook up perfectly in the oven, San Giorgio® Oven Ready Penne makes it easier than ever to serve delicious homemade baked penne. Just mix, bake and enjoy! Save 20 minutes in meal preparation by skipping the tedious steps of boiling water, cooking and draining the pasta. There is also less mess to cleanup! In a hectic world of juggling work, home and school, even a 20-minute time saver can make a difference. The San Giorgio®... Read more →

Night Market Philadelphia West Oak Lane

Night Market Philadelphia Photo Credit: J. Kaczmarek Night Market West Oak Lane When: Thursday, June 19, 6 - 10 p.m. Where: 72nd Street & Ogontz Avenue Cost: Pay as you go More Inf: Visit Foodies, get your taste buds ready because Night Market Philadelphia, the city's premier street food festival, is back with it's another delicious edition of this popular Philly event. Next up: West Oak Lane. After last month's successful culinary explosion took over the streets of Old City, The Food Trust is set to take the festivities further north. You can arrive in style, as Night Market has once again partnered with Uber to offer all guests who are new to Uber a complimentary ride up to $20 using the promo code WOLNIGHTMKT. Along with delicious eats, festival-goers will enjoy beer courtesy of Bloktoberfest — the awesome annual Graduate Hospital festival — and a crazy assortment of... Read more →

Diva Eats: Spring Risotto

Devil Gourmet, March 24, 2014 at 10:00:09 EDT It’s officially spring. Although it may not feel like spring, it is according to the calendar. It’s funny how once spring arrives, we think that the weather will miraculously become sunny and warm. I know it eventually will, just as I know summer will be here in less than 3 months. Spring Risotto Even though the weather may not be too warm, sunny and bright, you can eat food that is. Today I’m sharing my recipe forSPRING RISOTTO. Please, don’t let the word risotto intimidate you. I know many people run scared when risotto is involved, because they think it’s difficult to make. If you can stir, you can make risotto. Trust me! This recipe is really easy. SPRING RISOTTO has sweet, tender peas; asparagus tips; zesty lemon; mint and peppery arugula. So, pour yourself a glass of wine, pick up a... Read more →

I Want to Take a Bath in that Marinara

… Yellow Plum Bloomfield Devil Gourmet (February 12, 2014)--I didn’t set out today to do an article strictly on cocktails. After all, a man must eat something if he is day drinking. Day drinking- a lost cousin to day dreaming and the bastard son of the afternoon siesta or nap is not for everyone. But should you desire a well crafted cocktail, made with only the best freshly squeezed juices and craft spirits, then make your way over to the Yellow Plum. True they bought me my lunch and true they knew I was there representing the Devil… But with this said what I found on my trip was unexpected and therefore gorgeous. Chorizo Meatballs The meatballs, pictured here are things of rare beauty. They are hand made, one at a time. There is Chorizo in there, lurking in the background. A subtle burn at the finish, tempered ever softly... Read more →

Grand Openings of Joe's Crab Shack in Deptford Township, NJ and West Nyack, NY | cnbnews

Joe's Crab Shack, Newport Beach PRESS RELEASE April 16, 2013, 9:25 a.m. EDT HOUSTON, Apr 16, 2013 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Ignite Restaurant Group IRG +1.08%today announced the opening of two new Joe's Crab Shack locations, located in Deptford Township, New Jersey and West Nyack, New York. The Deptford Township, New Jersey restaurant is located at 2000 Clements Bridge Road in the Deptford Landing shopping center and is the first Joe's Crab Shack in Gloucester County. The location can accommodate 323 guests. The West Nyack, New York restaurant is located at the Palisades Center at 4370 Palisades Center Drive and can accommodate 295 guests. The Joe's Crab Shack menu offers of variety of craveable, Gulf Cost-inspired seafood dishes, including Steampots, seafood entrees and an array of crab dishes featuring Dungeness, snow and king crab. The new locations will also feature new menu items that reflect Joe's Crab Shack's southern roots, including... Read more →


press release March 12, 2013 St. Teresa Regional School welcomed Marion Blumenthal-Lazan, a Holocaust survivor and co- GIFTS FOR MARION, photo provided author of Four Perfect Pebbles, an award-winning book about her childhood under Hitler's rule. Marion, along with her parents and brother, survived the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. She spoke to the students about the suffering she and her family endured there and the importance of positive thinking as well as creativity and inner-strength when working to overcome adversity. She also urged the students to share her Holocaust story, telling them that their generation would be the last to hear first-hand accounts of the horrors of the Holocaust. She urged the students to be sure that the story of the Holocaust is told and remembered so that it is not repeated. Marion reminded STRS students to be tolerant of others and not stereotype individuals based on religious belief, color, race... Read more →

Roving Rita's Restaurant Review: Rexy's Restaurant & Bar |

( WEST COLLINGSWOOD HEIGHTS NJ--Greetings, Gentle Readers, and thank you for stopping by. Since I’ve had several requests for my review series again, I decided to start with a local legend. My companion and I headed for West Collingswood Heights, titillated with local tales of epic culinary delights. Rexy’s Restaurant, around since 1943, is a bright star with the misfortune of being located near a building advertising cheap dentures and a strip of fast-food kiosks with flapping Chicken Parma flags and grammatically-incorrect banners. On the outside, Rexy’s is a confused combination of Spanish and Italian architecture with a bit of folk art thrown in, just for fun. Inside, the Italian theme wins, if only because of the piped-in music. My companion and I were seated by the hostess who seemed, by nature of her clothing and attitude, to be in mourning. We slid into cozy booths and were approached by... Read more →

Roving Rita's Restaurant Review: The Whiskey Barrel |

( GLOUCESTER CITY NJ-Move over, McMichael's! There's a new kid in town. The Whiskey Barrel is located at 200 Jersey Avenue in Gloucester City. Formerly the site of Heavy's on the Harbor, this recently renovated hot spot is a place where workmen come for a pilsner and then go home to fetch the wife and kiddies for dinner. My companion and I stopped by out of curiosity one fine September afternoon and, after being warmly greeted by Jeff the Chef, decided to stay for a late lunch. We were glad we did. Alissa, our server (who was also tending bar) was friendly and helpful. We ordered cocktails and she brought over a plate of bruchetta as a starter, complements of the house. How delightful! We ordered the reuben platter (succulent, hot, and huge) and the signature Whiskey Barrel Burger, which was the best hamburger your gal Rita has ever tasted!... Read more →

Roving Rita's Restaurant Review: Max's Seafood Cafe |

Dear Gentle Readers: I announced several months ago that I would return with my cafe critiques once in a blue moon, so in light of the celestial skies my small clique of merrimakers decided to celebrate in style with a trip to Max's Seafood Cafe. We were warmly welcomed by Michael, a charming young man whose historical knowledge of the restaurant delighted us between courses. John, our server, was prompt in his appearance and quite knowledgeable in his menu directives. A friendly fellow placed a somewhat lackluster basket of bread before us and one of my few negative responses of the evening would have to be that a smashed, cold, half-loaf of generic luncheon bread has no place at my table or any other; I've seen nicer amuse-bouche at Olive Garden. Our salads arrived in timely fashion and were almost satisfactory except for my companion's dressing which, he said, resembled... Read more →

Roving Rita Plans Dinner Outing |

by cnbnews staff Dear Gentle Readers: Because I have received so many requests for my reviews of local eateries, I shall endeavor to visit one of our fine restaurants in Gloucester City this week. I have chosen a well-known establishment and hope it is worthy of its reputation, nation-wide. Please return to Mr. Cleary's lovely Notebook for the juicy details! Happy Roving! Rita Related articles Roving Rita's Restaurant Review: IndeBlue | ( Roving Rita's Restaurant Review: Jacqueline's Pasta & Pizza ( ( Roving Rita Coming to ClearysNoteBook ( Roving Rita's Restaurant Review: Lillian's Cafe, Audubon ( Roving Rita's Restaurant Review: Pat's Family Restaurant Select ( ( Read more →

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,... Read more →

Roving Rita's Restaurant Review: IndeBlue |

IndeBlue Indian Cuisine, 619 Collings Avenue, Collingswood, NJ 08107 856-854-4633. ( the spirit of adventure your gal, Rita decided to explore the mysteries of India without driving further than good old Collingswood, NJ. My companion and I entered the cozy, immaculate restaurant and were immediately greeted by the exotic smells of coriander, mango, and cilantro. Our host seated us at a lovely cherrywood table adorned with black linen napkins and pointed out several afternoon specials on the well-appointed menu. We ordered spinach and cheese naan (bread) and the host brought it promptly, along with hot, sweet chai tea. It took awhile for our entrees to arrive but they were certainly worth the wait! My companion ordered a spicy shrimp dish in a seemingly bottomless portion while I ordered chicken kabobs and saffron rice. I sampled the shrimp and made a mental note to order it upon a return visit. My... Read more →

Roving Rita's Restaurant Review: Pat's Family Restaurant Select ( It was a dark and stormy night and your gal Rita was in the mood for food. Having no desire to travel more than a mile or so, I decided to sup 'in the 'hood' at the newest restaurant in Gloucester City! Yes, Gentle Readers, Pat's Family Restaurant has re-opened. I spent considerable time looking at the entrance-way and restaurant walls before entering the actual dining area. The pictures are historical in nature and show a great deal of Gloucester City in its first Glory Days. I say 'first' because, with restaurants like Pat's, this town will surely make its come-back with haste. The restaurant is spotlessly clean and elegant, a gathering place for young and old, alike. The waitresses are savvy, their uniforms crisp, and the ambience is hip without being hipster. (Miss Rita knows how to talk the talk.) I ordered several dishes so that I would... Read more →

*Roving Rita's Restaurant Review: Lillian's Cafe, Audubon

Hello, again Gentle Readers! Due to the kind requests of several fans I, Roving Rita, will again offer up reviews of restaurants in the Gloucester City, Audubon, Haddon Heights, Bellmawr, Mt Ephraim, and Brooklawn area. On a cold week-night, my companion and I embarked on our hunt for the perfect evening meal. Once again, our choice was Lillian's Cafe (34 W Merchant St, Audubon 08106, 856-547-1902), a charming BYOB in the heart of Audubon's shopping district. We arrived at 6:30 PM and, after standing about uncertainly, a customer seated at a nearby table instructed us to "sit anywhere". Our waitress arrived within seconds and apologized for the inconvenience. We later discovered she was the only wait-person working that evening. We were immediately served warm rolls and an herb-flavored butter, deliciously scented and a treat for the palate. We ordered bruschetta as an appetizer and its crunchy tartness was a hit... Read more →

Cherry Hill School Earns National Honor for Hunger-Fighting Work

Cherry Hill, NJ - The Rosa International Middle School in Cherry Hill, NJ recently received a National School of Distinction status from the Schools Fight Hunger program. Fewer than 2,000 schools nationwide earned this level of distinction in the 2010-2011 school year. The National School of Distinction status is awarded to schools that demonstrate notable enthusiasm, creativity or dedication in getting involved with the hunger cause. Whether its activating students around a school-wide food drive, organizing volunteers for a local pantry or food bank or cultivating a school garden to provide fresh produce for the cause, schools all across the country have been playing a larger and larger role in helping to fight hunger nationwide. “The students, staff and families of our School of Distinction schools should be very proud of their efforts and the impact they’re making on the hunger cause,” points out Schools Fight Hunger founder, Tim Sullivan.... Read more →

RE: Roving Rita's Restaurant Reviews

Dear Restaurant/Pub Owners CNB started Roving Rita’s restaurant column several months ago in the hopes to stir some interest in local eateries. It is meant to be a light hearted critique, and at the same time point out some things that might help your restaurant to improve your service and food (if needed). We have several people that have volunteered to write the column both men and women. As for experience, they are average people who enjoy eating. If they find a restaurant whose service and food is too bad they have been instructed not to write anything at all. If any restaurant owner is offended by the story on his establishment please bring it to our attention. We are not trying to put anyone out of business. In fact, just the opposite; we hope more people will be attracted to your pub or restaurant after it is reviewed. Feel... Read more →

Memories of Gloucester City: Topic The Pub Crawl

By Jack "Bomber" Bennett Note: The author is a former resident of Gloucester City and a graduate of Gloucester Catholic High School. Today, Jack resides in Florida. The article was first posted on CNB in map to enlarge PUB CRAWL – the act of one or more people drinking in a number of pubs in a single night, normally walking between them. Wikipedia As a kid growing up in Gloucester City in the 50's and 60's, it was always there beckoning to you. You never quite understood what it was, but you could feel it every time you walked down most any street in town. There was always this vibe in the air—a tingling sensation. You couldn't quite put you finger on it, but you knew it was there. Then, one day it suddenly hit you like a bottle of stale beer and you saw it—Gloucester had a tavern... Read more →

Letters: Kudos to Restaurant Owners; A Tribute to Art DiPatri

THANK YOU AREA RESTAURANT OWNERS I would like to thank all the diners and restaurant owners for servicing the people in Gloucester City, Brooklawn and Westville. Also, the dishwashers, busboys, and waiters for their jobs. It is not easy serving the public. We don’t take the time to think about that. If we did not have diners or restaurant. We would have to take time to cook. Today we don’t have the time, always in a rush. Not only that, a lot of people don’t know how to cook, we would starve to death so be thankful for having them. Stephen S. Tremback, Gloucester City TRIBUTE TO ARTIE DiPATRI If during your lifetime, you were fortunate enough to have been a friend of Artie DiPatri, your life has to have been enhanced by that acquaintance. Artie was the nicest man I ever knew. He was a man’s man, whose presence... Read more →

Roving Rita's Restaurant Review: Whata Weiner

I must admit, gentle readers, that I only experienced Whata Weiner as a delivered meal. Miss Rita is getting far too fragile to traverse the icy streets of our fair city, at night. Therefore, I decided to experience the flavor at home. I ordered several of their specialties and took a generous taste of each dish. I felt it was important to mention this because previously, I was accused of being 'bloated' and thus unable to do justice with my now-famous palate-related column. And so, with much forethought I am spending a quiet Friday evening writing to you, dear friends, about my culinary experience. The cheese steak I ordered was indescribable because it was was nondescript: there was nothing 'different' or 'special' about it. However, the wings (honey barbecue) were delicious, meaty, tender, and reminiscent of the General's Chicken one might find at any good Chinese restaurant. The fries, served... Read more →

Roving Rita's Restaurant Review: McMichael's Pub & Grill

Dear Gentle Readers, I want McMichael's, located at 157 S. Burlington St in Gloucester City, to succeed. I truly do. It is conveniently located, has a lovely, rustic decor, and the prices are reasonable. However, that is when the first scary dip on the rollercoaster takes hold. My companion and I entered during Happy Hour and indeed, the atmosphere was jubilant. There was a wonderful acoustic guitarist/vocalist performing, the bar crowd was upbeat, and our server (Ashley) was cheerful and competent. The beer was cold and plentiful (although it would have been nice to have had a beer and wine menu) and the coffee was delicious. The signature potato soup was a delicious preamble to an otherwise disappointing entree. We ordered the "signature" fries--a mix of scallions, melted cheese, and tree bark--a steak, and some sliders, all lackluster reminders that McMichael's may take some time to get its act together.... Read more →

Roving Rita's Restaurant Review: Troxies Chicken & Pizza

Although I did not intend to review this particular eat in--take out establishment I felt as though I should, for several reasons. First, it is a local business and I am fond of the idea of shopping (and dining) locally. Second, there were a few comments regarding the wings and I wanted to taste for myself how good or bad they could be. In order to remain anonymous I chose to pick up an order when the owners were not on the premises. With a bit of help from my companion I took the order home and we sat down to enjoy our meal. I was interested in comparing the onion rings with some I had ordered from a different establishment a few weeks ago. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Troxie's onion rings were superior: light, flakey, not at all greasy, and well-seasoned. The pizza was next on... Read more →

Roving Rita's Restaurant Review: San Lucas LI Tierra Mexicana

My dining companion and I were geared for an uncharacteristically spicy adventure on an unseasonably warm afternoon so we searched for a restaurant that would cater to our discerning tastes. What better way to satisfy an urge for earthy fare than to look for an unclassified Mexican eatery! San Lucas LI Tierra Mexicana is wedged in a small strip-mall on the Black Horse Pike. We passed it by without seeing it, turned around, and saw the sign. We entered and saw no one at first, so we grabbed two menus and seated ourselves. The tables were graced with colorful serapes, which lent a festive air to an otherwise drab interior. Our server arrived with a plate of unfortunate-looking nacho chips coated with a grayish substance I can only hope was a bean derivative of some kind. We were also given a plate of red chili and a plate of green... Read more →

Roving Rita's Restaurant Review: Vitale's Italian Bistro, Gloucester City NJ

Related category Food and Drink Dear Gentle Readers: On a crisp, Autumn day, in the midst of a sun-shower, my traveling companion and I decided we needed some comfort food. I had never visited Vitale's and I don't know why. Maybe it was because my old-lady stomach cannot tolerate certain spices prevalent in Italian food. Or, maybe it was because the word, "bistro" conjured up images of metal umbrella tables sprinkled with the residue of pigeons. Whatever the case I'd like to share with you a true adventure in dining. We entered a dark and rather dreary-looking room that housed a bar and several high tables with bar stool chairs. The bartender, a rascally, good-looking man directed us to the dining room and we were seated by a congenial server who welcomed us with menus and a lovely smile. She rattled off the specials and I was impressed with the... Read more →

Roving Rita's Restaurant Review: Lillian's Cafe, Audubon

I was walking along Merchant Street in Audubon recently and stumbled upon a sign that said, "Grand Opening". Being of the curious type, I walked inside and discovered Lillian's Cafe! My companion and I were seated at a table adorned with crisp, white linens and neatly folded cloth napkins. The music in the background bespoke of the romance of another era, the freshly painted walls and spotlessly clean floor showed us that the staff really cared about our dining experience. Our server was polite and refined. She took our orders and brought me a crystal-clear glass of wonderful iced tea, pointing out to me that it was home-made. My companion waited for his coffee because, as our server explained, "I am putting on a fresh pot for you!" It was well worth the wait. I ordered the crab napoleon. Although the crab salad was delicious and fresh, the puff pastry... Read more →

Roving Rita's Restaurant Review: The Dining Car Depot, Gloucester City

It was a dark and stormy night. My two companions and I decided to stop for a quick bite to eat at the Dining Car Depot, a restaurant across from the library. We entered and were warmly greeted by a cute little waitress and seated next to a noisy family. In retrospect perhaps we should have requested a quieter spot but that was no fault of our server/hostess. We were immediately given menus and asked for our drink orders. Our drinks were served within minutes. One of my companions ordered a milkshake and raved about it. I tried it, and have to agree that its homemade flavor took me back to my childhood! When our orders came they looked great and were presented beautifully on the plate. But when my friend dug into his enormous hamburger he noted that it seemed to have been microwaved. Yesterday. The bacon on top... Read more →

Roving Rita Coming to ClearysNoteBook

I'd like to introduce myself to readers of Cleary's Notebook. My name is Rita and I live in Gloucester City, NJ. I'm a die-hard 'foodie', a person who is particular--and particularly interested in--food.
I'm going to be roving around the area (Audubon, Belmawr, Brooklawn, Mt Ephraim), trying out the food and testing the service at local eateries. If you are a restaurant owner, beware: Rita's comin' to getcha! You just never know when I'll show up to critique your culinary skills, the overall attitude of your staff, the cleanliness of your establishment, and the value in dollars and cents, of your menu.
Whether you impress me or depress me, you'll read about it here!
Roving Rita, the Restaurant Reviewer

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