In Montclair Eats, food writer Steven DeSalvo compares dishes at Montclair restaurants. DeSalvo has a degree in hospitality business management from the University of Delaware and has worked extensively in restaurants and hotels.
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By STEVEN DeSALVO
For Montclair Local
I was working on this edition of “Montclair Eats” during a slew of incredibly hot and incredibly humid days. I struggled to think of food items that are a quick pickup or eat in this weather, and decided that Mediterranean salads and or dips are perfect. They are delicious, for the most part served cold, and they are easily transportable so that one can spend minimal time in the elements. The options in town in this category are so many that I may need to revisit this topic in the future, but for this one I needed to choose just three different examples.
- For my first stop, Jackie’s Grillette, I really wanted something cool, crisp, and refreshing. The cucumber tomato salad was the embodiment of what I was looking for. The crunch of the vegetables along with the bright acidity of the dressing make for a perfect light, flavorful, and textural experience. This salad would go perfectly with a couple of the other delicious dips that they offer to make for a balanced meal. I certainly didn’t mind having it on its own though. There is plenty of complexity there to keep this experience an enjoyable one.
- My second snack was the eggplant dip from Marcel Bakery and Kitchen. This dip is fantastic. It has so many layers of flavor and texture, whether it is the smokiness from the roasting of the eggplant or the creamy consistency of the dip itself. This is a full-on experience. Please note that it is best enjoyed with some form of bread to scoop up massive quantities of it! I would also suggest trying some of the other take-away items available; some of my favorites are the hummus and the salmon salad.
3. Finally I sampled the hummus at Montclair Falafel. I am a huge fan of hummus and Montclair Falafel serves up a delicious one. I would suggest enjoying some of their falafel along with it. It is a great example of hummus in that it is packed with flavor. It has a nice and light texture, and it isn’t overly acidic due to too much lemon juice. The flavors are balanced and so is the texture. Grab a couple of pieces of pita bread to make short work of your food!
I strongly recommend that you explore the menus at these establishments as they all have great things to offer. There are almost too many options in town for delicious Mediterranean food so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for another edition of this at some point!
In this article:
614 Valley Road
Marcel Bakery and Kitchen
631 1/2 Valley Road
16 Church St.