Month: August 2017

Work in tourism? Meet other pros with Skal group

In a working world filled with people employed in industries such as finance, medicine and more, sometimes those working in hospitality and travel can be left feeling a bit on the outskirts.

However, if you become a member of Skal International, the largest professional travel and tourism organization in the world with approximately 450 clubs in 85 countries, you certainly won’t feel that way for long.

That’s because the Northern New Jersey chapter of Skal International (NNJSI), which has monthly meetings usually on the second Tuesday of the month at centrally located venues (such as at the Spanish Tavern in Mountainside, the location of its Sept. 12 meeting), costs about $45 a person from 7 to 9 p.m. and is filled with about 50 local leaders in the tourism world looking to promote goodwill and friendship among those in the travel industry.

~Courtesy of Skal International

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Simply Jerk is Monroe culinary diamond in the rough

Written for MyCentralJersey.com on 8/21/17

If you are one of the many people that call Monroe your home — at least from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at one of the township’s many corporate complexes — you’re probably aware that the local dining options are a bit lacking.

However, Simply Jerk Jamaican Grill, a quaint counter-serve eatery that can seat about 30 people in its colorful, tropical digs, is known as a roadside diamond in the rough with its authentic Jamaican cuisine run by the White family.

“It’s kind of a cultural wasteland here, and for many people, this is their first time having Jamaican food in the States,” said Rahsheid White, vice president of marketing and business development at Simply Jerk who lives in Howell and is son of owner Newell White and executive chef Eleith White, who live in Millstone.

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New Fanwood Grille revives the retro luncheonette

Written for MyCentralJersey.com on 8/16/17

FANWOOD – John Mooney, a 20-year Fanwood resident, recently stumbled upon a 1979 article where the Courier News declared the Fanwood Corner Store as the heartbeat of the community.

He believes it — as a kid, he always appreciated a spin on a retro luncheonette counter seats.

“I always thought it was a shame that the Fanwood Corner Store had this lunch counter but it was never in operation,” said the restaurant public relations consultant, who also owns TapInto.com Scotch Plains-Fanwood. “When the Corner Store went out of business, I said to Paul Watterson, who owns Nick’s Pizza in Fanwood, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if someone opened a grill here?’ And he said, ‘Let’s do it.’”

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Hometown favorite Lory’s Lakeside gets a face lift

Written for MyCentralJersey.com on 8/9/17

Visitors to Lory’s Lakeside, a warm, family-friendly restaurant featuring an “anytime menu” of American favorites, may relish in its lakefront charm – but will also be surprised to know the restaurant that once stood in its place offered zero lakefront views.

“I was looking for a restaurant to buy and I found this unbelievable property – an acre and a half on a lake that had been an eatery for 50 years,” said Todd Lory, owner and chef at Lory’s Lakeside, who also resides on the property. “When I walked into the restaurant formerly called Whalebones, though, I realized they were doing everything wrong – you couldn’t even see the lake.”

Lory scooped up the property 22 years ago and immediately changed and added items to the menu, renovated the interior, revamped the exterior, accentuated the lakefront views and also added bar-friendly elements such as a pool table.

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5 beautiful churches in your backyard

Written for MyCentralJersey.com on 8/7/17

New Jersey churches may not get the kind of press that churches found in places such as Italy or Spain my receive, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not notable.

New Jersey has tons of beautiful churches, many of them right in our Central Jersey backyards, that are worth a visit for those who can appreciate colorful stained glass windows, historic structures and breathtaking columns.

Religious or not, if you’re an architecture buff, check out these amazing churches that can only be found in the Garden State.

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