#SCBDExclusive: @ShakeShack Comes to NJ!

scbdexclusive20131110_133422On November 9th Shake Shack officially opened its doors to its first location in NJ. Located on Route17 South. Shake Shack officially opened its doors at 11am on Saturday, however customers started lining up at 7:40 am! Many Bergen County residents did not know Shake Shack was coming to this location until their signage was displayed a few days before the grand opening. Shake Shack’s menu will have an item or two custom to Bergen County such as have its own line of “concretes,” Shake Shack’s frozen custard, including the “Bergen County Blend,” made with vanilla custard, Balthazar pecan sticky bun and banana.

On Sunday morning, I took the 5 minute drive to Shake Shack I was so excited to finally have a location so close to home. As we approached there where cops there directing traffic into the parking lot because it is a small lot. The line was wrapped around the corner, however it did move fast! (TIP: if you only want to purchase cold items such as Ice Cream they have a “C” Line which is an express line). Employees hand you menus while you are waiting in line to speed up the ordering process.

Bergen County Blend

Bergen County Blend

I decided to order the Shack burger with is a cheeseburger topped with their signature shack sauce, an order of fries, and a black and white shake. The burger was amazing! Juicy and all. All burgers are cooked medium unless you ask otherwise. The sauce definitely made the burger and is a must have on their menu. Everything I had was so delicious that I went back the next day for lunch. This time Instead of a shake I had The Shark Attack concrete. This is a MUST HAVE for extreme chocolate lovers.

Shack Sauce

Shack Sauce

Shack Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 4 slices kosher dill pickle
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • Pinch cayenne pepper

Instructions:

Combine all ingredients in blender until smooth, scraping down sides of blender with rubber spatula as necessary. Makes about 3/4 cup sauce.

#SCBDFavorite: Relax & Enjoy the Aroma .@aromaUS!

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If you know me, you know one of the things I am willing to spend my money on is coffee, especially quality coffee. Aroma Espresso Bar has great, quality coffee and so much more.

Frozen Lemonade & water at Aroma

Frozen Lemonade & water at Aroma

Aroma Espresso Bar was founded in 1994 and is the largest and most successful espresso bar chain in Israel. Aroma Espresso Bar is known for it’s excellent home-roasted coffee and it’s fresh innovative menu. Since its expansion the US, Aroma Espresso Bar has established itself as the authority on coffee and healthy, wholesome Mediterranean cuisine. I actually stopped into Aroma for the first time a year ago right before Sandy. Jason and I stopped by the FiDi location for coffee and a snack. I also ate at the Paramus location once while I lived in Bergen county and my experience was great, too.

Spinach Bureka and Pasta Cream

Spinach Bureka and Pasta Tomato

I was invited to a press preview during the summer where we got to try new dishes that would be added permanently to the menu including a kale salad, Halumi sandwich, pasta creams and more. One of the new dishes that stood out were the Bureka’s. We also tried their well-known frozen lemonade as well as a coffee of our choice.

Kale Salad

Kale Salad

My personal favorite was the Spinach Bureka, a rectangle shaped pastry made from phyllo dough stuffed with feta and creamy spinach and topped with sesame seeds. They are so delicious and served hot. I wish I worked closer to their locations, I’d be getting a bureka for breakfast or lunch. My next favorite was the Kale Salad, it was delicious with tomatoes and fresh, shaved cheese. The dressing wasn’t too heavy either so I really enjoyed it. Out of the sandwiches, the Halumi was my favorite because it was like an ‘adult’ grilled cheese. Their breads are all freshly made and you can taste that in every bite you take, so delish!

Halumi sandwich

Halumi sandwich

Of course, our meal wasn’t complete without dessert, Aroma has an excellent selection of cookies from double chocolate chip to chocolate chip, dulce de leche macaroons, and more. They are delicious especially when paired with their coffees. My personal favorite is a cafe mocha and their cafe mocha is amazing. You really can’t steer wrong with any of their coffee drinks. If you’re not a coffee drinker they also have tea and fresh juices you can choose from, which are just as delicious.

Cookies

Cookies

If you are ever in New York and are looking for an espresso bar to go to, Aroma is the place. They have plenty of seating in their locations, a friendly staff, and of course great food and drinks. It really doesn’t get better than that.

Pumpkin- Cranberry Muffin

Pumpkin- Cranberry Muffin

. Starting this week, Aroma Espresso Bar  locations (NYC, NJ, FL and MD) will be adding fall favorites to its fresh & delicious menu. Some of these dishes include a Harvest Turkey Sandwich, Hot Apple Cider, Pumpkin-Cranberry Muffin and more. Don’t miss out on trying these delicious drinks & treats!

Here’s to great coffee with great company!

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More pictures:

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

#SCBDFitness: SWEAT Performance Center

scbdfitness -4Have you ever found yourself at the gym staring blankly at the rack of weights? This was a predicament that I faced far too often; retreating to my elliptical in a state of confusion and defeat. As an athlete, I had the basic lifting techniques down: curl 5 pound dumbbells, use leg press machine, hit the ab machine and call it a day. Unfortunately, this method of body sculpting is slightly flawed, in almost every way.

I know what you’re thinking: “LIFTING? I don’t play a sport; I don’t want to get big!” Fear not SCBD readers, because the answer is closer than you think. When my sister started going to a personal trainer, I asked my parents where they procured a money tree, and how I could get one too. The idea of personal training seems out of reach for most, a service that few can afford consistently.  Fortunately, SWEAT Performance Center makes personal training not only effective, but affordable. SWEAT stands for Strategic Weight Energy Activity Training. Located in Upper Saddle River in Bergen County, SWEAT offers personal training, small group training, semi-private training, weight loss, boot camp classes, post rehabilitation, golf fitness and athlete performance training.

-6Damien Johnson, a highly certified and respected personal trainer, opened SWEAT in July 2011. Since then, he has helped numerous people, both athletes and non-athletes, achieve their fitness goals. I asked Damien if he was passionate about what he does, to which he responded: “Passionate doesn’t even cover it; I need to find a better word. It’s my entire life.”

The best part about training is that anyone can do it. You don’t have to be an athlete, a fitness junkie, or even in shape to begin the transition to a healthier body and better life. The hour-long sessions are both convenient and flexible, making training easy to fit into almost any schedule.

-5SWEAT is offering a special deal just for SCBD readers. Stop in to SWEAT at 103 Pleasant Ave Suite C in Upper Saddle River, NJ (right off of Route 17 North) and show this post, and receive 20% off your first single training session. Contact Damien at (201) 483-9473, and visit SWEAT on the web at www.cometosweat.com or check them out on Facebook. Stay fit foodies!

#SCBDReview: Schlotzsky’s Englewood

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Schlotzsky's Engelwood owner, Lea Dallegio

Schlotzsky’s Englewood owner, Lea Dalleggio

Have you ever had a sandwich you loved so much you’d do anything to have one every day of your life? Schlotzsky’s Englewood’s owner Lea Dalleggio knew from her first Fresh Veggie that she would do whatever it took to open up her own restaurant. A New-Jersey native, Lea had her first sandwich while visiting her grandmother in Texas, launching a dream and a mission. Lea describes her relationship with Schlotzsky’s as nothing less than obsessed, fueling her dream to open the first and only franchise not only in New Jersey, but on the entire east coast. A small chick herself, Lea proved in true Schlotzsky’s fashion that if you follow your passion (and your stomach), the sky’s the limit.

Route 66 Sandwiches

Route 66 Sandwiches

I had the opportunity to try not just one of their new Route 66 sandwiches, but all three.  I started with the Windy City Pastrami & Swiss, a fresh take on the classic sandwich.  The meat to cheese ratio was the best I have seen from a sandwich shop. I had to cut myself off from the Windy City, in order to save room for the other two. I moved on to the Albuquerque Turkey, which ended up being my favorite by a landslide. The combination of the chipotle mayo and the jalapeño cheese bread gave it the perfect amount of kick, balanced by the melty cheddar, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese trio. Not to mention the generous portion of bacon. The California Chick came in at a close second, with its fair share of bacon, spice, and jalapeño cheese bread. In case that doesn’t sound delicious, the California Chick also features Schlotzsky’s guacamole, which is without a doubt the best sandwich shop guacamole I have had.

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My first Schlotzsky’s experience was definitely a good one. I was very fortunate to get to sit down with Lea and I will definitely be going back hungry soon. Schlotzsky’s not only offers a great sandwich at a great price, but also makes lunch hour easy with to-go orders, delivery, and an order online option.

Schlotzsky’s would like to extend a special deal to SCBD readers. They will be offering a Two for Tuesday special if you “LIKE” Schlotzsky’s Englewood on Facebook and show them proof when you come in. Their slogan definitely rings true, “Funny name, serious sandwich.”

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

#SCBDExclusive: Potbelly to Open in Paramus this Tuesday!

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If you’ve been an avid SCBD reader from the beginning you know one of my favorite places to grab lunch while I interned at The Rachael Ray Show was Potbelly Sandwich Shop. It was an easy walk from the former studio in Midtown East, affordable, and delicious and I’m not normally a big sandwich person. Check out my original post featuring Potbelly, here.

potbelly

I loved eating Potbelly so much that I wanted them to open up in New Jersey. Now over a year later, they are opening their second New Jersey location (the first is in Jersey City) at Bergen Town Center in Paramus, NJ. The Potbelly official grand opening is this Tuesday, February 19th at 11am.

pptbelly paramus tweet

In honor of the opening they are having an Oven Warming Party (which I found out via Twitter) tomorrow from 11am-1:30pm. The first 260 people to sign up (admits you and one guest) can enjoy a Potbelly Originals sandwich, a bag of chips, and a fountain drink, all for a $5 cash donation per person that will be going to Family to Family to raise funds for their projects.  Be sure to RSVP, here, tonight! I’m planning on attending, so maybe I’ll see you there?!

The MenuPhoto Credit: DNAinfo.com

The Menu
Photo Credit: DNAinfo.com

If you can’t make it out tomorrow, make sure you stop by for their official grand opening Tuesday or anytime the rest of the week.  I highly recommend the Roast Beef sandwich which is my personal favorite, I’ve even ordered it “Bigs” (30% more meat) because it’s that delicious!

Here’s to a successful grand opening and giving Potbelly a warm welcome to Bergen County!

Happy Eating! :D

Sara SCBD Logo Edited

#New #SCBD Jersey Bites Post-Enjoy A Date Night at Chakra in Paramus


Enjoy A Date Night at Chakra in Paramus (via Jersey Bites)

Before the holidays, I was invited to go to a media dinner at Chakra, a restaurant and lounge located centrally off Route 4, in Paramus. Since Chakra has such a romantic atmosphere, I felt it was only right to bring along my boyfriend, Jason. Chakra, certainly lives up to its romantic reputation with…

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Authentic Mexican Food & Cocktails at Chapala Grill– #SCBDApproved!

So normally I try to go to a restaurant once or twice if I can before I write about it but I went to Chapala Grill in Bergenfield, NJ this past Saturday night with my roommate Leah for a girls night out and had to tell you all about it!

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When we first decided to go we figured we’d just order drinks and appetizers since the cocktails they had and beer were an unbeatable price. Leah got a beer ($3.50)  and I got a Peach Margarita on the rocks ($5.50) to start and they brought us out some tortilla chips and salsa. The salsa was perfect not too thick and had a little kick in every bite. Next, we decided to order some of their specialties since they were amazing priced. Leah got the Burrito Chapala ($13.95) that is a burrito with crab meat, spinach, and more. I decided to get the Tacos Mexicanos ($11.75) with steak, pico de gallo, and cilantro. We both devoured our meals and enjoyed every bite. I even put some salsa on my tacos it was so good and we took our leftover rice & beans to go.

I’ve learned the secret to a great Mexican restaurant is that it has:

  • Strong, delicious Margaritas
  • Food Portioned perfectly
  • Affordable
  • Authentic

Chapala Grill was all that & more! We both decided to we had to bring our boyfriend, friends, and family here for dinner. They also have an awesome happy hour we were interested in attending sometime.

Chapala Grill is located at 52 South Washington Ave  Bergenfield, NJ 07621

Happy Eating…Cheers! :D

Sara SCBD Logo Edited

#SCBD Exclusive Preview: Zinburger in Garden State Plaza

Zinburger Paramus Exterior - Inside Mall

Photo Credit: DFPR

This past weekend I was invited to go to the media preview dinner at Zinburger that opened today at Garden State Plaza. If you love burgers, shakes, and a variety of cocktails then Zinburger is the place for you.

Zinburger Paramus - Outside

Photo Credit: DFPR

I went with my boyfriend Jason where we basically got a tasting of the menu and their cocktails.

The tasting menu

The tasting menu

We started off with the Dulce de Leche shake which was delicious. They split it in half for us so we could each have a taste of the shake.

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The Dulce de Leche shake :)

We were really hungry so we decided to start with a side of the famous Zinburger zucchini fries which were really good and flavorful. I’d recommend them or the truffle fries to anyone, the sweet potato fries at Zinburger aren’t too bad either.

Zinburger's zucchini fries

Zinburger’s zucchini fries

Next, we each ordered a cocktail because they all looked so great around us. Jason got the sangria & I got The Lemon Sipper. We enjoyed both of our cocktails which complimented our fries while we waited for our burgers to come out.

The Lemon Sipper

The Lemon Sipper

Next, our burgers came out. Now, if you like your burger done Medium Rare then you’ll love Zinburger because they cook their burgers on the lighter side. I got the Samburger which has Applewood Smoked Bacon, American Cheese, and Thousand Island dressing on it. I requested mine be Kobe Beef since it’s an option at Zinburger. I ordered it Medium but next time I go I will order it Medium Well since it was still a bit read for my taste but it was delicious and huge! Jason ordered El Diablo which is topped with Fire Roasted Jalapenos, Pepperjack Cheese, Caramelized Onions, and Chipotle Mayo. Unlike me he likes his burgers Medium Rare so the red didn’t really bother him. He also enjoyed it and thought it had just enough kick to it.

The Samburger

The Samburger

El Diablo

El Diablo

If you’re looking for a burger that is different then usual and options when it comes to fries then Zinburger is the place for you! The Paramus location also has a full bar which is great to watch the game. I’m definitely looking forward to more girls night out and date nights at the Paramus location since it’s so close to where I live.

The Zinburger in Paramus is located at 1 Garden State Plaza, Space #1146, consider it your lunch/dinner option next time your shopping at the mall!

Cheers! :D

Sara SCBD Logo Edited

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

#SCBD & Boozy Burbs Bergen County Sandy Relief Fundraiser

Please join Small Chick Big Deals & Boozy Burbs to support those affected most by the Super Storm Sandy in Little Ferry & Moonachie. All proceeds will be going to the Borough of Moonachie Relief.

Tuesday, November 13th from 7-9:30pm
At Rockleigh Country Club
26 Paris Avenue, Rockleigh, NJ

Cash Bar (portion of proceeds being donated to relief efforts)
Complimentary hors d’oeuvres from area restaurants and caterers
Raffle (entire proceeds being donated to relief efforts)
$5 Suggested Donation/Entry Fee

RSVP via Facebook here or here.

Interested in donating or helping out?

Email #SCBD at smallchickbigdeals@gmail.com or Boozy Burbs at info@boozyburbs.com

Check out my latest Jersey Bites post: Great Beer & Meal for a Deal at Miller’s Ale House!


Great Beer & Meal For a Deal at Millers Ale House (via Jersey Bites)

A new restaurant has opened in Paramus right next to 24 hour Fitness and it has become a regular spot for me now. Miller’s Ale House, the second to open in the state of NJ, too. Miller’s is a chain but is located mostly in Florida & Pennsylvania. They are known for their great food with affordable…

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