Berkeley Heights - 2 Great New Places to Eat!
Sunday, March 3, 2013 • 6:26pm
I want to highlight 2 great improvements to downtown Berkeley Heights - ones that its owners can take great pride in starting up, and residents of every age can enjoy.
Yogoccino and Deena's Delights are restaurants that opened in the last few months, and I've gone to eat at both establishments several times since then. I can say with absolute sincerity that they provide excellent food at a reasonable price, and are well worth supporting when you're out and about.
Before I go further, let me say that I have no connections to either establishment and their respective owners.
Yogoccino, adjacant to the Berkeley Cinema building on Springfield Avenue, is run by Steven Guastamacchia and Stephen DeMaria. They've expanded the facility since its grand opening in August 2012; in addition to its delicious frozen yogurt, they now boast a fully operating restaurant, with its kitchen open from morning to 4:00 PM, seven days a week.
Robert, the chef, makes a skirt steak that would tempt any vegetarian to switch diet plans, as well as a host of other options. For those who love having breakfast food any time of the day, I particularly recommend their pancakes, filled or unfilled.
For families looking for a kid-friendly place to hang out for an hour or to, Yogoccino provides free WiFi for customers, together with a lounge-like area to sit with your device of choice. Their staff is friendly and attentive, while Guastamacchia will frequently go table to table, chatting with new and regular customers alike. It's this kind of all-around service that makes customers like me come back again and again.
Those same qualities - food, atmosphere and service - make Deena's Delights an equally welcomed part of downtown Berkeley Heights. Local residents Yoram and Donna Aflalo's cafe functions differently, however, than Guastamacchia and DeMaria's enterprise. Deena's Delights, in addition to serving an excellent mix of Mediterranean and American cuisine, also serves as our train station. During morning and evening rush hours, the cafe will teem with commuters; the free Wi-Fi, together with a waiting room directly connected to the cafe , make the food and refreshments all the more enticing.
Deena's, for my money, gives you the best "bang for your buck" with its Mediterranean options, with a great ratio of portion size/quality to price. I highly recommend their chicken shawarma, either as a wrap or as part of their salad platter, while "Deena's Salad" (named after Aflalo's mother) is an excellent choice as well. Whether you have time to relax and watch TV, or need to grab a quick bite before boarding the train, Deena's is a "Delight-full" addition to Berkeley Heights.
While much, much more remains to be done in making downtown Berkeley Heights an attractive, sustainable hub for business owners and their customers, it's great to see progress being made. If we as residents want keep the progress going, I'd ask them to join me in making an effort to "eat local", just as towns like Madison have done for years.
Above all, don't just take my word for it - go see (and eat) for yourself!