The New Olga’s Diner in Marlton is Open & Features Vegan Menu

Olga’s Diner is back and offers something for everyone — including vegans.

The new Olga’s Diner opened this past week at 200 Route 73 North in Marlton. It is a remake of the iconic diner that was located where Routes 70 and 73 meet and closed in 2008.

This is not your parent’s or grandparent’s Olga’s Diner, though. While classic breakfast, lunch, and dinner items are offered all day long, they’ve considered the vegetarians and vegans who may want to dine at the establishment as well.

Vegan specials such as the Beyond Burger and dishes made with locally produced Michael’s Savory Seitan are featured on the special vegan menu. This is good news for those who are trying to live a more plant-based lifestyle or simply want non-meat options.

Looking forward to visiting soon! Have you been yet? Sound off in the comments.

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Somers Point 10th Annual Restaurant Week

The 10th annual Somers Point Restaurant Week (SPRW) will be held Friday, November 1 through Sunday, November 10 – offering prix fixe menu pricing for lunch and dinner at participating restaurants throughout the city. Restaurant Week is an opportunity to “Sip and Savor” Somers Point at one of 16 unique and popular eateries at an affordable fixed menu price – three-course dinners for $27.19, and two-course lunches for $12.19.

Participating restaurants include: Anchorage Tavern, Buona Vita, Charlie’s Bar & Restaurant, Clancy’s by the Bay, Crab Trap, Doc’s Place, El Tipico Mexican Taqueria, Fitzpatrick’s Deli & Steakhouse, Gregory’s Restaurant & Bar, Italian Street Restaurant & Pizza, Josie Kelly’s Public House, Marsini’s Kitchen, Sal’s Coal Fired Pizza, The Grilled Cheese & Crab Cake Co., The OG Original Greek, and The Windjammer.

NEW! The Somers Point Restaurant Association will be proudly supporting the Salvation Army of Atlantic City in efforts to expand Thanksgiving dinner services and provide daily meals to those in need this winter.

NEW! “Eat, Dine and Be Social” Contest

While enjoying Restaurant Week for lunch and/or dinner at participating Somers Point Restaurant Week restaurants and Passion Vines, LIKE Somers Point Restaurant Week on Facebook and POST your dining pictures to our Facebook page for a CHANCE TO WIN a $250 Gift Basket. Be sure to include the hashtag #SPRW19 so your post can be found. Participants can enter unlimited times, but must post from different locations for each entry. One winner will be chosen on Friday, November 15.

NEW! Town Tastes

Passion Vines in the Somers Point Shopping Center will host a Town Tasting event on Saturday, November 9 from 2-4 p.m. with wine pairings and Restaurant Week appetizers. Seasonal wines will be available for purchase at their store throughout Restaurant Week to bring along to BYOB locations. Tickets are $25 and reservations are required for the event by calling 609-601-8463. Seating is limited.

NEW! Jazzing Up Restaurant Week

Somers Point Restaurant Week is partnering with The South Jersey Jazz Society to combine culinary specialties at each location with the Art of Jazz for a unique dining experience. You can follow your favorite Jazz soloists each night as you dine your way through Somers Point.

Performers, locations and times during Restaurant Week are as follows: *

Friday, November 1

Fitzpatrick’s Deli – Behn Gillece: 6-9 p.m.
Gregory’s – Rob Budesa: 7-10 p.m.

Saturday, November 2

Anchorage – Behn Gillece: 6:30-9:30 p.m.
The Windjammer – Dave Hartl: 6-9 p.m.

Tuesday, November 5

The Crab Trap – Rich Budesa: 7-10 p.m.

Wednesday, November 6

Marsini’s Kitchen – Chris Simonini: 6-9 p.m.
Charlie’s – Lou Durham: 6-9 p.m.

Thursday, November 7

El Tipico – Rob Budesa: 6-9 p.m.
Doc’s Place – Rick Budesa: 6-9 p.m.

Friday, November 8

Josie Kelly’s – Jason Klinke: 6-9 p.m.
Sal’s Cafe – Dave Hartl: 6-9 p.m.

Saturday, November 9

Passion Vines – Jason Klinke: 2-4 p.m.
Fitzpatrick’s Deli – Jason Klinke: 6-9 p.m.

*Subject to change. Visit SomersPTRestaurantWK.com

For a printable version of participating restaurants, addresses, menus, jazz schedule, and reservations – including details on the “Dine Basket” contest – please call 609-653-8155 x300 or visit SomersPTRestaurantWK.com.

The Presenting Sponsor for Restaurant Week is Sysco Food Services. Supporting sponsors include B.F. Mazzeo’s Fruit and Produce, D & D Foods, ERCO, Penn Jersey Paper Products, Northern Liberties Food Processors, Republic Bank, South Jersey Industries, Westside Meats, the Somers Point Economic Development Commission, The Somers Point Business Association and The South Jersey Jazz Society. 

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Denim BYOB Now Open in Haddonfield

Denim BYOB (Photo: Marilyn Johnson)

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?

Chef David Murray of Denim BYOB in Haddonfield (Photo: Marilyn Johnson)

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 in The Shops at 116 (Photo: David Murray)

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.

Lower Dining Room at Denim BYOB (Photo: Marilyn Johnson)

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.

Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs (Photo: Marilyn Johnson)
Goat Cheese Croquettes (Photo: Marilyn Johnson)
Bacon-Wrapped Chorizo-Stuffed Dates (Photo: Marilyn Johnson)
Lobster Bisque (Photo: Marilyn Johnson)
Pumpkin Gnocchi (Photo: Marilyn Johnson)
Seared Scallops (Photo: Marilyn Johnson)
Bananas Foster Bread Pudding with Richman’s Ice Cream (Photo: Marilyn Johnson)

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!

FYI – they will be offering a special menu on Thanksgiving by reservation only. Click here for the Thanksgiving menu.

Call (856) 520-8114 with any questions or reserve through Open Table.

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Slabs and Crabs is Slinging Soulful South Jersey BBQ and Crabs in Pennsauken

Slabs and Crabs is located at 1100 Route 73 in Pennsauken, New Jersey

UPDATE: January 2020. Slabs and Crabs has announced they are now permanently closed. Too bad because it was really good ‘cue.

Who says New Jersey is a “Barbecue wasteland?” Oh, that was my good friend Pete Genovese of NJ.com. Well, guess what, Pete? You might want to rethink that.

Here in Pennsauken, NJ alone there are three BBQ joints within about 3 miles of each other. Back Alley Barbeque opened in 2018 and Men in the Kitchen opened in 2016.

Slabs and Crabs, located at 1100 Route 73, is the new kid on the barbecue block making Pennsauken BBQ central in South Jersey.

Patricia Lee and Malcolm Lee of Slabs and Crabs

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.

Malcolm Lee of Slabs and Crabs

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.

Patricia Lee of Slabs and Crabs

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.

Slabs and Crabs Menu Board check Facebook page daily!

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.

Ribs and fried chicken wings platter with baked mac & cheese and rice & beans
Meatloaf platter with baked mac & cheese and collard greens

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.

Barbecue sauces at Slabs and Crabs

They will be featuring tacos on Tuesdays starting soon – your choice of available proteins that day in tortillas with all of the fixings.

Brownies by Becky Rosario of Puddins Cake Corner

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, 1100 Route 73 in Pennsauken, NJ

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.

Check them out soon, you won’t be sorry!

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12 Places to Celebrate National Coffee Day in South Jersey

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!

Breaking Grounds Coffee & Cafe

14 White Street
Mt Holly, NJ 08060
(609) 267-5353
Sunday: 7AM-4PM

Cafe Flora

100 Springdale Rd
Cherry Hill, NJ 08003
(856) 354-1133
Sunday: 8:30AM-5PM

Casciano Coffee Bar & Sweetery

212 Bellevue Avenue (Rt. 54)
Hammonton, NJ 08037
609-561-2600
Sunday: 8AM-7PM

Cup of Bliss Coffee Company

579 Haddon Ave
Collingswood, NJ 08108
856-449-2690
Sunday: 8AM-2PM

Common Grounds Coffeehouse

205 W Clinton Ave
Oaklyn, NJ 08107
(856) 854-0088
Sunday: 8AM-3PM

Crescent Moon Coffee & Tea

141 Bridgeton Pike (Rte. 77)
Mullica Hill, NJ  08062 
856-223-1237
Sunday: 8AM-5PM

End Grain Coffee Bar

10 Pitman Ave
Pitman, NJ 08071
(856) 553-8887
Sunday: 9AM-4PM

Harvest Coffee Roastery

1 North Main Street – Suite E
Medford, NJ 08055
609-975-8484
Sunday: 7AM-5PM

Jersey Java & Tea Co.

140 N Haddon Ave
Haddonfield, NJ 08033
(856) 428-0707
Sunday: 7AM-6PM

Piccolo Cafe

3569 E Landis Ave
Vineland, NJ 08360
(856) 563-0009
Sunday: 7AM-10PM

The Cubby Hole

55 E Main St
Moorestown, NJ 08057
(856) 234-4372
Sunday: 7:30AM-3PM

Trouble Brewing Coffee House

514 Station Avenue
Haddon Heights, NJ 08035
856-617-6638
Sunday: 8AM-1PM

What’s your favorite coffeehouse in South Jersey?

Firehouse Subs to Reopen in Moorestown

Firehouse Subs opened in 2017 at 1203 Nixon Drive in Moorestown only to close abruptly about three months later.

When driving by today, we noticed signs saying that it is reopening under new ownership.

Always good to have other dining options in that area, especially for Regal Cinema moviegoers. It is sandwiched between Boston Market and Zoe’s Kitchen.

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Stories from New Jersey Diners: Monuments to Community by Michael C. Gabriele

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.

Author Michael C. Gabriele documents colorful stories from the Diner Capital of the World in Stories from New Jersey Diners: Monuments to Community, a paperback book which will be available on September 23rd through Arcadia Publishing.

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 New Jersey, 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.

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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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Founder & Signer Brings Burgers to Haddonfield Farmers Market

Founder & Signer Burger Pop Up at Haddonfield Farmers Market

Founder & Signer recently popped up with their upscale burger concept at Haddonfield Farmers Market… and they sold out by 11:30 a.m.

Founder & Signer All American Burger

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!

Founder & Signer Cheeseburger, No Burger

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.

Stay tuned for more details as I get them.

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