I'm a native to Jersey (Morris County) but really haven't lived here in almost 20 years. Most recently I lived in Portland, OR and was pleased with not only the quality of food but the prices. I moved to Red Bank a few weeks ago and wow am I in culture shock. I've scoured chowhound, gathered recs and then looked at menus online. It seems that most spots that folks rave over fall into the 16+ dollars (and that's the low end) ....most seem to hover in the low 20s for an entree.
So my question is this: where are the places that are not exclusively ethnic, that serve good food from quality ingredients and I'll be generous: under 15 an entree? Where are the places that have fresh, yummy tofu or egg scrambles in the morning and great dinners with farm fresh chicken, vegetarian entrees, maybe a great mac and cheese with an awesome greens salad on the side? And yet are affordable enough for a librarian to go there once or twice a week? I love diners...but that's not what i'm looking for...unless they have a reputation for having high quality ingredients. My last meal in Portland was an incredible organic salad and a four cheese mac and cheese on a patio, with live blue grass in the background...i know I can't have that...but i'll take as close as i can get. Oh...I ate at the thai place in Red Bank, Siam Garden and was so disappointed...I could have accepted the high prices if the food was excellent...but it was just kind of weirdly bland and corn starchy.