Trappixx Caribbean Restaurant – Cherry Hill, NJ
The service was great with the hostess/server being from Jamaica. Pictured is Beef Patty, Jerk Chicken platter, and Oxtail platter. Food was yummy.
Sabrina’s Cafe – Collingswood, NJ
Really enjoyed my meal here. From the service, ambiance, and food I will certainly be back. I enjoyed fried calamari and Mel’s Chicken Cutlet sandwich which is cornmeal encrusted chicken topped with spinach, marinated long hots, and melted provolone cheese on a Sarcones roll.
Jalapenos Grill – Haddon Township, NJ
I must admit that Mexican cuisine is not one of my strengths at ordering or eating something I like, so sadly I usually skip this type of food. It is odd because the seven or so odd times I have visited Mexico I have enjoyed my meals quite a bit there, but struggle finding the same at home. After enjoying a family show at The Ritz Theatre Company situated right next door to Jalapenos Grill (JG) I decided to give JG a try. The staff was extremely welcoming and warm the second we stepped foot inside JG. Language was a slight barrier, but was able to manage. Things started off with a complimentary basket of chips with dip.
JG was off to a very good start, as I enjoyed the dip and the chips were nice as well. Taking baby steps, I decided to try their pork carnitas taco, plain and on a hard shell.
Again JG shined with pork that was seasoned beautifully, moist, a generous serving, and very affordable. Feeling a bit more adventurous, my next order would be Pollo borracho drunk chicken served with rice and chipotle fries. (sorry for the blurry picture, the camera was not cooperating)
Let me start by saying the chipotle fries at first glance just seemed like run of the mill potatoes, but they were fabulous. They were cooked nice and crisp and seasoned to perfection. I always enjoy being surprised while dining. The rice was nice, but could have used a little more of a serving of it and a few more veggies possibly. The chicken sauce was very powerful. It was a mix of sweet and sour flavors with a punch of tequila in every bite. It was good, but overpowered the chicken completely. Also, the chicken was a bit on the dry side. The dish overall was good, just not grand. I enjoyed my time at JG and I will certainly be back to try more things on their menu.
Three and Half out of Five Stars
The Red Hen – Swedesboro, NJ
Once you travel outside the cities of Philadelphia, Collingswood, and Haddonfield, which I call the Triangle of Tasty, the list of notable dining destinations seems to dwindle quite considerably. I decided to take a trip to the historic town of Swedesboro, New Jersey for some fun at the beautiful Swedesboro Lake Park also known as Lake Narraticon Park and a bit of shopping along the main street. After an afternoon of fun, the need to eat hit. I saw The Red Hen (TRH) and remember hearing of a new spot called Travo 13 when Terence Feury was cooking there, but TRH looked much more appealing with my two year old son in tow and advertised as a family friendly establishment, so I decided to give them a try. Family friendly TRH is indeed. Besides the bar area, eighty percent of the diners present had a family in tow, games and toys for purchase as soon as you step inside and kids eat free Monday thru Thursday. The décor is modern, hip and fun with the right mix of music playing. Service was friendly and efficient. The menu is a bit eclectic and they have a very nice craft beer selection. I would start things out with French Onion Soup.
The French Onion Soup was your standard variety and better than average, with a nice amount of cheese and bread throughout the bowl, but the onions could have been caramelized a little more. Next up would be calamari.
TRH would serve one of the better calamari dishes I have had in a long time. The calamari was so fresh, moist and cooked perfectly. Every bite was heavenly and was seasoned with Parmesan, pickled hot pepper, and lemon aioli. This dish alone paired with the Shock Top Banana Spiced Wheat beer I was drinking, I could leave TRH happy, but I pushed through for an entrée of grilled shrimp.
The dish consisted of shrimp marinated in a light teriyaki, lime and chili sauce accompanied with fresh summer vegetables. The dish had a great concept and flavor profile, but was executed terribly. The taste of sauce and rub on the shrimp was fabulous, but sadly the shrimp were so overcooked I could have used them as bouncy balls. The veggies were overcooked as well. The broccoli had no snap, while the squash and peppers were mush. Also, besides the top layer of broccoli, squash and peppers the rest of the pile was onions, onions, and more onions not cooked well. I can see where they were going with this dish and respected the combination except for the amount of onions, but was very disappointed after eating the perfectly prepared calamari.
TRH had a bump in the road with my main entrée, but I was so pleased with every other aspect of service, ambiance, menu, drinks, and meal, I will happily return. Hopefully next time they will just be a little more careful to pay attention to what they are serving for each course. Two out of three ain’t bad, but the with the shrimp dish it made them go from OMG to SMH IDK.
Three out of Five Stars
Babe’s Bar & Grill – Paulsboro, NJ
Paulboro, New Jersey has been in the news lately so why not take a trip down to check out this now famous location. A quick stop with friends had us arrive at Babe’s Bar & Grill (BBG). Upon arriving to BBG, one feels more like you are visiting a friends house more than spending a night out on the town, especially since BBG is held in a real house. BBG is the true definition of what a neighborhood bar is. As soon as we opened the door, the staff here created an atmosphere no different than visiting a good friends house with the staff meticulously taking good care of our party of four throughout the night like we have always know each other. The waitress was as down to earth as you could want, while being so excited with that nights soup of the night “cheeseburger soup”, that she brought a bowl out on the house before we even ordered a thing so we could enjoy our evening right away.
The order of the night was a pitcher of beer for only $6 and four orders of three wings for $1. The beer was standard domestic tap, so sorry to all of you beer aficionados, but no review of my beverage will be carried out in this review. The order of wings arrived piping hot and made to order. Six hot wings on one side of the gauntlet and six garlic and parmesan on the other side ready to be put to the test. The size of all twelve wings were nice and meaty, while cooked perfectly by being gloriously juicy, yet still crisp.
The hot wings portion of the meal was a slight disappointment. The flavor was not very defined, nor did it seem authentically original. It seemed to be just sauce with a spicy kick to it. Now do not get me wrong, these wings were delightful for just a plain hot wing if that is what you are looking for. I am just spoiled with wings in Philadelphia with the arrival of korean fried chicken wings at many locations throughout the city and contenders such as Federal Donuts having an option of wings in any of their famous flavors. Thankfully, the garlic parmesan wings picked up the slack of the hot wings with a nice flavor balance, while not being overpoweringly cheesy or garlicky, but a pleasure filled experience in every bite.
BBG is going to get two ratings on this review. Why or how can they get two you ask? Because I write the reviews and I can change the rules as I see fit.
Overall three and half out of five stars
BBG has the ability to be a destination stop for foodies if they wanted to be by just putting a little time perfecting a wing recipe like no one has ever known.
Experience five out of five stars
BBG gives you an experience that can not be replicated. You could put this staff and food somewhere else and it just would not be the same. They make you feel wanted, provide service that is unheard of these days, and make you feel like family by bringing out something for you to eat before you even speak a word of what you want to order. This is a neighborhood bar, and I commend them for sticking to their guns. They could change and try to woo us foodies to come down to them with fancy menu options or the perfect wing to eat, but then it would not be BBG anymore.
If in the area would I go again?
Without a doubt, who doesn’t like great food and a whole pitcher of beer for $10