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Mulberry Street Cafe in Waldwick

zhelder | Mar 7, 201507:42 AM

Finally, something new and different. I have been to this place twice now, and I have to say I'm impressed.

Mulberry Street Cafe is a great little spot serving sandwiches, risotto, and some other specialties. The place is owned/run by Anton Testino, who has appeared as a contestant on Chopped and Hell's Kitchen. And let me tell you, Anton can cook.

I tried the mango pork tenderloin sandwich, the chicken scampi risotto,and a special marsala risotto with shrimp and asparagus. The sandwich, while not huge, was made with very high quality ingredients it was absolutely delicious. The meat was tender,and the mango sauce was very flavorful, with just enough kick. The chicken scampi risotto, on the other hand, was a huge portion (each is $9 for a full portion). It was flavorful and creamy with a decent amount of chicken. And the portion was so large that I had leftovers the next day.

The marsala risotto was a special, and therefore more expensive at $10 for a small portion. But OMG. It was dense, delicious, and well worth the $10. In fact, it may have been one of the best things I ever ate.

The place is beautiful inside. It's comfortable, retro with modern sensibilities, and elegant without being pretentious. You'll feel like you're in an old-school NYC café in the middle of Waldwick. Oh, and the music is great. Good ol' Italian-American standards played at the perfect volume. Frankie. Dino. A bit of Perry. You get the idea.

Anton was there both times I visited.The first time he was busy talking to some other people so I didn't really get a chance to talk to him much,but when I asked a question about ingredients in the risotto, he happily answer me. The second time I visited, I got a chance to talk to Anton a little bit. He says he may be opening a second location soon, and another possibility is that he expands the current location into two parts: The current casual cafe and a more elaborate full-scale dining restaurant. When I told Anton I came back a second time because I was impressed the first time I went, he thanked me and seemed incredibly appreciative for the comments.

The only drawbacks to the place? Well the location is a bit obscure for those who don't know the area. It's in Waldwick's least visible strip mall, buried deep in from Franklin Turnpike (next to Matthew's Diner). The menu is limited, but expanding. (They just started offering pizza.) And you will wait a bit for your food. But maybe that's not such a drawback, as the food is definitely made fresh. You'll hear the pots clinking and clanking as your order is prepared.

So, make a block of time, type in 10 Franklin Turnpike, Waldwick, NJ into the GPS and check this great place out. This place deserves to be a big hit.

Matthews Diner & Pancake House
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