Everything was actually going really great for Chef/Owner David Murray at Denim American Bistro’s Cherry Hill location on Kresson Road. Business was brisk thanks to positive reviews and word of mouth from loyal customers online and off. So, why did he move his successful business from a cozy, converted farmhouse to the historic downtown of Haddonfield?
As he tells it, it was simply time to move on and he saw Haddonfield as a place to keep growing. The space at 116 Kings Highway sat vacant for almost 10 months after the closure of Braise 116. When he checked it out as a possible new location for Denim, he said it felt right. Plus, the opportunity for more walk-in business was desirable. Not to mention, Haddonfield is quickly become known as a BYOB restaurant mecca in South Jersey. Right place, right time.
Denim BYOB opened earlier this month in The Shops at 116 and doesn’t seem to be missing a beat. The menu is pretty much the same with a few additions. Creative, comforting, and seasonally-focused dishes, including many hugely popular ones like Brussels Sprouts and Korean BBQ Glazed Short Ribs, take center stage. Denim can be described as Modern-American cuisine that meets classic technique and rustic charm.
The only major change, besides location, is that they are now open 7 days of the week, offering all-day brunch and dinner. Catering for off-premise events and bookings for private parties remain. The 2-floor interior is warm and cozy with denim-inspired artwork adorning the walls.
Upon a recent visit, it’s obvious the food alone can keep them in business. Haddonfield should feel very lucky to have such great, diverse dining options. SJFS wishes them much luck!
Slabs and Crabs, located at 1100 Route 73, is the new kid on the barbecue block making Pennsauken BBQ central in South Jersey.
Owned by brother and sister duo Malcolm and Patricia Lee of Burlington, along with their cousin Alvin Williams of Woodbridge, Slabs and Crabs opened on September 14th to much excitement. They have been actively promoting the new business via their Facebook page and have already built a large following of instant fans.
Malcolm is a former plumber who originally opened a BBQ food truck and catering company called Slabhouse in Burlington, NJ. It quickly became popular at car shows and private events building a steady stream of loyal catering customers. When the opportunity to take over the location in Pennsauken, formerly a computer repair shop, he jumped on it, thinking it was the perfect location to add a brick and mortar location. He could park his smoker outside and still have enough room inside for a stove, refrigerator, storage, and prep area.
While Malcolm has no formal training, just a love of good ‘cue, Patricia Lee is a graduate of the Le Cordon Bleu Institute of Culinary Arts in Pittsburgh, PA. She told me she always wanted to be a food critic, but decided to take the cooking route instead.
The menu changes daily but brisket, ribs, and pulled pork are mainstays. Other proteins that rotate are smoked and fried wings, smoked drumsticks, pulled chicken, jerk chicken, turkey wings, meatloaf, smoked meatballs, fried cod, whiting, salmon, jerk shrimp, and of course whole crabs! They’ve also done some whole fried chicken and turkeys on occasion. Platters with 2 sides and cornbread will run you anywhere from $12-$17 depending on what you choose.
Sides that rotate include baked macaroni and cheese, rice and beans, baked beans, collard greens, yams, baked potatoes, black-eyed peas, and corn on the cob just to name a few. The baked mac seems to be on the menu just about daily.
Moist cornbread comes with every platter or can be bought separately. I can see Patricia’s creative culinary side come out with her strawberry or strawberry-peach cornbread – the latter adding just a little extra sweetness which pairs so well with the smoked meats and savory sides. A little something extra to take the platters to the next level.
They also offer each of the proteins as a sandwich ranging from $3-$7. The pulled pork goes for $4 each and sometimes they run a BOGO special — that’s right — two pulled pork sandwiches for $4! What a steal.
Barbecue sauces are made in-house featuring a variety of regular, hot, sweet, jerk, and more.
They will be featuring tacos on Tuesdays starting soon – your choice of available proteins that day in tortillas with all of the fixings.
They make freshly squeezed lemonade daily and will have an assortment of sweets on hand by Philadelphia’s Puddins Cake Corner. Upon our visit, they had brownies available.
I have to say, this is an exciting new BBQ establishment in Pennsauken. It is take-out only, so there are no tables and chairs. Call ahead for easy pick-up or order through Uber Eats. Other delivery will be offered at some point. They’re open for lunch and dinner (11AM-9PM) and they accept cash or cards which is awesome. There’s plenty of parking.
I’m both excited and terrified that this is so close to my house. Haha! I really wish them well and will definitely be dropping by again soon.
Slabs and Crabs is located at 1100 Route 73 in Pennsauken (going towards Philadelphia) before you get to the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge. Once you pass the Wawa (on the left), they are directly on the right.
Central Taco and Tequila, the popular Westmont, NJ restaurant known for its creative taco dishes, is the perfect place to celebrate National Taco Day on Friday, October 4. To celebrate the day they’ll be offering a special $1 Throwback Taco along with their regular taco menu.
The Throwback Taco features a simple flour tortilla, ground beef, shredded Monterrey Jack cheese, lettuce & diced tomatoes. Perfect for kids and adults alike.
Tacos on the extensive menu include this month’s seasonal special — Oaxacan Steak Taco with seared flank, garlic-jalapeño chimichurri, queso fresco, and pickled red onion.
Another popular taco on the regular menu includes the Veggie Taco with roasted broccoli, squash, brussels sprouts, onion, carrots and potatoes topped with a goat cheese crema and spicy pecan chipotle salsa.
Other tacos favorites include Korean Short Rib, Coconut Shrimp, or Spicy Crispy Chicken.
I highly recommend the Mexican Street Corn! I could easily eat 2 bowls of that alone.
Don’t forget to wash it down with a fresh margarita.
Forget Starbucks. Forget Dunkin’. Skip Wawa and 7-11. Sunday, September 29th is officially National Coffee Day. For those who are caffeine-addicted like me, it’s Coffee Day every day, though. Just sayin’.
Here are some independent coffee shops in South Jersey you can support!
Diners are where communities across the Garden State go to celebrate milestones, form lifetime bonds and take comfort in food. Daily life at the counter or in the booth inspires sentimental recollections that reflect the state’s spirit and history.
Late-night eats fueled Wildwood’s wild rock-and-roll days. An entrepreneur traveled eight thousand miles from India and opened a diner in Shamong. From an impromptu midnight wedding in an Elizabeth lunch wagon to a Vietnam veteran sustained by a heartfelt note from a beloved Mount Holly waitress, these are true tales from the soul of New Jersey.
The South Jersey diners mentioned in the book are:
Mustache Bill’s Diner, Barnegat Light, Long Beach Island
Shamong Diner, Shamong
Silver Coin Diner, Hammonton
Forked River Diner, Forked River
Swedesboro Diner, Swedesboro
Geets Diner, Williamstown
Point Diner, Somers Point
Tuckahoe Family Diner, Tuckahoe
Surfside West Diner, Wildwood
Vegas Diner, Wildwood
Pink Cadillac Diner, Wildwood
Salem Diner, Salem
The South Jersey diners written about but no longer around are:
Midway Diner, Hammonton
Olga’s Diner, Marlton (to be reopened in a new building on Route 73 soon but by different owners)
Two diners in Mount Holly
Various diners in Vineland
Various diners in Wildwood
Hy Grade Diner, Pleasantville
This is Michael C. Gabriele’s fourth book on New Jersey history, all published by The History Press. The previous books are (in chronological order): The Golden Age of Bicycle Racing in NewJersey, The History of Diners in New Jersey and New Jersey Folk Revival Music: History and Tradition.
A lifelong Garden State resident, he is a 1975 graduate of Montclair State University and has worked as a journalist, freelance writer and author for more than forty years. Gabriele is a member of the board of trustees for the annual New Jersey Folk Festival at Rutgers University and a member of the executive board for the Nutley Historical Society and serves on the advisory board of the Clifton Arts Center.
He writes an occasional diner blog for Jersey Bites and enjoys exploring the diverse regions of the Garden State.
Founder & Signer recently popped up with their upscale burger concept at Haddonfield Farmers Market… and they sold out by 11:30 a.m.
Sliders were featured on the menu which offered a taste of things to come when they eventually open a storefront in town. Details are not yet available on where exactly that will be as they are still working out the details. They hope to make an announcement in the coming months, though. I’m salivating at the thought!
In the meantime, they’ll continue popping up at the Farmers Market to taste test their various scrumptious burger creations. Check them out at the next pop up on Saturday, August 3rd.
Redz Restaurant, known for their American inspired fare, is excited to celebrate one of the most historically monumental events in America – the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11’s Lunar Landing.
The special promotion takes flight Saturday, July 20th and will orbit through the end of July. The menu, which pays homage to all things lunar, features $11 and $19.69 items, desserts for $7.20 and $5 Blue Moon drafts and Budweiser Discovery Reserve American Red Lager.
Menu items include:
First Moon Man Mint JulepApollo $11
Fresh mint and Maker’s Mark Whiskey
Zero Gravity FizzApollo $11
Sparkling wine and Chambord with floating fresh raspberries
Moonwalk MargaritaApollo $11
Tequila, Cointreau, lime, served up or on the rocks
Herb and buttermilk marinated calamari served with lemony marinara dipping sauce
Out of This World Fish TacosApollo $11
Two flour tortillas, grilled fish, house-made cilantro slaw and sour cream on the side
Kennedy Space Center Crab NachosApollo $11
Redz chips, cheese, scallion, tomato, cilantro, jalapeno and avocado
One Small Step Spaghetti and MeatballsApollo $11
Space Race Mesquite Salmon$19.69
Dijon and brown sugar rubbed salmon served with seasonal vegetable
Dark Side of the Moon Chocolate Cake$7.20
Constellation Crème Brûlée$7.20
Espresso, cream and kahlúa
“We love having fun with new ideas and incorporating them into our offerings,” said executive sous chef, Roelof de Groot. “As a Chef, being creative and applying that creativity to the menu is extremely rewarding. As an American fare-inspired restaurant we felt what better way to recognize one of the greatest moments in American history. We hope our guests appreciate the efforts as much as we love executing them.”
Redz Restaurant is located at 515 Fellowship Road North in Mount Laurel Township attached to the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton.