Author: jennaintersimone

Jenna Intersimone, a digital-driven New Jersey journalist, writes a Tuesday Travel column and regularly contributes to the Wednesday Table section in the Courier News, Home News Tribune as well as MyCentralJersey.com and DailyRecord.com derived from her blog, LifeAboardTheTravelingCircus.com. Serving as the unofficial cheerleader of the Garden State, Intersimone loves all things Jersey from its sprawling beaches, to its bustling lifestyle, and, of course, its abundance of award-winning restaurants representing every corner of the world. With a passion for technology and innovation, Intersimone is also a member of the MyCentralJersey.com and DailyRecord.com digital team, serving as the engagement editor and as a web producer for the sites.

4 places to get scared in Central Jersey

Written for MyCentralJersey.com on 10/18/17

Halloween may be falling on a Tuesday this year, but for fans of everything that’s creepy, chilling and gruesome, all that means is that we have two solid weekends left to celebrate one of America’s favorite holidays.

Here in Central Jersey, we have plenty of haunted attractions lurking in the darkness, armed with fake blood, costumed monsters and bloodcurdling screams. If you’re ready to get your annual dose of Halloween scares, check out these local haunted attractions for a hair-raising good time.

Courtesy of Norz Hill Farm

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Zombies run amok for laser tag at Schaefer Farms

Usually, there’s not much you can do to redeem yourself after being scared silly by zombies at Schaefer Farms’ Schaefer’s Frightfest in Flemington, which includes a haunted hayride, a walk of terror, a haunted corn maze and the Carnival of Chaos.

However, thanks to zombie laser tag at Bullseye Virtual Combat, an outdoor laser tag arena at the farm, you can seek revenge on those pesky flesh-eating monsters.

“This game is a complement to Schaefer Farms’ haunted attractions,” said Vic Pellegrini, who opened Bullseye Virtual Combat last year. “People want to take revenge on all the things that scared them. Now, they can fight back.”

~Courtesy of Bullseye Virtual Combat

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Lambertville-New Hope app showcases area happenings

Written for MyCentralJersey.com on 10/9/17

LAMBERTVILLE – With fall in full swing, Lambertville and New Hope are budding with visitors looking for a place to hike, bike, shop or even just enjoy a night out are heading to the popular Central Jersey-Pennsylvania destination.

And now, thanks to the Lambertville-New Hope app, which can be downloaded by visiting mycj.co/2xbeK8w or by searching for “Lambertville-New Hope” in the app store on your phone or tablet, visitors can browse every event, restaurant, shop, business and even parking lot right from their devices.

“It’s a who, what, where, when and how all in one spot on the thing that everyone has in their hand,” said Marianne Romano, founder of Mountaintop Marketing and creator of the app.

~Courtesy of Mountaintop Marketing

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Millennials are rocking the N.J. foodie world

Written for MyCentralJersey.com on 10/3/17

When was the last time you walked into a chain restaurant?

How about the last time you called an eatery to voice your feedback?

Or the last time you ordered a standard dish like chicken fingers or meatloaf?

If you’re a millennial — someone roughly between the ages of 20 and 40 — there’s a good chance you won’t be able to answer any of these questions. That’s because today’s typical millennial foodie doesn’t have a lot in common with older generations.

“Millennials are different because they’ve grown up accustomed to expecting better,” said Erika Desimone, director of marketing at Capital Craft in Green Brook, a modern gastropub with an ever-evolving menu. “They are not a generation of kids who grew up on chicken fingers and fries; they have long been familiar with locally grown produce, organic meats and dairy, and they aren’t afraid to try exotic flavors and cooking styles.”

~Courtesy of Barca City Cafe and Bar

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Where to celebrate Oktoberfest in Central Jersey

Written for MyCentralJersey.com on 10/2/17

Although Central Jersey may be much more than a short drive away from Munich for the city’s annual Oktoberfest celebration, there’s no reason to hop a flight to enjoy authentic German beer, food and music because our region will be holding Oktoberfest celebrations throughout the month.

Whether you’re a full-blooded German or you just want to grab a bite of some bratwurst and schnitzel, check out these Oktoberfests happening right around the corner.

~Gannett file photo

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Not your average joe: How today’s coffee has evolved

Written for MyCentralJersey.com on 9/26/17

To our parents and grandparents, coffee meant one thing — a steaming cup o’ joe.

To today’s Central Jersey java aficionados, a cup of coffee can mean many things — varying brewing techniques, farming practices, milk mechanics, flavors and much more.

This is reflected in the growing number of local coffee shops which have sprung in popularity in recent years due to changing coffee trends. And we’re not just talking about Starbucks here. These days, people don’t just want to grab a cup of coffee and go — they want a community experience with a hot cup with a traceable background.

Hidden Grounds is in the process of developing two additional locations. ~Courtesy of Hidden Grounds

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6 things to do on a fall day in Hunterdon County

Written for MyCentralJersey.com on 9/25/17

As the leaves change colors and the air cools from the humid, summer weather, there’s no better place to experience the fall season than in Hunterdon County, which is nestled on the banks of the Delaware River and surrounded by rolling hills, locally owned shops and historic eateries.

If summer has you missing long weekends away, then head to Hunterdon County and check out some of these fun activities in this varied spot.

No need to head to the city for a five-star meal — Lambertville Station Restaurant features locally grown and sourced ingredients served in a restored 19th-century train station overlooking the Delaware River. (Courtesy of Lambertville Station)

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New Jersey Eats: Top 10 Central Jersey restaurants

Written for MyCentralJersey.com on 9/13/17

Somerset, Hunterdon, Middlesex and Union counties are known for their incredible mix of countryside, metropolitan living, diversity and vitality, and this is ever-reflected in the cuisine of the region.

Here in Central Jersey, you can find everything from five-star formal American dining to ethnic fare with a modern twist and everything in between.

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Stax Pancake Factory brings organic breakfast to Branchburg

Written for MyCentralJersey.com on 9/18/17

Although everyone can appreciate a stack of French toast and bacon from their local diner on a Saturday morning, the truth is obvious – there’s no way that every item on a 20-page menu can be fresh and made-to-order.

That’s why Nikolaos Renieris, founder of Nik’s Restaurant Group which owns local favorites such as Nik’s Raritan Pub, Nik’s Wunderbar and Biergarten of Whitehouse Station and Outpost Barbeque in Bridgewater decided to add a breakfast joint to their 20-year-old family-run business.

Courtesy of Stax Pancake Factory and Bar

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New Jersey Eats: Top 10 Morris restaurants

Written for DailyRecord.com on 7/13/17

From Mount Olive to Mountain Lakes, Morris County has it all when it comes to dining – the region is known for its fine dining eateries featuring pre-fixe menus with exotic dishes to hometown pub hangouts with some of the best pizza and burgers to be found.

When it comes to determining the top eateries, the answers are simple – these restaurants always have full parking lots and patrons with full stomachs.

Courtesy of Jockey Hollow

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