I'm always on the lookout for a good Indian restaurant. This may sound weird but it really isn't since my parents were from India and Indian cusine has been a staple in my household. That's fine I totally appreciate Mela Indian Cusine in Ridgewood, NJ.
Because of my familiarity with Indian cusine, I know what tastes good and what's not right, at least I would like to think so. This has also helped when ordering food since I know exactly what I want. The speciality of this place is Tandoori, and it would be a crime to walk out of the restaurant without sampling one of the finer tastes of India. The portions may look small to you but believe me, they are more than satisfactory. The food is very rich and I can't imagine eating huge portions at all.
The staff is very friendly and the atmosphere is calm and relaxing, especially with sitar music playing in the background. This particular place once played host to Ravi Shankar, the most famous sitarist in India. If you can't sit doen for a meal, they are very happy to accomodate you to pick up your food.
The lunch is spectacular with an all-you-can eat buffett served everyday. The selections are plentiful and very filling.
I can't get enough of Mela and always have a craving to go back whenever I need an Indian food fix.
PROS: Great food and atmosphere
CONS: Parking in Ridgewood can be a hassle
There was a time when our jeep didn't start properly in the morning that concerned me, so I took it to Midas in Paramus on Rt. 17 to check it out for me. I'm really familiar with Midas having used this service before back in Canada so I expected the same type of service in New Jersey.
I'm glad I went there because they did a thorough inspection on my jeep and said everything checked out great. While there, I decided to get a much-needed oil change as well. The mechanics inspecting my jeep were very courteous and friendly, explaining exactly what they were doing and always made sure that I understood. They would advise on what improvements to make but would never push me to make those decisions on the spot, if it wasn't a life-threatening situation.
I appreciate the job that they do and stating the honest facts up front. I don't like mechanics that try to tell you that you need everything fixed just to get money out of you. Midas is suppoused to have the golden touch and the one at Paramus seems to be following that rule.
PROS: Friendly, honest mechanics, thorough inspections
CONS: Be prepared to wait if they are busy
My mother-in-law directed me to this place where she orders her pizza from called Italian Time. Located in Waldwick, NJ, Italian Time is a little pizza parlor that serves not only some great pizza but other dishes as well.
Take advantage of the Sunday to Wednesday special on their large cheese pie. It's actually quite a steal when you think about it. The owners are very personable and make you feel welcomed every time you enter their restaurant. This accounts for the repeat business that keeps coming back every week for not only their food but their friendliness.
If you can't make into the place to pick up your food, there's always delivery.
I'm glad Italian Time is around for those days when no one feels like cooking and need something very quick without too much mess. Italian Time fits the billing for those occasions.
PROS: Friendly people, great prices and food
There have been many times when I have placed an online or phone order to River Dell Florists & Gifts, and they always do a tremendous job at making lovely arrangements. My wife has been the recipient of some beautiful bouquets which have been very impressive.
The prices are better than reasonable as I have researched all over the internet. The staff is very artistic in their colour selections and arrangements as seen by their portfolio book.
The flowers are always fresh and last very long when properly taken care of. They are also very prompt when making deliveries. When you tell them what particular time you want it delivered, they will do it.
I haven't had any problems with them at all and will definitely use their services again whenever I need a good flower arrangement.
PROS: Great prices, fresh flowers
The town of Waldwick is all about convenience and Gils Bar & Liquors fits the billing. Located in a strip mall, it enjoys good business due to the other stores within the area. There have been times when I need something quick, either for cooking purposes or for a small gathering, and was always glad that Gils was nearby.
The store is actually quite small but caries a lot of beer and wine. If you are looking for something in particular they can usually dig it up from the storage room, if it's in stock. A lot of customers frequent the place to buy lotto tickets to kill some time while waiting at the laundromat two doors down. Or they would purchase a couple of beers while eating at the pizza parlor next door. People make this the last stop after shopping at the Stop & Shop to bring something home to drink.
I'm sure there are other beer & wine stores which have a bigger selection but like I said earlier, it's all about convenience.
PROS: Location, convenience
CONS: Need to purchase a minimum of $15 before you can use your credit card
I'm really a thrift-right when it comes to purchasing gas because I always want my dollar to go a long way. It's hard to do that when the nearest gas station is always the most expensive. Sunoco in Waldwick is in a convenient location with 7-Eleven, Walgreens and The Village restaurant surrounding the area.
The gas attendants always look annoyed whenever someone pulls up, like we are interrupting whatever it is they are doing. The area is actually big but there are only a few pumps available. I've never seen all the pumps open at once. I guess with a big place like that one would expect some sort of convenience store but that's not the case. Maybe it would be overkill with Walgreens and 7-Eleven nearby.
Being in New Jersey, everything is full service yet I never seem to experience the full service of this station. At least wipe the windows if you are going to call yourself a full service station.
I will only go to this station if I am in dire need of gas, and that has been far and between lately. Usually I'll risk the drive down a few more blocks where the gas is usually 5 cents cheaper (sometimes more) than this place.
When my parents and siblings came to New Jersey for my wedding, they need a place to stay that could accommodate all of them. I knew a regular hotel wouldnt do it since it can be very costly. Plus, I didnt want them just to have a room with only beds. They need more than that.
Thats why I was very glad for Homewood Suites in Mahwah, NJ with all the comforts, convenience, and privacy of home rolled into this one place. The room was equipped with a bedroom complete with a kitchenette and living room area. Also included is a sofa sleeper, television, microwave, dishwasher, and so much more. Theres a public computer room equipped with internet access and printer for the guests usage.
The staff is very friendly and helpful, always lending a hand whenever you need it. A small convenience store is available in case you forgot something. Free buffet breakfast is served every morning and on certain days so is dinner. The food is actually really good for buffet style. Plus, you can get complimentary alcohol with your meals. I saw a family of four living at Homewood Suites while their house was being built and have been there for 4 months so far. Accommodations such as that can be arranged at a very impressive rate. Almost seems better than renting an apartment.
Overall, Im glad my family stayed over there because they had the comforts of home. I didnt need to worry if they were uncomfortable or trapped as a shuttle service was available for them.
PROS: Everything you could possibly need
CONS: I wish I lived there
Being from Canada I had no idea what Ben Franklin was all about, and my wife said there used to be Ben Franklin stores all around where she grew up; however; they have all seem to have gone out of business. This past summer when we went to the shore, she pointed out a Ben Franklin to me and I was curious to see what the hype was all about.
Ben Franklin in Lavalette, NJ reminds me of what an old general store must have been like in the old, old days. Everything under the sun was sold at this place--beach umbrellas, cooking ware, greeting cards, toys, sports equipment, camping paraphernalia--you name it, they must have been carrying it. Because there was so much stuff, all the aisles were cluttered which made moving around a bit hard. However, the prices were good and reasonable.
The store is really two stores connected to make one enormous place. It has that small town charm, very relaxed and laid back. I can see why people frequent this place just to pick up necessities. It's very convenient.
I can see why my wife likes this store. This is what Walgreens is now, and Ben Franklin seems to have been moved aside for the big chain stores. It's a real shame, and I would like to see something like this back where we live.
PROS: Nice, big store
CONS: Really cluttered
I've been using Air Brook for the past four years whenever I needed a car service to and from the airport, and have never been disappointed once at all with this company. I've always been treated with respect, even felt like a movie star at times.
Making a reservation is very easy through their telephone operator. When all the details are given (flight info, etc.) they go on to proceed that they get you to the airport on time on the day that you are leaving. These people are always prompt, sometimes even early and will wait for you until you are ready. The drivers of the vehicles are very professional, courteous and friendly. I have yet to have a bad experience with any driver so far, and Ive had plenty of them.
The cars are always clean and in excellent shape. They are always tuned to perfection that my ride is always smooth. Some people think that hiring a car service to take you or pick you up from the airport is expensive, but given how much a cab fare is for the same distance I believe Air Brook is a great deal.
If you have a large party, they will provide either a limo or a shuttle van for your accommodation. If you can find a park & ride outlet with the Air Brook name attached to it, I recommend using it. It's very easy and reliable.
I can't imagine using any other service than Air Brook because I love the guarantee of having peace of mind whenever I book with them.
PROS: Professional from beginning to end