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Side Dish

by Erica Bauwens

Quick Bite: Beef Negimaki

Megu Sushi, Moorestown
Looking for a more savory roll to complement your plate of sushi? Check out these morsels, thin strips of tender beef wrapped around lightly sautéed scallions. The pieces are sliced and quickly seared before being coated in a tangy teriyaki sauce and served with just a sprinkling of white sesame seeds.

Key Ingredient: Bacon
Who doesn’t love bacon? Everyone’s favorite salty, crunchy, albeit maybe a bit unhealthy, treat has become a national trend, and South Jersey isn’t to be left out of the fun. Local bacon lovers have created the first-ever South Jersey Bacon and Beer Festival, which benefits Willingboro’s Crossroads Program. In anticipation of the Aug. 14 event at the Collingswood Scottish Rite, we picked some of our favorite bacon-inspired dishes to whet your appetite.

Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing
The Capital Grille, Cherry Hill

The Hot Pig-Dog with Cheddar Cheese and Bacon
Grilly Cheese, Glassboro

CHUlicious Burger with Chinese Bacon
CHUlicious, Mount Laurel

Lunch Under $15 : Woodbury’s Broad Street
It’s time to take advantage of these beautiful summer days; they’ll be gone before you know it. Leave your bagged lunches at home and check out the best places to get a quick lunch in the heart of Broad Street.

Chicken Tender Salad with Avocado
Woodbury Station Café sits just a few blocks from the main drag, and serves up salads like this one, filled with field greens, tomatoes, chicken tenders and sliced avocado. $11.99 at Woodbury Station Cafe, 101 Cooper St.

Swiss and Mushroom Burger
Made to order, this burger is topped with Swiss cheese, mushrooms, lettuce and tomato. If you're really hungry, add the Unlimited Farmer's Market Salad Bar for another $3.99. $10.29 at Charlie Brown's Fresh Grill, 111 N. Broad St.

Banh Mi Bo Kho
If you're looking for a little culture with your lunch break, you can't go wrong with this authentic Vietnamese beef stew, served on a baguette with fresh lime. $5.95 at Bo Ne Restaurant, 547 N. Broad St.

Homemade Baked Lasagna
Sometimes, you're just craving a classic. Colonial Diner's homemade lasagna bakes layers of pasta, sauce, cheese and ground beef into one hearty dish that will leave you full until dinner. $9.99 at Colonial Diner, 924 N. Broad St.

Szechuan Beef
This spicy deep-fried chicken dish, one of the 32 items on the restaurant's $5.25 lunch menu, is served with a variety of side combinations, including pork fried rice or white rice, an egg roll, a can of soda and five different kinds of soup. $5.25 at Golden Palace, 35 S. Broad St.

Drink This: Summertime Wines
Light texture and crispness are two qualities that you crave in your summertime wine. That’s why Nina Sygnecki, wine director for Traino's Wine and Spirits in Marlton and Voorhees, opts for a bottle of rosé or white wine when enjoying a barbeque or outdoor picnic.

We asked Syngecki to name some of her favorite rosés on the shelves this summer, and her picks took us on a trip around the world. “A classic dry rosé is what you would drink in place of red wine for the summer,” Sygnecki says. “But all of these wines are absolutely perfect for a hot summer’s day.”

Billette Bouquet de Provence
Rosé, France

Vera Vinho VerdeWhite,

Gaujal de Saint Bon
Picpoul de Pinet, France

Tasting: The Kid Can Cook
Cooking was never 17-year-old Dante Foggy’s top priority until he stepped into the Burlington County Institute of Technology. Three years later, the Burlington Township native has evolved into a bit of an expert who’s one of 16 national teens competing on the Food Network’s Chopped Teen Tournament, and only one of four to make it to the Aug. 12 finale with the hopes of winning $25,000 and a culinary school scholarship. We talked with Foggy about the heat of national competition.

Cooking competitively on national TV:
It was OK. I was very confident going in, and I knew once I was there, I was there. So I was really in the zone and I knew what to do. It was easy for me, and I was ready.

His cooking background:
When I started Burlington County Institute of Technology, I had to pick a major. I picked culinary, and I was OK. I wasn’t the best. But after three years in the program, I became really good. I started being confident and I cooked a lot more in the kitchen in my house, and I also had a couple culinary jobs.

His favorite recipe to cook:
My favorite thing to cook is pan fried chicken with risotto.

A future in the kitchen:
I never really thought I would be a chef until I was in school one day and I met this kid. He was very cocky, and he would say he’s a chef and he’s this and he’s that. So I was like, “I’m gonna beat this kid.” So I tried, and I [beat] him one day. And that really taught me that you could have all the talent in the world, but passion beats talent.

The hardest part of being on Chopped:
The hardest part was knowing I was about to [beat] some kids who weren’t even ready for it. I knew it coming in there, and they looked like they were there to have fun. And I was like, I’m here to win and get this money. I came in there with a beast mode, and I knew I was gonna tear the kids up.

Fast Food

Le Café Creperie, formerly of Cherry Hill, has made the move to Marlton. The creperie opened in its new location in mid-July.

Marlton’s La Posata Ristorante, the Italian eatery owned and operated by Joe Vento, has closed its doors.

Toscana Brick Oven Pizzeria in Mullica Hill has closed.

Westville’s Meneko Spigner McBeth was selected as one of the four finalists in Lay’s Do Us a Flavor contest, which gives the country the chance to vote for the retailer’s next flavor of potato chip. Should McBeth’s concoction—kettle cooked wasabi ginger chips—win, she will be awarded $1 million.

Tacconelli’s Pizzeria has re-opened at their new location in Maple Shade after closing their original South Jersey location in February.

Haddonfield’s Animo Juice has opened their new location. They will still be located on Kings Highway but have made a move across the street.

Five South Jersey restaurants were named to Wine Spectator magazine’s 2014 Restaurant Awards, including Caffe Aldo Lamberti, which won the Best of Award of Excellence.

Published (and copyrighted) in South Jersey Magazine, Volume 11, Issue 5 August, 2014).
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