Groark Boys Drive-Thru BBQ at Washington Twp Senior Center

Just because we’re all being socially distant doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy good old-fashioned American BBQ. With BBQ season fast approaching, one South Jersey BBQ business is not letting canceled events stop them from firing up the grills.

On Thursday, May 28th, Groark Boys BBQ will set up their BBQ rig outside of the Washington Township Senior Center, located at 315 Greentree Road in Sewell, between 12:00 and 7:30 PM. Folks are encouraged to pre-order their meals for cashless and contactless pickup without leaving their vehicles.

Customers will have a choice of a pulled pork platter (with macaroni and cheese and slaw) or a rack of smoked baby back ribs.

Advanced orders can be placed online here.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Washington Township Mother’s Cupboard Food Pantry.

And — in case you missed it — Groark Boys BBQ recently won a $10,000 grant from Sam’s Club for small businesses struggling amid the coronavirus crisis. Nice job, guys! #SouthJerseyProud

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Robert Burns Suppers in South Jersey 2020

It’s January in South Jersey, and you know that that means?

Whiskey. Poetry. And haggis.

If you’re scratching your head, let me explain. At locations in our area and around the world, people will be gathering to celebrate the birthday of Robert Burns – the national bard of Scotland. Rabbie lived during the latter half of the 18th Century, a farmer whose prose celebrated the country he loved.

Robert Burns

In 1801, a few years after Burns passed, some of his friends gathered on his birthday (January 25th) to celebrate his life with drinks, haggis and reading of his poetry. This tradition became an annual celebration, and over time has spread throughout the world.

Why the haggis? Well, Robert Burns wrote a poem about the famous (or infamous, depending on your persuasion) Scottish dish entitled “Address to a Haggis” – and that very poem is part of the ceremony. And a haggis is presented with bagpipe accompaniment. Toasts with whiskey, including one for the ‘lassies’, is part of the festivities. A Robert Burns Supper is not just a celebration of the man but of the artistic spirit.    

The largest gathering in South Jersey takes place down in Cape May, thanks to Exit Zero publisher Jack Wright who started the tradition some sixteen years ago. In fact, Jack told me that the Exit Zero Burns Supper is now one of the largest IN THE WORLD, with 400 people attending annually. 

Exit Zero Burns Supper [Photo: Aleksey Moryakov / Exit Zero]

The Cape May celebration has become so popular that this year it has been expanded to a weekend. The main event will be on Saturday, January 25th at the Cape May Convention Hall starting at 6:30PM. Attendees can choose between haggis, vegetarian haggis, or shepherd’s pie if you want to skip the haggis part completely. The Burns Supper is also a charitable event, with a $5,000 donation going this year to Music Connects – a local non-profit organization that brings music to kids in Cape May County.   

New this year is the Gourmet Scots Dinner taking place on Friday, January 24th at Exit Zero Filling Station. The five-course tasting menu is completely haggis-free, but does have Cape May scallops, chorizo scotch egg, a gratin of smoked haddock and crab, Scottish Salmon Wellington, and a dessert of cranachan – a Scottish treat with raspberries and oats. A whiskey tasting menu is also available for an additional charge.

For those who simply cannot wait until Rabbie’s birthday can celebrate a week early. The South Jersey Celtic Society has its Robert Burns Supper on January 18th starting at 6:30PM. The 15th annual celebration is being held at O’Connor’s American Bar & Grille in Eastampton.   

Chef Ian Whitfield of The British Chip Shop [Photo: The British Chip Shop]

The British Chip Shop in Haddonfield is back with its own version of Rabbie Burns Night which will be held on January 25th from 7PM to 9PM. There will only be a 7PM seating, so make a reservation and don’t come strolling in later thinking you’re getting a seat. You can go full Scot with an entrée of haggis with neeps ‘n tatties (rutabaga and potatoes), or go for the salmon cured with treacle and whiskey. The event is BYOW – aka bring your own whiskey.   

And Josie Kelly’s Public House in Somers Point is hosting its Burns Night Supper on Sunday, January 26th 6PM to 10PM. Included in the entertainment portion of the evening will be highland dancers. A three-course dinner is being offered, along with an optional pairing of three whiskeys.

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Hearthside to Host DREAM Program Fundraiser

Chef Dominic Piperno of Hearthside in Collingswood

Chef Dominic Piperno of Hearthside, a graduate of St. Michael’s College in Vermont and co-founder of the DREAM Program, which helps close the opportunity gap for children in low-income housing will be hosting a fundraiser on Tuesday, November 19.  

The event will begin at 6:30 PM at Hearthside with a cocktail hour of passed hors d’oeuvres and will be followed by a seated, four-course, family-style dinner with Vermont beer and wine. Guests will have the opportunity to taste Hearthside’s house-made pastas and wood-fired specials like 40-day dry-aged porterhouse and wood-roasted lobster.

Founders of the DREAM Program will be in attendance and available for discussion.

Tickets for the event are $250 and can be reserved by phone at (856) 240-1164 between 2 PM and 10 PM, Tuesday through Saturday.

Hearthside is located at 801 Haddon Avenue in Collingswood.

Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant in Maple Shade Turns 10!

This month, Iron Hill Brewery in Maple Shade will celebrate a decade since it opened at 124 East Kings Highway.

To commemorate its 10th anniversary, they are throwing a Decade in the Shade Party on Saturday, August 17th from 2pm to 6pm.

There will be a buffet, live music, games, and giveaways.

Tickets will be $35 at the door.

The Maple Shade location was the 8th one to open. Next year, it will open its 18th location in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta, GA.

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Mount Holly Township to Debut New Farmers Market in June 2019

In 2019, Mount Holly will be debuting their very own Farmers Market right in the heart of the Downtown business district. Kicking off on Thursday, June 13, the Mount Holly NJ Farmers Market will be open every Thursday from 3 to 7 p.m. and will run until October 10. The market will be located at the corner of Washington and High Streets in Downtown Mount Holly, NJ (directly across from the Rowan College at Burlington County Mount Holly campus).

The Mount Holly NJ Farmers Market will be the best and freshest place to get Jersey Fresh fruits and vegetables, meats (beef, pork, chicken), eggs, breads/pastries, bedding plants, cut flowers, hanging baskets, local honey, cheese and prepared foods from local farms, vendors/businesses and restaurants. Additionally, the market will feature live music, handmade crafts and arts, cooking demonstrations by neighboring Rowan College at Burlington County (Mount Holly campus), coffee roasters and so much more throughout the season.

Some of the local vendors committed to the 2019 Mount Holly NJ Farmers Market season include: KG Bees LLC (Medford) for their local honey , The Olde World Bakery & Café (Eastampton) for their artisan breads and pastries, Robin’s Nest Restaurant (Mount Holly) for a sampling of their delicious French-American fare, Natures Own Farm (Columbus) for their grass-fed beef, pasture-raised pork and free-range chicken and eggs and Specca Farms Pick Your Own (Springfield Township) for their fresh, local fruits and vegetables.

Mount Holly Recreation Director Sean Kennedy and Market Director David Hodges will be working collaboratively with a special planning committee of representatives from the local community and area businesses to plan and organize the farmers market.

Market Director David Hodges further explains the Market’s mission, “Markets benefit communities, but they exist for the farms. We empower our customers to support the best food we can find from as close to Mount Holly as we can find it.”

The Mount Holly Farmers Market is made possible through a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) intended to increase opportunities for New Jersey farmers and other growers across the state through various programs. Mount Holly received funds under the Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) specifically, which supports direct producer-to-consumer marketing projects such as farmers markets, community-supported agriculture programs, roadside stands and agri-tourism.

All those interested in being a part of the market’s inaugural season should contact mounthollynjfarmersmarket@gmail.com with a description of their product/service and contact information.

Merchantville To Host First Friday Night Markets

Merchantville will begin a First Friday Night Market each month from June to October. Each First Friday Night Market will feature food trucks, vendors, live music, movies and more.

The first Night Market will be on Friday, June 7th from 5pm to 9pm. The following vendors will be participating.

Food Trucks

  • Dan’s Waffles
  • Mary’s Mobile Diner
  • Not Your Mama’s Tacos
  • The Fabulous Fig: A Plant-Based Food Truck
  • Just Fork It

Local Handmade Vendors:

  • Local Handmade Vendors:
  • Graceful Knit Knots
  • Tara’s Cozy Kitchen
  • Bijou Blessings
  • Taddy Creations
  • Memom’s Upcycled Crafts
  • ShoSho’s Kitchen Granola

Live Music:

  • Accessories of Yesterday (5pm at Ryan’s Retail)

Businesses Open Late:

  • Spirit to Sole Connection
  • Merchantville Antiques and Salvage
  • Ryan’s Retail
  • Eclipse Brewing
  • The Station Coffee
  • The Juice Bar
  • Charlie’s Crepes
  • Park Place Café & Restaurant
  • Pronto Pizza, Merchantville, NJ
  • Blue Monkey Tavern
  • Vincent’s Pizza
  • Aroma Indian Bistro
  • Sakura Sushi and Hibachi
  • Grand China
  • Merchantville Diner

Chef’s Table at Redz Restaurant

Treat yourself to an evening at Redz Restaurant for the first ever Chef’s Table food and wine pairing experience. Chef Roelof de Groot will be preparing a custom menu, inspired by and paired with wines selected by wine experts Charlie Beatty and Filippo Cammarata of WineWorks in Marlton, New Jersey.

This unique, multi-course tasting and wine pairing is designed to give you an exclusive, intimate experience with exceptionally prepared cuisine. The tasting will be the first in a series of dinners hosted by Redz Restaurant over the course of 2019.

Beginning at 6:30pm on January 24, 2019, the Chef’s Table experience will present diners with a one-of-a-kind presentation of 5 courses, not regularly provided at Redz, paired accordingly with specially selected wines throughout the evening.

Seating is limited for the event so you must make reservations via OpenTable.

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