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Not So Friendly At Friendly’s In Hackettstown

When it’s past 8 on a weekday in Hackettstown, the dining choices are beyond limited. I could have gone to Ruby Tuesday or something along those lines, but I decided to stop at Friendly’s instead. I haven’t been to Friendly’s for years. But the last time I was there, I remembered having a pretty darn good salad. So I thought I could try getting that again.
Indeed, I got that salad, the Asian Chicken Salad. It is a heap of mixed greens topped with sliced ginger-glazed grilled chicken breast, with mandarin oranges, almonds, and wonton strips with a sweet ginger-sesame dressing. This salad is really good! It’s especially good for those who like sweeter dressings. The chicken is really good too, cooked well and tender. I know it might surprise you, but really, this salad is quite good.
I was actually pretty full, but since I was at Friendly’s, I felt like I had to get a sweet treat. I got the Strawberry Shortcake sundae. It’s 3 scoops of vanilla ice cream with chunks of vanilla pound cake and strawberry topping. Well, this thing was kind of gross but kind of not gross. I thought it would be actual hunks of cake, but it was cubes of some weird packaged pound cake type substance that they must specifically make for this sundae. And as puzzled as I was whether I liked this thing or not, I ate it like it was my last meal and I only had 30-seconds to eat it. It was kind of disturbing how quickly I scarfed this down. But I’m still no sure what I thought about it. What I am sure of is that the lady who waited on me wanted nothing to do with me. And she was about the least friendly person that has ever served me, definitely ironic since I was at Friendly’s. Oh well. She can suck it.

Sky Cafe – My Favorite Indonesian

I absolutely love Sky Cafe, but I hadn’t been there since last summer. And how did I know it had been so long? Because Betty remembered! Yeah, she knew me the second time I came in, and she still knew me, months later! Yet another reason to love this place, aside from the tasty food. And what more can I say about these fried dumplings. They’re the best, just the best. I could just eat these all day long. They’re hot, meaty, magical.
In addition to the dumplings, which are a must, the other standout item on their menu is always the tofu salad. It’s hard to describe this sauce, other than the fact that I would put it on everything if I could. The salad is just pretty much iceberg lettuce, cucumbers, sprouts, fried tofu, peanuts, and then the SAUCE. It’s slightly spicy, sweet, peanut-ish, and you just want to drink it up. I don’t know how they fry these tofu cubes to be so delicious, but they just do it right. Anything would taste amazing with this sauce, but these tofu bits just go beyond. Even when my mouth burns from the spice I can’t stop eating it. It’s a must for you vegetarian folks!
This is the mie komplit. Sounds kinda french, doesn’t it? Well, it’s not. It’s a bunch of noodles with pickled eggs, more fried dumplings(!), veggies, pork, and fried shallots along with a bowl of chicken broth soup. The broth was pretty meh. The noodles were much better and more exciting.
I forget the name of this one but it’s a wide flat rice noodle and seafood dish with gravy. Yum. I love wide flat rice noodles, seafood, and gravy, so how could I go wrong with this? And even though it was seafood, there was some sausage in there too, surprise! This is definitely my favorite indonesian restaurant in philly, and one of my favorite restaurants in general. It’s like an adorable hidden gem, only I wish it weren’t so hidden so that everybody could go here! And you know it’s super cheap… like crazy cheap. I promise to be back more this summer!

Sushi At Bluefin – Plymouth Meeting

My mom’s birthday came around again, which meant it was time to go eat sushi! We stuck with the burbs, but since neither of us had ever been, we went to Bluefin in Plymouth Meeting. And even on a tuesday night, and after making reservations in advance, we still could only get a seat at the sushi bar. It’s kind of crazy how busy this place is. It’s so unassuming on the outside, being in a random sad little strip mall. But it’s quite nice on the inside. We indeed sat at the sushi bar and all the sushi dudes were busy, busy, busy the entire time we were there.
I always like to get a salad to check out what the dressing is like. It was good! I also thought the miso soup was quite good, but my mom thought it was a little bit too salty. I think she’s slowly going senile, it was perfectly good soup.
The server guy, or owner guy, or manager guy, recommended the Usuzukuri as an appetizer. It is extremely thinly sliced fluke served in a yuzu dressing with jalapeƱo paste. This was delicious but totally unecessary. The fish is super fresh (brought in daily except sundays) and it absolutely melts in your mouth. The jalapeno paste is also pretty darn spicy, but goes really well with the fish. I say it was unecessary because once we were done eating this thing, I was already getting fairly full, and we hadn’t even gotten our sushi yet. So it nearly rendered our entrees practically useless. This is typically why I’m not all that into appetizers, because I’m a fan of the main event.
I really love agedashi tofu, so I wanted to try it here. Boy, was that ever a mistake. I am hoping this was just a major snafu. It was like they had some sauce concentrate, an they forgot to dilute it. It was mad, crazy salty and not in a good way. The tofu itself was great and so were all the fixins, but the sauce was terrible. Major fail!
So my mom got the Sushi Dinner with 8 pieces of assorted sushi and a crunchy spicy tuna roll. Holy big pieces of fish, batman! Here’s something that blew our minds – how large these pieces of fish were. They do not skimp here! The ratio of fish to rice is about 4:1, no joke. Like the fish in our appetizer, it’s all super fresh and they also do not skimp with the wasabi either.
This is the Noname Roll I, with avocado topped on a shrimp tempura roll with unagi sauce, tempura chips, and roe. Oh man, this was good! The avocado was super ripe and buttery and melty and it’s also quite huge and filling.
I don’t know if they even have proper dessert here, but you just get free dessert there. You get some fruit and some fried bananas. Not too shabby! Overall, the food was good and the sushi was fresh. But it’s hard to overlook the major agedashi tofu fiasco. The service was good. Considering just how busy it was, the food came out at a decent pace. I’m not quite convinced that it’s worth all the hype, but it was a nice night out.

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