About the Author
The "South Jersey Foodie" is Nicole Pellegrini, sometimes known as sockii. She enjoys life as a writer, artist, webmaster, crafter and avid food-lover living in some of the last vestiges of active farmland in Gloucester County, New Jersey. She shares her home with her partner David, a podiatrist in Woodbury NJ and their six cats: Peanut, Norman, Sammo, Mischief, George and Benny.
I believe in enjoying life - and that includes enjoying as many different kinds and styles of food as possible. I am an omnivore with a personal passion for small, sustainable, ethical farming and natural foods. I have little patience for the "Food Police" or those who advocate that one dietary plan is the only "right" one for everyone. Find your personal balance and conscience; make food a joy in your life - that's my motto.
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This time around we primarily enjoyed a few old favorites off their menu, but we did try one new special maki roll, the “Spider Man.” This twist on a traditional Spider Roll was simply wonderful, not just in appearance (love the red and black fish roe to give it that Spider Man look!) but in flavor. The soft shell crab was perfect – fresh tasting, nicely batter fried and substantial in amount. Set off with cucumber, avocado, and just a touch of spicy sauce, nothing overpowered the flavor of the crab, only accenting it with a delicious combination of crunchy, salty and spicy flavors. I really hope this becomes a regular roll on their menu whenever soft shells are available – it was truly one of the best rolls I’ve ever had the pleasure to enjoy. At $11.99 for the roll it was quite reasonably priced as well, as are all of the specialty rolls at Eastern Garden.
We also had an older, simpler favorite, the Crunchy Roll with crabstick, tempura “crunchies”, roe and spicy mayo. Comforting and tasty as always. For entrees, we had the Beef Chow Fun, loaded with fresh and crisp-tender vegetables, and their delightfully artistic and fresh Chirashi as well. Somehow there was nothing left to take home at the end of the meal – I don’t know how we ate all that food. The bill was all of $45 for two great specialty rolls, a sushi entree and a very generous noodle dish. We enjoyed the meal with a bottle of Casas Patronales Sauvignon Blanc, one of my favorites for pairing with sushi and just lovely on a warm Spring day, and under $9 at the nearby Patrick’s Wine Barn.
As always, the service at Eastern Garden was top notch, and we gave special thanks to the sushi chef for that delightful new creation of his, the Spider Man roll. Do check it out if you get the chance. Eastern Garden now has a Facebook Fan Page where you can get announcements about new specials and also check out their full menu.
Next up on my review list are two places I’ll be looking at in detail: Philadelphia’s La Veranda, and Mullica Hill’s blueplate.
Terrific Japanese and Chinese Food Can Be Found at Eastern Garden in Sussex, New Jersey