The Mason Grill's culinary team caters to families with hearty, homestyle breakfasts served all day and a kids' menu with nine entrees under $4 each. Menu favorites include fluffy pancakes flanked by eggs, sausage, and plastic army-men sentries and three-egg omelets stuffed with a choice of breakfast meats, veggies, and cheese. Aside from their morning-inspired morsels, the restaurant's other dishes earn local acclaim, with Greek flavors found in their lamb or chicken gyros drizzled with housemade tzaziki sauce as well as their flaky baklava.
At age 11, while other Jersey kids were playing ball up the block, Tony Aponte was treating his four siblings to pizzas in the family kitchen. More than three decades have passed since those days. Tony has found new digs. He's moved to Ohio to be closer to his three daughters. But he is still crafting pizzas, drawing on those childhood experiences and a greatly expanded palette of toppings and ingredients available at Aponte's Pizzeria, which was featured on The Food Network's Restaurant Impossible.
In the pies he makes now, house-made sauce, hand-tossed white or wheat dough, and fistfuls of whole-milk cheese support capicola, genoa salami, grilled peppers, and artichoke hearts. While pulling apart slices, guests at Aponte’s Pizzeria can drink from a full bar or glance up at five flat-screen TVs to check sports scores or see if the anchorman is still wearing their friendship bracelet. Sports photos and team insignias pepper the marinara-red walls, and the tables clatter with plates of subs and baked pastas.
Sushi chef Ryan Chung applies his innate sense of artistry when crafting dynamic rolls from a surprising slew of ingredients. To pair with simplistic morsels of eel and tuna sashimi, premium rolls unfurl entire posses of such flavors as red snapper, scallion masago, and fresh-scooped avocado. An array of rice and noodle dishes transport thin slices of raw tuna or juicy beef to mouths or portable vacuums, and for heartier appetites, party-size sushi boats offer 22–35 pieces of nigiri, plus miso soup and side salads.
Helmed by owner Freweini “Bella” Andemicael, Cafe Bella's menu rattles off hearty Mediterranean and Italian fare, along with authentic African Eritrean dishes available each Wednesday. Bella’s hummus teams up with pickled red peppers, feta cheese, and a warm pita ($7), and lentil and vegetable soup spices itself with mild curry ($2 for a cup, $4 for a bowl) on the dinner menu. Tortellini packed with bacon, mushrooms, and nutmeg receives a parmesan cream coating ($15), and a juicy fillet mignon ($27) and a plate of scallops paired with spinach, pesto, and goat cheese along with mashed potatoes and blackberry balsamic ($20) fight for space in your stomach.
Though the thunder of rolling balls and clatter pins has filled Mason Bowl for more than 50 years, the bowling center has in no way fallen behind the times. Each of its 18 synthetic-surface lanes is equipped with automatic scoring and bumpers for younger players. Players can even take the competition outside to a newly refurbished garden, where there are three high-quality cornhole sets. But Mason Bowl hasn't forgotten the basics—the full-service Last Frame Bar & Grill keeps players fueled with sandwiches, casual pub appetizers, and beer distilled from the tears of those who had their perfect games ruined with a 7-10 split.