Hello, friends!

Since we last spoke, Pizza Town USA in Elmwood Park has had a whole row. The iconic pizzeria has been open for 64 years and has become a shiny, red, white and blue landmark on the side of Route 46. Before you panic, no, it’s not closing. But the original family sold it to new owners.

This caused mixed reactions from people. Some are upset, hoping the pizza they love won’t change. Others say the pizza wasn’t even that good to begin with. And many say the original owners were rude and hope the customer service is better under new management. Esther spoke with the new owners, who assured that they won’t be changing the way they make pizza anytime soon.

More about this saga:Meet the new owners of Pizza Town USA and their plans for the restaurant’s future

A counter at Pizza Town USA, taken Thursday, July 21, 2022, in Elmwood Park.


Antioch, Englewood

Antioch Restaurant just opened in Westwood

This is the first restaurant for Ugur (aka UG) Ocal, a native of Antioch, Turkey, and current resident of Weehawken. Its chef, Necdet Akdas, also hails from Turkey. His last stint was at Istanbul Borek & Kebab in Cliffside Park. On the menu: lamb and beef pide (Turkish flatbread), grilled branzino with mixed vegetables, labneh, tatzika and baklava. $$$. 35 West Palisade Ave., Englewood; 201-408-2550, antiochrestaurant.net.

Too hot to cook?These 8 New North Jersey Restaurants Will Do That For You

Don Chicken, Fort Lee

Soy Garlic Chicken at Don Chicken

Don chicken is hot. It recently opened four outposts in North Jersey, with two more planned for next month.

The latest opening of this Korean-style fried chicken franchise was in Fort Lee. A small space (12 places), it is primarily a delivery and take-out point. You have a choice of eight fried chicken options. Among the most popular are soy garlic and sweet and spicy. The chicken is served boneless, whole, in the form of wings, drumsticks or a combination of 10 wings and 5 drumsticks. $$. 232 Broad Ave., Palisades Park; 201-482-0852, donchickenus.com.

Lakay Restaurant, West Orange

Lakai Restaurant

Lakay means home in Haitian, and that’s how Gregory and Marie Jean, owners of the newly opened Lakay Restaurant, want their customers to feel: like they’re at home, their son Marvens said.

The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner from Monday to Saturday. For breakfast, Marvens said, spaghetti with Haitian spices is huge in Haiti, so Lakay offers it with your choice of chicken, shrimp or vegetables. Also for breakfast: oatmeal or corn. What’s for lunch or dinner? Grilled Conch, Roast Pork, Meatless Chicken and Lolo, Spicy Spinach Stew. 470 Valley Road, West Orange; 973-323-9393, no website.

News bites

Food Hall just opened at American Dream.

Yesterday I went to the new Food Hall at the American Dream Mall. There are stylish seating areas, games like giant Connect Four, Jenga and Corn Hole, and (of course) places to eat. It covers 10,000 square feet and is located on the second floor of Court A.

LookNew Food Hall at American Dream Mall

From time to time we compile a list of restaurants worth going to. These are the places in New Jersey that have food so great you won’t be mad driving an hour to try it. Fortunately, Esther’s latest list has all the places pretty close to home.

The direction of the dining roomThese New Jersey restaurants are worth the trip

If you like Wawa Peach Iced Tea, you might want to try Shore Tea, Cape May Brewing Co.'s signature hard peach iced tea.  and Wawa.

Cape May Brewing Company and the region’s favorite convenience store chose the middle of one of the longest heat waves in recent memory to release their collaborative beverage, Shore Tea. Starting Thursday, people 21 and older will be able to sample this latest collaboration between Wawa and a regional craft brewery.

Love Wawa Peach Iced Tea?Cape May Brewing is bringing you a hard version soon

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