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Side Dish

by Stephanie Evans

Quick Bite: Octopus
Estia Greek Taverna, Marlton
Whole octopus gets massaged in Estia’s specialty machine, grilled and served supremely tender atop a bed of fava bean puree. The char adds a gentle, smoky element and the puree punctuates this appetizer dish with just the right amount of creamy texture. (pictured)

Key Ingredient: Pumpkin
October means Halloween, fall leaves and, of course, pumpkin. But if pumpkin spice is too cliché for your palate then put aside your Jack-o-lanterns and dig into some of these local pumpkin dishes that will get you feeling festive.

Pumpkin and Sriracha Wings
Iron Hill Brewery, Voorhees

Pumpkin Ice Cream Sundae
Hilltop Creamery, Blackwood

Pumpkin Feast Seafood Pot
Tarantella Ristorante, Medford

The Top Five: Macaroni and Cheese
Finding the five best mac and cheese dishes may seem like a cop out; after all, is there really a bad bowl out there? But if you’re a cheesy connoisseur on the hunt for your next great bite, you’ll be blown away by these five South Jersey varieties that make macaroni and cheese a staple at every meal.

B.Y.O. Mac
Start with three-cheese gemelli mac, then add your choice of ingredients—including pork belly, pickled jalapenos and chorizo. Braddock’s, 39 S. Main St., Medford

Lobster Mac ‘N’ Cheese
Everything’s a little more indulgent at The Capital Grille, including the macaroni and cheese, which gets combined with rich, buttery lobster meat. The Capital Grille, 2000 Route 38, Cherry Hill

House Mac & Cheese
This variety gets loaded into a crock, topped with bread crumbs and even more cheese, and baked to form a crispy, crackling crust that’s hard to resist. Carolina Blue, 692 Lambs Road, Pitman

Fried Macaroni & Cheese Balls
Each bite-sized ball of pasta gets rolled in bread crumbs and deep fried to grab-and-go perfection. Bobby Chez, 32 Centerton Road, Mount Laurel

Mac & Cheese Side
No meal at Harvest is complete without their super-creamy side, made with locally sourced cheeses. Harvest Seasonal Grill, 400 Route 38, Moorestown

Fast Food

Philadelphia’s Melting Pot—currently located in Center City—will move to Maple Shade. The fondue restaurant has purchased the former restaurant Posh on Route 38 and will begin the move this month.

Haddon Township’s newest eatery is Heart Beet Kitchen. The café—slated to open this month—is a plant-based restaurant that will serve up all organic as well as gluten-free dishes.

Montegrillo Cucina Italiana owner Michael Colandrea has purchased a space on Collingswood’s Haddon Avenue. No date for opening has been announced.

Haddon Avenue will also welcome a new bakery in Dulce Artisinal Pastry, set to open in the next month.

One last addition to Haddon Avenue in Collingswood is Constellation Collective, a bakery and lunch spot that has become known for their baked goods at local farmers markets.

PJ Whelihan’s in Cherry Hill will now feature a dueling piano bar and house band at the location every Friday from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Marlton has a new pizza spot in MOD Pizza, a chain originally based out of Seattle serving personal pies with unlimited topping options.

Published (and copyrighted) in South Jersey Magazine, Volume 12, Issue 7 (October, 2015).
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