Bobby Chez – Collingswood, NJ
Their are so many dining options in Collingswood, New Jersey I always found it amazing how long and poplar a take-out restaurant could be there. That take-out restaurant is Bobby Chez (BC). I have seen the advertisements of how famous and great his crab cakes are supposed to be, but for some reason I would either forget about BC when I was in or around Collingswood, or it was because I wanted to dine-in and not eat at home. Well the time finally came for me to give BC a try. I got their around 5pm and they were sold out of nearly all their sides. Being my first time at BC I was asking a few simple questions, but the gentleman behind the counter seemed to become very irritated with my questions, answered them quickly and rudely, and huffed and puffed the entire time. I did not realize that BC was a re-heating operation. You order what you would like, and then you are handed a list of temperatures and times to reheat the food for at home. I would go with crab cake, chicken croquette, butterfly shrimp, mac and cheese, and spinach.
I had high hopes for BC, but I soon turned as agitated as their employee. The spinach was as salty as his demeanor. The mac and cheese had such a strong flavor of mustard it almost seemed like they forgot to add the cheese and just used mustard instead. It did not have a cheesy element to it at all. The chicken croquette was adequate, but again the salt was very heavy handed. Things started to get better with the butterfly shrimp. It was a really nice size for the price, but it lost a little something with the reheat as it was a tad chewy. I am sure fresh it would have been amazing. What about the famous crab cakes? Well, they must have been great at one point or another, but something was missing in mine. They provided a decent amount of crab meat in it, but the one I had, the meat took on the look and taste of freezer burnt seafood. All of the usual juicy and sweet notes of crab meat that I love were missing completely. The meat was dry, chewy, and the filling did nothing to enhance the dish at all. Again, maybe eating their product fresh, BC would have something to brag about to me. It took me a long time to visit BC, and it may be even longer until I go back. I just wish I had the chance to taste what made BC so famous in the first place.
*(Update on 05-28-2015)
Just got off the phone with Bobby Chez and we had a very nice conversation regarding my review of Bobby Chez Inc in Collingswood. He apologized for my experience and stated he will take corrective actions on the things I mentioned and he strives everyday for every customer to have nothing but an outstanding experience and meal. FYI, unlike I was told, they will cook your food for you instead of you having to go home and heat it yourself. GOOD TO KNOW and after the talk, I will have to give them another chance. Kudos Mr. Chez for being a professional.