AD JERSEUM: Shannon Rose – Ireland in New Jersey

While you may be recuperating from a weekend of St. Patrick’s Day parades and imbibing enough liquor to get 3 of Jabba the Hutt’s drunk uncles even drunker, why not enjoy the latest installment of Ad Jerseum? It’s been a while, so here it goes!

Unless there’s some free food in it for me, giving free plugs to chain restaurants is not something I do. I really contemplated posting about this billboard solely for that reason, but ultimately it’s too Jersey too pass it up. I’d much rather give the plug to a local mom and pop restaurant, but today’s billboard literally jumped out at me several months ago.

I took this photo a while back and rather than just sit on it until next year, it would probably be best if I actually posted this before St. Patrick’s Day 2014 comes to an end, wouldn’t you say?

This billboard ad resides on Route 1 South in the Rahway area. It caught my eye thanks to its usage of the state. The comparison is very persuasive. If you’re a fan of Irish pubs/restaurants and you’re cruising down Route 1, I think it would entice you to turn off.

As offensive it might be to some, the fact is, I’m not really a big fan of Irish pubs. It’s more because I prefer Italian and Mexican food over basically any other cuisine, but I have to admit, nothing beats beer, burgers, and those giant fries at an Irish pub.

Shannon Rose, an Irish pub/restaurant chain, has 3 locations and they’ re all in New Jersey. I’ve eaten there many times and I’ve never been disappointed, although I will say that it gets extremely packed, and it’s pretty loud, especially on Sundays during football season. It’s definitely not a spot to go if you’re trying to be incognito, but the beer is cold and the appetizers are great.

Mural Memories and Macabre Scenes in Middlesex NJ

The store window of Ghouls Gags & Gifts, a Halloween costume shop, features masks of Jason, Vader, and Chewbacca in the window along with rental costumes of Dracula and Wonder Woman. A Thriller zombie dance is happening in the street while the Bride of Frankenstein looks like she’s heading into the store do some damage on her credit card.

The artist drew a happy fanboy from NJ reading Weird NJ and wore a Mezco Toys t-shirt
I’ve always been a big fan of hand painted wall murals. My Aunt and Uncle had several done in their house before I was born and they are still there ’til this day. I admire the shit out of them every time I visit. There’s something about artists applying their work directly to a wall of a place you live in everyday that evokes such a one of kind feeling in me. To a lesser degree it’s like a tattoo. This all depends on how good the artist is of course. My sister drew on her walls when she was a kid, and that’s certainly not the type of wall artwork that I had in mind. Her sloppy scrawling of “I love Jordan Knight” although memorable, is nothing compared to the interior wall art we’ll look at in this post. I appreciate wall murals most when the subject matter reflects the inhabitants’ vibe and personalities, such as at Ferraro’s Pizzeria and Pub in Middlesex, NJ.

I love how the trees seem like they are growing out of the mural and
the canopy fits right over the view of the inside of the cafe

Depending on the nature of the mural I tend to appreciate the kitsch factor. When there’s a lot of details to investigate I’ll wind up mesmerized. As I mentioned, the murals my Aunt and Uncle have in their place include a ’50s diner scene as well as a scene of the New York City skyline viewed from within Central Park. I have vivid memories of studying these as a kid. They seemed so grand and enormous in scale to me when I was young. In comparison to having Samantha Fox and LJN WWF action figure posters plastered all over my walls, a mural was serious business. A mural is actual art. It’s not a framed replica of art or a vintage movie poster. It’s much more permanent. If you get bored with a poster in a frame you can just remove it and slip another one in. This was the real deal – directly on the wall.

Elvira, Vampira, or non-descript Goth woman? Up to your imagination.

When I went with Miss Sexy Armpit to Ferraro’s for a birthday party for a dear friend a couple of years back, I wound up frozen in amazement once inside the party room. My eyes squinted while my head scanned the walls slowly back and forth to make sure I wasn’t seeing things. Sure enough, there were these cool murals all over the walls. It not only gave the space a cozy atmosphere, but it was also kitschy without being tacky if that makes any sense. If the walls were all just one bland color, such as beige, the atmosphere would’ve been excruciatingly dull. These murals made being in the space feel like it was another dimension set apart from the rest of the restaurant. It’s not often a restaurant has such a conversation piece like this that distinguishes it from other places in the local area.

Girls Gone Wild Mardi Gras Edition Starring Slave Leia and Jabba The Hutt

The element of surprise also played a factor in my admiration for these murals. I can’t say I expected to see any of “my friends” on the walls of what I thought was a run of the mill Italian place. By friends I mean Elvira and Slave Leia. The murals were like an explosion of pop culture characters along with an infusion of local flavor. The murals feel like they come alive in certain aspects. I’ve held onto the pictures I took that night and have been meaning to post them during the last two Halloween Countdowns, but I kept forgetting that I had them. I hope you enjoy perusing them as much as I did. Check out the place if you’re in the area. The food is really good and they have some excellent liquid concoctions at the bar.

This isn’t so much scary as it is a bit perverse. You can’t see it, but the person opening the
towel is actually a dude. Just kidding. And the guy with the mirror/ping pong paddle has NO EYES! That part is true. That must have some deeper meaning.

Ferraro’s Pizzeria and Pub
275 Lincoln Blvd
Middlesex, NJ 08846

Roy Rogers Still Exists in Pine Beach, NJ

This picture was featured on FFD’s Random Tater Pic of the Day #4

You can find Roy Rogers cuisine in a few Turnpike rest stops in New Jersey, but a freestanding Roy Rogers? It must be a mirage! No, it’s real. There’s an actual bonafide Roy Rogers near Toms River NJ in a town called Pine Beach, and Ray, a friend of Glenn Walker’s awesome French Fry Diary, sent in a picture to the FFD to prove it.

Out of the 6 Roy Rogers locations in New Jersey, 5 of them are in service plazas. The Pine Beach location isn’t even listed on their official site which means they must be a Rogue Roy Rogers!

Is The Hollywood Horror Cafe a Gamble for Atlantic City?

Horror Themed Restaurant New Jersey

The Press of Atlantic, Shock Til You Drop, and Dread Central have all previously reported that a horror themed restaurant and wax museum may be coming to Atlantic City!

I want to be elated about this news, but there’s something that really burns my ass about it. We have had a complete drought of any haunted/horror attractions in The Garden State for decades. For those of us who were lucky enough to experience them, we had the luxury of Castle Dracula in Wildwood, The Haunted Castle in Six Flags Great Adventure, and The Spookhouse in Keansburg – which is still there! But for some reason our theme parks and our boardwalks have ignored horror themed attractions for a long time most likely because it might scare the kids. That is such bullshit. Kids need to get the crap scared out of them once in a while, it’s good for them! Personally, even as a kid, being scared was my favorite feeling. I craved horror movies and I longed to go back to Disneyland just to go into the Haunted Mansion. Over the years you could imagine how my hunger for horror has increased since then.

It seems to me that, aside from bloggers, indie filmmakers, and a select handful of others, that the renewed love for the horror and Gothic genres is due to the fake vampire/werewolf craze that Twilight started. It makes me want to puke. The only way we can get wax museums full of monsters and haunted restaurants in New Jersey is if developers see dollar signs. If Twilight does happen to be one of the driving forces behind this new attraction, then I’m fine with it because I’ll take what I can get. I spent too many hours traveling to Manhattan to go to Jekyll and Hyde’s as a punk kid not to mention too much money on their damn food as well.

Attorney Bela Lugosi Jr. is lending his legal help to the project while both he and Sara Karloff are assisting with procuring licensing agreements through their industry contacts. The Hollywood Horror Cafe is only one of the working names for the restaurant. The other possible names are The Gothic Grille and and Frank-N-Stein Bar and Grille.

Don’t hold your breath on this new horror themed attraction. Developers love to stir up the pot but never actually serve the brew. Luckily you have another option. Not far from Atlantic City you can visit Elaine’s Haunted House and Dinner Theater in Cape May NJ, especially during October!

Lee’s Hawaiian Islander: The Sexy Armpit’s Tiki Adventure


Lee's Hawaiian Islander
It wasn’t my intention to go to work on my birthday, so I thought ahead and took the day off. If you follow me on Twitter (@sexyarmpit) you probably already know that my day wasn’t filled with Jaeger bombs or butt cheeks flailing in my face. My birthday included a malfunctioning pneumatic tube at the bank drive thru, getting Appolonia’s “Sex Shooter” stuck in my head all day, and almost driving away with a little Mexican lady who clearly wasn’t finished cleaning my windows at the car wash. I closed the doors and she was still in the back of my car unbeknownst to me, all this while I battled clogged sinuses, and pumped myself with Red Bull because I haven’t been getting proper sleep.

Lee's Hawaiian Pu Pu Platter
Later in the night the family took a trip to Lee’s Hawaiian Islander in Lyndhurst, NJ for a birthday dinner for myself and my dad whose birthday is a couple of days after. I’ve never been to Lee’s but have always wanted to go to check out the kitchsy ’50s and ’60s Polynesian decor. The whole retro Tiki trend has always fascinated me and it’s been my mission to have a birthday dinner there for a long time. Lee’s has been a Jersey institution for decades and they even had 2 locations for a long time until one burned down several years back.

Lee's Hawaiian Islander

If you’re into Tiki culture, Lee’s is the most prominent stop for that in New Jersey. It’s such an odd place, but not for the fact that it hasn’t changed one bit since it opened in the early ’70s, more so because they may have the exact same staff from when the opened! The place was fairly empty when I got there at 7pm but I waited for several minutes before anyone asked me if I would like to be seated. From there I don’t have many complaints about the food since it’s exactly what you expect from Polynesian/Chinese type cuisine. Our waiter barely spoke English which made it very difficult to order and ask questions. Only a few minor drawbacks, but it’s well worth it to be able to enjoy such an iconic Tiki restaurant in New Jersey. Overall it was a fun dinner, and such a different experience than any other restaurant in the state.

NJ T-Shirt Tuesday 63: Muscle Maker Grill in Warren


Just last week a new Muscle Maker Grill opened in Warren, NJ and The Sexy Armpit was lucky enough to get an invite to their celebration. The original location in Colonia, NJ provided me with many awesome meals and snacks throughout the years, but I haven’t been to another one of their locations until now. For me, the best part about Muscle Maker is that none of the food ever tastes processed or frozen, it all has that fresh, home made taste. And at the risk of sounding like a commercial, it’s good for you too!
I stuck with my favorite item on the menu, The Rocky Balboa Wrap, which you will never go wrong with since it’s packed with grilled chicken, turkey meatballs, low-fat mozzarella, and marinara sauce. I had a side of broccoli and I was also tempted to order an appetizer of the Honey BBQ Chicken nuggets but I didn’t want to be a gavone. That all went to shit when I caved in and ordered a Chocolate Banana protein shake. It sounded like a good idea at first, but I didn’t realize it was going to be delivered to our table in what looked like a half gallon cup! I did what any red blooded American male would do in a situation like this…I cleaned my plate and downed the entire protein shake like it was nobody’s business. Miss Armpit opted for the European Wrap which consisted of grilled chicken breast, spinach, and roasted peppers in an herb tortilla. She also had the cucumber salad on the side. It was her first time ordering that specific wrap and they were both delicious according to her.
The brand new Warren location is one of the sleekest Muscle Makers in Jersey. From the flat screen TV’s on the walls to the expanded seating area, this is a fine place to eat your meal in. If you’re in a hurry you can order take out or call to have your food delivered! If you haven’t been to a Muscle Maker yet, check their official site for the location nearest you. New locations are popping up all the time, and they aren’t only in Jersey, they also have locations in New York and Florida too.
In 1995 the mastermind behind Muscle Maker Grill, Rod Silva, was operating a protein smoothie shop in Colonia, NJ where customers were noticing how great the food smelled that he brought in for his lunch and dinner frequently. Eventually, after getting many requests to actually BUY his food, he started making meals and selling them to customers, and so the Muscle Maker Grill became a reality. Muscle Maker’s innovative cuisine focuses on serving healthy meals for those with an active lifestyle as well as folks who don’t want to down a greasy burger made from who knows what. They make sure the meat is lean, the dressings and sauces are all low-cal, and the cheese is reduced fat. If you aren’t one to read food labels this all might sound horrid to you, but this food is incredible and it WILL make you doubt that you are eating healthy.

Get Tanked This Weekend…SHARK Tanked!

Selected from the Drink Menu
If you’re in Atlantic City and you are looking for a place to eat but you aren’t interested in paying $50 dollars a plate, head over to The Reflections Cafe at Harrah’s. It’s a pretty swank moderately priced restaurant that also features a noodle bar that serves all kinds of Asian dishes. The decor amused me, especially the cool and furry cow skin chairs and booths tucked into coves with slate walls . Whoever decorated the place needs to come and redo my condo. Out of the several times I have eaten there, the food has been delicious. They also managed to supply me with an entry for Shark Month. The drink menu has the Shark Bite which you can try mixing up at home when you’re getting hammered this weekend. The drink provides a cool visual effect of “blood in the water” when you drop in the final ingredient.
Shark Bite
Captain Morgan 
Bacardi Rum
Blue Curacao
Sweet and Sour Mix
Small Splash of Grenadine

Scarfin’ It with The Armpit: The Shark Fin Inn

forked river,new jersey

When I first stumbled upon The Shark Fin Inn in Forked River, NJ, via a Google search, I doubted that they would actually have shark on the menu. Once I clicked around their website for a little while and studied the menu, I noticed that sure as shit – they have SHARK on the menu! It’s not just a clever name, this place is the real deal.

The Shark Fin Inn offers a variety of selections that were making my mouth water as I looked through the menu. The cuisine is inspired by that of the Caribbean and the Florida Keys. I found myself stuck on the appetizers, especially the Stuffed Avocado: “half avocado stuffed with a lump crab and shrimp salad in a light mayo and seasoned to perfection.” And I’m sure my girlfriend would probably order the Bacon Wrapped Scallops. Hey, what about the SHARK MEAT? Would YOU eat shark meat? I know I love me a fish taco, but a SHARK TACO?

forked river,new jersey
At the Shark Fin Inn, the Shark Bites are definitely NOT fruit snacks.

Seafood isn’t the only thing featured on the menu, for all you seafood haters they offer wings, sandwiches, fried ravioli, ribs, pork chops, steaks, as well as various chicken dishes.

Shark Fin Inn
701 South Main Street Route 9
Forked River, NJ 08731

Scarfin’ It with The Armpit

Hamburgers,New jersey,North Brunswick
Blitzburgers in North Brunswick
Regardless of America’s obesity epidemic, hamburgers seem to be more popular than ever. Blitzburgers is capitalizing on this popularity with their own eclectic array of burgers, along with chicken burgers, hot dogs, salads, sandwiches, and paninis. Perusing the Blitzburgers menu will give you a case of the old momentary “decisions, decisions” disease. You’ll really have to use process of elimination to determine which burger you’ll order since the menu, specifically their burger repertoire, is so huge. I ordered #21, The All American Burger with American Cheese, pickles, tomatoes, onion, ketchup and mustard, although I was secretly fantasizing about #19, the Jersey Shore Burger which includes pork roll, fried egg, and american cheese, mmm…aka The Burger that WON’T get you abs like The Situation’s. The burger was awesome, but the only aspect of it that disappointed me was that it had two patties in it. I was only expecting one and two slabs of meat not only make the burger sloppier, but I also felt kind of disgusting after eating such a gigantic burger. Blitzburgers also has another location in New Brunwick.
468 Renaissance Blvd. East
North Brunswick, NJ
New Brunswick,New Jersey,Hambugers
Sliders Bar and Grill in New Brunswick
The Tex Mex Chicken Slider with avocado and monterey jack cheese was a perfect sized portion so I didn’t feel stuffed before heading to The Stress Factory later that night. The chicken patty was cooked just right and was very flavorful, but my only gripe with this slider was that the bun was too small for the patty. I understand the concept of a mini burger, but the roll did not cover the circumference of the patty, which bothered me. As you can see, the presentation is trendy and more upscale but the prices are very reasonable. The decor at Sliders is very cool, equipped with TV’s all around, they boast an awesome bar, and bubbly waitresses who aim to please.
378 George Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
chicken,cuban,food,new jersey
My Cuban Rose in Kenilworth
We started with a couple of empanadas and then what was delivered to me was the most massive, gigantic piece of breaded chicken I’ve ever seen in my life. I originally wanted a pork dish but they were out of the breaded pork entree so I played it safe. The chicken was brought to the table and my girlfriend noticed that it looked like the shape of the United States. At first I wasn’t sold, but when you really look at it, it does bare a resemblance, although conspicuous by its absence is Texas. The chicken was crispy, delicious, and very thin. On the side they give the option of black beans and rice, but I recommend the option of the black beans and rice mixed together. I wound up taking much of the dinner home because there was so much food. I think I got another 2 meals out of the leftovers! There’s a laid back atmosphere at My Cuban Rose, although the waitresses seemed like they were too busy to pay proper attention to each table. I also had a hard time understanding our waitress since she had a very thick accent. My Cuban Rose also offers catering, takeout, and hand rolled cigars.
625 North Michigan Avenue
Kenilworth, NJ 07033
Thai food,Edison,New Jersey
Thai Thai Cuisine in Edison
Thai Thai Cuisine’s service was top notch and the food was right on par with the best Thai food that I’ve had. My girlfriend and I started off with an awesome appetizer of Chicken Satay with peanut sauce. For our meals we ordered the Pad Thai, and I requested mine HOT. It was an exceptional meal and did indeed provide a good amount of heat, but of course I had a gripe. All of the shrimp pieces still had their tails, and that pissed me off because if the tails were removed I could’ve scarfed down the whole meal without having to pinch out the shrimp meat. I like when that stuff is taken care of by the restaurant before I dig in. It was a minor annoyance but it grew worse when I realized that I ate a piece of shrimp with its tail and I didn’t care much for that at all. Overall, Thai Thai Cuisine is a definite winner if you’re fan of Thai food. You can also visit their other location in Old Bridge.
Thai Thai Cuisine
Shop Rite Strip Mall
Route 1 and Old Post Road
Edison, NJ 08817