The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

more NJ eats: Ridge Thai, Baskin Robbins, and Radicchio

For those unfamiliar with Ridgewood, it's a town that has a gajillion restaurants all splodged up against each other down East Ridgewood Ave (and the streets branching off of it), akin to restaurant-heavy streets in NYC except that Ridgewood is much cleaner, has more trees, and contains no hipsters.

When my family wants to go out to eat, we usually (perhaps 95% of the time) head to Ridgewood. I'm not really on a mission to try every restaurant in the main downtown area, but...hey, maybe I should. An eating mission coupled with a nonexistent exercise regiment probably isn't the best idea, but then neither was my birth.

not edible

Yesterday I went to Ridge Thai with my mum and brother. I don't know how old the restaurant is, but I suppose it's fairly new, maybe...around...ah, I have no clue. I think the former business was a bakery, the only bakery in that area. NOW THERE ARE NO BAKERIES! Who's idea was this? Tear down the GAP and put up a bakery, someone!

Uh, back to food. The restaurant was empty when we were there (around 6:30), so perhaps it gets more crowded later. There are 30 seats and the decor is nicer than what you'd think from looking at the outside. Or what I would think. I liked the simple, white, porcelain dishes of slightly unconventional shapes. "Look, this's square! My mind is blown." It does make a differerence to have a rectangular plate instead of a circular one, yes? Crazy! In a way you'd think that the simpler the plateware is, the less obtrusive it would be to the dish, but I tend to notice it more. Sleek, white dishes are a style in themselves, I guess. I think someone needs to make a new trend: Lisa Frank designs on everything. (I have no idea if that stuff is still popular. When I was a kid, girls loved that stuff. Except me.)

Wow, I'm digressing.

musaman curry
musaman curry

While my mum and brother steered away from anything spicy, I ordered the musaman curry (peanuts, onion, and potato) with pork (other choices being chicken or beef). The waitress wanted to make sure I'd get a spiciness level that wouldn't kill me and let me choose between mild, medium, and very spicy. When I went with medium, my mum gasped as though I were commiting suicide...and she probably thought I was a moron.

Mom: That's really spicy, Robyn.
Me:, it's medium.
Mom: Well I'm the mom, blah blah blah, I know everything, blah blah blah, something.
Me: Uh...okay.

My memory's kinda iffy.

Anyway, "medium" was a good hotness level; it had some kick, but didn't make me cry a river or give the sensation that my mucus membranes were being attacked by lasers. My mum ended up taking many spoonfuls of my creamy curry sauce to use on her pad thai. Silly mum. I ate every last drop even after my tiny bowl of rice ran out was yummy. I like crunchy things and the peanuts were perfect in fulfilling my quest to have the crunchy sounds of destruction reverberate through my jaw. The potatoes and onion tasted just right to me texture-wise, but I thinik the thin pork slices could've been cooked a little less as they were a smidge tougher than I would've liked. Of course, I still ate it all, so maybe it doesn't matter.

pad thai duck stuff
pad thai, duck stuff

My mum ordered the paid thai (stir fried rice noodles with shrimp, egg, chopped peanut, scallion, dried bean cake & bean sprout) and my brother went with ped pad khing (roasted duck stir-fried with ginger, carrot, onion & mushroom). When my brother realized there was ginger on his plate, he somewhat lamented, "Whoa, there's a lot of ginger in this. Could I have gotten it without the ginger?" My mum and I gave him a funny look. "It's a flavor!" Damn, it's not like he's allergic. It reminded me of the multiple times that my mum has ordered quesadillas without cheese. Yeah. That's what I said. She's not allergic to cheese—she's just not a fan of eating it melted. I obviously didn't inheret her preference.

My brother managed to get over the ginger and eat most of the dish, except for the garnishes. "Am I supposed to eat that?" I'd say if the garnishes in question more resemble a small salad than a sprig of clinatro, then..yeah, you're allowed to eat it. You could eat the cilantro too, of course. My mum's pad thai was yummy; I can't say I've ever had a bad one, although I probably don't know what "authentic" pad thai is.


Later that night we went out to Baskin Robbins (holy crap, there's one in my little town) to take advantage of their two-for-one sundae deal on Tuesdays (and there are only so many places you can go in the suburbs). Crazy, man. If you went alone on a Tuesday and got a sundae, you'd have to get another one just because you can. Let that gluttonous poiwer roam wild and free. I got a two scoop sundae with pistachio almond and a chocolate truffle something or other covered with hot fudge, whipped cream, and mini M&Ms. My mum wasn't very happy with my artificially colored topping and artificially green pistachio ice cream choice, but hey, she didn't chime in with any suggestions and it's not like you go to Baskin Robbins to indulge in all-natural wholesome ice cream. I can't say I'd go to BR if it weren't a special deal—the ice cream wasn't very flavorful (although the texture was pretty good, not too airy) and my favorite part ended up being the chopped almonds in the pistachio ice cream. However, a sundae is still a sundae and it's my main excuse for eating something with hot fudge and cream. It's good...only on Tuesdays.

interior shot, woohoo

A few weeks ago I went to Radicchio in Ridgewood with my mum since neither of us had been there before and the restaurant has existed for as long as I can remember (which probably isn't that long, but pretend it is). It is so far the only restaurant I've been to in Ridgewood (hell, in most places) where almost ever entree was more than $25. Holy crap. I know it seems like I spend a lot of money on food, but rarely that much. Balthazar is the only place where I've spent that kind of money on one dish and I wasn't convinced that it was worth it. Radicchio didn't convince me either. It's not that the food was sub-par at either restaurant, but I don't think it's unreasonable to expect food to taste in the upper stratosphere of "awesome" if I'm expected to pay that much. I desire stratospheric awesomeness, which can be hard to find.

tuna tartare
tuna tartare

My mum ordered the tuna tartare in sweet soy marinade for an appetizer after asking me what tartare was. I don't dislike raw fish, but I'm not about to wolf it down by the bucket either. My mum and I thought the presentation was cute and it must've been pretty good if she ate it all.

risotti sausages
risotto with sausages

I ordered risotto with sausages since I've never actually ordered risotto in a restaurant before and I wanted to know what all the fuss was about. One day when I must've been really bored, I made risotto that was surprisingly edible and not a pain in the butt to make (stand there, stir, continue to stand and stir). Would $26.50 risotto beat my risotto to a pulp, torture it with pointy sticks and then beat it some more? Not exactly. There was nothing bad about the risotto, I just...expected more. Like the appearance of angels. I think I just have to face the facts that I'm not a huge fan of risotto nor possibly most Italian food (I don't eat it much), but that's too general a statement for someone who hasn't eaten much Italian food.

tricolor linguine
tricolor linguine

My mum enjoyed her tricolor linguine except for the slightly sandy scallops. I can't say I have much problem with sandy scallops since I'm used to them (that's probably not a good thing), but I don't have much taste for scallops or most shellfish in general. I hope you don't hate me for saying that. Of course, I've tried a variety of shellfish (mussels, raw oysters and clams, other blobby looking things) to come to the conclusion that I'd rather eat something else. Like cake.

my cake sprung a leak

Speaking of cake, of course we got dessert, aka my favorite part of the meal. Although my chocolate souffle look oddly frosty from afar, it was warm and oozed with chocolatey goodness in both viscous liquid and deep, chocolatey scent (yes, I used the world "chocolatey" twice in once sentence...I don't really care). The smell alone told me it was going to be good. What made it even better was the large scoop of uber-smooth vanilla ice cream that came with it, thus allowing me to indulge in the gluttonous joy of combining warm, gooey "cake" seemingly made of airy fudge with cool, melty creaminess. Mmhmmmmhhm mmhmhm. Why is something appealing if it oozes when you puncture it? I guess it'd be a different story if it had exploded.


My mum gets tiramisu almost every time we eat at an Italian restaurant. This was too alcohol-y for me to enjoy, but you might prefer it.

Overall, Radicchio is a nice restaurant with friendly service that makes good food in reasonable portions, but since I'm a cheap bastard it's unlikely I'd go back. From observing other customers, I felt like many people were actually regulars, or quasi-regular. Damn, I'm not a regular anywhere. Just always on the prowl for more...

Too lazy to use google, eh?

Ridge Thai
50 Chestnut St
Ridgewood, NJ 07450

Baskin Robbins/Dunkin Donuts
754 Franklin Ave
Franklin Lakes, NJ 07417

32 Franklin Ave
Ridgewood, NJ 07450

random food related stuff

New Threadless shirt: Where'd this baby come from?

Jesus Pan. ...Wow.

Smilingbread is an LJ community dedicated to cute things, mainly in the form of food.

This isn't food related (still gonna leave it in this section though, har har!), but Momu's latest LJ entry about couples and surfing on the Internet is interesting if you're a heavy Internet user. And if you're reading this, you probably are. I don't relate to the entry, but it's funny to read what other people's experiences are. Also, it makes me feel like less of a freak. You think I have Internet-addiction problems? Wellll...

Oh, I also think what he in one of his comments is funny, although may not be true:

More than anything, I think it's fantastic that I've met someone that doesn't try to stage an internet addiction intervention.

That's rather sweet! The problem is not so much getting over our addictions as finding good ones!

If your addiction is bad, you probably should get over it. But there are some good, non-extreme addictions, yes? Liking things a lot isn't always bad. What if you replaced "addiction" with "passion"? Saying you have a passion for baking sounds a lot better than saying you're addicted to it. Having a passion for alcohol sounds kinda weird though.

I don't have a passion for nor an addiction towards these new Thom Yorke tracks, but...I like them a lot. A lot lot lot lot. I DON'T CARE IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT, STOP LOOKIN' AT ME THAT WAY!

I really love Pimp My Snack.


Andie / May 31, 2006 5:11 PM

I think the frosty look of the cake comes from the fact that the pan it was baked in was liberally buttered and floured. That "frost" is baked buttery flour.

chochotte / May 31, 2006 8:26 PM

I also love those pimpin' people.

I read a review of some London restaurant about 6 months or more ago which was pretty condemning and also was very critical of their square plates. Apparently they are so over that even provincial restaurants wouldn't be seen using them. I hadn't realised the food world was so precious but there we go. They do annoy me though. Circular is just much more practical, when it comes down it. Bigger area...more food on a circle than a square...

Adalmin / May 31, 2006 9:33 PM


On a side note, I think raspberries are really hideous up close. They look HAIRY. Like, HAIRY HAIRY, which is so inappropriate. It's like there's some balding dude half-buried in that souffle. Then again, I'm just weird.

shara / May 31, 2006 10:05 PM

I just wanted to say that I've been reading this blog for a while now, I don't even remember how I stumbled across it, but I think it's great! Very funny. And that picture of chocolate cake is making me hungry...

roboppy / May 31, 2006 10:40 PM

Andie: Thanks for the info! I had no idea...probably because I have next to no experience baking, or absolutely none with cakes. Doh!

chochotte: I can think of one very good use for rectangular plates; if you have little table space and are eating in front of your laptop. Which was me during the school year. (cough) i used a small, rectangular plate that fit just perfectly in the space between my laptop and the edge of the table. And then I got that laptop keybpoard cover for optimum "in front of puter" eating!


Adalmin: Raspberries do look pretty weird. I'm not sure about the hidden balding dude, but whatever floats your boat. :)

I don't like the taste of raspberries much, especially with chocolate. Which is too bad since they come together a lot. Doh!

shara: Thanks for reading! That's the point of the photo. :D

Kathy / June 1, 2006 12:49 AM

LOL, I remember when my mom used to bring my sister and I to Baskin Robbin's 2 for 1 nights - it was always mint chocolate and coffee for me. Nostalgia!
I find my most statisfying meals/snack to be the small things I stumble across. I'd opt for Tiny's $4 crabcake on brioche over the Bathlazar skate any day (but then we'd have to head across the street cause I've still yet to try piggy pudding:)). I think part of the "magic" is in making a discovery when you walk along the streets and think, hmmm I'll give this place a try! There's nothing worse than feeling like you didn't walk out with a good deal. (That's the Chinese in me speaking...)

Piperita / June 1, 2006 12:52 AM

Ok, what you ate at Radicchio was VERY far from REAL italian food. So far that you can't even imagine: of course you don't like italian food, if the italian food you are eating is that!
I'm Italian, I live in Italy, and we do not eat that, with that colors and presented like that. And expeccialy, if we eat a risotto priced 26 $ it has to be the best risotto in the world and with a gold leaf on top (as Gualtiero Marchesi, famous italian chef, does). The pirces were outrageus, a shame...
Your risotto look much more yummy, and much more "Italian" than the 26 $ one!!!!!

tommy / June 1, 2006 11:14 AM

i've been poking around here and i'll have to say that i really like your style.

and i agree that Radicchio isn't worth the trip. it's not even worth the trip from the sidewalk in fact.

if you get back to Ridge Thai, make sure you get one of their salads (duck or beef). they really excel at salads.

roboppy / June 1, 2006 11:37 AM

Kathy: I didn't grow up with two-for-one nights...booo! There's another BR near me that has been there as long as I've been alive, yet I think I've only been there three times in my life. I guess I didn't go out for ice cream much!

TINY'S, OMG I WANNA GO!!! That's a place I would definitely go back to, yet I haven't! And OH NO you still haven't had the piggy pudding! I could go for that now.

Bad deal = sad. Baked goods and desserts are awesome since at least they're cheapish...if they suck, not a big problem. DESSERTS ARE FREAKIN' AWESOME.

Piperita: Thanks for the info! I'm glad someone from Italy could tell me that I'm not insane...and obviously, I must go to Italy. (I plan to! Someday. Need...gelato.)

I'm afraid of eating "meh" Italian food here, which might be why I rarely eat it. Most Asian food is okay with me, but Italian food tends to be more expensive and not as appealing to me. I don't understand why this food was so expensive! :\

The only Italian place I really want to go to is Babbo. I should've gone there by now, errgh!

tommy: I'm glad you're enjoying my blog! I like your's too. There aren't a lot of North Jersey food blogs, eh?

Good to know I'm not alone on Radicchio. It was doing good business though, so some people must like it a lot. Or have a lot of moolah.

I found your blog while looking up Ridge Thai, hehe. My mum found it first, actually...she said "We should get a salad," but I wouldn't have wanted to eat more than my entree. My mum really liked it so I'm sure we'll return and try the salads. :)

Daisy / June 1, 2006 11:45 AM

You made me laugh. :D That quips about your birth and food exploding were surprising.

Mothers are pretty silly in a good way. Your mom seems to be, and mine IS. Haha. When we eat, she always talks about not overeating then eats enough for two people. She's only 98 pounds and barely 5 feet tall so that can't be good.

Happy eating!

Cat / June 1, 2006 2:25 PM

Note on Babbo, in my opinion, not as good as the prices make it out to be, but still yummy for when you know, you hit lotto or win "American Idol" Though, Scotaditto in Park Slope is all organic, well priced and very yummy. I love it there. Also, I think that Otto should offer twofer gelatos. Just a thought.

roboppy / June 1, 2006 4:16 PM

Daisy: You read the quips! YOU WIN A PRIZE!

...just kidding. Maybe another time. I have no prizes!

Your mom sounds like my mum! She's 90-something pounds and SHE COMPLAINS ABOUT IT! Shut up, for the love of god. It even bothers my brother. Sometimes my mum does eat a lot, so it just doesn't seem fair. Of course, she does no exercise.

Cat: I'm afraid my expectations will be too high for Babbo after everything I've heard! I actually just had so-so expectations for Otto and I ended up loving it. Babbo costs a i think part of the reason I'm not dying to go is that the food isn't about the dessert. Otto was about the dessert, but I really liked the pizza (enough that I'd wanna go back).

ALthough I've heard the term twofer before, for some reason...I couldn't recall it. It took me a while to figuire out what you were saying. AHH anyway. Yes, that would be freakin' awesome, but their gelato is so gooood, they know they wouldn't have to entice people with that. DAMN EM!

chocolatesuze / June 1, 2006 10:57 PM

ohhh the chocolate souffle looks sooo good... haha it looks like it had to lose its insides so that it could swallow the raspberry.. btw does baskin robbins sell choc chip cookie dough icecream over there?

timelas / June 2, 2006 12:34 AM

For my own selfish reasons, I'd love it if kept a record of all your favorite places in NY. I'm constantly here on business and looking for good places. Today it was Shake Shack, in the rain. I was drenched by the time I got back to the hotel, but it was worth it!

Ya know, I bet if you spent 2% more time categorizing and rating these retaurants that you'd have quite the little database in a few months.

Kristin / June 2, 2006 2:21 AM

I was one of those girls who loved Lisa Frank. All those pretty colors mixed with cute fuzzy animals just makes 6 year old girls go nuts!

That pimp my snack site was hilarious!

It's probably a good thing you don't love italian food as much as you do others. You've probably got enough to worry about without putting Italian calories on the list, haha. Just kidding. You're pretty skinny for all the food you eat. :D

roboppy / June 2, 2006 3:45 PM

chocolatesuze: Choc chip cookie dough...I think they have it, but I haven't tried it. I don't usually go for cookie dough ice cream. :O It IS tasty though...actually, I don't think I have a favorite flavor. It's always hard for me to choose.

timelas: I have a favorite page! (top left part of the page)...ish. It's not very well udpated, I must admit. My list also has some favorites noted (and if I've visited a place a million times, I probably like it), but that's not very well updated either. Err!

Adam went to the Shake Shack too!...and didn't have a great burger. Wah.

A few days ago I looked into categorizing my entries, but I came up with so many categories (food, cuisine, location, other things) that I wanted to cry. Maybe I'll get my act together at some point, but until then there's the search bar in the left column. :\

Kristin: I used to eat a lot of Italian food (, "Italian" food) when I was little, but I remember the last time I had veal parmigiano I thought " much meat, so much cheese, want to die." Too muuuch! And my girth just KEEPS GROWING, OH MY GOD!!!

Layla / June 10, 2006 2:00 PM

Went to Radicchio's last nt. I agree that the food should have been outstanding since the least expensive entree was about 29 bucks.
I WAS SO DISAPPOINTED. The only thing that was good was the homemade pasta , but the sauce was certainly nothing special. I had the chicken paillard with chopped tomato salad on top, and the quality was just not the best. My friends risotto, was like the worst i ever had.
Yes, I'm a gourmet chef and make better food at home. Try Enza's in Hawthorne if you want great, cheap italian. Or go across the street from Radicchio to Dim Sum Dynasty, have the lobster with ginger and scallion and a vegetable noodle dish and any of their amazing appetizers, and walk out happy for like 30 bucks a person at most!

(The Original) Mary Sue / July 24, 2006 5:23 PM

Tear down the GAP and put up a bakery, someone!

Dude, if that's not a rallying cry, then I don't know from rallying cries.

(Hi, yes, I actually do know how old this entry is because I've spent all day at work reading your blog doing productive things and saving my company money, and trying not to laugh out loud. You are sooo awesome-cool.

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