Where Route 23 North meets Route 46 East, you will find a little slice of Italy as the highways merge. Since 1960 this family has owned and operated this rounded corner of 2 major NJ highways which has done everything from pasta to pastry.
Currently this is the best place for pastry outside of Italy you can find in my experience, and I’ve lived in this region all my life. I doubt you can find better, fresher pastry even in NY’s Little Italy. I was really impressed with the Rum Baba or Baba au Rhum. It does not have that harsh rum flavor, this was much more mild and had a hint of citrus, perhaps Cointreau was used in place of traditional rum? Either way, it’s the best I’ve ever had.
However, be prepared to pay the price. A few pastries and a couple of cups of coffee can set you back the price of a full lunch somewhere else.
If you do want lunch, they have some great panini and small sandwiches. My favorite is the Bresaola, which is not the easiest cured meat to find, even in authentic Italian specialty stores. Its very thinly sliced bresaola, shaved parmesan cheese, and arugula on grilled Italian bread.
They also serve lunch and have great pasta dishes. I personally have not tried them, but others rave about it. Pasta is just one of those things I know I can easily make at home, so rarely order it when I am out. Though they have the equipment, the busy counter service is so busy you will find yourself waiting at least 15 minutes or more for something as simple as an espresso or a cappuccino along with a pastry from behind the counter.
If you want a taste of Italy to take home, they have pasta you will not commonly see anywhere. In fact, I’ve never seen this brand of pasta but they include my some of my favorites fro childhood and fancy restaurants. At $6.50 they are not cheap, the best pasta from Italy never sells for more than half their prices, but again, you will be searching for sometime to find it locally.
Many places claim to be Italian, from Italian heritage, or in the old world Italian style, but this truly is as close as you can get to Italy without a passport.
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