Very Local Eateries
Zena's European Patisserie -- Finally, a nice hang out spot that serves good food. Zena's offers homemade pastries and sweets (chocolate covered strawbs and custard-filled cream puffs to mention only two), fresh baked breads, homemade soups and sandwiches. They have expanded their lunch menu and are now serving dinners Thursdays through Saturdays. Zena's has all the makings of Riverton's indoor piazza!
Tony's Seafood -- On Howard Street in Riverton across from the Kris Cole Salon. Tony's offers a nice seafood meal for a decent price. Not everything thrills me here, but I think the grilled specials are good. The fried flounder platter is very nice. Bring your own wine. Riverton is a dry town.
Milanese Pizza -- On Howard Street in Riverton across from the Kris Cole Salon. I love this place because the owner is so nice. The pizza is good. The steaks are really good. And the boost slushies are the bomb.
Madison Cafe and Pub -- On River Road in Riverside before you get to the Watchcase, the Madison is a welcome addition in an area replete with sub shops and pizza joints. Madison is on the site of an old hotel and local watering hole... what I always called an "old man" bar. They serve sandwiches, salads, and grilled entrees. It's not gourmet, but it is well prepared and served with pride. Hell, they put cranberries and bleu cheese in the Jersey Salad. When I was growing up... cranberries were only found in jelly.
Café Gallery -- 219 High Street, Burlington, NJ (609) 386-6150 This is a spot where you take your girlfriend's parents to prove you know which fork to use. The food is good. They hang works by local artists. And if you go Friday night you can hear Richard Cherubini and his jazz combo. Outdoor seating around a large stone fountain in the warm months. Enjoy an unobstructed, if far off, river view.
Robin's Nest -- Sweet little cafe in Mount Holly. Homemade desserts and lots of atmosphere. Creekside, with a summer only outdoor cafe/bar.
Jester's Cafe -- On Farnsworth Avenue in Bordentown. This Italian restaurant does a nice job with food and the service is great. Nice folks... good food... and the piece d'resistance? They have a wonderful classical guitar player who roams the dinning room playing anything from Frank Sinatra to Flamenco to Johnny Cash. Gorgeous deep voice and a fantastic repertoire of songs. Go with a date!
Calypso Café, at Lightening Jack's Marina - 625 Harrison Street, Riverside (856) 824-0300. Breakfast, Fri, Sat & Sun from 7am; Lunch and Dinner, Tues to Sun 11am to 10pm. Closed Mondays. No liquor license, BYOB. Drive your boat right on up, dock and come aboard for for a peaceful meal. Frankly, the food is average, but the setting is worth it. Calypso offers a wide covered deck overlooking an undeveloped section of the Rancocas Creek. Watch water birds and local light craft wander by.
McCrosson's Dockside - 73 Norman Ave in Delran. Another marina-side cafe. This one with food worth talking about -- light, fresh batter fried fish and chips with a lime aioli, fiery chicken wings, and grilled tuna steaks. Unfortunately, the view is not as nice as Calypso's. The restaurant and bar overlook the boats But if you get a seat closer to the railing, you do get a glimpse of the waterway and the marshland nearby. Alcohol is served (decent beer list!) Open Mon-Sat 11:30 to 1am, Sundays noon to 1am.
Curtin's Marina, Burlington NJ -- the granddaddy of all seasonal marina cafes! Curtin's packs them in all during the summer A diverse menu of sandwiches, salads and platters, a riverside setting on the Delaware where it splits around Burlington Island and live music almost nightly. Beer, beer, beer.
Restaurants Worth Driving For
Rats in Trenton, NJ (for a review go to: http://www.phillyburbs.com/pb-dyn/news/192-12032003-206488.html ) Expensive, but worth the drive for the food and its close proximity to the Sculpture Garden. Good summer trip.
Flying W Airport Resort and Golden Pheasant Golf Course - Originally built in the 1960s, the Flying W is a small local airport that has burgeoned into a unique country ranch family resort. This little facility is a place where both travelers and local families can dine in the fine restaurant, stay in the quaint Flying W Motel, enjoy horseback riding, and swim in the famous airplane-shaped swimming pool. The recent acquisition of the 18-hole Golden Quail course makes this a place that the entire family can enjoy. I went for brunch recently and saw an Elvis impersonator on the Lounge event calendar. What more could you want?
Link to site: http://www.flyingwairport.com/