The Getaway: Lyndhurst, New Jersey

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Though NJ suburbia might seem the wild and woolly hinterlands to Manhattanites, many of the towns and cities of NY’s just-across-the-river neighbor are on direct lines for buses and trains for the thousands of people who commute daily into ‘the city.’ One such little enclave is Lyndhurst, NJ, a mile-by-mile town filled to the brim with commuters of every ethnicity, shape and type of running shoe. So for those walking, running, catching a bus or hoping a train in, here are a few places worth checking out for a nosh.

The Bagel Stop (290 Ridge Road, Lyndhurst, NJ), is the place in town for fresh bagels. A mere five minute walk to the train, this friendly bright spot, manned by a spirited husband and wife team, sell such a constant variety of bagels to commuters, teachers (there’s a school right across the street) and local business people that the place is a beehive of friendly neighborhood activity in the morning. Lunch here is tops as well, featuring homemade Mexican fare. Plenty of seating at the counter or tables.

Of the same ‘breakfastie’ style, but concentrating more on their specialty, which is coffee, Joe’s Java (302 Ridge Road (a block down from the Bagel Stop and literally two steps from the bus)) offers the best coffee variety in town. Lattes, cappuccinos, hot chocolate and daily blends, this place cannot be beat for the real coffee connoisseur. Do yourself a favor and grab one of the homemade cupcakes, voted in a recent newspaper poll as one of the best in NJ. Open late night for dinner and hanging (they do lunch to) visit them for real or in cyber space at www.myspace.com/joes_java.

Tero’s Snack Bar and Restaurant (224 Ridge Road). Thought not really a ‘snack bar’ this Spanish ‘tavern’ features a bar with tables on one side, then a dining room on the other. Serving reasonably-priced lunches or dinner, the staff here is friendly and the food great. Their chicken sandwich and garlic shrimp are to die for, and there is a bunch of other stuff to choose from as well. Take out also available.

All the above places happen to be on the main thoroughfare of Lyndhurst, Ridge Road, but on the other side of town is the landmark, The Lyndhurst Diner (what report of NJ eateries would be complete without a diner mention?). Sitting on the corner of River Road and Kingsland Avenue, this classic NJ diner gives great food, great prices and waitresses who probably know you by name. Pea soup on Thursdays, French toast anytime and a house specialty escarole and beans, you will be satiated any time, day or night, at The Lyndhurst Diner.

Ralph Greco, Jr.

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