Saturday, January 25, 2020

Exploring the Food Scene of Two South Jersey Towns: Collingswood and Haddonfield



There's something for everyone to love to eat in South Jersey, but Collingswood and Haddonfield in particular have a lot to offer the hungry foodie in search of a unique dining experience.



Collingswood is well known for its selection of shops and restaurants, primarily along Haddon Avenue, and was ranked as the "#1 small-town food scene in America" by USA Today in May 2018.

Haddonfield isn't as well known as Collingswood for its restaurants, but its foodie scene shouldn't be overlooked and as you walk down its streets, you'll encounter a number of fun boutiques to browse. Although the town's fortunes have gone up and down over the years, it's a quaint town enjoying a resurgence, and there is more to the town than an historic tavern! Populated by fun boutiques and interesting restaurants, it's definitely a destination for those interested in trying out different international cuisines.

Mexican street corn was one of the delectable offerings at the Haddonfield Farmers Market.


Tempted to make your own? No food is as good as that which you make in your own kitchen, and for the best and freshest ingredients, you should start at the farmers markets.



Farmers Markets in Collingswood and Haddonfield

There is no excuse not to eat fresh. And if you want to meet the folks who grow your food, then you should head to a local farmers market. South Jersey offers two exemplary farmers markets in the side-by-side towns of Collingswood and Haddonfield. The Collingswood Farmers Market is entering its 20th year in 2020; the Haddonfield Farmers Market is about to celebrate its 14th year.



So whether you're shopping for fresh fruit, looking for a beautiful bouquet of flowers, or simply want to purchase what's for dinner tonight, then you'll likely find what you're looking for. And in addition to homemade items, fresh produce, and treats for the family, there's usually live music!



Fresh produce makes up almost 60% of local sales at farmers markets annually, with the remainder coming from products such as meats, cheeses, jellies, breads, salsa, eggs, honey, homemade goods and yes, even homemade dog treats.



Collingswood Farmers Market
Getting there: N Atlantic Ave, Collingswood, NJ 08108
Hours: May to Thanksgiving, Saturdays 8 a.m. - noon
Website: http://www.collingswoodmarket.com/

Haddonfield Farmers Market
Getting there: Kings Court In the center of historic Haddonfield
Hours: mid-May - mid-October, Saturdays 8:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Website: https://haddonfieldfarmersmarket.org/



On the Town Food Tours

Want to try sample a variety of restaurants without committing? Try On the Town Food Tours to introduce yourself to South Jersey's great food scene, as you stroll from restaurant to restaurant, all the while learning about the town's history.

Check out On the Town Food Tours locations -- owner Audrey Wiggins offers restaurant tours in Haddonfield, Mount Holly, Collingswood, Atlantic City, and Bordentown, all led by guides who know the restaurants and restaurant owners and chefs, as well as the food industry.



The British Chip Shop



Looking for traditional British comfort food? Food favorites such as cottage pie or fish and chips? The British Chip Shop's got you covered. The cottage pie was positively stuffed with Angus beef, carrots, onions and celery topped with a cheesy mashed potatoes. At the British Chip Shop, you can find British pub standards such as fish and chips, but you'll also find Coronation Chicken Salad and Tikki Masala.

Getting there: 146 E Kings Hwy, Haddonfield, NJ 08033
Website: https://thebritishchipshop.com/



Sanook Thai Cuisine



Sanook Thai Cuisine offers traditional and Thai-inspired elegant dishes such as Tom Kha Gai, a creamy coconut soup featuring lemongrass, chicken and mushrooms, and a cucumber salad, refreshing and light with sliced cucumbers, red onion, and red bell pepper tossed in a chili lime herb dressing.



Getting there: 18 Tanner Street, Haddonfield, NJ 08033




The Bistro at Haddonfield

A few doors away from Sanook's is The Bistro, which specializes in Greek cuisine. We tried a full Taste of the Mediterranian plate, with roasted garlic hummus, tzatziki (garlic cucumber dip), ktipti (spicy feta dip), garnished with Kalamata olives, roasted red peppers and cucumbers and served with toasted pita wedges. Then came out a plate of falafel sandwiches, and finally, delightful watermelon salad, with mouth-watering chunks of fresh local watermelon, arugula, candied walnuts, and feta cheese, topped with a light honey drizzle, one of the restaurant's popular, seasonal specialties.



Getting there: 57 East Kings Highway, Haddonfield NJ 08033


Valente's Italian Specialties




You can pick up the makings for a fine Italian meal at Valente's Italian Specialties, where we learned to make fresh spaghetti and enjoyed it moments later with a simple marinara sauce, sprinkled with aged Parmesan cheese. Valente's offers fine fresh pasta, sauces, and cheeses, as well as other Italian specialties.



Getting there: 7 Kings Court, Haddonfield, NJ 08033




Sweet T's Bake Shop




Don't forget desert, and for that, head to Sweet T's Bakery, with a taste of two cake pops. Sweet T's specializes in all baked goods including cupcakes, cookies, cake pops, birthday, wedding and specialty cakes.



Getting there:  14 Kings Court, Haddonfield, NJ


The Porch & Proper




Collingswood is known for its restaurants, and Porch and Proper fits right in with a menu featuring a contemporary and ever-changing menu of globally influenced dishes. The dishes will seem slightly familiar, because it's upscale American cuisine, made with regional and locally obtained ingredients that change according to the changing season.



Although the building might be 100 years old, its comfortable and inviting interior is an eclectic blend of antiques, walnut trim, warm leather, crushed velvet and comforting black and white tile. That's the proper part of the restaurant. The porch is perfect for more casual, outdoor dining. Either way, the food is the draw.



When we were there, we sampled several of the small plates, including a wonderful shrimp dish, spicy wrapped asparagus, and a delightful refreshing cucumber salad.



Getting there: 619 W Collings Ave, Collingswood, NJ 08107
Website: https://www.porchandproper.com/


Haddonfield Inn




It's totally worth staying at a bed and breakfast inn -- just for the opportunity to enjoy the luxury of an historic Victorian home.

Breakfast?? That's just icing on the cake!



We loved our stay at the Haddonfield Inn during our exploration of the area. One of the best things about staying at a bed and breakfast inn there was  the breakfast -- and Haddonfield Inn didn't disappoint!! Our breakfast started with a refreshing appetizer, Tangy Fruit Salsa.

They graciously shared the recipe!

TANGY FRUIT SALSA WITH CINNAMON TORTILLA CHIPS

Ingredients
Cinnamon Chips
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
5 (7-inch) flour tortillas

Salsa
 4 peaches*, peeled and chopped
 4 kiwi fruit, peeled, sliced and quartered
 1 teaspoon lime zest
 2 teaspoons lime juice
 ½ - 1 teaspoon sugar (according to taste)

DIRECTIONS
  1. For cinnamon chips, preheat oven to 400°F. In a flour/sugar shaker, combine sugar and cinnamon. 
  2. Using a kitchen spritzer, lightly spray tortillas with water; sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture. 
  3. Using a pizza cutter, cut each tortilla into 8 wedges; place in single layer on a cooking sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp. Move to cooling rack and cool completely.
  4. Meanwhile for salsa, chop peaches. Slice kiwi fruit and cut into quarters. 
  5. Combine all salsa ingredients in a medium sized bowl; mix gently. Serve with cinnamon chips.
Makes approximately 4 cups salsa

* 2 cans (15 or 16 ounces) peaches in juice, drained and chopped, may be substituted for the fresh peaches, if desired.


The Pub

I can't talk about restaurants in South Jersey without mentioning a very special place in Pennsauken: The Pub. But hello, the 70s are calling, and they want their steakhouse back -- but don't give it to them. Go to the Pub, instead. This amazing medieval-themed suburban steakhouse, replete with an old-fashioned salad bar. In addtition to steak entrees, you'll find seafood, chicken and other dishes.



This retro restaurant is well known in the area, and practically a mandatory stop for anyone who wants to experience a south Jersey tradition. I happened to mention to a friend who grew up in the region where I was eating, and she exclaimed that she grew up going there! She then waxed poetic about memories, and mentioned she'd even brought her kids there.



Going on 60 years of business, here's hoping this iconic restaurant enjoys another 60 years!

Getting there: 7600 Kaighn Ave, Pennsauken Township, NJ 08109
Website: http://www.thepubnj.com/








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