Today, I had the opportunity to visit a friend who lives in Morris County. This friend of mine shares a similar affection for food, so it was no surprise that our day was filled with good eats.
Around lunch time, we stopped by Raul’s Empanadas Town on Morris Street. This was my first time tasting an empanada. Memories of poorly made empanadas from high school Spanish class parties had turned me off from trying the fried pastry for quite some time, but what I experienced at Raul’s has opened my eyes. We ordered a 5 Sausages & Lime empanada, which featured a filling of five different types of sausage (Colombian, Mexican, Italian, Argentinean, Spanish) stuffed inside a flaky, crunchy pastry exterior. The flavors of the empanada were complemented by the two sauces we tried: Criollo and Creamy Chipotle. Delicious!
After realizing that we were still hungry, my friend and I paid a visit to Grilled Cheese at the Melt Factory. Here, we split a Cheesy Mac and Rib grilled cheese, a grilled cheese sandwich stuffed with a mixture of pulled pork and macaroni and cheese. The combination doesn’t sound like it should work, but good lord, it does. The barbecue sauce of the pulled pork combines with the cheesiness of the macaroni, blending into a gooey mess of tangy barbecue goodness. Though it might be seen as far from traditional, I would undoubtedly recommend this sandwich to any grilled cheese fan. (I also want to thank the restaurant clerk, who gave us a hand when our Yelp iPhone app wasn’t cooperating!)
Half of the Cheesy Mac and Rib…with a pickle!
Toward the end of the day, we found ourselves in Florham Park’s Angelato Heavenly Ice Cream with a hunger for gelato. My friend had the hazelnut gelato. I tried the Death by Chocolate, which was astounding! A super rich chocolate base mixed with miniature chocolate chips. Sweet, creamy, and delicious. How could you ever go wrong with a flavor like that?
I want to take a moment to reflect upon the quality of service at Angelato’s. The clerk who handled our transactions was amiable, courteous, and helpful with her recommendations. Unfortunately, we did not receive her name before we left, but her actions could be seen as a textbook example of valuing the customer.
Case in point: I was explaining to my friend that I had yet to try an espresso. Just as I was debating whether or not to purchase one from Angelato’s, the clerk offered me a sample. Soon, I found myself sitting in front of a cup of freshly brewed espresso. Finding the beverage much larger than what I would call ‘sample sized,’ I offered the clerk payment for the drink. She said it wasn’t necessary.
A small hazelnut gelato next to a cup of espresso…
It’s this type of care and service that places a restaurant or food vendor heads-and-tails above the rest. That clerk basically gave me a free espresso. I very rarely encounter such generosity on a day-to-day basis. Needless to say, Angelato’s will be receiving my business in the future. (And don’t worry, my friend and I left a generous tip for the clerk!)
So that was my adventure in Morris County. In other news, the grilled cheese sandwiches at Panera Bread suck.
Don’t buy this.