#SCBDFavorite: Fresh, made to order #donuts .@DoCoCompany in Farmingdale!

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Lately I’ve been trying to eat healthier but I always have a huge sweet tooth. One of the perks of living in the Jersey Shore area for me lately is that there are a few places where I can get fresh doughnuts. In case you missed it, I wrote a post on Ob-Co’s in Toms River when I started SCBD. Well readers, I have good news… DoCo, The Donut & Coffee Company in Farmingdale is making a name for itself and its delish!

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Every time I come in to DoCo to get my donuts I leave with a smile on my face. Each donut is made to order so you can have whatever you want on it. If you are like me and can’t decide they have a menu of suggested flavors. My two favorite flavors are the Asbury Rainbow and the Peanut Butter Chocolate. They also carry their own version of the Kronut if you feel like being adventurous.

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If you go I highly recommend you grab coffee, hot or iced because they serve TM Ward coffee which is based out of Newark. The coffee is strong and pairs perfectly with the donuts!

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Planning on taking a trip down to the Jersey Shore this summer? Grab some donuts & coffee at DoCo on your way there, it’s so worth it!!!

#SCBDFavorite: Satisfy your sweet tooth cravings .@ChocoCarousel in Wall!

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So you’re driving to Belmar beach, when all of a sudden you are craving sweets and really could go for a cupcake or a chocolate covered pretzel. Well, good news–  I have a solution. Chocolate Carousel is located in Wall and is on your way to the shore.

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Chocolate Carousel is a family owned and operated bakery and sweet shop that has been around for years serving the community. They also make specialty and wedding cakes for any occasion. I had the opportunity to try some of their sweet treats and I was very impressed. I love nonpareils and their homemade nonpareils hit the spot. If you love chocolate covered pretzels this place is for you. They are delicious and no flavor overpowers another. I loved the cannolli cupcake I had which was big enough to share between two people. They also have a variety of homemade cookies and cake pops. The owner Lisa even told me that some of the cookie recipes have been passed down from the family so it’s not just any bakery!

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If you are not in a rush they also have seating in the store where you can enjoy your sweet treats and coffee. Trust me you won’t regret stopping in! Everything is made on-site and is fresh! So what are you waiting for? Satisfy your sweet tooth!

 

#DealAlert: .@JSRWeek returns this Friday, April 4th #JSRWeek

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The 10th Jersey Shore Restaurant Week kicks off this Friday, April 4 and goes until April 13, 2014. The week features three course dinners at top Jersey Shore Restaurants for either $20.14 or $30.14. Nearly 70 restaurants have signed up for the Spring event and the timing couldn’t be better after this long winter. The event is sponsored by JVrola Meats, Shore Foodie and Pine Belt Autos.

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Celebrating it’s 5th anniversary JSRW has become a much anticipated event for both consumers and restaurants. A post event survey in November showed the number of people who dined out more than once jumped 134% vs. a non-RW. Consumers also try new restaurants during RW. Over 65% went to a new restaurant during the November Restaurant Week. Restaurants reported dramatic revenue increases with 35% realizing increases of 31% and up.

New restaurants participating for the first time in April include Schneider’s in Avon, Blend on Main, Manasquan, Even Tide Grill, Sea Bright, Farrell’s Stout and Steak, Point Pleasant, Park East, Hazlet, Shore Points Coastal BBQ, Point Pleasant. We also welcome back previous participants Giamano’s Ristorante, Bradley Beach, Tulipano’s, Belmar and Bahr’s Landing, Highlands. Our new favorite, Coastal Chaos Waterfront Restaurant, is also participating!

Special events planned for the week include:

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First Bites: Kick-Off to Jersey Shore Restaurant Week. 6 top Jersey Shore Chefs create an extravagant 6 course small plate tasting menu paired with wines followed by strolling dessert carts featuring cheese, pastries, chocolate and port. Thursday, April 3rd, The Mill, Spring Lake Heights. Participating chefs include Michael Bonner of The Mill, Spring Lake Heights, Chris Brandl of Brandl, Belmar, Phil Deffina of David Burke Fromagerie, Rumson, Terry Eleftheriou of Shipwreck Grill, Brielle, Mike Jurusz of Chef Mike’s Atlantic Bar & Grill, Seaside Park and Lou Smith of the New Blend on Main, Manasquan

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“The Great Jersey Shore Burger Contest” returns to Bar Anticipation in Lake Como on Saturday, April 5th. Top Jersey Shore restaurants compete for the title of “Best Burger at the Shore”. Judging panel and People’s Choice award. Sponsored by BeachHaus Beers.

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Eat, Drink, Indulge: Mastering the Art of Wine Blending. A unique and interactive evening where the guest becomes the winemaker for the night. Guests will taste 4 different wines from Lyeth Estates, learn what differentiates them from one another and based on their own tastes, create their own perfect blend. Monday, April 7th. Squan Tavern, Manasquan. Tickets include wine and the best pizza at the Jersey Shore!

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Burgers, Bloodies and Brews is one of the most popular events on Saturday, April 12th. Harpoon Willy’s. From noon. Something new this time: Beer tasting flights! No advance tickets necessary.

Tickets on sale at at www.jerseyshorerestaurantweek.com. Ticketed events fill up quickly and limited tickets are available at the door.

Don’t miss out on these great events and amazing dining deals! Stay tuned and see where we will be dining by the shore over the next week! Cheers!

#SCBDEventRecap: .@GSFoodTours #LoveBites Event .@LITMJC

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A few months ago I had the opportunity to attend a Garden State Food Tours (aka GSFT) event at LITM (Love is The Message) in Jersey City. I’m really happy I went because it gave me a taste of what tours are like and the type of restaurants they work with. GSFT is a company that has tours that focus on Montclair and Jersey City (which is an up and coming foodie community).

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The event itself focused on dessert bites and cocktails. The cocktails were made by the bartenders at LITM, I had the Cherry Champagne cocktail and it was delish! The desserts were brought in and served by two local vendors, Cholita Dessert Bar (formerly All Kinds of Whoopie aka AKW) and Milk Sugar Love. Both were delicious, I loved the cupcake from Cholita’s and the white chocolate lavender macaron was delish from Milk Sugar Love. It was also an honor to meet Adriana (of Cholita’s) and Emma (of Milk Sugar Love) while I was there.

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I had come to the event after work so I was definitely was really hungry. LITM is known for their award winning macaroni & cheese so I figured that would be a great bite for dinner. I’m so happy I got it, because it was some of the best macaroni and cheese I’ve had. I even got it with mushrooms and spinach in it. It’s phenomenal and made with Vermont cheddar, dash of nutmeg and truffles. I was so impressed I want to go back soon and have it again. While I had my amazing macaroni and cheese I also got to try one of the cocktails they have that wasn’t part of the event. It was delish and did not disappoint.

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LITM is the perfect event space and restaurant. The cocktails are crafted to your liking and have some great top shelf ingredients for a great price. It’s also a gallery which is a great environment to be in for any creatives like myself out there. I was so happy I attended and even met with the ladies behind GSFT, Alessia and Janis.

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I can’t wait to attend my next tour, so stay tuned as we’ll keep you up to date on where they will be next! Cheers!

#SCBDExclusive: Coastal Chaos, The Waterfront Restaurant debuts this Thursday in Brick, #NJ

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Josh and Executive Chef. Matt

Josh and Executive Chef. Matt

Get your tastebuds ready, Jersey Shore. Josh Barnhard, restaurateur of Taylor’s Dockside Restaurant and  Josh’s Coastal Chaos is back with a new restaurant– Coastal Chaos, The Waterfront Restaurant.  Coastal Chaos is located ideally along the Metedeconk River on Princeton Avenue in Brick, NJ. Josh is taking up the space where his brother, Ryan Michael formerly  had his restaurant, Ryan Michael’s Waterfront Restaurant. Ryan has now taken up Josh’s old space and has a coastal barbecue concept in the works, stay tuned for details on that within the next few weeks. Now let us give you the details on what Josh has in store for you at  Coastal Chaos

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If you dined at Ryan Michael’s before this, be ready for a completely new concept. This time around, Josh is running operations and has an Executive Chef running the kitchen. Chaos’ Executive Chef, is a fellow Howell native and Howell High School graduate, Matthew Levine. Levine got his classical French training at The Culinary Education Center (an extension of Brookdale Community College)  in Asbury Park, NJ where he apprenticed under Chef John Brendesma. After graduation Levine became Executive Chef of the late Plan B in Asbury Park, Dive in Sea Bright, and last at Toast in Asbury Park. Levine told me, “I am really excited to part of the new restaurant with Josh. We are a great team and are excited to serve up ‘classy casual’, ‘chaotic comfort’ food in the new space.”

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 Coastal Chaos is definitely a foodies heaven. The lunch menu has soups, salads, and handheld items in it. This includes their take on the Caesar salad called,  Ides of March ($8.99) which has fresh romaine lettuce, grilled tomato, homemade croutons, grated asiago cheese, tossed in one of their three homemade dressings: Classic Caesar, Vegan, or Creole. I was also told that the Triple C Soup ($3.99/$5.99) is delicious and has fresh crab, herb roasted chicken, and sweet Jersey corn in it. Levine even included a the Brandesma Burger ($9.99), paying homage to his mentor, Chef John Brandesma. The burger is a seasoned half pound burger, topped with cheddar jack cheese, garlic-herb roasted tomatoes and pickled shallots. Getting hungry already?

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Dinner is just as delectable as lunch and features dishes such as Lucky Town Clams ($9.99) which is roasted clams topped with bacon hash, chorizo, onion leeks, carrot, celery and herb and Speakeasy Shrimp Cocktail ($8.99) three shrimp with a Bloody Mary cocktail sauce. The pasta selection also isn’t to be missed with dishes like, Lobster Mac N Cheese (19.99) which has Conchigle Giganti pasta tossed in their decadent truffle and cheese sauce with chunks of Fresh Lobster meat and topped with breadcrumbs. They also have something for those who are vegetarian and vegan, Vegan Lasagna ($16.99) which has fresh, local veggies layered with a vegan red sauce and tofu ricotta. If you are looking for seafood Coastal Chao definitely has you covered with dishes like Chaotic Paella ($20.99) Big Kahuna Salmon ($18.99). Last, the Georgia Baby Backs ($19.99) are not to be missed. These ribs are slow-cooked and topped  with the house-made grilled peach BBQ sauce and served with pan roasted corn and garlic smashed potatoes.  Coastal Chaos prides itself for serving fresh, never frozen and locally sourced ingredients in their dishes.

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The restaurant will be open for dinner opening night, this Thursday, March 20th from  4:30pm- close and will be open for lunch and dinner from this Friday. March 21st forward. They will also start serving breakfast beginning the weekend of March 29th. The breakfast menu will be the same menu from Josh’s previous breakfast & lunch concept, Josh’s  Coastal Chaos which will be sure to bring in some of his loyal regulars! Since the restaurant is along the Metedeconk River they also welcome anyone on their boats to dock & dine as they please. Coastal Chaos is currently a BYO restaurant but we hear working with a local winery is in the works.

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 Coastal Chaos is a family owned and operated BYO waterfront restaurant with a fun and friendly atmosphere. It’s tastefully decorated with a magnificent, scenic view of the Metedeconk River with outstanding cuisines, fair prices, and excellent customer service.” Levine and Barnhard plan to make it to their mission to give you that exactly.  Plan on coming to the  Coastal Chaos, The Waterfront Restaurant opening this Thursday or Friday? Let us know what you think! We’d love to see you there and know Josh and Matt along with their team are ready to feed you!

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#SCBDReview: Cut & Ombre at September’s Spa & Hair Salon in Brick, NJ

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This month I had the opportunity to get my hair done by Jessica Rossi at September’s Salon & Spa on Brick Boulevard in Brick, NJ. When I came in, I fell in love with the space right when I walked in. I was welcomed warmly and they offered to take my coat right away. So now let me tell you more about my wonderful experience….

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I was then taken to Jessica’s room, where she works her magic. We discussed what I wanted and after talking ideas I decided to a little cut and an ombre. I was a bit nervous because she was making part of my hair darker, which I’ve never done but she did not disappoint. Jessica has been a hairstylist for 10 years and even teaches at the new stylist at the salon about the field and the same at the local vocational school. You can definitely see her expertise in her work.

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It was a bit different for me at first but after awhile I became and am completely confident with my new look. Honestly it was just what I needed to liven up my image and I am so HAPPY with the way it turned out.

I was extremely impressed by everything at the salon. I felt like I could be myself, was comfortable, my stylist Jessica was also on point with what I needed. I loved it and would highly recommend it to anyone who lives by the shore. I know I’ll be back.

#SCBDReview: Fab #Dinner .@HAVENEdgewater #NJ

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If you are looking for a great new date night restaurant, Haven Riverfront Restaurant in Edgewater is the place to go. With a gorgeous view of NYC and ambiance, Haven creates an eccentric atmosphere that is not to miss. Upon entering, you will be greeted by a hostess who immediately offers you the option to check in your coats. When walking to your table you will notice the well designed interior and dim lighting, which set the scene for a perfect night out. Waiters were very friendly and paid very close attention to detail. Waters were filled constantly and we were always asked if we needed anything else. Our waiter was EXTREMELY helpful with the menu. He was not only able to provide specific recommendations, he was also able to share a background of where they get their meat and about the food preparations. They have a very nice cocktail menu, which includes a set of holiday drinks. For an appetizer I had the Pretzel Calamari, which consisted of the perfect crunch with salty flavor. The sauces that came with this dish were a Garlic Aioli and a Marinara. The Garlic Aioli was so good that I kept it to have for my main dish.

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SCBD’s POV: I was so happy I was able to bring Jessica out with me to Haven Riverfront Restaurant in Edgewater, NJ for a post-interning dinner– a tradition I’ve started with all my interns who are local. I had heard such remarkable things about the restaurant from some colleagues, so I had very high expectations. Every expectation I had, they exceeded. First, as Jessica mentioned above, the drink menu was on point and very seasonal. I got a French inspired cocktail, Fleur de Lis, which was delicious. I drank it pretty quickly since it was so good! Since it was a media dinner, we were able to try different options on the menu. For an appetizer, I opted for the Yellowfin Tuna Tartare which was fab! I love tartare’s and this did not disappoint! I also got to try an oyster, which usually I’m very picky about, but was really impressed by the selection. Those were just a few that stuck out to me, but every dish I tasted did not lack any flavor. I think I’d recommend everything. For my main entree, I went with the Rosemary Leg of Lamb. That dish was phenomenal and I even brought leftovers home. I had a long commute home to the Jersey Shore that night but I couldn’t leave without sipping on a latte and trying the chocolate mousse dessert and trust me, I’m so happy I did.

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I would highly recommend Haven Riverfront Restaurant to anyone whether you are coming from NYC across the river or traveling in NJ. The service is spectacular because the waiters are so knowledgeable. The chef is excellent and the food is worth every dollar. The cocktail menu is also excellent, seasonal and extensive. I know I’d definitely come back for happy hour with my friends who live in the area or even dinner. I really want to go back and try their brunch which is now offered every Saturday and Sunday from 11AM-3PM, I’m sure it’s fabulous!

*Disclaimer: The PR team paid for our meal. We were not required to write about these experiences and my opinions are my own and unbiased.*

#SCBDReview – Mehndi at Morristown

scbdreviewphoto 1On Friday night, the Small Chick and I got mehndi at Mehndi in Morristown from the lovely lady doing henna artwork during dinner. Every Friday night, the henna artist is there to give mehndi artwork for free on a tip-by-tip basis, with the standard tip being about $5 per person. We also enjoyed a delicious press dinner with several other local New Jersey journalists and enthusiastic foodie representatives.

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 The meal was served family style. Appetizers were aplenty since we were given Maachli Koliwada (deep-fried tilapia), Paneer ke Sholay (homemade Indian cottage cheese, celery, carrot, and green chili) Mango Jhinga (jumbo shrimp, onion, tomato, ginger, and fresh mango), and Tandoori Lamb Chops.

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The main course dishes were Parda Biryani (bone-in goat, basmati rice, saffron, cinnamon, clove, mint, and green chili), Bhey Kofta (lotus root dumpling and mustard termping), Baingan Bharta (eggplant concasse, green peas, tomato, onion, and whole red chili), Murgh Tikka Masala (boneless tandoor-baked chicken, onion, and tomato-based sauce), Garlic Naan and Rosemary Naan, Jeera “cumin” Rice, and House Raita.

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Finally, the dessert was a simple but delicious Rasamalai—homemade fromage blanc dumplings in reduced milk with pistachios.

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My Harry Potter fangirl dreams came true when I drank their Hazelnut Spiced Hot Buttered Rum which was exactly the way I pictured Butterbeer to taste. The drink was made of rogue hazelnut spiced rum, unsalted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract, nutmeg, and warm water. I slept like a happy, inebriated panda that evening, curling my body up in my slumber and dreaming of visiting the SM23 Happy Hour in the near future. I also highly recommend visiting their lounge next door called SM23 which has an extremely low-key, downtown Manhattan feel due to the low-lighting, 25-and-over young urban professional crowd, and exotic cocktails. Cheers!

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LINKS

MAIN WEBSITE                                       http://www.mehndimorristown.com/

BAR/LOUNGE NEXT DOOR (SM23)    http://www.sm23morristown.com/

Follow @MehndiMTown on Twitter

www.facebook.com/MehndiMtown

#SCBDReview: To Kill Time at Mockingbird Café?

scbdreview-3Contrary to popular belief, I do eat and review establishments in the New Jersey area; I’ve got to show NJ some loving after all! My fellow hotel & restaurant management friends from FDU and I decided to drive up to Basking Ridge from Madison to eat at a little, independent café called Mockingbird Café. Mockingbird is a cute and simple establishment off of South Finley Avenue, around the corner from Oak Street Elementary School. My friends and I sat on the street, enjoying the last few days of a warm fall season, looking at the surrounding town of Basking Ridge. I could not help but notice how American and patriotic I felt sitting there at Mockingbird Café, looking down the street to see

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a looming flag of the U.S.A.

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-1As we sat down at the café, I took one last in-depth observation of South Finley Avenue and accepted the feeling that I had been transported back three decades into the past. For lunch, I ordered their special panino of the day. It was made of various vegetables and came with a side of large fries. The fries were crisp and delicious. The vegetables were deliciously flavored. I loved how they gave me a tiny porcelain bowl of ketchup and another plastic cup full of coleslaw. I’m really big on coleslaw with my sandwiches. Their panino was clearly crafted with love. The waitresses were extremely contemporary and friendly, young women who gave my friends and I the utmost respect by referring to us as “sir” and “ma’am.”

-4My only concern was how slow the service was. Perhaps it was because we came at a weird post-lunch hour, a little bit after 2 PM, when their lunch kitchen closes at 3 PM. However, the waitresses, although extremely amicable and polite, seemed to forget to check on us at a decent pace. The restaurant was not busy when we went. There were only a handful of tables that were full. Then again, I am used to the unforgiving pace of midtown Manhattan! I will continue to have homemade lemonade and handcrafted paninis from Mockingbird Café; even if it means I have to slow down, in order to properly appreciate the wonderful town of Basking Ridge and their locals.

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#SCBDReflection: Oktoberfest at Bottle Hill Pub

633895436145193925_2353I attend a relatively small private university in northern New Jersey, Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU). I live on the college at Florham Madison campus. There are nights that I don’t want to drive or take the train outside of campus to Morristown, just to enjoy a bar. The most realistic way of celebrating the fact that I’m now a twenty-one-year-old senior in college is to go straight to the student center on campus and have a drink at the Bottle Hill Pub with The Banker and Not The Pianist.

2012022811362161Given that I’ve passed by the pub in the student center for the past three years on various pub nights, I knew what my expectations were supposed to be. This wasn’t Iron Bar or Dark Horse in Morristown. This FDU’S campus. Having a few beers with The Banker and Not The Pianist on a Wednesday night before all three of us had a class on Thursday morning, was a fair proposition for an excuse to attend Oktoberfest at Bottle Hill. There was no obvious decor to indicate that it was Oktoberfest beyond flashcard-size paper, German flags at the bar, printed out with fun facts about Germany and Bavarian culture. However, there were free pretzels, and you can never turn down free food.

photo 2There is new furniture in the pub as compared to the way it was last semester. Now the furniture is bright, bold, and contemporary. The furniture has been likened to a McDonald’s PlayPlace. I find it to be an upgrade from last year’s high-top, all-blue plastic chairs that showed no variety whatsoever. Now, the furniture is an array of shades of blue, orange, and green.

photo 1The crowd at Bottle Hill reminded me of a neighborhood bar, where everyone knows each other because it’s such a tightknit community. There is no inappropriate, sweaty grinding at 10 PM on a Wednesday. Instead, there you can find your peers singing 1990s nostalgic karaoke hits. As I’m finishing up my senior year and growing as both an academic and a career woman, I find that the sweaty nights of dancing in clubs with strangers, strobe lights, and fog machines are not as fun as I pictured them to be as a young, freshman girl. Now, I find that sitting next to a few friends, talking about your hopes, fears, and aspirations, and asking the bartender you have an elective with to pour you another Yuengling is less expensive and more satisfying. Cheers!

 

LINKS:

http://fdu.edu/ FAIRLEIGH DICKINSON UNIVERSITY MAIN SITE

@FDUWhatsNew

@BottleHillPub

 

 

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