Restaurants & Bars 1

Fernando's - a gem in Robbinsville

Just Visiting | May 26, 200809:41 AM

So, visitors from DC to 'rents in the OFF (Old Folks Farms) that, along with endless rows of warehouses on steroids, have replaced most of the Garden State's gardens (yes, when I was growing up, central and South Jersey were heavily agricultural).

Eager to visit the new DeLorenzo's in Robbinsville. Husband has heard a decade of tales about the best pizza in the world, but everyone was always reluctant to schlep into the Burg (Chambersburg), stand on line (how Trenton of us - stand ON line!) on Hudson Street for an hour or more, and then have to "hold it in" all the way back to Monroe Township. So when the Robbinsville location opened, and the reviews confirmed that it is as good as the original, we decided to give it a try.

Father called on Friday to be sure they would be open on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. They assured hi they would be.

So not. They were closed. We were ticked. With a flick of the hand under the chin, we were outathere.

No loss.

Drove back onto 130 South to eat at Fernando's. "Rents had been there three times and had raved about the food, but had suffered seriously slow meal on the third occasion and weren't keen to go back. But the place was empty when we arrived yesterday.

Website: http://www.fernandosgrille.com/

This is a cute little diner that has been converted to a white-tablecloth-but-still-casual place. It is comfortable and very welcoming. Note they don't have a liquor license so bring your own wine.

The menu isn't all that imaginative but the quality of the food is flawless. Husband and I shared a gazpacho that was based on roasted tomato (nice smoky quality), just enough kick, and ultra-fresh crunchy veggie bits, topped with several ultra-thin, ultra-crispy plantain chips. We each had burgers with caramelized onions - high quality beef on really nice Portuguese-style rolls that stood up well to the burger juices and the butter in which the onions had been cooked. The onions weren't quite caramelized, but still good. Served with GREAT fries - obviously freshly cut, and cooked just as crispy as we'd requested. Mother had a terrific crabcake sandwich - virtually no filler. I think it was $12.95. Down here, you'd have a hard time finding a crabcake sandwich of comparable quality and size for under $20. Father had scallops- four large, beautiful scallops on a bed of jasmine rice with wilted spinach. Absolutely fantastic. Husband also had a citrus creme brulee. Very large serving, very good though the "crust" was not crusty - it was somewhat gooey. Still tasted great, though we missed the nice crackle of the hard brulee shell.

It is a tiny place and I could see where service could be an issue, but it is really worth a visit if you are in the area.

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