One thing in which New Jersey is not lacking is diners. I didn’t get a chance to eat at a diner this trip, not that there wasn’t opportunity – practically every town has a diner. The only thing more plentiful than diners, however, is Italian food. I can’t believe how much Italian food I ate in the week I was out there. All GREAT, of course – I was probably a walking garlic clove. This is one genre of food that the East coast definitely has the West coast beat at. I’ll give good Mexican food to the West, but really, East coast food in general can’t be beat. (Hopefully I don’t start some East coast-West coast, Tupac-Biggie battle here.)
So, I went into Long Valley (my humble hometown) to prove to you the abundance of Italian and pizza joints. I clocked the mileage from Long Valley Pizza (Italian restaurant #1) to Salerno’s (Italian restaurant #4 and home to AWESOME garlic bread knots)…1/10 of a mile. That’s right FOUR Italian/pizza restaurants in 1/10 of a mile. If I expanded the mileage to about 3/10 of a mile, it would have been five!
The funniest part is THIS is the view across the street. Okay, so there are more than just fields in Long Valley, but the 15,000 or so people who live in this town have kept these restaurants open for years. If you took away the Italian restaurants, the better part of NJ would starve. And my town isn’t the only one – we drove west through some VERY small NJ towns, and even THEN we passed Italian restaurant after Italian restaurant….out in the middle of NOWHERE.
There MAY be a reason for the overabundance of diners and Italian restaurants…but I don’t want Tony Soprano coming after me, so I’ll just stop here.