Apparently I ruffled a feather or two recently in my first review of Tavro 13 (which I loved) in Swedesboro. Another reviewer in the New Town Press wouldn’t name names, but did take a pretty obvious quote from my review commenting on the overall dining scene in South Jersey. Hey, thanks for reading! But a little credit where credit is due would have been nice, don’t you think?
(PS: You might want to proofread your review better also, as it’s Tavro 13, not Tavros 13. You know, getting the name of a restaurant correct when you’re reviewing it is kind of important.)
So what did I say that was apparently so nervy? “…one of the definite drawbacks of living in a rural part of New Jersey is that local dining options are largely limited to old fashioned diners, Chinese/Japanese ‘fusion’ spots, red gravy Italian, sports bars and national chains.”
I totally stand by that remark, because in my experience it’s completely true. That’s not to say all or even that many of those old fashioned diners, fusion places and red gravy Italian are necessarily bad or undesirable. There are times I love stopping in the Harrison House diner for one of their crab cake salads or dinners; I like the sushi at Green Tea quite a bit. I’ve complemented A’Pizze overall (despite some issues) – certainly as an improvement over Barone’s. And I have a strange addiction to Applebee’s Spinach and Artichoke Dip (athough I’ll probably be joining the boycotts of the chain after their recent kerfluffle over a waitress firing).
What I was saying is that the options around here are, for the most part, limited – certainly compared to Philadelphia, or a more suburban/developed part of South Jersey like Collingswood with its vibrant restaurant scene. I lived in Philadelphia for 16 years, I know. And yes, I firmly believe there is resistance to the kind of dining offered by Tavro 13 among some in the area community. When I dined at Tavro 13 the first time I was sitting right next to a couple quibbling over the portion sizes compared to how they used to be at The Old Swedes Inn and elsewhere nearby (note, sizes, not the quality of the food) and commenting snarkily to each other, “I don’t think [name of another restaurant omitted] have anything to worry about.” Look at the Yelp reviews of Tavro 13 from people in the area and there are complaints along the lines of the food not being suitable for an “Average Joe” and “thinking they are in center city”.
That said, I still love living here and wouldn’t trade the Philly restaurant scene for the rural life in this area. But I am happy that now I only have to travel 10 minutes from home to get that kind of high end, unique dining experience instead of traveling 40-60 minutes into the city when I feel like it.