Monday, February 8, 2016

Twisted Elm Tavern - Best Brunch in North Jersey


Do you SEE this photo?! If you need any more convincing to visit this local gem, here you go…

The atmosphere is very relaxed – think rustic, big wooden saloon-type bar and high vaulted ceilings. Don’t be fooled by the simple d├ęcor – the food here is NO JOKE. I found this place by Googling “best boozy brunches in NJ” for a bestie date, and the Twisted Elm was on the list. We’re not your typical eating a side salad for lunch chicks – we want FOOD. Hearty, delicious food and a lot of it. I clicked on the Twisted Elm Tavern solely because I liked the name. After browsing some food photos online and on Instagram, I was convinced that this place would definitely be our speed. The photo that did it for me was the gorgeous MOUND of chicken and waffles that I saw someone post on Instagram. I screenshotted the photo and sent it to my friend. Her response? “We need it. What time we going?” The photo above is of my very own heavenly chicken and waffles.

We visited Twisted Elm at 1:00pm on Saturday. I made a reservation because I didn’t know how busy they got. There was a good amount of people there when we walked in. A good mix of younger people and families. They only offer brunch 11:30-2:30pm, so I wanted to make sure we were covered. The waitress came over immediately and asked us if we wanted our complimentary cocktail yet. UM…YES???? You can choose from a screwdriver, mimosa, bellini or bloody mary. My friend got the screwdriver, which came in a biggg glass. I got the mimosa and it was very tasty. The drink refills were very reasonable – I think my second mimosa was $6. As we enjoyed our drinks, the waitress brought over a complimentary basket of homemade biscuits and blueberry muffins. I mean, I already loved this place. Free drinks and carbs? Count me in. The biscuits were delicious, and were served with a strawberry butter on the side. I would normally not have tried it, but was feeling adventurous that day (reallyyyy living on the wild side, guys). The combo of the fresh biscuit and strawberry butter was delicious. I went back for more. The muffins we didn’t try – neither of us are big on blueberries so that was a little sad! They looked good though.

Now onto the main event. After seeing that mouth-watering chicken and waffles photo online, I couldn’t get it out of my head until we sat down to eat. There was no question – we both got the chicken and waffles. Excuse me, the chicken and BACON waffles. Yes, bacon inside the waffle. I can’t say enough good things about this dish. I’ve only had chicken and waffles once before, and was slightly weirded out by the combo. I’m from Jersey – not exactly chicken and waffles capital of the US. However, I savored every single bite of this meal at Twisted Elm. The waffles were perfectly cooked, and the bacon baked inside was such a welcomed surprise. The chicken was outstanding – bone-in, juicy and soft on the inside with probably one of the greatest crusts/breading on the outside I’ve ever had. It was nice and crispy and had a crunch to it. Getting the perfect bite of chicken, waffle and maple syrup was nearly heaven. They usually serve this dish with a blueberry agave syrup, but again, not big on blueberries so I opted for regular maple. If this doesn’t seem like enough food already, they serve it with these rustic, wonderfully seasoned potatoes on the side. I am a HUGE potato lover, and even those took the back seat to the chicken and waffles. Almost unheard of. The potatoes were really good though – they had a nice crispy skin on the outside and like I said, seasoned to perfection. The meal also came with a little side of fruit, which was almost comical to me. The fruit did not get touched, needless to say. We ate to the point of near death, and it was well worth it. We didn’t even eat dinner that night, and opted for light snacks instead. Bring your appetite.

In closing, I will definitely be back. My husband was insanely jealous of our photos, especially after we told him how awesome the food was. For all we got (free drink, free biscuit/muffin basket, another drink, 2 orders of chicken and waffles) the bill was roughly $50 for 2 people which was NOT bad at all. To me, this is the perfect brunch place if you live in the area. No prissy, uptight salad eaters allowed.

 A bestie date would not be complete without a selfie, duh.