FANWOOD, NJ – The Fanwood Grille celebrates its second anniversary next week with longer hours, a return to seven days, and a greater emphasis on its dinner menu and meals to go.
“We realized a few things over the first two years. One is that we are known for our food made from scratch and cooked to order -- that’s why breakfast is so busy on the weekends,” said chef Paul Watterson. “But during the work week, people are hurrying in the morning. They don’t have time for a full breakfast like they do on Saturday and Sunday."
“The other thing we learned is that be closing at 7:00 p.m., we were missing out on a lot of business from commuters. Our weekend customers tell us that they would come in during the week except that we were closed by the time many of them arrive home,” Watterson added. “The natural thing to do is to open later in the morning and then extend our evening hours.”
The eatery is also putting more emphasis on deliveries and having food ready for pickup.
“With our website, www.fanwoodgrille.com, customers are able to order in advance on their phones and then have the food ready for pickup if they are driving or walking home from the train,” said Watterson. “We also are putting a greater emphasis on deliveries. People like the convenience.”
The Fanwood Grille quickly became known for its Maine lobster rolls and later placed itself firmly on New Jersey’s culinary map in January 2018 when it was recognized for having the “Best Soup in New Jersey” by TheDailyMeal.com. Among the popular sellers are chicken noodle, lobster bisque, butternut squash, Maryland crab bisque, and French onion.
Another coup was being named to the 2018 Hot Dog Nation Tour of New Jersey, a motor coach tour organized by hot dog aficionado John Fox that visits the top dogs among Garden State franks. Fox recently announced that the tour will again stop at the Fanwood Grille on August 24, 2019. Patrons enjoy the Grille's foot-long Schickhaus Natural Casing Griddle Franks that feature a “snap” when you bite into them. The Fanwood Grille was selected, in part, because of its toppings, including sauerkraut, chili, “fire and ice” (spicy onions with candy bacon), and the new South American Street Dog (hot dog served on a grilled bun and served with guacamole, ketchup, mustard and mayo).
For a restaurant known for its good, old fashioned American comfort food, many of its menu items come with a Spanish flair.
“Many of our most popular items are authentic family recipes, including the award-winning Grandma’s Spanish Chicken Soup; beef, chicken and fish soft tacos; and Sunday chili,” said Chef Paul Watterson. “Empanadas have been a big hit, and we haven’t really even pushed them yet. We didn’t know how popular they would be when we put up the display case. They really took off.”
In addition to extending the hours of the Fanwood Grille, Watterson is adding some new, inventive items to its regular menu.
“We are expanding our weekend breakfast menu, which will be served from 8:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays,” Watterson said. “We do things that you can’t find elsewhere, like pound cake French toast, southern fried chicken and waffles, New Orleans shrimp & grits, and a Maryland crab omelet with seafood cream sauce and sautéed asparagus.”
To celebrate the Fanwood Grille’s second anniversary on Sunday, July 7, the restaurant will offer its legendary lobster rolls at $2 off and will serve $2 hot dogs.
34 South Martine Ave.
Fanwood, NJ 07023