About two weeks ago I was thinking about how life has surprised us, with its twists and turns. Moving from Portugal to the US about a couple of years ago and having had my own business really were turning points in my life.
I used to own a small business, a small beauty store, selling makeup, cosmetics, perfumes and accessories, in a small town. I loved all the aspects of the business - managing the store, making sure that the store was fully stocked, having brand representatives at the store for marketing campaigns but, essentially, talking to people and helping them choose the best products for themselves and helping them to feel happy about it!
It lasted seven years and then the European economic crises hit and we were no longer able to compete with the big department stores that are always filling the market with lower prices and bigger promotions. The store closed and I became a stay at home mom for my two beautiful children.
My love for small and local business remains and it got me inspired to use my blog as a tool to share local businesses around me, in Scotch Plains and Fanwood, New Jersey. Since we've moved here we came to know a bit more about this community and everything about the place really is appealing for families and, truly, the people that live here ARE this place!
Not so long ago I noticed a new business in Fanwood and it immediately caught my attention. From the exterior I could see the inside through the glass windows and door and it looked like a welcoming place, perfect to take my family out to lunch! It was crowded which is always a good sign when we're talking about diners and restaurants.
I contacted the owner of the Fanwood Grille, John Mooney, who was extremely open to the idea of having his place reviewed by me and posted on the blog and on social media. After all, even I had heard wonderful things about their food, on Facebook!
All the opinions expressed are my own and, although I didn't pay for any of the products I tasted, I'm writing my sincere and honest opinion on the subject.
The place has a really cozy feeling, not overcrowded with tables and mainly decorated with wood accents which always gives that comfort feeling. The brick wall, I thought, is also a very nice feature and complement perfectly the rest of the decoration. It's somewhat a new, modernized version of a diner, with the home made food and welcoming environment.
When we go in we can immediately spot the kitchen area, which is always a good sign! If someone's comfortable enough for the costumers to see what's happening in the kitchen, all the time, it can only mean that the ingredients and the food have great quality and there is absolutely nothing to hide!
There's also the counter area where you can see a display of several items depending on the special of the day. Salads, soups, fresh fruit cups or parfaits. I'm only using photos with no people on them to protect people's privacy, after all, I'm reviewing the establishment and I didn't intend to disturb anyone.
The menu has all the usual items that you can find in such eateries like burgers, hot dogs, breakfast options and also "Signature items" that promise to surprise and excite your taste buds! From the lobster roll to the crab cake, the Gerry Cooney Prime Steak Sandwich, the Cowboy Tony Hot Dog, the Waldorf Salad with Guinness cheddar cheese there are plenty of options to satisfy the most demanding costumers. The overall prices are pretty good ranging from $5 to $18 and, of course, the most expensive dishes are the signature items due to the great quality ingredients that are used.
So, let's talk about the food! For starters I tasted three soups. All soups are made from scratch at the Fanwood Grille. They're made fresh every morning and with careful picked ingredients to guarantee the best tasting soups and great quality from start to finish.