As a busy mom of three elementary school-aged children, living in the area, I GET IT! Sometimes it’s about feeling isolated; sometimes it’s about realizing its 5:00PM, and you have NO plan for dinner; and sometimes it’s about LOVING our local businesses, but finding it tricky to fit the logistics of local shopping into the plans. It can seem amazingly difficult to “do it all,” but, we try.
I have some GREAT news! Many of our local businesses know about our needs, and want to provide products and services to help. The idea for this article came to me last week, while sitting with local small business owner Jack Kasich, talking about his business. Since 1978, Jack and family have been running Robert Treat Delicatessen, delighting many in our community with delicious, fresh food, and a familiar, comfortable setting. As I looked around the dining room, my eyes rested upon a sign boasting “Curbside” service. WHAT?! I had NO idea! And, more importantly (I thought), I couldn’t be alone! How many of my friends might not give Robert Treat Deli regular business if they knew they could call ahead to order a well-balanced meal, drive to their location at 113 Quimby St., and have someone bring it out to their minivan. Give it a try, by calling (908)232-0925.
Another such lifesaver is Benvenuti, at 512 North Ave., Garwood. You can order by phone, 908-389-9999, or online at http://www.benvenutitalianspecialtiesandcatering.com/ Specialty items include, Chicken Marsala, Stuffed Shells, Prosciutto and Eggs Rustico Fritatta Heros, Margherita Specialty Pizza, Puigliese Specialty Pizza. Family value meals are available, and they bring NYC water from Brooklyn to make the pizza dough! Ample parking, at the Lofts of Garwood, when you are patronizing any of the fine establishments on their street level!
Speaking of Lofts of Garwood, and busy moms… busy moms love to meet for coffee! Consider &grain as a convenient meeting place, just before your next big Shop Rite excursion. John Ropelski, and crew, proudly serve up Stumptown Coffee from Brooklyn, and breads and pastries baked on the premises. When I stopped in last week, I heard John mention some bread-making classes. What a fun activity to do with friends! &grain opened within the last year, at 700 North Ave. 908-232-2233.
Downtown Westfield has a very cool place to meet for coffee, AND bistro fare! Who doesn’t love Rockn’ Joe’s, on Prospect Street? Fear not the parking issue… remember there are two BIG municipal lots within a block of Rockn’ Joe’s, in two directions. Lance and his wife Lisa have been part of the small business community for over 5 years, and they have great new ideas for improvements even now! Are you a vegetarian, or vegan? Rockn’ Joe’s has (count them!) 3 non-dairy alternatives for their delicious coffee drinks, and the bistro menu will be changing in the near future, to provide more alternatives! 20 Prospect St., 908-232-1660.
While we’re on the subject of coffee, I want to let you in on what is no longer such a secret. The guys at Bohemian Raspberry do coffee like pros, because they ARE! One of the owners, Barry Goldenberg really is a true Renaissance man. He’s been a roadie (photographer), with the likes of Springsteen, and is comfortable on a farm. These guys are partial owners of a coffee coop, and have years of barista experience. Why the yogurt? Well, they just do it SO well, and in a really unique way. There is something for everyone at Bohemian Raspberry, 219 South Ave. E., Westfield, 908-228-5616.
Let’s talk about one of THE quintessential hangouts that Westfield has to offer. Sometimes the line is literally out the door! They serve breakfast, and lunch anytime. They do a mean Taylor Eggs & Ham. Have you guessed? Another mom favorite… Bagel Chateau 223 SOUTH AVE E., WESTFIELD, NJ, 908-232-1921
While we’re on the subject of institutions, we would be remiss in not mentioning Jimmy, over at Westfield Diner. During cold and flu season, the homemade stocks that they use for their soups is reason alone to go there, if not the menu with something for everyone. Even the kiddies will agree! Stop that SUV at 309 North Ave. E., Westfield, 908-233-5200.
Now that most of us have smart phones, online ordering is easily accomplished, even from a playing field. Ferraro’s has it down to a science. And, when ordering wisely, a family can get a hearty meal for a very reasonable price… for pick up, or delivery. I regularly feed my hungry brood for under $40, plus delivery! 814 Elm St., Westfield, NJ, 908-232-1105 www.ferrarosrestaurant.com
Just a block away, boasting a casual dining room with a great view of Westfield’s award-winning downtown, is Casa di Pizza 50 Elm Street, Westfield, NJ, 908-654-3232. There is a salad “bar,” fresh soups and wraps are offered, pizza is sold by the slice… and, more importantly, no need to spend time trekking up to 22, anymore, to enjoy their delicious food!
On the other side of the Westfield train station, with ample, free parking (like all of those stores along that corridor!) is San Marzano Pasta Bar. Chef Maurizio Minniti has joined forces with Joseph Petracca, who comes from three generations of family owned Italian restaurants in the USA. Together, they will bring over 60 years of Italian culinary experience to you. You can even get whole-leaf organic teas! 339 South Ave. W., Westfield, 908 232-3222
Another restaurant that is kid friendly, and conveniently located when running errands is Rudy’s Ristorante & Pizzeria. Busy moms can dine in, or pick up, when patronizing the Garwood Mall- 300 South Ave., Garwood, 908-789-3061. They even have a GLUTEN –FREE menu, which is a nutritional requirement that is becoming increasingly prevalent among our youngsters!
While in Garwood, try the slimming offerings at Saladworks, in the same plaza with Spenser Savings, at 319 North Ave. 908-232-0999.
We at the Greater Westfield Area Chamber of Commerce are passionate about the communities we serve. We want to support our local businesses whenever possible. Our members are people, with families, just like yours, living right in your area. Thanks, in advance, for helping us all to succeed, by spending your dollars where you live! If you have any questions, feel free to call our office, 908-233-3021, or visit our website, www.westfieldareachamber.com And, if you own a business here, please consider joining the GWACC!