So being back in Jersey City was definitely breathtaking. I got to see the snow fall where my family still lives after all these years, walk along the Hudson where our house hovers and breathe the air that I longed for this past year in Korea. There have been many changes to the area, mostly upgrades, but the best part is being able to still find the same spots that I longed for since moving to Korea.
One of my ultimate favorite breakfast spots is Wonder Bagels, on Sip Ave, but of course there's one right by my house on 440 and Danforth now. Wonder Bagels bakes up the freshest breads and pastries to be served everyday. They cater to a pool of workers and attract the noses and taste buds of all ages. Nothing explains the texture and smell of the classic bagel with cream cheese at Wonder Bagels! Everyone knows how hard it is to get a good bagel in Korea so being able to get an EVERYTHING bagel was amazing. Toasted with cream cheese to perfection.
In addition to great bagels, Filipino food in Jersey City is amazing. The food is literally just home cooked with different dishes everyday at my two favorite places: The Bread House by Dickinson High School on Newark Ave and Rowena's on West Side Ave. There is just so much to choose from with fresh breads, BBQ skewers, and of course stewed goodies.
Another well recognized location in the are is Carlo's Bakery in Hoboken. Carlo's Bakery always has a line for the famous fourth generation baker, Buddy on Cake Boss of TLC. Recognized for his funny goofy attitude and great Italian pastries, locals and tourists wait on lines that can be two blocks long just to sample his deliciousness.
One last location in the Jersey area that is worth mentioning is Sushi Palace, an all you can eat sushi buffet. The difference of this sushi buffet compared to others is that they allow you to order everything fresh rather having it sit out for a while. The best part is that Sushi Palace does not limit that things that you can order. Most all you can eat sushi restaurants only allows for you to order an unlimited amount of sushi, but Sushi Palace includes appetizers, sushi, sashimi, and desserts! Nothing beats a full-on unlimited amount of Japanese food. And of course, you can find great fresh sushi while teaching English in Korea!
Being back home meant that I had to take a visit to Rutgers, where a lot of memories of food are held. If you are familiar with the area, the number one thing that stands out to you is fat sandwiches from the Grease Trucks. Of course, there are a ton of Grease Trucks now, but nothing beats the original RU Hungry. That is the one place to get a fat sandwich (sandwich stuffed with all sorts of fried goodies and topped with a sauce) from. I am definitely considering bringing this concept to Korea just because it is AMAZING.
A few of the other popular locations in the Rutgers area includes Noodle Gourmet (for Chinese food), Thomas' Sweets (for ice cream and chocolates), and my ultimate favorite, I's Cafe (for bubble tea). Iris makes the best bubble tea in town and is always offering deals and discounts. She beats out the others by mixing all sorts of different teas and flavors together. She's not scared to experiment and is the most friendliest boba bar tender I have met thus far! Nothing beats a quick conversation with a tea specialist that pretty much remembers your favorites, even after all these years of not visiting!
Although many may not be a fan of the Jersey area and don't believe it to be recognized for much, is is one place to take a visit if you are in the New York area for the well-recognized foods and shopping. You sure will be able to save on luxury items because of the difference in tax! I sure stacked up on that prior to coming back to Korea!
Graduating with a double major in Communications and Chinese from Rutgers University, it wasn’t long after working in the Big Apple that Cindy Ung decided to take a break from the cliché 9-5 lifestyle and move to Korea to teach English for CDI. Making the bold step to leave her comfortable, mapped out life in the States, she has fallen more in love with the Korean culture as each day passes. With weekly mountain hikes, weekend road trips, discovering great foods and beauty products, constantly meeting new people, her life in Korea has been everything but mapped out.
Check out Cindy’s blog to get a glimpse of what Korea has to offer!