Casa Dori is another one of my mom's favorite places to eat. Since she's a regular she has has befriended the owner and likes the intimacy. The restaurant has gotten decent reviews from local food critics. But personally, I don't know what people see in this place.
Casa Dori is just another Italian-American restaurant, which we have a ton of in Vineland. The menu is really uninspiring- it's typical fra diavlo, piccante, marsala, florentine, parmigiana, etc. But probably what puts me off the most is the smell of the restaurant. Casa Dori is very small; no matter where you sit, you are near the bathroom. Even though the bathroom was clean, I could still smell it. The last thing I want to do when I eat is be reminded of the bathroom. The decor in the restaurant also makes a half-hearted attempt at being faux-Italian, which is worse than than the typical red-vinyl clad booths with checked tablecloths you find in so many Italian restaurants. I think what bothers me about Casa Dori is the pretense of being upscale when it really is not.
Anyway, on a positive note: the food is always freshly made. Really fresh. Every item is made to order. And the service is good, since the owners are always in the house. It's also a very family-friendly place.
Favorite Dish: Open for lunch and dinner, closes from 2 to 4. Closed Monday. Non-smoking. BYOB
Casa Dori recently had a fire. They will be closed for a short time for repairs. Please call first.
I was shocked the first time I entered Martino's. The building had once been the convience store I bought danishes and subs at when I was in high school, but now... it's a gorgeous little restaurant. It's very different than other restaurants in Vineland. It has a distinctly European feel, with beautiful murals on the walls, hand tiled floors, fountains and large coloful umbrellas. The menu is not your typical fare either, although it is a little too much pasta. The brick oven pizzas are different, and really sensational. On the weekend they have great seafood specials. Don't even ask about their decadent desserts...
The menu offerings are authentic Italian (the owner is from Italy, although most of the kitchen help is Mexican.) Instead of your typical Italian-American menu, you'll find items you aren't accustomed to seeing on "Italian" menus in the US. Food is made to order, fresh. Specials of the day are the way to go.
BYOB. Family friendly. Non-smoking. Open 7 days, hours vary according to day. Cash, Visa, MC, AmEx.
Favorite Dish: Apart from the daily specials, the pizzas are really spectacular if you are open-minded. They have regular American pizza too, but their authentic brick oven baked Italian pizzas are outrageous. They got delicious fresh, wet mozzerela, basil, tomatoes and a slightly burnt brick oven crust. One of a kind in South Jersey as far as I know. Delicioso!
Downtown Buffet is owned and operated by the same guy who runs Downtown Deli. It has a lot of the same foods with much more to choose from. In addition to the hot foods, there are cold Puerto Rican salads, green salad, desserts and icec cream and some American foods on the buffet as well. You pay at the door about $9 for adults, $5 for kids under 12- and eat all you want. It's a very nice restaurant and you will eat well. If you go on the weekend you may have to wait for a table because the place is very popular and packed! Even my picky eater daughter loves this place.
Favorite Dish: Sweet plantains... yummy!
Puebla is another example or a real authentic place in Vineland where having a Spanish dictionary would come in handy. I went into this place one day out of desperation-- it has an unimpressive exterior, but it was 90 degrees and my 4 year old was whining she was thirsty while we were running errands downtown. Now I am very glad I took a chance. This place is a gem!
The menu is made to order authentic mexican fast food-- cheap tacos, burritos and more. This tiny place also doubles as a mini grocery and bakery. All the baked goods are made daily by one guy. I don't know what any of the items are called, and since no one there speaks English, I just point and smile and walk out with something amazing for pennies (with a handwritten menu on posterboard). I don't need to know what it's called to know it tastes good. For example, one day I got a bag full of lightly sweetened breakfast rolls-- 6 for $1!!! They have the most beautiful birthday cakes!
Favorite Dish: My favorite baked goods is this giant mexican corn & walnut muffin. At only a dollar, it's a steal compared to the prepacked nasty muffins that are sold at the convience store for the same price. Coupled with a mexican pina colada yogurt treat, I've got a great breakfast for 2 bucks.
The Garden Room is a relatively new restaurant in Vineland. Despite the excessive number of Italian restaurants in Vineland, it has secured a position as one of the best in the area. Despite it's unassuming location in a strip mall in East Vineland, the interior is very charming and cozy. Dimly lit and intimate, the Garden Room is a nice placefor couples desiring a quiet evening out. Not a good place for noisy kids. The do have a large private room that can accomodate a party of about 25 people if you would like to plan a family meal.
Credit cards accepted.
Favorite Dish: The salads are fabulous- new greens with lovely little touches of roasted soybeans and carmelized walnuts with an outrageously delicious house dressing. Complimentary bread is fresh and tasty. Specials of the day are a good bet, such as fresh fish, or homemade risotto. I had a wonderful encrusted chicken breast with shrimp (the portion was HUGE) with crisp vegetables and a side of the most delicious rustic garlic mashed potatoes I've ever had. There was no room for dessert!
I shall lump Vineland and Millville together, since the commercial districts between the two towns is seamless. I personally do not recommend dining at national franchise restaurants, but some people prefer to eat at places they are familiar with. It is soley for their benefit that I include this information.
psuedo-bistro, actually not too bad, but looong waits and extremely high-calorie and sodium foods. For example, my favorite item on their menu, the Bloomin Onion has 2,130 calories and 163 grams of fat-- that's more than you should eat in an entire day!!!! Oh well. Applebee's also has a nice bar, but you'll pay a premium for the drinks. Reservations recommended.
3849 S Delsea Drive, Vineland
Classic hearty midwestern cuisine. Menu on the east coast is modiified. For example, the Chicken and Noodles is not available here. This particular restaurant has ample seating and poor service. Ok food. Great salads.
2297 N 2nd Street (Delsea Drive/Route 47), Millville
Denny's Restaurant & Cocktail Lounge- Traditionally a place where Americans like to have a predictable breakfast. Discounts for seniors. Open 24 hours. Good service here, inconsistant food quality. The bar is nice, but has been the scene of some unruly violence problems because of the location.
1001 W Landis Ave, Vineland
Favorite Dish: Friendly's-
Probably the best of the bunch listed here. Good foods, high in fat and sodium, but tasty and consistant preparation. Decent friendly service. Highly recommended for families with small children and senior citizens. Ice-cream sundaes are their specialty.
On the campus of the Cumberland Mall.
3655 Delsea Dr, Vineland
Haven't been to this place yet. Impossible to get a table because it opened recently. Long lines. Reservations recommended. Reportedly has good food. Hot night life spot, bar on premises.
2299 North 2nd St (Delsea Drive/Route 47), Millville
In my opinion, not worthy of the title pizza. Children seem to love it. Very family friendly atmosphere.
301 N Main Rd, Vineland 856-691-0399
We also just got a LongHorn Steakhouse and a Chile's on the Delsea Drive by the Mall.
Bennigans has recently opened in Vineland on Landis Avenue immediately off of the Vineland/Rosenhayn Route 54 exit of Route 55.
When I worked next door, I ate at the Olympia almost every day. Their food is awesome! Anything on the lunch special menu is great! The Olympia has 6 week cycle lunch menu that changes every week. In addition they have a lunch special for everyday. This place is PACKED every day at lunchtime because the prices are so good and the food is great. You get your meal; a warmed, delicious pita bread; and a Greek salad with their famous, top secret-recipe salad dressing-- all for $9.00. The portions aren't huge, they give you just what you can eat. They have excellent desserts too.
If you go their for dinner, or you order off of the regular menu, their prices are a lot higher. You're looking at paying between 8 and 20 a plate. Supposedly their seafood is really good, but I don't eat anything that swims. If you go for dinner, try to arrive a little before dinner hour. The place is small, it's always packed and they don't take reservations.
Take out available.
Daily specials (be sure to check them out.)
Favorite Dish: I don't even like lamb, but one time recently I decided to be adventurous and try the Lamb Parnassos and it was the most tender and delicious preparation of any meat I had ever had. Menu description of Lamb Parnassos is as follows: 'tender chunks of lamb sauteed with artichokes and fresh dill in avgolemono sauce, served with warmed pita and greek salad, $14.00 (and worth every penny.) The cold Pikilia platter is one of my favorite items on the menu, and is a great deal. Everyone I've told about it agrees. The Pikilia is a sampling of wonderful cold dips served with tasty warm pita. The Olympia has the best pitas I've ever had. I'm not sure why they're so good, but there is something special about them. And be sure to get a house salad- the Olympia Restaurant's salad dressing is famous in this area for it's incredible flavor (watch out for dragon breath afterward!) For dessert you can't go wrong with Baklava, of course, but if they have the custardy delight "Milfu" go for that instead. It is mildly sweet, flakey and delicious- well complimented with a cup of strong Greek coffee. Milfu by the Olympia is my all-time favorite dessert. If we're there at the same time and there's only one piece left, I'll challenge you to a duel to the death for it.
Cinco de Mayo is a little "mom & pop" Mexican Restaurant and Grocery Store that caters to the local Mexican population. There isn't much in the way of ambiance, but the food is authentic, outstanding and cheap! The service is great and the staff is friendly and helpful. Since none of the staff speak fluent English, ordering off the menu is an adventure! The menu makes an attempt at being bilingual (in English and Spanish) so even if you don't speak Spanish, you'll have an idea of what you are ordering. With group effort amongst the staff and my limited Spanish, we ended up with food items we were happy with and we all had a good laugh.
A la carte items range from $1 to $4 and platters are about $8. The restaurant has a good selection of Mexican beers and imported sodas. For something really different, try a fruity Mexican milk shake called a horchata.
Favorite Dish: I ordered a goat meat (barbacoa) tostada, cheesy cactus (nopales asada con queso) and a Mexican sausage taco (taco con chorizo) and a Mexican apple soda (Sidral Mundet.) Fresh onion & cilantro, tender meat, lettuce, tomato, lime were featured in my choices and they were delicious! Mom ordered a great enchilada rojo platter which included delicious creama (mexican sour cream) cotija cheese and rice and beans. Yum!
Vineland is very lucky to have a specialty Italian Deli. They make outstanding lunchmeat subs on wonderful fresh bread that are positively heaping with high-quality lunchmeat, cheese and toppings. Forget about Quiznos, SubWay or WaWa. Giovanni's are less expensive, way bigger and way tastier. I really do not know how the sell them at the price they do. Take out only. Italian specialty grocery items also available.
Favorite Dish: Oh lordy. Italian sub with mayo, lettuce, tomato, onion, hot peppers, salt, pepper, oregano and a touch of vinegar. Heaven!!!
Giovanni's Italian American Delicatessen
1102 N East Avenue
Vineland, NJ 08360
(at the intersection of East and Oak Roads)
As I mentioned previously in another tip, we're crazy for chinese food around here. We have more chinese take-out places than you can shake a stick at. My favorite place in Vineland is Hong Kong Gourmet because they do pretty decent szcheuan style chinese. Here's a list of all our chinese places in town, take your pick:
coming later today....
Joe's Chicken is also known as Joe's Poultry Farm. This place makes the most outrageous rotisserie chicken I've ever had.
Joe's is take out only. They have limited hours and days open, do a booming business and have a finite amount of chickens on any given day. It's a good idea to call to make sure they still have chicken left if it's late in the day. They close once they run out of chicken.
Favorite Dish: In addition to having really outstanding rotissiere chicken (of course) their top secret potato salad is indescribably good. If you go to a party and Joe's potato salad is being served, watch how vicious people get trying to get dibs it!
The Taste of the Islands opened this past year as part of the city's redevelopment plans to introduce more eateries to the downtown shopping area. I've eaten there once and thought the food was ok, but I can't figure out why we needed a second Jamaican restaurant in Vineland. There's another one 4 blocks away on Chestnut Avenue. I would have been happier to see asian food represented, such as Thai or Indian, of which Vineland has neither. I wish them sucess, but I don't see how there's room in the market for 2 Jamaican restaurants (the other one has better food, this one has better location, we'll see what happens.)
For a long time I would not eat at the Neptune because I have an aversion to seafood. The sight and smell of it really bothers me. But I finally acquiesced and went there with my family. I was impressed by how the Neptune does NOT smell fishy, so I was able to enjoy my delicious dinner. This is a good family friendly restaurant that also has a bar for adults. The restaurant has ample seating and can accomodate banquets.
Downtown Deli is really just a little Puerto Rican grocery store that has a hot food bar. This place is the hottest thing to hit town in a long time. The place is always mobbed, even at odd hours, with people waiting for take out. They do have small tables for eat in also, but you still have to wait in line. Everyday the menu changes but somethings are on the menu almost every day such as Bistec Encebollado (steak with onions), Pernil Asado (roasted pork shoulder) and Carne Asada (beef stew). You can always be sure it will be served over rice though. They make the best Puerto Rican rice in town! This place is kind of quirky though. They don't have a printed menu or price list anywhere. And most of the people that work there don't speak english. But you can get buy just by smiling and pointing. The three phrases you would need to get by are to specify if you want:
white rice (arroz blanco) or yellow rice (arroz amarillo)
to go (para ir)
small (pequeno) or large (grande).
Chances are you'll want "un pequeno arroz amarillo con (this is the part where you point at what you want)... para ir." That's all you have to say. It'll cost you about $3.50 for a small and you'll have enough for 2 meals. ( A large is just waaaay to much food.) They'll hand you a little slip of paper with the price, you pay at the counter and the rest is yummy history...
Favorite Dish: My favorite is the Puerto Rican version of beef stew "Carne Guisada" (not really a stew but rather tender chunks of beef with potato and carrot) served over yellow rice "Arroz con Gandules". The later in the day you order the more tender the meat is. Also one of my favorites is the fattening, melt in your mouth "Empandilla de bistec y queso". One of the girls I work with can't pronounce it, so she calls it a cheesteak 'hot pocket' which is accurate enough. But trust me, these things are 20x tastier than Hot Pockets! Sometimes they only have ground beef ones and they're good too.
The Golden Palace is my favorite 24 hour diner in Vineland. For years my mother and I ate there several times a week. At one time we had many diners in Vineland- now it's the only one left (besides Denny's.) Golden Palace is really cheap and the food is pretty good, although I think anything that has their red tomato sauce on is terrible. They've got good specials, great dessert and friendly service.