Hi again, thanks for all the help and suggestions on my brewpub post here a few months back. Native New Jerseyan living in Portland, Oregon and my plans are now set to come back for a couple of weeks in mid-October to visit family & friends. We're originally from around Newark, but my sister and b.i.l. just bought a house down in South Plainfield and that's where I'll be "based out of" while I'm back.
I know almost nothing about the area, and unfortunately my sister is one of the last people in the world I'd trust on food issues (sorry!). I'll be near the Route 28 side of town close to Dunellen and Plainfield, and I seem to remember Dunellen had a pretty cool-looking downtown (do looks deceive there?) area, and I'm kinda sorta familiar with Plainfield (had a couple friends who lived there when I was in high school in the mid-90's), but not their food scene.
I'd like to avoid renting a car if at all possible, and I know I'm gonna have at least two or three weekday mornings and afternoons alone to explore the area. On foot or bus (are there any there?). So the way I figure it, I'll need to find probably 3 or 4 (or more?) decent places to try for breakfast and lunch around there.
I'm looking for things like the best local pizza (just a great plain ole' Jersey thin-crust slice, nothing fancy, I'm nostalgic these days), bagels, deli, maybe a diner for breakfast, Indian, and perhaps even a cool bar (carrying local microbrews preferably, anything from Brooklyn Brewery to Dogfish Head to River Horse to Cricket Hill) to hang out at a couple nights? And are there any farm-to-table restaurants in the area for a good dinner?
Also, I'd like to take my nieces to a nearby farmers' market while I'm there. Are any around there open that late in the season? I remember the Summit Farmers' Market was still going in mid-October last time I was out in Jersey, but that'd be quite a ways from South Plainfield!
So many questions, thanks for any and all suggestions! And if any of youze ever need any Portland advice, ask away, I'd be glad to help. Thanks...